I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy, happy and joyful in the Lord! Thank you for your ongoing support of our ministry, which continues despite restrictions, discouragements and fear. All of these circumstances are an opportunity to trust God more wholly and completely; I have to tell myself that a lot lately!
On Thursday, October 15th my mother was walking outside her apartment building in Dallas and tripped on some uneven bricks in the sidewalk. She fell and sustained a deep cut above her eye. My sister took her to a local hospital to be treated. She was very coherent, but they decided to keep her overnight for observation. It’s a good thing they did! By the next morning she had developed bleeding around her brain and required urgent surgery.
The surgery was a success but she has had a tough post-operative recovery. The first week after the surgery was characterized by infections, poor sleep, seizures, breathing problems and other maladies. Just today I received news that she had finally had a good day and had been moved out of the ICU, praise God.
My sister, who keeps an eye on her in Dallas, and my brother, who flew in from CA, are both providing excellent care for her. If all goes well, she will soon be transferred to a rehab facility so she can begin her journey back to independence.
Life in Southeast Asia continues under restrictive circumstances. For many months, new cases of the coronavirus in the country were less than 15 per day. We now routinely have 800+ cases a day, and the government has reinstated a lot of the restrictions we had back in the Spring. Praise God that schools are still open, and that our church has been able to operate, though not without considerable restrictive “hoops” to jump through.
In terms of ministry, the attendance at the church has been strong and we’ve had some new interest in our services from visitors. I started a new preaching series in Deuteronomy a few months back – what a blessing this book is! One commentator wrote that Deuteronomy, more than any other Bible book, shows us “the heart of God for His people”.
You discerning dispensationalists might be saying, “C’mon Kilgo, you know better than that. “His people” means the nation of Israel, not the church!” Well, it turns out that I am one of “His people” after all. My son submitted a DNA sample and discovered that he was 13% Eastern European Jewish. This was a surprise to us so we asked my mother to submit a DNA sample, and she came back 50% Eastern European Jewish. After a TREMENDOUS amount of research, we confirmed that her father, Cary Banks, who died when she was two years old, was not actually her biological father, and that her biological father (whose exact identity is not yet verified) came from a family who emigrated from Russia. When I presented all of these findings to my mother, she thought the findings were interesting, but she remarked “Cary Banks signed my birth certificate, and whether he knew he was my father or not, he committed to be the one to raise me. That makes him my father.”
That’s also good theology. The one who “goes before you” to “prepare a place for you” is your father, and that’s who God wants to be for all people everywhere. Deuteronomy teaches us this, along with so many other principles about God our Father that are true of Him throughout all time. The way He loves His people transcends all time and ought to humble us before Him. Studying this book has made me see so clearly His good heart, and has shown me at the same time how wicked my own heart is!
Here are some prayer requests:
1) Please pray for my mother’s speedy recovery, that she’ll be independent again someday soon, and that my brother and sister continue to stay healthy and encouraged as they care for her.
2) Please pray for the opening of our Bible school in January. We have more interest than I thought we would have, and I would love to see a full school in the first year. There are still many challenges to overcome, not the least of which is virus restrictions in a country that already is less-than-friendly to Christians.
3) Please pray for our children in the States, Robert and Elisabeth, who cannot come to see us because our borders are closed. Please pray for them and encourage them in any way you can. Each of them has important decisions to make in the near future, so pray for God’s guidance.
Thank you so much for your friendship and support of our ministry!
In His Service,
Pat and Michelle Kilgo