Missionary Letters

An Update on the Journey

Thank you so much for the emails, cards, support, well wishes, encouragement and prayers in the last month. We have felt the impact of your prayers tremendously. As Trevor has been in the hospital getting mental health help, it has been such a blessing to know that we have such a great team behind us.

Your support reminds me of the story in Exodus 17 where Joshua is fighting Amalek and Moses is on the hill top. Whenever Moses had his hands raised, Joshua would be winning, and whenever Moses' hands were lowered, Joshua would be losing. So Aaron and Hur, gave Moses a stone to sit on, then came alongside him and held up his hands until Joshua won the battle. Thank you for 'holding up our hands' during this time of battle. 

In the last month, Trevor has had ups and downs. He was doing well in the first week of March so the hospital allowed him to come home. But the discharge was unsuccessful and he quickly had to go back into the hospital for more help. It was difficult to see him regress back like that.  We were told at the beginning that this journey would be a marathon and not a sprint (right now it feels like an Ironman triathlon). We were also told that there would be ups and downs, but I don't think anything could have prepared us for what we've experienced. He is still in the hospital, but has passes to come home for 6 hours a day to transition him back to the stressors of daily life. We are working together with the medical staff to make this next discharge better. 

I (Hannah) also have my ups and downs. I've learned that I need to trust God for our future. It's so easy for me to live my life thinking that I have control of the future, but this has taught me to lean and trust God for my future. I have been reminding myself that God is not only powerful and sovereign, but also good and loving. Knowing those truths have helped me be grounded in trusting God through all the ups and downs. 

Please pray with us that: 

  • We would continue to trust that God is sovereign, powerful and good through all the ups and downs

  • We would have wisdom to know how to make this discharge from the hospital a better transition home

  • Amelia would continue to do well through all the changes


Below are some pictures of Amelia. Even though it has been difficult to juggle taking care of Trevor and Amelia, she has been a bright light in our lives through these months. 

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Thank you again so much for your prayers. 
“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and
his ears are attentive to their cry.”

(Psalm 34:15)

Video - The first 90 days in Singapore

In January, you sent us to Singapore. Below is a video we made to share with you of our highlights and challenges from the first 90 days in Singapore.

Don't have time for an 8 minute video?
A. Click through the slidedeck we made for the video in 30 seconds. 
or
B. Watch it at 2x speed! (Click the gear in the YouTube player) and it will only take you 4 minutes!

We feel privileged to be sent by you to Singapore to lead the next generation of digital missions. Thank you for your partnership.

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P.S. Please follow Russ or Meredith on Instagram for more photos of what our life and ministry are like in Singapore.

Siempre Fiel - End of Camp Update

Dear friends

This weekend marks the end of a God- blessed camp season. “Siempre fiel” (Always Faithful) was the theme for the season and we have seen that in many ways: God was faithful in the preparation for camp- we had the funds necessary which many of you were a part of.

Plans had been in place for a long time to renovate the entrance to camp and one day it rained quite hard causing the front wall of the property to fall down. But God already had that covered, the funds were there and camp now has a beautiful new entrance.

For many years Lighthouse of Hope Camp has had campers come from the surrounding neighbourhoods, but this was the first year that some of those campers came back as junior councilors. I (Jessie) saw girls who I first got to know as young girls in the youth group take their place as councilors and lead children to Christ. It is a beautiful thing to see how God’s multiplication works. We saw our older youth who we have been working with on their leadership abilities, blossoming at camp. One young man has been doing a weekly Bible study with the boys from his cabin and bringing them to church.

Our church has also been going through a period of strengthening and growth and between camp and the growth at church we have a group of 13 people who want to be baptized at the end of April.

We are thankful for how God has been working and feel privileged to have been involved as He grows His kingdom. Please pray for faithfulness and strength in our church as we disciple and encourage all those who have made steps of faith in the last couple months.

As always, thank you for your prayers and support,

Raul and Jessenia Espinoza 

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Digital accelerates Franklin Graham in Thailand

We frequently tell our teams, “Behind every screen is a person. Every person has a story. And every story matters to God.” This was wonderfully illustrated recently when the legendary evangelist Franklin Graham held events in Bangkok, Thailand.

After many years of prayer and planning over 40,000 people attended events. In addition to the live events on the ground, our team was at work online using social media to engage people that couldn’t be at the live event.

Online 162,977 Thai people, engaged with the event. Nearly 1% indicated a decision to begin following Jesus. Our team personally connected with each visitor requesting help through online chat. Our team tirelessly listened to each story, praying with online participants and offering next steps for their spiritual journey. Thailand, a buddhist nation, has very little knowledge of the one true God and your partnership has helped thousands take a next step.

It's our privilege to partner with you in leading the next generation of digital missions.

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Family Photos Below:
- A peaceful homeschooling moment
- Heath beats the Singaporean heat
- Celebrating 10 years of marriage!

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What I've been learning lately

This past month I've been doing new things and expanding my skills as the Global Missions General Manager. Jan 31st was the application deadline for our mission trips. Processing applications was something that I always thought daunting. How can you tell from a piece of paper if someone would do well on a mission trip? This year I processed almost 50% of the applications and realized that it comes with both blessings and challenges. It is a blessing to read about how a student is growing in their relationship with God, and how they feel called to go on a mission trip. It is also a challenge to read about their weaknesses and struggles and to discern if they will succeed on a mission trip. 

76 students got accepted to one of our 5 trips and both staff and students are busy preparing as the trips start in 6 weeks.

Another new thing I'm learning is how to do interviews with the individuals who apply to be international interns for a year. This week I was part of the interviewing team for a young man who wants to intern on our 2019-2020 team in North Africa. This young man has a great heart for God and for journeying with others who don't know Jesus. However, there are concerns about team dynamics and if he's the right fit for the team. These are the tensions we wrestle with regularly as we send students to the world. 

Thank you so much for standing with me in this ministry. Your prayers and financial support make all of this possible. What a blessing you are to me.

On a personal note:

It's been an intense past five weeks for my family. After an extended season of high stress, my brother Trevor (pictured below) had a mental breakdown. He was hospitalized for 3.5 weeks to get some mental health help, was unsuccessfully discharged and is currently back in the hospital. We were told at the beginning that this journey would be a marathon and not a sprint. We were also told that there would be ups and downs, but I don't think anything could have prepared us for what we've experienced. Please join us in praying,

  • that Trevor would sleep. He's had multiple stretches of days where he only sleeps a few hours a night.

  • that Trevor would learn coping strategies to reduce his anxiety and racing thoughts.

  • for Trevor's wife, Hannah, as she cares for Trevor, their young daughter, Amelia, and herself.

  • the medical staff to know how best to care for him.

 
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