Straight after the Messenger Cup, I headed for China where we are gearing up for a second printing of the Chinese language Relentless leader packs. Distributors carefully went over the production and distribution plan, and told me how leaders from all five underground streams had requested copies of this new printing and had been since the first books had been distributed. We are fulfilling our promises to them! I also collected the first batch of Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry MP3 audio players, which I had plans to carry on to Cambodia. I also had no idea what a journey it would be to get them to their destination.
When catching my plane from Hong Kong to Vietnam, I was called to go back and open my cases for security inspection. Also, upon arrival, I was stopped and questioned by customs. 500 MP3 players, chargers, and earphones all in presentation boxes sure generate a lot of attention and questions. After everyone else from the flight left, they finally said, “We would like one each.” Although they were in Khmer (the language of Cambodia), I opened one of the boxes and set it up to play through a small amplifier so they could hear Lisa’s Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry audio book, the Khmer audio theater Bible, and the Khmer praise and worship songs. The customs officials all agreed that they were wonderful and instructed me that when I made them in Vietnamese, I must bring them one each so that they could hear these messages and music, too.
While in Vietnam, copies of the Vietnamese Fear of the Lord books were coming off of the printing presses a month ahead of schedule! I also visited the new studios where the Vietnamese sound tracks were being recorded. I met up with the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God and the leader of a large network of underground churches. They praised each of John’s books that we had previously distributed, and detailed how many more books they require. The printers, distributors, and leaders were running ahead of my time-lines to get them finished and get them out to the Bible Schools in time for the new season.
When I left for Cambodia, I was questioned again by airport security. They also wanted me to promise that if I ever made them in Vietnamese, I would come back and give them one each. I have never seen people so hungry to hear the word of God. This additional scrutiny delayed my plane but not my mission.
So far, I had managed to get my heavily overweight cases onto two flights without paying a cent in excess baggage. God’s hand was surely upon this work. Arriving in Cambodia, I just knew that I would be stopped for sure. Carrying Christian resources on fancy looking MP3 players was sure to be a red flag causing a detailed inspection and duties to pay on so many devices… or at worst, they could even be confiscated.
In my mind I went over my story, preparing for a long question and answer session. As I walked towards customs, I was reminded of a note that I had received from one of Messenger’s faithful partners that very morning: “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do” (2 Thess. 1:11).
As I handed over my completed customs form, I smiled, they smiled, and God must have been smiling because they simply waved me on without a question. I got out quickly and with resources in hand, thanking God for his continued favor, blessing, and protection upon the ongoing work. He is surely faithful when we step out to do His will!
From the other side of the world, I have received production photos of the latest printing of Russian Relentless leaders packs in Belarus for the Baltic States. Distribution photos of the Kurdish Cyrilic Bait of Satan in Azerbaijan have also started to trickle through. These are going out to Kurds in previously Soviet nations, places where teaching resources for this Christian minority within a Kurdish minority simply do not exist. These resources will be treasured and reread long after our distribution is done.
Please pray for:
– Ongoing distribution of the Khmer Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry MP3 players in Cambodia. Pray that the spoken word would touch, impact, and transform the lives of those who hear them.
– Production of the Vietnamese Fear of the Lord books, audio, and video teaching resources. The books have already been approved by the government, but pray that the DVD’s would be likewise approved. There are many eager to receive these resources.
– The Kurdish Christians of Azerbaijan who continue to live a hard life, marginalized, and oppressed because they are Kurdish but more so because they are Christians.
– Concluding work in Belarus and then distribution in the Ukraine, Belarus, and Baltic states.
– My health. Six countries in a week, meetings and early flights. I have picked up a flu bug somewhere, and I am not sleeping well. I need healing, strength, and good sleep.