Throughout 2020, one topic has come up in our office again and again, because it astounds us: how good God is at creating opportunities out of hardships and impossibilities. 

Like everyone else, we were not expecting the whole world to shut down three months into the year, but we trusted in God’s provision and thanked Him for the workers already in the mission field who could continue their ministries. 

God has done more than just kept the work going, however; He’s grown it. He has opened doors to send Bible Workers into unentered territories and to open a church plant and mission post in a city with no Seventh-day Adventists. He has changed hearts that before the pandemic seemed completely hardened to the Gospel, and so much more. We cannot wait to see what He does in the rest of 2020 and beyond!

This Thanksgiving we want to celebrate what God has done in the mission field, and in our own hearts, this year! Each of our office staff has shared something they are thankful for, and (because God is GOOD) we have several more items we are all thankful for to share as well! 

What We’re Thankful for in 2020

Sharon 

Sharon is thankful for the increase in Bible Workers this year despite COVID-19. We have added 130 Bible Workers to our ministry since January 1, 2020!

Veronica

Veronica is thankful that we have doubled our evening schools this year and that they have still been able to minister and reach out to the community throughout India’s COVID-19 Lockdowns

Christina

Christina is thankful for how God is using the Norton family to help the six children they are currently caring for, and how He is using them to reach people in Sukhothai.

Violet
Violet has been going through the Bible Worker stories JFA has received this month, and she is thankful for all the conversion stories that have brought her hope and encouragement.
Hannah

Hannah is thankful for the completion of the new India TV Studio; and how the India TV Ministry has been able to bring comfort and encouragement to its viewers amidst the pandemic.

Gabriel

Gabriel is thankful for Faith Club, what we call our team worships, because it encourages us to go higher with God. It gives us a deeper understanding of faith and what God can do through our faith when we grasp the Word itself. This inspires us as we bring the requests of our Bible Workers and missionaries before God. 

Natalie
Natalie is thankful for the silver linings in the lockdown, including the fact that Jon has been home most of this year instead of traveling.
Jon
Jon is thankful that, even though we can’t send missionaries this year, we have workers already established overseas who are able to go forward in spite of all the devil is throwing at them. He is thankful that Preaw has brought her own mother to see Jesus and choose baptism even in her jail (Watch Praew’s testimony here). He is thankful that the Atwells’ Center of Influence is at a milestone to set up land in the country, and for the new church plant in Sukhothai. Most of all, Jon is thankful for who Christ is revealing Himself to be to him.

New Bible Workers in Unentered Areas!

This year God has blessed us to be able to send Bible Workers into five completely new areas in India (including four entire new states), as well as Bangladesh and Tawi Tawi in the Philippines. Some of these areas have even had baptisms already! the Bible Workers pictured are our newest Bible Workers from Sikkim and West Bengal.

COVID-19 Relief

Through the gifts of many kind donors we have been able to send packets of food to hundreds of families affected by COVID-19 lockdowns in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand. This food has helped bring hope and encouragement to many who, without work, could not provide for the needs of their families.

God Saved the Satellite!

Earlier this year, the Indonesia TV ministry was on the verge of shutting down, but God provided through generous gifts to keep the satellite station on the air, where it provides potential millions with access to the Gospel. It also gives many Adventists without nearby churches a chance to learn more about God and connect with fellow believers.

New Van for Mindoro Outreach
Mindoro Outreach serves the tribal people who live in the mountains of their island home. God recently provided the ministry with a much-needed van to carry food for their school feeding program, transport sick villagers to the hospital, and fill any other needs they may have. Read the full story here.

Since COVID-19, the villagers have not been accepting any visitors to their home, except Mindoro Outreach volunteers. We praise God for keeping open the doors of ministry to these villagers!

Love for Asia Studio

Thailand has a large need for Christian resources that help make the Gospel relevant and easy to understand. The Love for Asia Foundation has been praying for many years to build a studio to create programs for the Thai people, and this year, we obtained the property for the studio and have started preparing the land for building!

Read the Miracle of the Lam Yai Trees to see God working in this project. 

Cambodia Boarding Academy Groundbreaking

This year, the property for the new Cambodia Boarding Academy was declared free of land mines and cleared for building! The next step is to get electricity and water to the site, and then we can begin constructing classrooms. The Cambodia Boarding Academy will give Cambodian youth the chance to complete their education while keeping the Sabbath, and train them to be servants of Christ to their people. 

New Children’s home and Church Plant in Thailand

The Norton family moved to Thailand in August 2019 and soon after took in two young Thai children. This year, by God’s grace, they have taken in four more children, and we have just signed an agreement to obtain property for their official children’s home. Read more here!

God also recently provided the Nortons with a mission post in the center of Sukhothai, Thailand where they have opened the city’s first Adventist church plant!

Read Kasey Norton’s Blog to hear more about the Nortons’ ministry in Sukhothai.

Thank you to each of you whose prayers and sacrifices have helped promote the growth of God’s work in Asia. Thank you for letting God use you this year! We pray that God will bless you abundantly this holiday season and draw you nearer to Himself each day. 

Once again, Happy Thanksgiving!

In Christ,
The JFA Team