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It's the Simple Things...


Four years ago on February 14, while we were still students at APNTS, Terence had made Ingrid a huge breakfast of Vietnamese sausage, eggs, rice, bananas, and oatmeal and somehow fit it all into her mailbox. Throughout the day, he scattered snacks and encouraging notes around her workplace. Ingrid thought, "Oh, that's nice. He doesn't want the single girls to feel lonely on Valentine's Day."

At night, Terence asked Ingrid to go to the nearby 7Eleven with him. We always went to 7Eleven together with a group of other thesis writers for snacks to keep us awake during the long night hours, so Ingrid thought nothing of it. When she got to the meeting place, only Terence was there. Instead of getting the normal snacks and ice cream to sustain our writing, Terence bought us both yogurt. We sat, ate, and talked outside the tiny shop while a nearby restaurant loudly blared karaoke.

We've been having yogurt on February 14th ever since. 

Does your family have any special traditions that come from something simple?
A Seed From the Midwest

High school student Nong Nai was selected for a student exchange program. He left his comfortable life in Bangkok to live with an American family in the northern Midwest to learn English. The winter was brutal, but it always felt warm in his new home.

He was placed with a Christian family. They took him to their local church where he listened quietly. The large TV screens and hundreds of people singing were so different than his local wat (Bhuddist temple) back home. He saw baptisms, given the elements of communion, and tried to keep up with the songs even if he didn't understand what it was saying. They patiently waited for his questions, but for him, it was like an exhibit. 

He eventually left the States to finish his school in Thailand, but considers his American family his "foster family." He even calls his foster parents Mom and Dad and video calls them often. 

A few years after his college graduation, he got a job in an insurance firm. He still lived with his parents as he raised money to marry his girlfriend. 

His parents participated in a badminton group a few times a week and invited their son to play with them. Nong Nai was already really good at badminton and he was easily the best in the group. 

Then one day, a Filipino man around his age wandered into their group with his pregnant American wife. Not only was the Filipino able to challenge him on the court, but Nong Nai was also intrigued by the American. He secretly wondered if she knew how to make the meatloaf his Foster Mom used to cook.** 
He worked up the courage to speak with the foreigners and they became good friends. After a year, Nong Nai inquired about Terence's job in the church. Nong Nai began to be excited explaining his experience in the American megachurch. He told story after story of his foster family. 
"My Foster Dad was actually a step-dad. He had a family before. I remember when he sat me at the dining room table and talked to me about it. About his divorce." Nong Nai was silent a moment. "He said that he cheated on his first wife with another woman. God saved him after the divorce and he left his mistress and found my Foster Mom. His kids were able to forgive him and now he has two families to love... and me, too. My Foster Dad taught me so much there. About temptations. About the importance of family. About forgiveness."

Terence listened quietly and responded, "Sounds like your Foster Dad was a wise man." 

Nong Nai nodded. He looked around to make sure his parents were not around and said, "Actually, Pi Tao, I am scared for my mother. My Thai mother. My father, well, you know him, he makes all these jokes about sex and prostitutes... I... I don't know what I would do if he cheats... or has cheated... on my mom. That's why I work so hard and haven't gotten married yet. I need to support my mom."
Terence wanted to share the hope of Jesus right away, but there was a strong voice that said, "Not now. Just wait. It will come soon." Instead, Terence asked him to continue their conversation over coffee. Nong Nai accepted.

This coffee appointment has now shifted to a movie fellowship with other badminton team members. 

God is good. A seed has been planted before we came. May the Lord give the wisdom to know how to water it. 
**Ingrid has only had meatloaf once in her life, and it was her mother's one and only attempt at the American recipe (which her kids did not enjoy). Terence has never had it. If you know a good meatloaf recipe that we can make for Nong Nai, please let us know!
As we always say, our goal is to work ourselves out of a job. Especially when it comes to media, we don't want people to solely rely on us for their media needs. Not because we are lazy, but because if we do everything ourselves and then suddenly we must leave the country on short notice, we disable our ministry. We are always on the lookout for potential leaders in our ministries so we can start new ministries... and do this repeatedly until the whole world hears. 

This weekend, Chapman International College held their graduation at Bangkok Church of the Nazarene. During the planning meeting, We were asked to take photos, made a video highlight reel, make designs, and have a two-camera set-up for FacebookLive. Terence suggested we create a media team.
He got the names of those who work media at Bangkok Church and recruited the man who works media at our home church, Oikos. He worked with Pi Pai to set up a media team with all people who knew anything about cameras and computers in the Bangkok area of the Thailand District.
During the meeting, with his limited Thai, he relayed all the expectations to the team. He quickly taught those who were not confident and delegated tasks to those who were already trained in an area. By the end, instead of two people having their hands on everything... nearly every task had (at least) two people in charge. We went through a media rehearsal the day before to make sure video, audio, and set design worked. Ingrid designed a team shirt for all media team members to wear during the event. 
On the day of the graduation ceremony, everything went on without any stress. By the end of the ceremony, Terence asked Pai if this team could be the permanent media team for District and CIC events. He also asked if she would be willing to lead the team for whatever would be the next event. She gladly accepted the challenge. 

And just like that, the Thailand District got a media team, and we were without another job. 

Until the whole world hears.
(We got our new mailing address! Scroll all the way to the bottom) 

Teach Us to Wait

When we first moved into our new home, there were a few pigeons constantly at our window. A few days later, we found a small nest with two teeny-tiny eggs on our window sill. A few weeks later, two chicks were crying for their breakfast. We checked the birds every day, and the mama pigeon got used to our constant curiosity. One baby bird did not make it, and the mother had to remove the body from the nest. We watched the remaining chick grow feathers and move around until one morning, the nest was empty. 

Meanwhile, our neighbor across from us just got a new birdcage making a total of three cages for their colorful collection of birds. Ingrid felt pity for the birds saying that "birds aren't meant to be in a cage." In the States, pet birds are often free in the homes sitting on their owners' shoulders and napping on a couch. Meanwhile, in many places in Asia, they seem to be like house plants: water, feed, look pretty and often left outdoors. 
We aren't going to sugar-coat this, but 2021 has already been incredibly difficult for the Lustaña family. There hasn't been a major tragedy (yet), but recently, we have been feeling like the pretty birds in the cage. 

We understand that we are in language study and our family is growing, but even after a year, it feels like we are trapped. It could be because the pandemic has limited our travel, but our leaders have also been limiting our movements as well. It feels like everything we do (even pursuing self-growth) has been questioned and ended with a lecture. It feels like we are too inexperienced. We are too young. We need to focus on our priorities. We are not staying in our lane.

One of our ninongs (grandparents) from our wedding said that even if you are right, perhaps God is teaching you humility through your leaders. He went on to say, one day, when the Lord makes us leaders, we will have empathy for those we lead. We will remember to not underestimate them because they are young. We will remember to listen. We will remember to build them up.

During these past couple of weeks, the Lord has impressed on us the verse found in Isaiah 40:31:
"...but those who wait upon the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

After every meeting and lecture, despite how discouraged or exhausted we feel, we recite this verse to ourselves and remember to wait upon the Lord. 

Perhaps we aren't the birds in the cage. Perhaps we are waiting for our feathers to grow so we can one day leave the nest.

Oh, Father, teach us to wait.

Born to Be Wild

Reilee is getting as crazy as her hair! She hates sitting still. She has discovered the paper and pen--but mostly the pen...and mostly pen on the floor and walls... Along with inheriting her mother's love for drawing, she has inherited her father's love for the drums; She loves wacking sticks on hard surfaces and hearing the different sounds--louder the better! She enjoys climbing up and down everything, playing with the dirty laundry (and flinging it across the room), brushing her teeth, and chasing anything that moves. 

Her baby brother is still cooking! Ingrid has experienced some medical issues (which is why this newsletter came so late), so we are nervous he may come earlier than Jubilee did. We are praying he makes it to May!

Another New Family Member?

While driving home one day, Ingrid spotted puppies on the side of the road. Terence turned around to see three puppies. They were still clean, and a student at the bus stop nearby explained that someone had abandoned them there earlier that day. Mama Dog was nowhere to be seen.

Terence hopped out of the car and a puppy jumped right into his arms. He turned to Ingrid who was still waiting in the vehicle with Reilee.

"Let's take them home!" Terence begged. "We can find them homes!" 

"We are NOT taking three puppies, Terence... Wait--Terence, there's four--no, FIVE puppies!"  Sure enough, four puppies were running around Terence. Terence continued to hold the fifth puppy, looked at the four remaining, and back at Ingrid.

"You're right, we can't take them all." He handed the puppy he was holding to Ingrid through her open window. 

"Wait, Terence. We can't--" But Terence was already back in the driver's seat and started driving back home.

So... Meet Cairo. 

Thank you!

We want to take the time to thank the supporters who not only read through our long newsletter last week but privately emailed us asking how to help with Ingrid's student loans. The government just extended the forbearance again for another few months, but Ingrid went ahead and used the donations to pay her loans anyway.

There's still a long road ahead, but it's relieving to know that 1) the road is getting shorter and 2) we aren't alone.

We cannot thank you all enough!


Language Study: All Thai Proficiency Exams are postponed until 2022. The good news: It gives us more time to study Thai. The bad news: We are growing more and more exhausted with studying Thai. Please pray for our perseverance in our journey through language study. 

Badminton Outreach: So many praises and prayer requests!
  • We have successfully invited people over to our house for dinner and fellowship. We were able to pray with our friends, and they even asked to hold hands during prayer (not often seen in Thailand).
  • Some members have asked Terence to coach them in the sport, so every week, he has a few adult students going through badminton training. We are praying that this is another opportunity to share life with our friends.
  • Terence has invited the badminton men to watch Godzilla with him, and we are hopeful for this opportunity to grow deeper friendships. We are looking forward to more opportunities to meet outside the court.
Work: As we mentioned above, work has been getting more and more exciting and exhausting. Pray for our endurance so we can continue to work with all our hearts for the Lord. Pray that we also learn to be humble and wait upon the Lord.

Baby Lus #2: So far everything seems fine with Baby Lustaña #2. However, this pregnancy has been incredibly rough on Ingrid. Please continue to pray for Mama and Baby.

SEA Field Crisis: Our neighbor country, Myanmar (one of our SEA Field nations) is going through some difficult times. For security reasons, we cannot speak openly about it. The situation is in need of prayer and God's intervention and guidance. Many of our pastors, leaders, and laypeople are greatly affected by this. Today, we heard the news that one of our dear friends from the seminary has been arrested. We ask that you, your families, and your churches bring this to the Lord in prayer. 
Click here to check out which days are still open for Home Assignment 2021!

We're Coming Home??

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Travel is still restricted. Many missionaries are canceling their home assignments in 2021 and opting for an all-online furlough. We have also been advised to do likewise. 

However, our Home Assignment is late 2021 and early 2022. There is still hope that travel bans may be lfited, so no decision has been made. We have until June to decide to cancel a physical home assignment or risk going home.

Our favorite part of home assignment is meeting you all, and it is heartbreaking for us to only see you on a screen. We pray every night that we can go home this year, and we ask they you join us in prayer.

If you have already scheduled us and are hesitant to do a virtual service with us, please respond to this email as soon as possible. 

If you have yet to schedule us, we have created a quick guide of what our Home Assignment will look like below. The districts shown are where people have verbally invited us. USA districts (LA, Northwest, Rocky Mt., Kansas, Virginia, Southern Florida, Florida) will be in late 2021 and Philippine districts (Central Visayas, Western Mindanao, Southern Tagalog, Metro Manila) will be in early 2022

Above is a button that will lead you to a GoogleSheets. It will show you our current schedule of which days are booked already. 

If a day you wanted has already been taken, we're sorry! We are on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, there are some options available for you. 

1. A mission service does not need to be on a Sunday morning. We have seen some churches that invited us to their small groups. Churches have opened up opportunities for us to connect with their congregation through game nights. One church just hosted a BBQ lunch at someone's house where we shared. Prayer meetings, Men's breakfast, youth groups, children's camps... We don't need to limit God's message to a Sunday morning! 

2. We can prerecord a message for your church. Thanks to COVID, our churches have had to sink or swim when it comes to technology. We thank God that many of our churches have been able to swim through this pandemic. If you feel a prerecorded message is better for your church, please let us know. 

Don't wait! It's only a few months away! Email us right away! We can't wait to see you all again!

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