January 20, 2021
Fourteen months ago, I wrote a prayer letter from Minneapolis. It was just after Hannah’s brother Karsten had unexpectedly gone to be with the Lord and we were back for the funeral. Today I am writing to you from Denver a week after my brother Daniel’s funeral. This past “term” since our return to Thailand almost two years ago has not been what we expected. But we take comfort in the fact of God’s good and sovereign control of all things, working out his purposes for all of us who belong to Him.
Because of the visa situations caused by COVID there was really no way for the whole family to return to the U.S. for the funeral. In fact, I was able to come only because the policies the Thai government had in place for the past eight months restricting entry to the country (particularly those with our type of visa) were changed just two days before the funeral. I was able to be on a flight within twelve hours of hearing of the policy change, arriving in Denver just a few hours before the viewing this past Wednesday evening.
I am so thankful God allowed me to be here to remember the life of my bother at the funeral and be with my family. We had prayed, and were hopeful, that the transplants would be successful. But God chose otherwise. God is good and has been giving grace. The outpouring of love and support from so many has been helpful. Many of you followed the news and updates of my brother’s transplant surgery on this website, the current prayer requests page page, and others through my Facebook posts. If any of you would like to view the funeral service, you can click on this link. At about the 20 minute mark is my brother Nathan’s eulogy. Then I had the privilege to share a few comments at the 35 minute mark.
With just a few hours to make the decision to leave Thailand and prepare for being away for one month (I will have to quarantine for 15 days upon my return), I was so thankful for many in the church who stepped up to help out. A former church member readily volunteered to come back and preach three of the Sundays that I will be gone. Please pray for those who are taking on extra responsibilities while I am away, including, of course, Hannah and the kids.
Between my last update in early December and now, there was, of course, Christmas. Thank the Lord, despite a fresh COVID outbreak right around Christmas, we were able to have most of our planned activities, especially the church Christmas celebration the Sunday afternoon before Christmas. Several of our church people invited friends and family to the event, and several of our non-Christian English students joined us as well. While we do not know of any positive responses to the gospel, we pray the Lord will use the Christmas outreach as another step towards their understanding, believing, and trusting in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Celebrating Christmas 2020 COVID-19 style!
So far, the process of applying to the Thai consulate to get permission to return has gone smoothly. The process is still not complete, but I have bought return tickets for January 31st. Please pray there are no unforeseen snags in the process.
Thank you again for your prayers for us.
Your partners for the gospel,
Duane and Hannah
Please click on the links below to view previous updates.
For a copy of the August 2, 2016 Prayer Letter, please send me an email through the "contact us" page. Thanks!