As we finish up our first week Down Under, our heads are full with all the information that has been given to us in the meetings with various leaders and department heads.
We are thankful for jet-lag that has helped us to wake early in the mornings so that we can get a lot more reading done before we head to the MAF Cairns Office for each day’s meetings.
On Monday we met our colleagues VP and Nirmala on our trip to visit the Mareeba site. We are so excited to be working with them in this capacity.
We have a nice apartment in a complex owned jointly by MAF and SIL missions. It is located just north of Cairns by a few miles. We are doing training here while we await the finalization of our entry permits and visas. It is a 3-step process. 1) Work permit, 2) Entry Permit, 3) Visa.
Our Work permit was granted last week (we had applied in June) and we immediately made application for the Entry Permit.
Connie’s passport was getting low on pages so we also had to apply for a new passport through the embassy in Sydney, and it should be back the last week of August.
Also for the finalization of the Visas / Entry Permit process.
We start language school on Monday and this last through about the 3rd week of September.
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer! We know that God hears and answers your prayers and we so appreciate your willingness to lift us and this new ministry in which He has placed us to the Father.
MAF has just added a new profile bio for us! You can view it here:
Well, it’s almost 9pm here in Asia on the night of Thanksgiving. It has been a full day – in the office, meetings, chapel service, ministering with team members, answering scores of email. Now the sun has settled brilliantly into the blue oceans on the western side of the Philippines, as it makes its way to bring Thanksgiving Day to North America. God is good!
I have stopped several times today and pondered how thankful we are. How thankful that God has given us one more day to serve.
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Psalm 95:1-7 (NIV)
Every day is truly a gift from Him. We thank God for the safety of travel over literally tens of thousands of miles by air, train, jeepney, bicycle, car, and foot. How many times have we narrowly avoided accidents? Through it all, God’s protective hand has been with us.
We thank God for allowing us to serve in many capacities. From sharing the story of missions and challenging others to use what God has placed in their hands; their time, talents, skills and passions… to sharing in house Bible studies, or traveling to different countries encouraging, sharing, and teaching.
Then there is the “outside of the box” ministry that we are so privileged to be a part of. Meeting at the motocross track each Sunday, sharing the word of God with those who might never enter the four walls of a traditional church.
We celebrate that on November 19th, we were able to recognize the Motocross Messiah Fairgrounds (MMF) fellowship. We are now a recognized organic church ministry!
But more than being recognized as a church, we are a faith community that is living out what it means to be the tangible hands and feet of Christ. To serve our brothers and sisters in their times of celebration as well as their times of greatest need.
One of our greatest blessings for which we are thankful – YOU! We are so blessed to have family, friends… faith communities literally around the world who lift us in prayer and partner with us in ministry. We are continually overwhelmed that you have allowed us to serve as your ambassadors here on the Asia-Pacific Region. This is an honor and privilege that we do not take lightly. We couldn’t be here without you there. Together we are making Kingdom impact.
Today, as you gather together as friends and family, sharing the goodness of our God and giving thanks, know that 15 hours away, across the international dateline, on the other side of the world, we are giving thanks and praying for you! Thank you for being such a vital part of our team!
May our Lord abundantly bless you and your family during this season of Thanksgiving.
Southern Taiwan: I know that it’s been a long time since we have posted on our blog – and I apologize. As we were climbing into the van for departure to the next church on our visit schedule today, we realized that our bodies are getting a bit tired.
In March we were full-speed ahead, getting ready for home assignment and the busy speaking schedule in the US and Canada. After traveling thousands of miles and sharing with so many of you, we returned to Manila June 23rd and by the 25th of June, I (Todd) was headed to Indonesia with our team.
Arriving back in Manila on the 1st of July, just 9 days later found Connie and I flying to Taipei to start a 10 day teaching and training tour across Taiwan.
We were so very blessed to share with the Yang Mei Church on Sunday the 12th, and then teach communications and Nazarene Mission International workshops for the Taiwan Pastor’s Conference during the week.
Friday afternoon saw us climbing aboard a High Speed Rail from northern Taiwan to southern Taiwan, reaching speeds of 186 mph!
Wow…covered in 96 minutes what would have taken more than 5 hours by car. We’ve never gone that fast on the ground and not gotten airborne!
Today has been a 15 hour day, traveling to and visiting with pastors and church members in 6 churches from the metro areas to the mountains, finishing with preaching in Chaozhou – a message of Faith and courage in going where God has called us to go.
Over the course of the next two days we will continue to visit and share with 10 churches (17 in all) preach two more services, and then climb back aboard the High Speed Rail on Sunday evening, returning to Taoyuan and then back to Manila by Monday – all Lord willing!
We are so grateful for the incredible partnership of the Taiwan District and all of those who have worked on transport, interpreting, hosting, and opening of their arms, hearts, and homes! God is so good. Please pray for continued strength and a special blessing on the church, people and nation of Taiwan!
Oh…one final photo…just had to share…a special friend who came to visit us for coffee! We thought we had left them back in Manila!
You’re not going to see this on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, as we want to avoid sensationalism. We are directing it to those who have signed up for our blog and who have committed to partner with us, Pausing, Reflecting, and Praying. If you have other prayer warriors, please share this with them and ask them to sign up to be part of our focused prayer team.
Our hearts are rejoicing tonight as several spiritual engagements across the Asia-Pacific Region have been won! We are praising God that:
When on February 13th, the global call for prayer went out for one of our missionary’s fathers who had taken a fall, suffered major medical complications, and was sedated in ICU in the U.S., literally thousands of you paused, reflected, and prayed. We saw the numbers on our web. *** Yesterday (Ohio time) Jeff Myers’ father was discharged from the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery. PRAISE GOD!
On February 27th, when another global prayer request was released asking for prayer for 20 church members and their pastors, hiding from forced conscription into fighting, well over 3,000 of you paused, reflected, and prayed for their safety. *** They have been able to return to their homes. PRAISE GOD!
There is a local family who had been trying to establish a Bible study in their community for years. Four weeks ago we had the privilege of being charter members of a small group that started a Bible study with this family’s daughter at a coffee shop. *** Last Saturday night we moved to their home, and the table was full with 13. PRAISE GOD!
Some of you will remember a story that we shared with you while on Home Assignment, of how God was moving in incredible ways in our neighborhood. *** We can’t share more in this forum, but God is continuing to move in tremendous ways! PRAISE GOD!
Today through the gentle ongoing compassion, witness, and love of one of the national team members, another professional man in his 30’s, made his very first eternal decision for Christ. PRAISE GOD!
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:9-11 NIV.
We who believe are assured of having life, and having it more abundantly. Hope, Joy, Peace, Love, Richness and Fulfillment. We are also assured of the fact that this race will not be easy! Just a few chapters later in John 16;33 Jesus tells his disciples:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV).
As I sit here tonight writing, in 80 degree (F) weather with intermittent chills, a headache, and fatigue, I realize that this is not our “first tropical-sickness rodeo.” We can be assured of the battle getting fierce as such incredible victories are made.
We so need you to PAUSE, REFLECT, and PRAY! These past two weeks we have seen the incredible power of prayer! And the Spiritual Battle has been equally fierce. Please pray for:
Covering, protection, wisdom, revelation, and discernment for our children.
Spiritual wisdom to discern the battles that are from Satan, and those that God has allowed to build our character and faith!
For an incredible ministry couple, Sam and Faith. They have literally “taken multiple hits for the team.” But their faith remains strong. Sam is the one who led this man to Christ today. You can be assured that they will be under attack. Pray for their protection, marriage, spiritual wisdom; pray for their precious twin boys.
Pray for a cooperative spirit between the churches, leaders, pastors, and team members. If Satan can drive in discontent and frustration, he will have a foothold!
Pray for our local churches, leaders, and members, in these countries that are facing trials for their faith.
Each day we thank God. I will never forget a verse that a pilot who meant a lot to me shared more than 25 years ago, he has now gone on to meet the Lord after an accident doing what he loved best…
In the words of Paul:
“12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 1:12-14 (NIV).
Thank you so much for being on our team, for PAUSING, REFLECTING, and PRAYING! We can only be here because you are there, lifting us in prayer.
Todd and Connie Lou
To share God’s love through aviation and technology; seeing isolated people physically and spiritually transformed in Christ’s name.