Greetings from Japan!
GOSPEL GROWTH IN THAILAND
In October, Russell traveled to Bangkok for the first commencement exercises of the Thailand Theological Seminary. Bishop Talmadge Gardner, executive director of World Missions Ministries, delivered the commencement address, challenging the graduates to “preach the Word,” and to fulfill God’s calling on their lives. Nineteen graduates received diplomas, eight were awarded Bachelor degrees in Theology, and eight were awarded Master degrees in Christian Ministry. The graduates included four young ministers from Laos, where God has opened a door for new IPHC work.
Following the commencement ceremonies, Russell and Bishop Gardner journeyed north to Pakchong for the 15th annual conference of IPHC Thailand. Special speakers included Rev. Edgar Banaga and Dr. Sabu Abraham. Some 140 pastors and leaders attended the conference, where the Lord spoke to His people about “Finishing the Task.” A highlight was the credentialing ceremony, where 19 individuals were welcomed as Mission Workers, 12 became Licensed Ministers, and 11 received Ordination.
We give thanks to God for the new workers entering the harvest fields in Thailand, where Christians number less than 1% of the population. The stage is set for rapid growth in the future!
MILESTONES IN BANGLADESH
In November, Russell traveled to Bangladesh for the decennial celebration of the Holiness Academy. A ceremony of dedication was held for the final section of the educational complex, which includes classrooms, dorm rooms for students, apartments for visiting teachers, and dining and meeting halls. The Holiness Academy provides an excellent education with a Christian basis to the children of Muslim families in the local community and includes boarding facilities for children from Christian families in remote villages where schools are poor or non-existent.
We are indebted to the family of Moses and Dean King, whose generous donations over the years have resulted in a magnificent structure where God is glorified and students are equipped to transform their nation.
Missionaries Vijay and Aparanjani Balla, have done an outstanding job in developing this school and leading the work in Bangladesh, which has expanded to include 35 churches. Russell joined Vijay in visiting several remote villages in the south and north, meeting and encouraging believers, and sharing the Word of the Lord.
POINTS FOR PRAYER
• Pray for the continued expansion of Thailand Theological Seminary. Funds are needed to complete construction of classrooms and dormitories.
• Pray for the newly credentialed ministers in IPHC Thailand, that they will serve the Lord with joy and faithfulness, and bear fruit for His glory.
• Pray for the faculty and students of the Holiness Academy, and for provision for the financial needs of the school.
• Pray for the pastors in Bangladesh, whose efforts are often opposed by the majority Muslim population.
• Pray for us as we provide oversight to a dozen countries in Asia, and seek to mobilize personnel and resources to reach the unreached.
Russell & Sandra Board