APRIL 2022

The last time we wrote a newsletter was for May. 

Well, a lot has happened since that time. You probably saw our Waves video series. That ended in August. So now we've got August, September, and October to catch you up on.

There have been more hard days. There have also been great days.

We're excited to tell you some amazing news and there are some news we can't share just yet.

But before we start, we want to say thank you.

Thank you for sticking around.
Thank you for supporting us.
Thank you for praying. 
(taken from Ingrid's Facebook post from October 18)

In JRR Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings, a young man of Rohan named Dernhelm joined in the fight to aid Gondor. He even befriends the Hobbit, Merry. Dernhelm was the final knight standing defending the king’s body, and fights against the Witch King.

The Witch King declares that no living man could hinder him, but Dernhelm turns out to not be a man at all! But the princess of Rohan, Eowyn, in disguise!

Merry witnesses all this happening on the battlefield. His friend Dernhelm has turned out to be the princess!

Concerning Merry, Tolkien writes, “Pity filled his heart..., and suddenly the slow-kindled courage of his race awoke. He clenched his hand. She should not die, so fair, so desperate. At least she should not die alone, unaided.”

I always, ALWAYS, think of this part of the books. It makes my eyes teary.

Imagine for a moment, the Witch King, an immortal servant of the Dark Lord who has already slayed countless men, fighting against a princess. There’s no way she was going to beat him. He knows it. She knows it. She doesn’t promise to kill the Witch King, but promises to “hinder” him. Just a scratch. Just be in the way to give others more time. Eowyn is not expecting to win. Merry is not expecting Eowyn to win. But a small Hobbit with no warrior experience, decides to help her anyway, knowing very well that even if working together, they cannot possibly hope to win.

And yet Merry thinks, “She should not die, so fair, so desperate. At least she should not die alone, unaided.”

This was my feeling last week as I sat in the Regional NCM and NYI meetings. I was the note-taker for the NCM meetings. Our Field Coordinators shared photos of children rescued from online sex trafficking, the bodies of pro-democracy advocates shot and burned in the streets, homes destroyed by floods and typhoons, the homeless, the hungry… There were discussions of ways to train churches to protect children against abuse. There were discussions of making our churches more accessible to the disabled. My heart broke over and over.

“A compassionate church is a healthy church” was constantly said. Y’all… Hang this in your sanctuaries! Hang this in your board rooms! Hang this on the door as people leave church!
At the NYI meetings, I finally got to meet in person many of the Field Youth Coordinators whom I have only seen in meetings and messages. It was an intimate and exciting time as we discussed about the upcoming convention, and each of our struggles on our Fields. It was a time of encouragement and lots of laughter and even some crying. I feel like I received so much wisdom in just a short time.

I am so grateful for Leody and John Watton for inviting us to the NCM meetings and fellowships. I am grateful for DS Dan and Pastor Jaime who made a safe space for me and Terence. I am grateful for Ms. Laurie for praying with our family. I am grateful for Pastor Yoon for Jubilee and healing over her. I am grateful for all the people who encouraged us concerning Jubilee’s journey. I am grateful for DS Daniel Latu for sharing his powerful wisdom and encouragement to me every night. I'm grateful for Cameron introducing my kids to Bluey, one of the best shows I've seen aimed for preschoolers. I am grateful for Ate Janary who was so hardworking and flexible, and literally the best ninang for Lukas. It made me cry seeing you two cuddling on the boat that final night! I am grateful for our Bangkok NYI leaders who came to the meetings and dinner (big claps for Sirinart and A), and I hope it sparked a fire! I am grateful for eating so much delicious food (even if Terence and I got food poisoning at the end)! I am grateful to all the participants who traveled so far and shared their victories and challenges. I am grateful for everyone who didn’t mind my kids roaming around and cuddled with them.

As exhausted as I felt last week, there was a part of me that didn’t want it to end. Every place I heard about this week, I kept praying, “Here I am, Lord! Send me! Send me! Send me!”
I felt like Merry seeing Eowyn, clenching a small fist, knowing that my small hand will not lead anyone to victory, but at least it can help just a little.

And if you don't know what happens to Merry and Eowyn, I suggest you go watch Peter Jackson's interpretation straight away. 

So, Here I am, Lord. Send me!
"Where was your church?"

Some of you may have remembered our friend, Fo. 

We talked about him during our home assignment. He was the one who yelled at Terence outside the badminton court and accused the Christian church of abandoning him and his family after his mother passed away from cancer. 

We prayed for Fo every day and Terence waited at the court almost every day for a year waiting for Fo to return. But he didn't.

It wasn't until the day before our home assignment that Terence saw Fo again at the court. Fo witnessed Terence confess to his team that he was a missionary and explain that a missionary told stories about Jesus. Fo reached out to Terence afterward and said that he would be there when Terence returned to hear more about Jesus.

We continued to pray for Fo and hundreds joined us in prayer for this young man.

When we returned, Fo was nowhere to be found at the court. Again, Terence waited. He asked the others about Fo, but no one knew how to contact him. 

Finally, as Terence was jumping on his bike ready to go home...

"Tao!" (Terence's Thai name)

Terence turned around and you know who it was... It was Fo!

Terence was in shock. It was like seeing a ghost. 

"Hey," Fo said, "I just wanted to tell you that I am very sorry for the things I said to you before. The church reached out to me and I am now a Christian! Anyway, I will play now. Bye!"

And off Fo was again. Terence was like a buffering video on YouTube, processing what just happened. There was no time to say anything. He had so many questions, but Fo was already gone. Ingrid scolded Terence for not running after Fo and getting more information or inviting him to dinner. And despite Terence asking everyone on the court, he couldn't find a way to reach out to Fo again. 

But you know what?

That's okay. It was a gift that God let us know that our prayers were heard and answered in the best way.

We could have died never knowing that Fo was reconciled with Christ, but God put Fo back in our path just to let us know. What an amazing gift! We have gained a new brother in Christ! Will you celebrate with us? Thank you for joining us in praying for Fo. We now pray that we will get to see him again before the end of the year. 


(taken from Terence's Facebook post)

In September, we were given an opportunity to lead the Northern Thailand district’s NYI leadership training. Youth pastors, leaders, and NYI presidents from Lahu tribes and Thai churches were represented in this training. We concluded the training with a foot-washing ceremony modeled after our Lord in John 13:2-17. Our message for this ceremony was “Served to serve others.”

Ajan (pastor/teacher) Sutep, Northern Thailand District NYI President, and I, together, took our time to wash each of our leaders’ feet and pray for them. It was an extraordinary moment for everybody present that rainy afternoon.

Among the people, I had the privilege of washing the feet of a 19-year-old lady. She is a mother to a beautiful baby girl whom she had with her throughout the training. I began to break down in tears as I gently bathed her foot.

Here is a young woman, a young mother, who doesn’t have much. Considering the context that she comes from where young people are most often not invited to the table. Add to that the challenges of being female in a strong masculine culture. Furthermore, she is already a mother which comes with its own responsibilities. It seems like the odds are stacked against her. I began to imagine what the road would be like for her if, at that very moment, she received her call to full-time ministry.

How would I and our community affirm that call? Who and what opportunities would we give her to nurture that call? Who will take her under his or her wing and disciple this emerging leader? Who will advocate for her? Who will champion for her?

As I write this post, I remember this young woman, Pastora Ingrid (my wife), Pastora Valerie (my sister-in-law), Pastora Jo (my own pastor), and many others whose roads have been two times, triple, or quadruple harder. It’s one thing to say that we support women in ministry and another to actively do something about it.

This was an incredible reminder for me and all of us that day that in God's business or Kingdom work, the more significant our role and responsibilities, the more we are to be a servant to others. This is why we do what we do. This is our ultimate purpose as youth coordinators of our field. We will drive for hours and fly to places to empower and encourage young leaders such as this 19-year-old mother (and I pray, soon-to-be pastora).

Jesus Himself, the Son of God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the Creator of the Universe, as God Himself, went down on His knees and washed the disciples’ feet, a few hours before He was tortured and crucified. Jesus served so that the disciples can go and do likewise.
Will you pray today for our friends and loved ones who are in need of affirmation of their calling? Do you know someone who may need your advocacy? Will you champion for the potential pastor(a)s and church leaders?

If you want to go the extra mile, please consider donating to the SEA Field Nazarene Youth Development Project? Just click this link:

If you want to read more about this event, go to: 


Tsunami Warning

Imagine for a second. You are outside reading a book, working on the yard, talking to a neighbor, or whatever it is you like to do in the great outdoors. The birds are chirping, and insects buzzing. Someone is grilling some meat and the scent is making your stomach envious.

Suddenly, you hear a strange roaring that seems to block out all the other sounds. The roaring gets louder and louder. The sun doesn't seem so bright now. You look up at the sky and see that the Sun has been blocked--not by a cloud, but by a gigantic wave of water hurling in your direction. It feels like the world has gone slow-mo. Your feet feel glued to the earth. There is nowhere to run. It is too late. You are seconds away from being hit by a tsunami. 

Do you imagine it? Can you feel the terror, the doom, the dread? What are your thoughts? What would you do? You've got seconds to act before you are swept away. 

It is interesting when you talk to someone who has had a near-death experience. Have you experienced one? What are some thoughts? In a few seconds, you look back on your whole life and reflect on what you will miss. You think about all of your loved ones. You don't think about bills or grades or politics. 

If you want to know how we are feeling right now, this is it. There is a tsunami that is going to dramatically impact our life one way or another. But there's nowhere to run. There's no point in screaming. The only thing to do is look for something or Someone to cling on to and pray.  

We can't talk about it fully yet, but a big change is coming. It's a change we do not want. But just like a near-death experience, we reflect on what has happened and what we may miss. We think about our friends and family. We both agree that now more than ever have we been convicted of our calling to serve the Lord in a cross-cultural setting. 

If you want to hear about this change, please reply to this email and set up a time to call us. Due to security issues, we cannot write or post about it, but we can talk about it. So we encourage you to talk to us. We want to talk to you, too.  

A tsunami is coming. We are about to lose and risk a lot, but the only chance of survival is clinging on to our God, our Savior, our King. If you want to cling to us, too, we appreciate it.

For now, take a deep breath, hang on, and pray.
We have a big announcement! Our kids have started going to school!

We couldn't afford for Jubilee to go to the daycare we wanted. Although so many of you tried to donate for her to attend school, the new donation system is making incoming donations slow to appear. Although dozens have said they have signed up to be monthly supporters (thank you!), we have had no update on who has donated and what is being donated. If you are a new monthly online donor, please check if money is actually being taken out. We haven't seen new donations since July. We appreciate your help!

Even though we couldn't take Jubilee to the school we wanted, a local Nazarene church has a daycare in it. They said they would consider Jubilee's needs and that they would take Lukas, too. It's been almost a month of them going to school, and Jubilee's speech and interaction with children has gotten much better. Both of them are learning new life skills and we are thankful for the church members who have been so patient with our family.
Well, it's official.

Jubilee has been diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Our doctor gave us the document declaring it. When I (Ingrid) saw it, I thought I would be more upset about it. But it kind of felt like relief that we finally had something official.

Whenever I think about it though, I do get upset. Whenever she has a meltdown in public and I can't do anything, I do get upset. Whenever I am trying to get her to eat with utensils, communicate, or follow simple directions, I do get upset. 

But y'all, she is so smart and talented. We don't know how far she can count, but we've heard her go all the way up to the thirties. Knows letters and sounds, shapes and colors, and hygiene practices. She even can hit a shuttlecock with a badminton racket! She is saying more like "(item) please" and "I'm sorry." She's getting better with separation anxiety. She can determine notes through do-rei-me. And anyone who has spent 5 minutes with her can tell you that she LOVES to sing. 

I do not think she is very far on the spectrum. And many special needs parents and professionals who have met her have been so encouraging to us. Thank you to everyone who has reached out with their experience and resources!
Toto Kas's Dictionary so far:
(Italicized words are Ilonggo words)

Toto           -    little brother, me
Mama        -    Mama
Papa          -     Papa
Manang   -     big sister, Jubilee
Gatas        -     milk
Nana         -     Ninang Janary, banana
Koko         -    (short for koring), cat
No              -    no

He can also "repeat" words if you ask him. But he will just repeat the sound in the word (example: Grandma - "Gama") or refer to it as the Alphabet letter (example: Turtle - TeeTee)
Or he will just shake his head at you if he doesn't want to repeat the word. 
Lukas learned how to walk about a month after his 1st birthday. He has been go-go-go nonstop! He is always the star of the party. He enjoys peekaboo, kissing cheeks, high fives, fist bumps, dancing, and being carried. He seems to know his role in the family is to keep us laughing. 

However, once it is 6:30pm, he wants to sleep--and he is very strict about it! It makes our outings quite limited, but we are thankful that he loves to sleep and he sleeps all the way to 7am.

He is trying to speak but can only say a few things. 


SEA Field Youth: Please be in prayer for our young leaders in the Southeast Asia Field as we make Christlike disciples during times of political turmoil, Anti-Christian propaganda, leadership limitation, recovery from genocides, and of course, the coronavirus. Pray for the SEA Field leaders to give our young people the opportunity to serve. 

Badminton Outreach: Some days it feels like we are about to have a breakthrough. Some days it feels like it doesn't. We know God is working even when we cannot. We know He is good. Ingrid has been learning how to cook for the athletes so that Terence has more time to intentional speak with them. Please specifically pray for Mr. A and Nong Nai and especially Fo... and Ingrid's cooking. 

Ordination: Ingrid has passed her ordination interview! She is to be ordained as an Elder in the Philippines this coming January. We praise God! Again, the expenses to fly to the Philippines for this will come out of our own pocket. If you would like to help our family go to the Philippines for Ingrid's ordination, please reply to this email to learn how. 
Copyright © 2022 The Lustañas, All rights reserved.