Spring 2017

Sawatdee kap from Thailand!! Kezia and I want to say hello to everyone, and thank you for your faithfulness and generosity. Your continued spiritual and financial support is a tremendous source of blessing and encouragement. We hope this update finds you well, please email us any questions or prayer requests you might have.

Thailand:

We are pastoring a church that was planted by Sowers missionaries in 2011. It’s quite challenging. I’ve never pastored before and Kezia has never pastor’s wifed before :). We are dealing with many things at the church but overall it is proving to be a wonderful and growing experience for us both. You can find the church on Facebook, the name is Peace Church Ao Nang. I’m mentioning this because we soon plan on streaming our services live on our FB page! So you will be able to see the church in action!

Also, Kezia is still teaching at the language school in Krabi. The school is run by another Sowers couple and is doing great. Kezia is also heavily involved with the Thai believers here. At Peace Church, we have an English congregation and also a Thai congregation. Kezia has been helping the Thais with evangelism, worship, and logistics. Her involvement has also been sharpening her skills of this very difficult language.

Myanmar:

The “House of Refuge” in Myanmar is doing well, literally! We started digging a well on our property there thanks to the generosity of my sister Becka and her friends, who teamed up to help the House in Yangon. For more info on our anti-human-trafficking campaign you can visit: joshua20.orgIMG_20170406_091620.jpg.jpeg

Cambodia:

I just got back from an amazing time in Cambodia. This is the site of our latest “House of Refuge.” The house has just been finished so my dad and I went to check it out. This place is amazing! Two bedrooms, a living room, 2 bathrooms, and a kitchen. There is a young Khmer couple overseeing the grounds and we are ready for taking people out of slavery and into the Kingdom!! The best part is the house is on a farm with lots going on, lots of ways to help the house earn. There’s a fish farm, a lime tree orchard, a ton of chickens and more! Here are some pictures:

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the front

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the back

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bedroom

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the fish farm

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lime tree orchard, out back

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chickens!

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our caretaker.. and more chickens!

Fall 2016

Its really been an amazing year so far. Thanks to everyone for all of your support! Here’s what we’ve been up to since our last update in March.

We are settled in our new home close to the church. We really like it, its small but very comfortable and we feel like its our home. Kezia is still teaching at the Sowers Language School and she’s also studying Thai. She has rekindled a passion for the language and attends the Thai worship service at our church, she’s working hard and doing great.

I started an online course in March at Fuller Theological Seminary, its a master’s program with a cross-cultural leadership emphasis. The program is called the Master of Arts in Global Leadership (MAGL). Being back in school feels great and I’m doing quite well. I am still leading trips to different parts of Asia so keeping up with the assignments has been a challenge, but by God’s grace I’ve been able to do so.

In May I took a team to Myanmar to teach the Bible in the Chin State region, then headed back down south for a week at our Joshua20 House of Refuge. The house is totally full. We bought sewing machines and hired a tailor to come and teach how to use them. The ministry is going great, I would encourage any of you to have a look in person, it will change your life! Our second House of Refuge is near Phnom Penh in Cambodia is ready to start taking in people. The house in Myanmar is more on the prevention side of human trafficking, while the house in Cambodia will focus more on restoration.

Kezia and I also have taken on an intern named Parker Trefz. He is 22 and from Sarasota. Parker has been here before on short term trips and we challenged him to commit for year. We are so happy to have him, he’s going to be a great help.

Prayer Requests:

  • pray for Parker, our new intern, for his adjustment here in Thailand
  • pray for our church, Peace Church Ao Nang, for spiritual growth
  • pray for Thailand, for spiritual breakthrough and revival
Parker Trefz (our new intern)

Parker Trefz (our new intern)

House of Refuge, Myanmar

House of Refuge, Myanmar

House of Refuge, Cambodia

House of Refuge, Cambodia

Contact us any time via email: jason@sower.orgkezia@sower.org

New Year, New House

Wow is all we can say with all that transpired in the last few months of 2015 and the first few of 2016. But before I go into all the detail of our recent adventures, I want to apologize for the long hiatus of our updates. We’ve had so much happen that we needed time to process all that transpired. I am not even sure where to begin, but here goes…

Pastor of Peace Church Ao Nang

As we have mentioned to some of you during our last visit to the States, Peace Church Ao Nang (the church we helped start here) called Jason as the full-time pastor and installed him in the position in September of last year.

This position requires us to move to the town, Ao Nang, where the church is. We moved to the new house in Ao Nang just over two weeks ago. We are about 90% complete in our move; hopefully by the end of this month we have completely moved out of our old house and into our new one. We’ll be posting pictures once our house is ready for the camera. Haha!

To give you a better picture of where we are now, here is a short description. Ao Nang is still part of Krabi, which is both a province and a city, but is about 20 minutes from where we used to live, Krabi City. Krabi is like New York which is both a state and a city. So instead of living in Krabi City, Krabi, we now live in Ao Nang, Krabi.

Visit to the United States

Jason and I had the chance to go home to his parents in Meridian, Idaho for Christmas of last year plus stay a few months of this year. We had a blast spending time with family and friends, and we both ate so much food that we miss. We also enjoyed spending time with our niece and nephew, Ellie and Bennett.

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With Ellie and Bennett

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With Pooka and Becka at a cooking class

In our almost 3 months stay in Meridian, Jason was able to apply to Fuller Theological Seminary for an online Master’s degree designed for those working full-time in the mission field. I am proud to announce that he was accepted and just a few days ago registered for his first course!

During our time in the States, we attended Eagle Christian Church (ECC). They are one of our sending churches and have been extremely kind to us all throughout the years. ECC ordained Jason and officially sent him as a pastor last February 6,2016. We both felt so blessed to have this church in our corner.

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We were also able to visit Cashie Baptist Church, my home church in Windsor, NC. So thankful for these guys support of our work here in Thailand not only financially but in prayer. We want to especially thank Sue Fairless, who hosted our stay and welcomed us completely into her home. We also want to thank Pastor Bobby for giving us time to share with Cashie God’s work through us and to thank the Copelands for spending some time with us and treating us to a good dinner.  We are likewise grateful to Teri Williford and Sharon Thompson for spending time with us and for keeping us in their hearts personally and through the TEA Party Girls I was once a part of; We are also extremely appreciative of Kuya Ramon and his family not only for the time we had with them but also for being there for us at the onset of our call to go to Thailand.  I also got to see some of my old friends and colleagues and eat some Filipino food!

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With Sharon and Teri

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With Filipino friends and former colleagues

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The Copelands

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With Sue Fairless

Jason’s parents also gave us a treat to visit Colombia, South America. They have not been back there for a long time, and it was such an amazing experience for me to see where Jason grew up. We got to meet people his parents have worked with in the field and go to the church they helped start 30 years ago. The church is still going strong and very much alive. Some of the first fruits of the church are still there! Jason also had an opportunity to preach in Spanish in one of the churches we visited!

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Pastor Manuel sharing to the kids @ the Finca Lewis up in the mountains of Barbosa

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With Pastor Omar and the kids in the back

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At Shalom Church which Gwynn and Pooka helped start about 30 years ago

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With the Sowers missionaries to Colombia, Luis and Martha, and their kids

Towards the end of our visit, we went to Los Angeles, CA and visited Jason’s home church, Rolling Hills Covenant Church. It was during the mission’s celebration, so we got to meet some of the 80 missionaries this church supports. It was my first time to attend, and I was just amazed at how God has used this church to impact the world through the many missionaries they send. We are deeply grateful for the support this church provides us. They have been there for Jason since the beginning, and even until now that I joined him.

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Gwynn at the Sowers booth at RHCC’s missions celebration

We want to specially mention and thank the Kelfords who hosted our stay in L.A. These guys made it sure that we had everything we need and more. We also want to thank the Smiths for picking us up in the airport and for providing us a platform to share about Thailand in their group.

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With the Kelfords

Our L.A. visit was an eventful time for us. We also got to visit my father’s memorial wall in Green Hills Memorial Park and meet my Uncle Ramon (my father’s brother) and his wife, Auntie Lily, for the first time. It was definitely an especially good time for me to meet family and to connect with them.

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With Uncle Ramon

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Papa’s Memorial Wall

Grateful

I hope you guys know how grateful Jason and I are for all that you do for us and the work God has entrusted us here in Asia. We pray to God for you always and praise Him for having you in our lives! If you guys have anything that you want us to specifically pray for you or just want to share anything that’s going on in your lives, please don’t hesitate to shoot us an email or send us a snail mail. We would love to hear from you!

By the way, our new pictures were taken by a good friend, Casey Figlewicz. We want to thank him for taking the time to shoot our pictures and for lending us his talent of capturing amazing photos. We love them!

In Our Messiah’s Love,
Kezia

Summer 2015

Greetings from Thailand everyone! Here’s what Kezia and I have been up to:

Summer Teams:

I lead a team of students from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida to China in May. In the interest of discretion there is not much I will say about people or places or specifics of the trip, but it was a huge success.

Then in June, Kezia and I along with our partners Roslen and Phylla Sipat, hosted a team from the same university here in Thailand. We were able to breakthrough cultural barriers thanks to the high interest in English here. We prayer walked temples and mosques, and taught in different and diverse venues such as an Islamic school and a Buddhist temple. Click play to watch the video 🙂

 

Kezia’s Teaching

Kezia’s time at the school in Ao Nang has come to a close. She had an amazing experience and made some good and continuing friendships with not only her fellow teachers but also some of the parents of the students. We consider her short time teaching there to be a fruitful one and a major blessing. Kezia and I are now praying for a new door to open for her to integrate into Thai society for next year. As you know Kezia loves to teach, and we are confident it won’t be hard to find the next step for her.

The Joshua 20 Project:

Joshua 20 is starting now to really gain some traction. We have a functioning house already in Myanmar, we have land in Northern Thailand and will begin construction soon, and our latest news comes from Cambodia. Kezia and I just got back, we traveled there to meet Pastor Meng, a connection made through Pastor Joe Handley and Asian Access (www.asianaccess.org). We are super excited about this, we are now looking for the right piece land, and as soon as we find it, we will be all systems “GO” thanks to the sponsorship of Rolling Hills Covenant Church in Los Angeles. For more information about the vision for the Joshua 20 project you can go to joshua20.org, or you can email me at jason@sower.org.

Home for Christmas 

Kezia and I are coming home!! We will be in Boise, ID with my parents this Christmas. We are so happy. It has been 4 years and we are ready for a visit. We will be in Boise from December to February, then we will head over to Los Angeles to attend the Rolling Hills Covenant Church Missions Conference at the end of February ’16. If any of you think your church would benefit from us visiting you and sharing a report, please email me at jason@sower.org.

Thank You

As always, Kezia and I would like to say thank you to all of you are supporting us financially and/or prayerfully. We feel a deep connection with you and we just couldn’t be doing any of this without you. We pray for you always, so if there are any specific ways we can pray, any requests you can share with us, we would love share those burdens with you. You can leave any comments, questions, or feedback in the comments below or you can email them to us.. my email once again is jason@sower.org and Kezia’s is kezia@sower.org. God bless you!

Pastor Meng and his brother Pastor Hong in Cambodia

Pastor Meng and his brother Pastor Hong in Cambodia

Kezia at Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Kezia at Angkor Wat in Cambodia

The Thai team at the temple

The Thai team at the temple

Jason at the Islamic school

Jason at the Islamic school

Grace and Peace,

Jason and Kezia

Christmas 2014

Merry Christmas to all!

Kezia and I are overwhelmed by your generous and continued support throughout the year and wanted to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts yet again. Your gifts inspire us beyond words to stay focused here in Thailand in our joint efforts in reaching this country for Christ. We hope this update finds you all well and filled with joy this Christmas season. Here is a quick update on what we have been doing here in the last few months.

Kezia is still teaching at the Sowers school in the afternoon but she wanted more. She was approached by a friend who has another school in the neighboring town of Ao Nang. We were excited for this opportunity and Kezia accepted the position. She now works along side an all Thai staff. She is quickly making friends and fitting in. This is proving to a great outreach since Kezia is the only Christian teacher there, also, the school is right down the street from our church.

I am still ministering at the church, preaching, leading worship, and teaching weekly bible studies. The church is going really good but we are experiencing some (good) problems we need solved soon. We have out-grown our space. We have been renting a small building for the last three years and are now overflowing, people are sitting outside. We need a bigger space. Please pray for us as we look for a new, bigger building. We are also in need of a full time pastor. The congregation is big enough now that it requires full time care. I am hoping for a Thai pastor to answer the call, please pray for this as well.  If you want to keep up with the church, the website is http://www.peacechurchaonang.com.  You can also find us on Facebook at Peace Church Ao Nang. Read More

Summer of 2014

Hi everyone! Kezia and I send you greetings from Thailand and hope that this update finds you well. Lots going on for us the last few months. Since our last update in April we have finished a short film and launched the website for our new human trafficking ministry called “Houses of Refuge”, led a team to China, hosted a team here in Thailand, and celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary.

Houses of Refuge
The leadership at Sowers International has been praying about what our role will be in the growing fight against human trafficking. The answer we received came through the book of Joshua chapter 20 where it talks about “Cities of Refuge.” These were safe places designated by God for those who were being pursued. Read More

So Many Stories To Tell

Indeed I have so many stories to tell, but I will break them down into a few important events to keep you guys updated.
Past:
I went to China last month for about 2 weeks with Pooka (my mother-in-law) and a team of women from Idaho, Missouri, and Oregon.  This was definitely a treat for me since I have not been back to China after being called into fulltime missions in this beautiful country 5 years ago.  We had an awesome Bible teacher in the team who taught us along with around 25 Chinese women about women in the Bible.  So it was women studying about women!  I learned so much during this time of study, and I felt God rekindle the love He gave me for His work.

Read More

Thanksgiving 2013, A Message of Gratitude and Love

Thanksgiving is coming up; as Jason and I sat down to think of what we are grateful for and to count our blessings, our supporters topped the list.
We are very grateful for you!
We are so grateful for your prayers, and, for your financial support.  We praise God for your generosity and willingness to unselfishly share your lives with us as God provides our needs through you, to continue the work here in Thailand.
Thank You.  We cannot say this enough.  We are humbled beyond words by your kindness.
Today at Peace Church Ao Nang, the newly planted church where Jason and I serve, we celebrated Thanksgiving Day with people from all over the world.  A small sample of what it would someday look like, as every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus Christ as the King of kings!  The tradition of giving thanks to God is now being observed by some here in South Thailand where the percentage of Christians is under 5% of the population.  But one day, we believe it will be a tradition that most of South Thailand, if not all, will be celebrating — to give praises and thanks to our God.

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Free

“Not only did Christ set you free for freedom, but He set you free for free.”  – Jason Lewis

 

In the last few weeks, Jason has been preaching a series entitled, “Free,” speaking about living a life of freedom in Christ.  It has been such a blessing to see God working through him, speaking to him and through him at Peace Church Ao Nang (the small, but going strong fellowship we have here.)

Many of us are in prison to some invisible chains that have held us captive for many years.  In the first installment of the message on being free, I was struck with the truth of God’s word that all I had to do was to let go of these long held chains that have bound me for a long time.   And as I am writing this update, I start reflecting back on the message and realized how God longs to not only free me from what is holding me back to fully experience the promises of life in Him but to free the Thai people who are shackled by their erroneous spiritual beliefs.
How it must break the Father’s heart to see His Thai children lost in the wilderness of the enemy’s lies!

Read More