the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

A Look at a Great Summer

Akha Boy peering through the slats of a bamboo salahBroken arm, rain storms, house construction, an Akha clinic, Song Kran, youth camps, new pastor, English lessons, Akha songs, bi dza's, kids, kids, kids.

There's the five second update from our past month. We have had an incredible time in our village, building relationships and building language. The big news is that my heart has been really stretched and challenged in viewing our ministry calling in this time in the village.

We have a heart to see a healthy Akha church that is characterized by discipleship and our ministry model is to serve the Akha in love whatever our formal roles. Simple enough on paper, but how this vision and ministry works out practically is like nothing I ever imagined.

Village life has become so important to me. For so long I viewed our village as a temporary time (years long, but still temporary) while learning the Akha language and about the Akha people while my heart was for formal training environments in the future. Though I still see the value and the economy of leadership and pastoral training and will be involved wherever we are led, it is the average Akha man and woman who makes the Akha church. In fact, it's who I have always been in the church. There are amazing men, women and youth in our village who I hope to serve, to disciple and to grow with for many, many years to come.

The emotional needs of children and the physical health and care needs of the Akha are the practical ministries I never imagined having a passion for. Once again, what began as part of a learning process has become a ministry tied to my heart. Although we still have our best life conversations with the ya goo (youth group age kids), instilling value in children and ministering to the physical health and care needs of the Akha are becoming permanent tools in our ministry.

Our vision to serve the Akha is becoming a holistic vision, seeking to minister to the emotional, physical and spiritual needs of the Akha in Southeast Asia. They are the foundation stones of a healthy church. It was Christ's ministry, and as we grow and learn (and fail and fall) it is becoming ours.

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