The Lord is my Shepherd
What more can I want?

In May, Terence will have the opportunity to be ordained. We are so proud of him and the journey he has made. The ordination ceremony will be in Cebu, Philippines, where all of Terence's mentors and pastors who have guided him this far will be there to lay their hands on him and ordain him into full-time ministry.
Our leaders will even allow him to attend without it costing our vacation time. However, only Terence's trip will be paid for. We will have to pay for Ingrid and the kids. This is heartbreaking news for us because a call to full-time ministry is a call that impacts the family, and often times the spouse of the ordained is prayed for as well. We barely have the funds to pay for Terence's ticket, let alone have the personal funds to pay for Ingrid, Jubilee, and Lukas. 

We ask that you pray for this situation. If you want to donate to us personally to pay for these tickets, please reply to this email for information. 
We are about to be transpartent right now, so get ready:
Honestly, we had been struggling with our role on the Field and were praying for the Lord to either change our situation or change our hearts. We decided not to make a final decision until after the retreat. 

In the Philippine/Micronesia Field, the missionaries have a retreat around Christmastime every year. Because it is difficult to have all of Southeast Asia Field together in one spot (5 nations), it is usually every other year that missionaries come together. However, due to the pandemic, we had not met in person at all, not even for meetings.

We had been feeling lonely and restless--and we knew we were not the only ones feeling this way.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

When Ingrid first became a missionary back in 2014, she was assigned to MaeTaeng, Chiang Mai--a small district in the northwest of Thailand. She taught 18 classes a week from all ages. Everyone only spoke Thai or their home language (Lahu, Hmong, etc.) If she wanted to speak to another native English speaker, she would have to travel an hour by bus to the city to maybe meet another foreigner. Internet was sparce. About once a month, a Nazarene missionary would come up and briefly visit her while attending to other matters. It was a very lonely time. 

During that time, she was invited to visit Cambodia for a series of meetings. Her school was going on break at that time, so she decided to go. It turned out to be a retreat for all the Nazarene missionaries in Southeast Asia. That was the first time she realized she was a part of a bigger missionary family. All that time in MaeTaeng, she had felt alone when in reality, she had so many other missionaries working alongside her and praying for her. 

This month, Southeast Asia Field (only Thailand-assigned missionaries due to COVID restrictions) finally came together in person for the first time since the pandemic. Both Ingrid and Terence were asked to be a part of the planning and execution process of the retreat and meetings. 

It was a beautiful time of restoration. God has changed our hearts and we are excited to see where He will guide us next.
I was finally back on the Bangkok court. My Thai friends recognized me and welcomed me back. I gave Mr. A, our court coordinator, the token he had given me months ago. After confessing that I was a missionary, Mr. A simply handed me one of the tokens that allowed me to play and said, "Here is one more token, Tao. Come back to us. You have one more game to play."
Now that I was back, Mr. A gave me games back-to-back. Just as I was getting ready to leave for the night, Mr. A invited me to play one more game. I told him I was tired already, but he insisted. As I got on the court, Mr. A, who is usually at a table matching players up, became my badminton partner on the same side of the court. 
After the game, Mr. A sat me down and asked me to explain to him my job as a missionary. I had the opportunity to share with him and Nong Nai about Jesus Christ. I told them that Christianity was not like Buddhism as it is not a religion, but a relationship with a God who loves us, listens to us, and wants us to know Him. I challenged them to seek out God and He will surely answer. 

They were both quiet for a moment and thanked me. I prayed with them, and we went on our way.
"This is it. I'm going to die. I'm going to get killed right here and now." I closed my eyes and awaited my fate.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I won't be afraid of evil for you are with me.

Before, Pi Noi's rivalry was amusing, but tonight was different. He was screaming at me in Thai but I could not understand. He was laughing when I made errors. He'd get up to my face on the court and scream and yell. There was an awful spirit about him that made me shudder. Despite this, I responded with how I usually respond: I tried to reassure him with a smile and my broken Thai, but it just got him angrier and angrier. His attitude was making everyone in the entire court uncomfortable.

I had biked to the court that night, so I wanted to end early so I wouldn't go home so late, but again, Mr. A insisted that I stay for "one more game." Again, Mr. A partnered with me. I could sense Pi Noi's deep anger watching me on the side until he finally left in a huff. After the game, I really had to leave, so I hopped on my bike to go home. I could see a car in the parking lot with its lights and engine on.

Because of biking to and from the court plus multiple difficult games, my thighs began to cramp up, so I stopped biking and stretched my legs on the side of the road. The car from the badminton court had been following me. It stopped in front of me and the windows rolled down to reveal none other than Pi Noi.

His anger was now a wrath that I had never witnessed in a human. He was yelling at me in Thai with such fury that I felt he was hurting me physically. My legs were cramped up, so I was frozen in place receiving his blows. I didn't know how to respond to him, so all I could say in Thai was, "I'm sorry, Pi Noi. I'm so sorry." 

This got him angrier. He reached for something in his backseat but was having difficulty in taking it out through his verbal abuse aimed at me. 

In my heart, I knew it was a weapon. His anger was so strong that I was sure he wanted to kill. I thought of Ingrid who was waiting for me. I thought of Jubilee and Lukas who should be in dreamland right about now. I kept apologizing in Thai, but this time, tears began to form. I thought, "This is it. I'm going to die. I'm going to get killed right here and now." I closed my eyes and awaited my fate.

The yelling stopped. I could hear the car drive away. 

I was left on the side of the road in the late evening alone. There was so much darkness, but the light of Jesus shone through. That evening, the Lord was victorious. 
Last newsletter, we asked if you would pray about an opportunity to support developing our young leaders in Southeast Asia. You can read more about this by going to our project page. You can also copy and paste this URL:

We had a ridiculous goal of $70,500. It was originally over $100,000, but we were told it was impossible. They advised us to cut it because partners might be discouraged to see such a large amount. We cut it down and cut it down, and finally, we said, "We cannot go lower than 70,500." They pretty much shrugged and said, "Good luck with anyone wanting to donate to that."

But we went around and tapped on some youth groups and pastors inviting them to help our SEA NYI. We were able to get partners here and there. It was awesome!

We felt that God was going to bless the SEA NYI. We told ourselves, if it is the Lord's will, He will move heaven and earth to make it so.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.

Last month, we received an email saying that someone wanted to fund the entire project. Our mouths dropped to the floor. In four months of this project being open, the NYI of SEA was fully supported!

Praise God!

Imagine this: In the heat of an argument, Tony hurts Andy. In pain, Andy retreats. When things have cooled down, Andy returns and says, "Hey, I'm not okay with what just happened."
Tony says, "Oh? Well, I'm okay."
"But I'm not okay."
"That sounds like your problem, not mine."

This has been the situation we have had with multiple people in the past year. Almost word-for-word in some cases. We feel that we have been hurt, and we want to reconcile as Christ has taught us to do. But what happens when the other party does not acknowledge the pain or care about your need for closure? It has been discouraging.

Your rod and Your staff comfort me.
You prepare a table for me in front of my enemies.

During the Field retreat/meetings, we were asked to lead a devotional. Specifically, we were asked to lead the devotional before the foot-washing ceremony. We were surprised and humbled to be asked to do this, and we were excited as the ceremony is very special for us.

At the retreat, we were going to meet up with two parties that denied the hurt they caused us. We were anxious at the beginning, but both parties ended up ignoring us completely. As we prepared for our devotional and the ceremony, Terence said,

"Ingrid, I don't want to say this, but I think... I think I need to wash [Party 1]'s feet. I need to speak life to [this person]. I know this is what God is wanting me to do even if I don't want to do it."

Ingrid let out a big sigh.

"Ah... I was afraid you were going to say that. I believe the Lord has been leading me to wash [Party 2]'s feet. It makes me nauseous just thinking about it."
As we prepared for the ceremony, we prayed and cried, but God continued to push us. Our devotional was about serving each other on the good days and on the bad days--just as Jesus did when He washed the feet of His disciples, the very friends who would all betray him in a few hours. Afterward, we invited everyone to participate in the ceremony.
Terence went down and washed [Party 1]'s feet. He spoke with this person until both were crying and hugging. [Party 1] would later approach Ingrid and apologize personally. The relationship has been better than it ever has been.

Ingrid went down and washed [Party 2]'s feet. She was too choked up to say much except offer a prayer and a blessing. [Party 2] then washed Ingrid's feet in return, did not acknowledge the pain that was caused, and went on to completely ignore us for the rest of the retreat. 

Ingrid was deeply disappointed by her experience but strangely felt a peace about it.

When Jesus washed the feet of Judas, Jesus knew what Judas had done already. Judas had his feet being washed having already betrayed Jesus. What were they each thinking during that time? How could Jesus continue to serve this guy even after what he was doing?

Sometimes, reconciliation can mean everyone finds their peace and lives happily ever after.

And sometimes, it doesn't. 

Sometimes, your attempt at reconciliation is ignored, and you need to find your own peace with God. We cannot wait for people to acknowledge that we have been hurt. We cannot wait for apologies. We cannot wait to move forward. 

We have come to realize that an honest attempt at reconciliation is the first step. We are not called to cut people out of our lives. However, when the attempt fails again and again and again, then let it go. Be available, but don't wait for them anymore. Move on. Pray for them. Maybe one day, they will realize the pain they caused. Maybe they will never realize it or care. But that's now between them and God.

Be free.
Since returning to Thailand, Jubilee has become more hyper and more attached than ever. Even though she knew how to sleep in her own bed by herself at a specific time, she doesn't want to do it anymore. We are really struggling with her sleep schedule. She is also struggling with some health issues so please pray for her as we figure out what we should do.
Lukas was the favorite of the retreat. I think people got more photos of Kas than of anything. He is crawling and climbing and chewing on everything. He loves everyone and is often seen showing off his two teeth. He is a chonk though! He and Jubilee are only 2kg apart in terms of weight! This boy is in the 75% of his height and weight charts and it shows! Shepherd...and Mercy will follow me all the days of my life.

Fun Fact: Both Jubilee Rei and Lukas Hesed have their second names mentioned in Psalms 23.

Rei literally means "my shepherd" as seen in the first verse. 
Hesed comes from the Hebrew word Khesed meaning "loyal love" or sometimes translated into "mercy" seen in the final verse.

We didn't plan for both of them to be named after this passage. We just so happened to notice Khesed in this reading of the Scripture in preparation of this newsletter.
I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


Language Study: As we come home, life resumes. Ministry resumes. And now Language Study resumes. We pray we can pick up where we started and learn how to communicate better with our Thai friends. 

Home Assignment: Praising God for the numerous meetings, services, and fellowships this Home Assignment. It is an incredibly stressful, draining, and tiring part of being a missionary. We are still in need, so please pray and consider about becoming a partner with us for our ministry.

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. Please specifically pray for Mr. A and Nong Nai.

Ordination: After rescheduling due to do the pandemic and then rescheduling due to Typhoon Odette and then rescheduling due to changing COVID restrictions--finally Terence will have the opportunity to be ordained in his home district this May. Please pray for this journey. We want Ingrid and the kids to join him for this once-in-a-lifetime moment, but we desperately need help with paying for the tickets.
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