Dear Friends, Oct. 21, 2012
This is my first newsletter since my Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on December 1, 2011. As some of you may have heard, my Mom wrapped up her life on this earth a couple of days before Easter and she is now living happily with the Lord. Although Mom’s death was expected, Kay’s father unexpectedly passed away on the day of my Mom’s funeral. Exactly one month after my Mom died, my Dad was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. Thankfully, my Dad is strong in the Lord and is determined to live the rest of his life fully. At this time, he is still feeling fairly well and continues taking care of the lawn and other projects around the house.
Due to these family crises, my ministry activities were placed on hold until July, when I spoke at a United Korean-American Youth Retreat in Hot Springs, AR. After preaching my heart out for three days, I gave these young people an invitation to make a serious commitment to the Lord. You would not believe how many kids came forward in answer to God’s call and the “holy chaos” that ensued. The kids knelt at the altar, hugging each other and crying out to the Lord for each other. The sight of these young people wholeheartedly responding to God’s call gave me hope that all is not lost in the future of American churches.
Two unforgettable events took place in my ministry in August. For the first time, Korean churches invited me to come to Korea to preach. Within three short weeks, I travelled to nine different cities and spoke at ten different churches in South Korea. The responses of the Korean Christians were overwhelming. I praise God for the exemplary leadership of the Korean pastors I met. My prayer is that the Lord will continue keeping Korean churches strong in the areas of evangelism and prayer.
In addition, Dr. James Lim, my good friend and colleague, and his wife Anna went to Rwanda on my behalf to train the pastors in Gisenyi. The response from the Gisenyi pastors was very passionate as I observed via DVD, emails, and the follow-up letter from James. One of the participating pastors had planned to leave the ministry due to various pressures of life and work; however, he emotionally shared with James that God had renewed his vision and refreshed his spirit through James’ lectures. Several Gisenyi pastors emailed me to tell me how God used this conference to strengthen their commitments to His kingdom. They asked me to please deliver their gratitude to the DCMi supporters for their continuing efforts to develop them as pastors. I am so thankful to you as well for your support! Here is a link to a little clip of a worship service James experienced in Rwanda this summer. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gI7npYSGhM)
I also received a moving email from Ethiopia. While we were holding conferences for evangelists’ spouses in Ethiopia last year, we met an evangelist’s wife whose son had a broken arm. Since they could not afford sending him to the hospital, he had not been able to move that arm for some time. As we ended our conference in that region, we left some money for that boy’s surgery. The boy’s mother is so grateful that, due to your support, her son can now freely move his arm. Your support has also allowed DCMi to sponor seven children of evangelists at $30 a month. Please pray that God will raise these boys and girls as leaders in every aspect of Ethiopian life.
After delivering an Easter message at the Chin-Burmese Community Church in Kent, WA, I asked you in my Spring 2011 newsletter to pray that God would open doors for us to preach God’s Word and develop leaders in Myanmar (formerly Burma).
Only 4% of the population of Mynamar, a Buddhist nation, is Christian. Myanmar has been a socialist nation since the military takeover of the government in 1962. Although the government has recently been labeled Democratic, they are still under military rule. In spite of the constitutional freedom of religion, Christians and Christian churches have been under persecution in this country.
Against this backdrop, the Lord answered your prayers and the churches of Myanmar invited me to hold a city-wide gospel festival in Yangon. After much consideration, I decided to begin my ministry in Mynamar by holding a pastors’ conference because I believe that developing leaders before a gospel festival will ultimately yield more spiritual fruit. On November 3, my partner Antoinnette and I will leave Seattle for Myanmar, arriving in Yangon on November 5. We will personally spend the first two days mentoring 10 influential church leaders on the condition that they commit to applying the principles they learn to their life and ministry for six months. These pastors will then be required to mentor other pastors for the following six months.
The Pastors’ Conference is scheduled for November 8-10. Though we invited 400 pastors from various regions of Myanmar, I was told that 500 pastors have already registered. I will preach at a local Myanmar church in Yangon on Sunday, November 11. Please pray that:
- God will effectively use the following four four speakers – Rev. Yung Chung (Pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in Olympia), Dr. Johnny You (Seattle FBC in Bethell), Antoinnette Williams (Evangelist), and me.
- God will make this conference a turning point in developing churches and church leaders of Myanmar.
- God will protect all the participants from possible accidents and persecution.
- More than 100 churches will sign up for our Gospel CityFest scheduled for next year.
Antoinette and I will then head to Bangkok to participate in an annual retreat for Korean Baptist missionaries commissioned by the Korean Baptist Foreign Board to various countries of Southeast Asia. Would you pray that the Lord will renew the commitments of these missionaries through this retreat? Please pray also that my lectures will give these missionaries practical help for their ministry.
Thank you so much for your expressions of love and support as Kay and I suffered the loss of my Mom and Kay’s Dad. We are also grateful to you for your financial support for the cause of God’s kingdom in spite of this period economic uncertainty. Without your prayers and support, I would not be able to respond to the Great Commission, “Go make disciples of all nations . . .” (Matt. 28:19-20). My God give you a fruitful life in this season of harvest.
Serving the Lord Together,
David & Kay