Greetings to you in the wonderful grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Today is my oldest son’s birthday and I am so blessed to be with him. God is good and worthy to be praised. Let’s remember to pause, and give thanks for everything (challenges & triumphs (read 1 Cor. 10:13). Every day is a gift from God.
Yesterday in church I explained to my youngest daughter and her best friend about the importance of being faithful stewards (I Cor. 4:2). It was good for these young girls to ponder about the many things that they are stewards over (their room, clothes, pets, friends, etc). As believers we can be good stewards over many things and especially our thoughts (read Proverbs 4:23). It’s important to recognize truth from deception (Phil. 4:8), “…bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5), and put off the bad thoughts (Eph. 4:22-24).
Below is my husband’s letter to you from Southeast Asia. Please pray for him as he trains a group of men to be future deacons & elders in our church. As always, thank you for serving the Lord alongside us in intercessory prayer. We strive to be good stewards for His glory.
Michelle for the Kilgo family
Greetings in the Lord from SE Asia! As I write this letter, it is pouring down rain outside, the third such storm we have had today. Rainy season always makes me think of home, not because it’s like the weather in Georgia, but rather because it is so different! Living in a place where seemingly everything is different – the weather, food, culture, customs, and others – comes with all sorts of challenges, but also with blessings that surpass what we can experience in our home environment.
I experienced one such blessing this week. From June 19th-22nd, I traveled to Yangon, Myanmar to visit the Myanmar Grace Theological School (MGTS). Formerly known as Burma, Myanmar is a very poor country that has been ravaged by political and social instability for decades. Only in the past five years has the country opened up to outsiders, and TCM has taken advantage of the opportunity. There I met with our faithful Myanmar missionaries – Dan and Amy Banac, Gardner Improso, and Kenneth Ling.
Also, my friend Dai Fei, who lives near me and attends our church in SE Asia, accompanied me to Yangon at my invitation. Dai is 48 years old and hails from China, where he grew up in an atheistic environment that discouraged God in daily life – not unlike the experience of people from Myanmar. About 3 years ago, Dai visited our Bible study, in his words “to practice my English.” Over the course of many months he came to accept Christ as his Savior, and he now enjoys the “peace that passeth understanding.” I asked Mr. Dai to go with me to Yangon so that he could be exposed to the larger Christian movement around the world. While in Myanmar, he was asked to address the Bible students with a word of encouragement. Using English, he told them, “I think you are lucky to be able to study the Bible at such a young age.” He went on to talk about the peace he now has because of what God has done for us. He closed by telling them this: “Most of the world is looking for success on the outside. Real success comes from having God change you inside.”
These words of advice– very “Chinese” in their logic and unsteadily delivered in his second language – brought tears of joy to my eyes. Later I wept in my hotel room as I thought about how privileged I am to live and minister in a place like this, where God loves each of the billions of souls in this region, and where every precious saint who comes to faith does so at a far greater cost than I can fathom. Mr. Dai and others like him make all the challenges, all the heavy rains, all the uncomfortable cultural gaffes, all the missed comforts of home, and all of the heartaches of separation worth the struggle.
I hope you know that you, too, share in this ministry. The successes are yours, and we know that you cover us in prayer during the failures and struggles. From my family to yours, thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for your faithfulness in giving to this ministry.
In His Service,
Patrick D. Kilgo