M. and K. L. | Serving in Asia
As we write this update to you, our village and surrounding villages are in a time of “quiet” and observation for their idol. They are not allowed to work the dirt or harvest any crop, make loud noises, or even play music or videos during this one-and-a-half-month-long period. It is a time for their god to go into meditation and then make predictions for the coming year. But for us, we see it for what it truly is—a way for the enemy to hold more people in bondage. During this time women are not allowed to work, and so they should be more energetic and encouraged; instead, year after year we have seen how weary and discouraged many people become during this time. Typically, there is more illness, and frequently deaths occur during this season. And, although we are not bound like our neighbors and we do not live in fear of doing the “wrong” thing, the darkness still affects us. The obvious way we are affected is by the mandate to follow all of the “rules” for this stretch of time. But the less obvious ways, and the much more challenging ways, include feeling the darkness all around us, watching our friends struggle, and having many more spiritual and physical attacks against our family. Despite all of the evil and the attacks, we rejoice because greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. We get the joy of knowing how the story ends. We are on the side of the light and the side of victory. And so, we keep fighting during the times of darkness and we keep shining our light in any way we can to those around us. We do this even when it feels pointless or challenging or just exhausting, so that, they too, may come to live in his light instead of living bound and in fear, they can live in the freedom of Christ.
A large part of shining our light includes opening our home to those around us. We pray that our home would be a place of peace and a place to feel loved for everyone, from the youngest to the oldest. Lately, we’ve shared our home for birthday parties, for local festivals, for game times, and for fun nights of making pizza or homemade chicken tenders for groups of friends. We are continually thankful for the opportunities to strengthen friendships, create new relationships, and share about Christ with those around us. We get to pray with and for friends whose little children are in the hospital and pray with friends who come over to share a meal with us. We try not to take these little moments for granted and trust God to use these sometimes seemingly insignificant interactions to fight the darkness around us and step-by-step, prayer-by-prayer win more ground for the light. We are honored to have you alongside us, encouraging and praying for us and for them, and we are so thankful to be with you as we all seek to further the kingdom and bring more people into his light.
M. and K. L.