International Ministries

Something to Sing About

October 5, 2010 Journal
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Here is a link to a 3-minute video I put together and posted on YouTube, about the work I've been doing with our sisters and brothers of the Baptist Churches of Vietnam.  It is called "Something to Sing About."                     
                     



A very special word of thanks to all of you who prayed for this trip.  I was deeply grateful for the opportunity to spend the first week traveling to the homes of pastors and leaders outside of Ho Chi Minh City.  It is quite a privilege to be able to visit the homes--which double as congregational gathering sites--of those whom God is using to guide and encourage this movement of house churches.

While traveling to Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, Hue and the greater Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City area, I took a few pictures.  I have posted some of them in an album where you can see them on the internet by clicking this link:  Stan's 201009 Vietnam Photos.  Actually, there are quite a few pictures, but don't be daunted.  Glance over the album thumbnails and, when you see something that looks like it might be interesting, click on it for a pretty good-sized peek at one element of my Vietnam experience.

Spending several days traveling added quite a bit to the cost of the trip--making me especially grateful not only for your prayers, but also for the gifts that make this ministry possible.  Thank you!!  I want you to know it was worth the additional expense to be able to meet, encourage and pray with such dedicated followers of Jesus.  Everywhere we went, they seemed deeply touched by the simple fact of the visit.  I was delighted for the chance to be your face, hands and feet, and so let these sisters and brothers know that they are loved and prayed for by people far, far away.

In the near future, I hope to post a number of short reflections about different aspects of the experience.  But this is a busy time of year--and a wonderful teaching opportunity at the southern tip of Baja California, Mexico will begin in just a few days!  So, before time got completely away from you, I wanted to send this note so that you could get at least some sense of my time in Vietnam.

Again, thank you so much for your support!  Without going into the details, I know I was carried through a number of challenges by your prayers.  It was an important trip, both for me and for those I had the chance to serve.

October 1 began a new fiscal year at International Ministries, one in which I and all the other missionaries have been challenged to move much closer to raising all of the financial support that is needed to keep us on the field.  So, I am both profoundly grateful for each of you whose gifts are making this work possible, and also eager to widen the circle and welcome others to participate financially in this ministry.  Join us!  (If you would like details about my financial needs or the larger picture of finances at International Ministries, please don't hesitate to contact me at stanslade@pobox.com.)

As I mentioned, the financial challenge is not mine alone, but one I share with all of the missionaries and staff of International Ministries (and, I know, with most of our local churches, our regional ministries and other expressions of American Baptist participation in God's great global mission!).  Right now, individuals and churches within the American Baptist family traditionally focus on supporting the international part of that global mission through the World Mission Offering.  Support for WMO has never been more urgently needed than it is right now.  Your gifts do a world of good!

Again, thank you so much for walking with me on this journey.  I hope you take the chance to glimpse a bit of the scenery, through the links above.  And, may the Lord bless, guide and give you great joy on your own ministry journey today!

Stan

p.s. I have developed the habit of posting tiny updates and pictures on Facebook as I travel.  So, if that is a tool you use, find me at www.facebook.com/stanslade.