Stones of Remembrance - Asia
Craig Kuehn - Vice President of Ministries
When we first arrived in Manila, we sublet a missionary’s home for our first 10 months, and then moved into a rented townhouse on the edge of the city. It was a small subdivision, just two rows of houses with mostly young families. We rented that townhouse for 2 years and have at least THREE stones of remembrance from that brief stay.
The first stone was placed after a just a few months. We began to be restless as we slept at night and couldn’t figure out why. After some time, we just felt in our spirit man that something was not right in our little neighborhood. So I began to include in my prayer times these words from the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Your kingdom come, Your will be done’ here on our street, in our subdivision. I knew just enough to know that His kingdom came with His rule, His government, His governance. So I knew I was praying for Him to rule over whatever the situation was, even if I didn’t know what it was. Late one evening two SWAT vehicles rolled in and cleaned out a house two doors down from us. We found out they were selling drugs out of that home. It was almost 20 years before I realized that was my first Governmental Prayer. God is still building on that stone to this day.
After 2 years the climbing rental fee had outgrown our budget and we were pretty desperate to find another place. One day Sandra received a call from a missionary’s wife we barely knew. She was walking in her subdivision and saw a very nice home for rent. When she saw it, the Lord told her it was our house. So she called Sandra to tell her about the home. When we looked at it we knew it was the place for us! We stayed in that house until our youngest daughter came to the US for college - 15 years. It is the longest we have ever stayed in one home. This was not the first time the Lord provided a home for us in this manner. When we eventually went looking for a home in the US, we told the realtor, ‘we want to look at these three houses, and we will know which one is ours when we see it.’ And we did!! We closed 30 days later (in the month of December!) We just know we will never be homeless in God’s timing.
The third stone started to be established in those townhomes and was firmly planted just this month. Our next door neighbors were Hindus with small children. Sandra especially befriended the wife, Rita, and spent years building a relationship with her and the children. They had a table full of idols just inside the front door, and Sandra didn’t want Jesus to be just one more God on their table. So she was quick to share Christ, but slow to request a response. As the team and the ministry grew, there were years where we only saw the family once or twice in a year, but many times if they had trouble with their business, or some in their family or immediate circle were sick, they called Sandra to pray, because they said, ‘we know your God heals.’ They saw a lot of miracles over the years. After maybe 10 years Sandra received a phone call from Rita. She had become part of a solid Evangelical church and had just given her life to Jesus! But we were never really able to connect spiritually with her husband Pradeep. Our friendship continued but he remained Hindu. Then, just over a year ago, Rita was diagnosed with cancer and passed within a few weeks. Even though we were back in the US, we were able to connect with Pradeep and share our condolences and catch up on how the children were doing. Just a week ago, Pradeep shared a story of a Hindu man who had been visited by the Lord, and had become a Christian. We had never received correspondence from Pradeep in more than 20 years. So Sandra reached out to Pradeep to see what his story was. He told her he was attending the same Church Rita had attended and had found ‘peace.’ He told her, ‘I was late in finding Jesus, but I did.’ That is a stone almost 25 years in the making.
God is faithful in the big things, He is faithful in the small things, and most of all, He keeps His Word! It is set in stone!
Dr. Bruce and Ching Behnken – Philippines
God graced me with helping many people who were in need of healing in 1972, as I prayed with them during my time in the Jesus People movement. Some months later, I noticed that prayers for healing of others were not being answered and I longed for this gift to be pronounced in my ministry. I continued teaching in marriage ministry and character development with much success, but healings were down to one or two per year. I prayed to the Lord to restore the gift of healing, but nothing changed till November 2016 when Ching and I were teaching on the subject of Divine Healing. I came across a wonderful book called A More Excellent Way - Be in Health.
We were teaching in a closed access nation in Asia, and after adding an extra hour of teaching from that book at the end of the course something supernatural happened. As we prayed for the first two students, they began experiencing answers in the area of healing and their faith level rose up. One had an instant healing to back pain and another, who could not sit for long periods of time, was also healed. Each began to share with the others in their tribal dialect with amazement! I then had the ones who were healed pray for the other eight students. They all sensed that God was doing something as their faith level increased. They prayed for families back in the mountains and knew in their spirits that the requests were being answered. Faith was like a substance in the air that we all felt!
The next morning after preaching on "How to Overcome Anger" in an underground church in the same town, I challenged people to come up for prayer. There were five who immediately ran up to the front! I had not seen that kind of reaction before among this usually reserved people. They were crying and expressing release from bitterness and anger. Some were experiencing healing in their bodies. I told them in my message that anger was a hindrance to healing and also shared about the spiritual roots of diseases and sicknesses. The entire congregation pushed back the chairs as everyone wanted prayer. Their level of faith rose due to the instant answers people were receiving in prayer. I also had an answer to many years of prayer as I have noticed a marked increase in healings this past month when praying for those who are sick!
Tatiane (Taty) E. de Araujo. – Chiang Rai, Thailand
(Taty is our first Brazillian working with Ariel. Ariel is from the first generation of national leaders we have seen raised up in Asia. So, Taty then is a third generation leader rising already. Porne is a first generation believer in Thailand. In less than a year of being discipled by Taty, she is now assisting in discipling others. This is a great testimony from generation to generation! - Craig Kuehn)
The Home of Grace began in May of 2015. I’d seen the needs of the young people, especially the girls in Chiang Rai. I met some of them at the restaurant where I usually had my meals, and because I spoke Thai I was able to communicate with Porne, Nid and King. As I fellowshipped with them, I had a chance to invite them to visit AMO Foundation to join the Skills Development Program.
Once they joined, we became closer to one another, and I noticed that two of them were not going to school. They just worked because they didn’t have money for their studies. So, I prayed and asked God how I could help them. Then God gave me the idea for the project which is now called the Home of Grace – which provides the payment for their schooling, a house in which to stay, food, and most importantly the Gospel and discipleship. I initially started it with my monthly support, but now, by the grace of God, we have some partners that help us pay for the house and school.
Their families are from the Akha tribe and have farms in the mountains. We visit their homes to share the gospel and extend the love of God to them. These girls are living proof that God can raise them up to be a great testimony and messengers of His Love and Grace.
With the help of the AMO Foundation, Porne and Nid enrolled at Calvary Bible School, and right now they are even assisting in teaching keyboard and guitar classes through the AMO Skills and Development Program!
Yolanda Ortega – Thailand
Last month I watched as God did these things (showed them their identity) in the lives of Thai people. This adventure started as I suggested to some of the pastors at a prayer meeting the desire to have a training to bring awareness and equip the church to combat the issue of human trafficking. The focus of the training was to reveal God’s heart of justice and the partnership He has with us. I was left in awe as the pastors looked over their calendars and set a time frame for the training in that same meeting. I was able to recognize that it was God’s timing for something like this to happen and that I was only a catalyst.
As I shared the plan with other missionary friends working with a different organization, we were able to work as the body by uniting in the endeavor of training Thais. It was simply beautiful to see two ministries, Restoration 61 and Ezekiel Rain, come together and combine each other’s gifts and talents. It impacted me to watch some of their Thai staff take more ownership of their mandate to empower other Thai people. By the end of this training, eyes and ears were opened and hearts softened. We all had this great sense of knowing that this was something that was initiated by God and that it was only the beginning of something big. (Excerpt from newsletter)