A modern version of the old song “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” came up on my Spotify playlist the other day. I think it encapsulates something God has been trying to teach me these past few years: in the face of what sometimes seem, to my feeble little heart and mind, to be huge obstacles and uncertainties, Jesus says: “Don’t be afraid. My eye is on the sparrow; I’m still watching over you. Follow me.” This is real comfort; the source of true confidence, strength and peace. Coco and I are constantly in need of all three, and God gives us everything we need at just the right time. He gives us His love, forgiveness and grace each day. So, we give thanks! Thanks to Him and thanks to you, for being with us in prayer.
Since you last heard from us, I (Josh) have spent time participating in a number of planning meetings and retreats with different colleagues across Asia. First, in late January we gathered with our teams in China and Cambodia, first in Kunming and then in Phnom Penh. These were blessed times of fellowship, daily worship together and productive conversations about the direction of CWEF for the year ahead. These healthy discussions were meant to be an intentional starting point for a longer process of strategic planning for the next 3-5 years of CWEF’s work. God has blessed us with some wonderful people to help us as we go through this process, and we ask for your continued prayers that God would be working out his purposes in and through us now and in the years ahead.
This week, I’m writing to you from Manila in the Philippines, where our broader LCMS Asia team has gathered for our annual regional workgroup retreat. This has been a fun and energizing time to reconnect with many coworkers across the region who have become like family to me over the past 8 years, and it has been a great opportunity to get connected to a number of new families who have recently arrived and begun working in different parts of Asia over the past year. God has given each of us a unique call to serve, but he has also called us together. We support and encourage each other, we challenge each other, and we work to find new and creative ways to collaborate with each other toward the development of his kingdom.
- For Coco’s grandmother (her father’s mother), and the whole family. She is being treated for pancreatic cancer and has become increasingly weak over the past few months. God recently gave us the opportunity to visit her in the hospital, pray for her, share his Word and good news, and leave a bible with her. We expect to go visit her again in a month or so. Please pray with us that God would bring physical and spiritual healing to her life, and that together with all of Coco’s family members, she would be given the gift of faith.
- For our LCMS team members in Macau. They are experiencing a number of difficulties at the moment related to some complex visa issues and a current lack of coworkers. Two new families – the Mahlburgs and the Bushes – have already received calls to come serve there, which is a great answer to prayer. However, these two families are still in the initial support-raising stage. After hearing about all of this from our Macau teammates this week, I felt led to reach out to all of you and ask if you’d prayerfully consider helping the Mahlburgs and/or Bushes with a financial gift to help speed up their arrival in Macau to serve the local church and the English outreach center there. You can find out more about these two families by visiting: http://www.lcms.org/bush or http://www.lcms.org/mahlburg
Thank you for bringing these things to our Father, who still speaks to us through his Son:
Thank you so much for your support!
Josh + Coco + John // lcms.org/lange