Acts in Asia
by Jeff & Verna Willhoite
Celebrating 25 Years in Asia
In August of 1990, our family boarded a flight to China, and our lives would never be the same. Language learning, adjusting to exceptionally different cultural norms, trials, adversity and challenges, mixed with joy, tinged with sadness and a confidence that can only come from faithfully obeying the leadership of the Holy Spirit might be a good way to describe all that has gone on in the past 25 years in one, rather long sentence.
This newsletter is unlike any we have ever written; it’s about us, rather, about our family. We would like to celebrate with you, our friends, family, and ministry partners, what the Lord has done in our (yours and ours) lives and ministry.
Samantha, Jenna, and Hallie were 8 years, 5 years, and 22 months old when we left for the mission field. Our time together on the mission field was life changing for all of us. There have been challenges from some less-than-positive experiences, but for the most part their lives were forever changed by the many good things they experienced on the field.
As a missionary family, one of the most challenging times is when the children begin to leave the nest. One by one, until the last one leaves, like never before, you are without a child on the mission field. The close knit unit that you become as a missionary family evolves into something else.
By the time you receive this email, Jenna and her family- husband David, River (3) and Piper (8 months)- would have finished a short trip to Thailand. It is good to have them back home. Moreover, our youngest, Hallie, and her son Carter, are travelling with them. They will be living and working with us here in Thailand for the next few years. It is so wonderful to have one of our grown daughters following the Lord’s leading and joining our efforts here. It is the Lord’s gift and an answer to the desire of our hearts to have one of our grandchildren on the field with us!
One Big Family
As we write this newsletter and share the things the Lord has done and is doing, we cannot forget the extended family that the Lord has given us. The Kingdom family is comprised of people from every nation and who speak every language. 25 years ago, we left few and have gained so many more. We have truly received a hundredfold return. In closing, we would like to introduce you to a few of our more recently acquired family. The picture was taken at the Lighthouse Church we helped plant last year. We have only known these believers since last September, but the Lord has given us the opportunity to get to know them and their life stories. It is beautiful to hear what the Lord has done and is doing in their lives. Aon, Mimi, Noon, Di Sing, A’cho, Ong Song, and Bui are wonderful friends and people of promise walking out their faith daily in often times very challenging situations.
From the northernmost point of Thailand, we thank you for your friendship, prayers and support. We are living in days of great possibilities!