Here’s a big-picture view of our next month—things we’re praying for and anticipating.
Making God big and the Bible “small”
For the past year, I’ve been devoting nearly all of my time to preparing the curriculum for this year’s two sessions of the Ratanakiri Pastors School. The dry-season session is next week, May 13-18. I’ll be joining my teammates and about 70 church leaders in Ratanakiri province to work through Genesis – Judges together. Our goal is that these courses would make the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, less formidable and more accessible for our students. One of my long-standing requests to God is that he would raise up a generation of Bible readers–Christians who spend their free time just reading the Bible! But this won’t happen as long as such large sections of Scripture continue to intimidate and bewilder them. Please pray for our students, most of whom do indeed have a high commitment to Scripture, that God would reward that commitment by revealing himself to them more deeply, beginning next week. Pray for their churches and families also, that they too would benefit from pastors and fathers who are saturated with God’s words. Pray for me and my teammates as we teach next week. The days grow long and hot this time of year, so we need physical, spiritual, and mental stamina. Finally, please pray also for Bonnie Ruth and the kids as they hold the fort while I’m away.
The unreached Lao of Stung Treng
The week after Bible school (May 22-24), several Cambodian and Laotian pastors will be traveling to Stung Treng for several days of prayer and strategizing about how to reach the 50,000+ unreached Laotians who live here. When we arrived in Stung Treng two years ago, we were unaware of any efforts to target the Lao-speaking population here. This meeting next week is just one of multiple new Loatian-targeting initiatives that have popped up in the past two years. This gives us hope that God is indeed hearing our prayers and is indeed working to gather the Lao, even when we are occupied with other tasks. Praise God for this encouragement and that he doesn’t depend on us! Please also pray that this meeting would be profitable for all of us.
Language again! (Lao)
The week after that, I’ll be heading across the border for a week of focused language study, in an effort to jump-start the little bit of Lao that I had picked up in our first months in Stung Treng. Please pray for a quick re-acquisition of all I’ve forgotten and for much progress beyond that also. Again, remember Bonnie Ruth and the kids.
Finally, the week after that, my globe-trotting parents will be making their second Southeast Asian tour in as many years. We can hardly believe they’re getting to come again, and the halls are already bedecked with paper chains counting down the days.