Over the weekend, the Garden of Hope sent out yet another class of graduates! Please join us in celebrating their hard work and dedication, and lift them up in prayer as they prepare to go into their communities and plant churches.
In commemoration of the occasion, please enjoy this post which originally appeared in the May 2016 SEAPC Magazine. May the Lord continue to bring transformation and revival to Laos through these recent and past graduates!
As the ethnic, melodious song of worship was sung in Lao, I was seeing the big smile on Abba’s face, so moved by their genuine hearts. These ten young men were singing unfamiliar, but the most beautiful, songs of praise, their hearts offered to the Most High. The songs penetrated my soul and I could not help but think of the years of prayers that it took to get here: the many hard steps offered in prayer, countless hours in buses to villages, and intense discussions with authorities that culminated to this day. The price was paid in a labor of love, and here I was witnessing the fruit of that labor, and having the honor to deliver God’s word for the day.
Before leaving for Vientiane, God spoke to me about revival in Laos. I saw revival fires all along the map of Laos. I kept seeing that this is the generation of revivalists who will transform Laos. In fact, my daughter had gotten sick on our vacation earlier in the week. I went to the store and found a 1-liter bottle of a Gatorade-like drink. I didn’t realize until a day later that the drink is called “Revive.”
The ten graduates, representing five ethnic groups, are the start of churches among indigenous peoples in Laos. They have been trained in Bible and ministry, and their training equips them to plant their own indigenous churches throughout Laos. They also work in the Garden of Hope, learning lessons as farmers, tilling the soil, sowing the seeds, cultivating and harvesting the land, which make up the perfect biblical model of evangelism. I pictured the faces of the people they would talk to about Jesus back home in their villages, the struggles and pain in getting the elders to accept a new way of life, but the victory in baptizing new believers, making up the multitude that no one will be able to count from every tribe, tongue, and nation, proclaiming, “Salvation belongs to our God…”
The word God gave me for the graduation was on revival that leads to transformation, from the life of King Josiah. Much like many of these ten young men, Josiah was a first generation true believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We can learn from his life that revival must bring transformation to the people. His father, Amon, and paternal grandfather, Manasseh, were wicked kings that provoked God through their involvement with the occult, idol worship, and murder in Judah. Despite such heritage, Josiah started seeking the Lord at age 16, and at the age of 20, he cleansed the land of Israel of the idols (2 Chronicles 34:3-7). It took just one generation to turn the nation around.
The Zoe Generation, the group that is led by Brother Hubert, is another group of on-fire men and women in their twenties, whom God will use to reach out to the people in Laos. I am so excited about this new generation of believers. They have been discipled, and are well-trained. They, like the ten graduates, are a new generation full of the Holy Spirit, who know their identity as children of the Most High God and who display the glory of God.
As Laos emerges from being one of the lowest in the ASEAN in terms of income and development, God is awakening this land to its destiny. This year, Laos has won the chairmanship of the ASEAN. As it embraces the ASEAN economic zone, many reforms must take place, economic and social, including freedom of religion. Let’s pray that God will send revival by raining his righteousness and let salvation spring up.