Christian & Bonnie Beuggert have been supported by Grace Church for many years, serving in Asia with Encompass World Partners. They are well-connected to Grace Church and spend a lot of time with us when they are in the U.S. This summer, our SE Asia team had the opportunity to meet up with them in Bangkok as well as to spend a few days with Christian in Northern Thailand.
Several months ago, they shared with our missions team that the Lord had been working in some significant ways in their hearts. We continued to pray together, and God has continued to lead them toward a significant transition which they have shared through the letter below. Please continue to pray for the Beuggert family as they open a new chapter in their lives.
Dear supporters and friends,
First of all, we would like to tell you how much your family has meant to us through the many years of our serving in Asia. We have felt the love, prayers, support, financial help and care you have passed on to us in so many ways. Even opening your home to us, and hosting us on occasion has really been fun! We could not have served in this capacity without your support of us, as well as others that have sacrificially given for us.
Through the years, we have always prayed and asked the Lord on a regular basis if He still wanted us on the “field”. He has always answered Yes. Recently because of several factors in our lives, we have been seeking the Lord once again concerning this, and He has been redirecting our path to return home. We would like to explain the reasons.
1. Our ministry in Thailand with the Scouts ended this month. We have been able to use Boy Scouts, and Cub Scouts as a springboard for building relationships and interacting with families for the past few years. This has been great! But due to the policy changes, the school our children attend has closed this chapter (which we agree with) and thus this part of our work is over. But we will continue to reach families through the end of this school year through regular activities and campouts.
2. Christian has become open as well as eager to once again become involved in church ministry (pastoring).
3. Bonnie’s parents are aging and we would like to be closer to help them. Mom is having some trouble with short term memory, and Dad seems to be getting weaker.
4. With the culture changing so much in America, we would like to settle our children in before sending them off to college. They have never lived there, and we would like to be there to help them adjust.
So, this past summer, we as a family have put some feelers out to see if the Lord might open a door for us. There has been MUCH prayer, as well as tears, that have gone into this. It will be a huge change for each member of our family. I will have been in Asia for a span of 23 years this summer. Amazing. Christian has been here almost 20 years and has never lived in the USA. The kids have only visited for short periods of time. But, the Lord has given us all an excitement for moving back, and He has also opened a pastorate for us. Over the Christmas break, we traveled back to Roanoke, VA. The Ghent GBC in SW Roanoke is in need of a pastor. After our visit, they voted 100% to call us and we have accepted.
A big part of our decision, as well, had to do with whether or not we would still be able to be involved in the Philippines. Encompass has asked us to continue to be the field leader for the ministry there, which would take part of our time. The church will allow us to continue our ministry in the Philippines, and Christian will travel back 2 times a year. This will allow us to continue the process of handing over the leadership/ministry to the Filipinos. We so appreciate this, as our hearts will always desire involvement overseas.
So you can see, 2014 will be a year of transition for us. We are still working with Encompass World Partners to define a future ministry description for our special assignment role to the Philippines. We will send you more info as things develop. As for timing, our plan is to return Stateside in the summer and then move to Roanoke. We will have to establish a home and find schooling solutions for the children. All this will take a lot of time and prayer (and probably more tears ).
We are looking forward to continue to partner with you for our special assignment part of our ministry, if the Lord so leads you when we return. As more details develop, we will let you know the details.
In His grip,
Christian, Bonnie, Kayla, Michael and Philip