From Nobodies to Somebodies for God’s Glory!

In celebrating Thanksgiving far away from home we took time to give thanks for you – for your prayers, partnership, generosity, and faithfulness to the Lord. As many here express their thanksgiving for our family living here and serving at IGSL, that thanksgiving quickly is reproduced in our own hearts with you in mind.

This past month, my team and I (Brian) hosted an IGSL alumni couple for three weeks as part of an immersion experience that is central to our process of recruiting and accepting new IGSL faculty members. We are excited about potentially adding another Southeast Asian couple to our faculty team, but we want you to hear their story because it’s an amazing testimony to God’s power and sovereignty.

       Prateep grew up as a Hmong refugee in Thailand, when his family fled Laos shortly after the Vietnam War. He could not get an education because he did not have Thai citizenship and his father, when given an opportunity to settle in America or Australia, chose to stay in Thailand. He finally received Thai citizenship 17 years after arriving in Thailand and immediately enrolled at a Bible College while also taking night classes to earn his high school diploma.

       Phailin, also from the Hmong people group and an animist family, worked in the fields from the age thirteen on. When she had enough money after several years of working in the fields she found a school to attend in Chang Mai. After several years of schooling she was introduced to Christ and upon graduating she enrolled at the same Bible college Prateep was attending.

They connected over a common passion to serve as missionaries to different marginalized ethnic groups because of their own stories. Several years later, they had the opportunity to attend IGSL. Prateep enrolled in the MA Divinity program and Phailin took the Partners in Ministry program that Christine teaches in. They have shared how life-changing their time at IGSL was for their marriage, leadership development, and ministry vision. Upon graduation, Prateep was offered the position Dean of Students at the Bible College they both attended. As the school was drawing more and more students from Hmong, Ahka, Lahu, Khmu, and Karen tribes from Laos, Thailand, China, and Vietnam, they returned to serve together.

In their time as Dean of Students, Prateep and Phailin passed on many of the things they learned at IGSL. They developed small group mentoring for their students based on their experience in IGSL’s Iron Sharpening Groups and began mobilizing students for field ministry as part of the curriculum as well to the point where multiplying discipleship became part of the culture and they were sending out pastors and church planters with that vision.

Phailin was inspired by the Partners in Ministry Program (PIM) at IGSL and felt led to start a similar program at their Bible School. She asked the IGSL PIM Faculty for help and she launched the first PIM-Extension (PIM-EX). In 2015 they saw their first batch of PIM graduates – 9 women that wanted to be equipped to partner with their husbands in the ministry.

Just this past term, Christine helped champion PIM-EX training for our current PIM women and as a result there are now several dozen women from Pakistan to Vietnam with vision for providing Bible and ministry training to women whose husbands are in the ministry, but who have lacked the education, training and vision to support them and better yet, partner with them. Phailin’s vision and faith has now expanded IGSL’s own vision for what PIM’s impact could be in Asia and there are multiple PIM-EX ministries now being conducted by IGSL alumni throughout Asia!     

Now, Prateep and Phailin have sensed God might be expanding their ministry and impact again as IGSL Faculty. When we met with them on their visit, they shared that they saw God use them so much as a result of their IGSL education and the mentoring they received, that they want to multiply their impact through students just like them when they first arrived at IGSL. Prateep will be joining me in the Leadership Department and Phailin will be helping teach the PIM Bible courses.

“I want our story to show how great God is in raising nobodies like us to become somebody for His glory.”

— Prateep W.

       We’re so excited about adding this couple to our faculty team, but they also serve as vision and as a great reminder that IGSL students are really bearing fruit back in their ministry contexts after graduation and multiplying the ministry.  This is what you are giving to and what we are praying for!   

As we come to the end of the year we want to invite you to make a year-end gift unto the Lord towards our ministry at IGSL to missionaries, pastors, and leaders like Prateep and Phailin who are living boldly for Christ and multiplying their lives for God’s purposes.

In addition to the expenses of Brian’s 2nd year of PhD Coursework ($3000 for 4 classes), we have been invited to attend CRU’s Asia Midyear Conference for missionary care and spiritual refreshment and to reunite with the families we coached and connected with at X-Track this summer. We will help coach our CRU mission teams in Asia and contribute by giving seminars on conflict resolution in an honor shame context. Attending this conference was part of our “well-being” action plan from X-Track. The cost will be about $3000 for our family to fly to Chang Mei, Thailand and attend the week long Conference.

Would you prayerfully consider giving a year-end financial gift of $100, $300, $500 or other amount towards these expenses?

If God leads you to give, please follow this link to our online giving page to make a one time gift.

We are so grateful to have been sent here by you and to be prayed for consistently by you. God continues to raise up Spirit-filled laborers for all parts of Asia in ways that bring Him glory. We pray you have a blessed Christmas season!

Merry Christmas,
Brian & Christine

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