Merry Christmas from Jesus for Asia
2020 has been a year that none of us will ever forget. It has brought with it many trials, but also many joys as we have seen God open doors to numerous hearts and new mission locations. This Christmas we have invited our missionaries, both foreign and local, to reflect on 2020 and share what God has been doing in their lives and those of whom they serve.
Your fervent prayers and generous gifts have helped make these testimonies possible. We thank you immensely for your support of our ministry and our common goal: the Glory of the Lord and the spread of the Gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.
May God richly bless you and yours this holiday season and into the new year!
The Norton Famiy
During a year when the world came to a screeching halt, we’ve seen the Spirit on the move, doing impossible things in impossible timing. We’ve had front row seats to watch God move mountains and soften hearts while He has “made a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
He has brought us four additional children (bringing our number to a total of six Thai children), a language school, a food ministry, a church plant, Bible Workers, and an incredible piece of property where we’re working to establish a safe space for more children to take refuge.
In the coming year, we’re praying for the property to be paid in full, the school building to be completed and recognized by the government, teachers to join us, and additional houses to be built on the property so children can live in home-like settings with “house parents.” But we’re most determined to deepen our connection with the only One who can make any of this happen … and for the increased desire to glorify Him.
By the grace of God, we have been able to reach more people this year. Because of the virus, everyone was open. Usually, the Hindus say they don’t want prayer or Bible study, or even for the Bible Workers to come to their homes, but Covid-19 has brought people together and now many Hindus are open and even asking for prayer. They are afraid, and they don’t know what is going to happen, so we are able to pray for more people than in previous years. During the lockdown, the Bible Workers were not able to meet with many people, but once it was lifted, more people were open to prayer.
Our JFA Bible Workers are thankful to the donors for enabling them to receive their full stipends each month even during the Covid-19 lockdown. Many others lost their jobs or only received half their salaries, but since the Bible Workers were given full salaries, they were able to support their whole families. They want to thank the Donors and JFA Ministries for not letting them down during this time.
On this week’s episode of JFA Now, we have several incredible miracle stories from our Bible Workers. Click here to watch!
Love for Asia Foundation and the Bair Family
Our plans for next year include building a new studio, which will enable greater production of videos, even if social-distancing is necessary (See picture above to view the property for the new studio).
While building, we plan to extend the reach of translated videos by adding voiceovers in Thai, continue literature translation, and develop a children’s hymnal app. We hope the reach of these gospel-focused media forms will help reach those who haven’t yet heard of Jesus and will strengthen fellow believers so they too can be missionaries. Thanks for your support, and for helping our family have the privilege of serving here in Thailand.
What I have seen this year is former Muslims working for their fellows with success. Osama, Rufinah, Zayed, Abdullah, and Sajjad gave their life to Christ, and rejoice, Monica, Sahar, Musaab and Mustafe entered the full-time work of leading others to Christ or supporting those who do. Additionally, eight of our Muslim primary students and one mother began praying in the name of Christ this year. There were too many other wonderful developments (in media, translation, publishing, agriculture, medical work, and construction) to recount them all!
Jesus for Slum Kids – The Bauder Family
We have been so blessed this year! We have seen our 1-year-old daughter struggle with pneumonia, failing to thrive as a young one should, and then get diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. We went from hearing doctors reassure us that she wasn’t going to die to death not even being on our minds.
Jail has been a big theme in our lives this year. We have seen Kartun and Noy, whose father is in jail for life, finally be able to find forgiveness in their hearts and start writing and visiting their father after they witnessed the positive changes in Preaw’s mom.
We are thankful to have Chompoo here with us now as our homeschool teacher. She has been through many of the same things that most of our girls have been through, and thus, has been able to effectively build positive relationships with all the kids.
Finally, (but Lord willing not our final thing to be thankful for this year) MooNoy! After having so many people from all around the world pray for her at the beginning of the year, she was able to leave drugs and prostitution and come and stay with us. She has constantly made positive decisions since then. Proof that prayer works: I asked her why she came here and she said, “Jesus changed me.”
We praise God for everything He has done this year, and we know that He will continue to enable us to help more kids next year! Thank you so much for all your help as well!
JFA Evening Schools
Brother Thomas, one of our evening school coordinators, shared that many of the parents of our evening school students wanted to come and share how much they appreciate the evening schools. They want to share their thanks and love for what we are doing and how we care for their children, he said. One mother, Divia, was able to share her story with us.
Divia thanks the Lord for the help the church is giving her children. During the Covid-19 pandemic many have suffered from poverty, but the evening school in her village has still been providing good, nutritious food for her two children, who are in the 3rd and 5th grades.
Divia was a Christian even before her affiliation with the evening school. She and her husband tried for seven years to have children with no success. After she became a Christian, God blessed her with 2 children. She praises God for her children and thanks Jesus for Asia for the support we give through the evening school to help feed her children and teach them their lessons and how to pray to God. The kids are well disciplined at school and home and they take their studies seriously.
The help the families are receiving from the evening school, especially during Covid-19, has been invaluable. Parents frequently share their thanks with Brother Thomas and the teachers at the schools. Their hearts and doors are opening to God.
Bangkok Center of Influence – The Atwell Family
This year has been a trying time for so many. For us it seemed like a catastrophe. We have prayed for 6 years that we could have a team to serve with us here, and in late 2019 we had a family of 4 and a very good friend join us. Things were really looking up. However, due to Covid-19 we lost all of them in a matter of a few short weeks (went home, not died). We went back to feeling utterly alone here. Then our country went into lockdown with stay at home orders, and our center was forced to shut down for 3 months.
We lost our home, the only one our kids really ever knew, and had to move into the center. Then, as we were taking some time away for some work on our marriage, we learned that 2 of our native team members were quitting (next day) and we had no way to replace them. This forced us back to reality. Then not more than 3 weeks later our oldest son ends up in the hospital requiring emergency brain surgery.
While this may seem like an odd message to share, God revealed so much of His purposes in these experiences…
India TV Ministry
We are very busy, now more so than before. We receive a lot of phone calls, and have made a lot of new contacts during this Covid time. People watch our TV program and call our prayer warriors.
During Covid-19 we started a YouTube channel and are showing the programs there. This allows people to watch the programs whenever they want. We are getting responses from that as well.
We have had many Bible studies, and when things open up more people will be baptized.
Sowing in Thailand – Jim and Irene Hill
We are sowing, but not in Thailand, yet — We returned to Washington state the end of May for a two month visit. Seven months later we are still here and the borders are still closed. So, we do the “work that lies nearest” in our local community. We wait for a door to open for our return to Western Thailand to develop a farm and student work program at a Thailand Adventist Mission school. We rest in the promise that, “God’s purposes know no haste and no delay.” DA 32 God bless you in 2021.
It’s Christmas… even in Indonesia. Although Christmas isn’t a big thing at all here, we have much to thank God for! This year has been hard, and having gone through it means we know He has been there all along. Our television is nearing ten years on satellite, and our cycling outreach community has been pedaling for almost four years.
As missionaries, we must explore every possibility to reach people of different groups.
We are reaching the unreached through the television and meeting the needs of the poor and unprivileged in our village. In doing so we often neglect people who are busy, people in metropolitan areas who are considered worldly, people who are fast-paced and money oriented. Reaching these two different worlds requires a full-time effort on our part, and it is certainly a faith-building experience. One day we’re in the city cycling and meeting friends, having brunch in a fancy place, paying too much for a glass of fresh juice because our friends want to vent out to us after cycling. The next day our heart is crying when we are home in the village, fixing the teeth of villagers who cannot afford a toothbrush. This is how Jesus must have felt, eating and drinking with rich publicans and tax collectors one day and working with poor fishermen the next. The world is just unfair and we do not belong here.
In Christmas 2019, we started translating plans into action to build something that both worlds could benefit from. Something they’re both missing. We started expanding our facilities to become a center of activity and influence for villagers, and we are planning to include multifunctional courts, a swimming pool, and a gymnasium where youth can train, exercise, and learn about the Adventist lifestyle. At the same time, the facility will also attract our city dwelling friends through the cycling community. These friends can enjoy a nature hike, mountain biking, and trekking, or they can stay a day or two simply to learn NEWSTART, values on country living, homeschooling, and the Christian family, while simultaneously taking part of our social outreach to the locals and learning themselves. In the light of the current events, some may even be interested in prophetic studies.
The building costs much and we are far away from finishing it . We are slowly clearing the land and erecting ripraps along the slopes to prevent landslides. Many times this year, we have not had enough money to pay workers, to buy building materials, etc. but we have refused to quit, and in the end, everything is always paid for. This construction, of course, has added much to our television bills, but as He has proven Himself faithful in the past, He will bless us with stronger faith if we just keep going. We believe the money for the building will come in time.
About a year ago, we hired and began training some local village workers. Half of these 13 workers lost their farming jobs because of falling cassava prices, land conversion and the pandemic. All 13 families have had food to eat because they have jobs at HCBN, and they have been expressing “Alhamdulillah” (praise be to God).
Please join us as we pray for our plans to build senior homes and to possibly create a center for a deaf ministry close to HCBN God bless you all, and enjoy your holidays with the Lord!
Gayle’s Jungle Mission
BletJhaw and I would like to deeply thank all of you for your love, care, prayers and support! We wish you a Merry Christmas!
We are constantly thanking the Lord for using us as medical missionaries in the jungle. We have just completed our 4th yearly evangelistic series in BYT, December 8-12. This year we were delighted to have local Karen pastors and a pastor from the Thailand mission conduct these meetings. At the conclusion of the week, 19 people were baptized! This makes a total of 49 baptisms in the past 10 years that we have served these people, but there have also been many miracles of healing along the way.
The latest miracle occured when a 72 year old lady, PawPet, from WaSuTa village, came to us.
She was suffering from severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, dehydration, and a high fever. She could not stand up, and I could not even find a blood pressure that night! Despite all this, she refused to let us take her to the hospital. We gave her medicine and IV fluids, but we were still very concerned. That very same evening, a baby was brought to us with severe asthma and a high temperature that was not responding to paracetamol. The Salbutamol nebulizer treatment didn’t seem to improve the lungs much either. I was afraid those little lungs might collapse! When I could not sleep that night, I prayed earnestly. In the morning we hastened to check our patients. PawPet was sitting up, pain gone, fever gone, and blood pressure 100/70! And wonder of wonders the precious little baby was well! Totally well!
This is not us folks! God brings healing again and again in answer to a humble prayer in faith! That’s why I love Him so!!