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VernonVidcast #1: Furlough, Family and Framerates

It has been over 2 months since our return to Thailand and we’ve hit the ground running. The soundroom is nearing final completion and the Akha Outreach Media projects are beginning to take off. These projects, along with homeschooling, family events (2 birthdays and an anniversary) as well as our village ministry, pulling teeth, and designing book layouts have been keeping us busy. Take a look and listen to our video update for a few of the highlights:

Thanks for taking the time to catch up with us, feel free to drop us a comment below or a message on facebook so we can stay connected to you!

Life with the Akha (Video)

As we’re wrapping up our first furlough since beginning our service as Foursquare missionaries, and our first trip to America in the last 3 years, we want to say thank you to all of our family, friends, pastors and partners that we’ve been able to see over the past 3 months. We’ve really enjoyed our time here and are amazed at the way God continues to provide for our daily needs. Although we are sorry we couldn’t spend more time with each of you, we are looking forward to going back to Thailand and moving forward with our vision for future ministry.

For those of you who haven’t heard the update on the direction we will be moving in ministry over the next few years, please view our update card, or contact us on facebook. We’ve done a number of presentations over these three months and wanted to share with you this slideshow of images of our work and life with the Akha people of Southeast Asia.

Paul and Lori Vernon 2011 Update

Paul and Lori Vernon Ministry with the Akha

This image was created for an introduction/update printing we are about to do, but we thought that it would be a great thing to share with all of you here as well.

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Paul and Lori Vernon
ministering to the Akha people of Southeast Asia

We are Foursquare missionaries partnering with a ministry in Northern Thailand called Akha Outreach Foundation. We have been ministering full-time with the Akha people of Southeast Asia since 2005 and speak the Akha language, which is unique to the 2.5 million Akha people in China, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

Our ministry began by living in a bamboo hut in an Akha village, working directly with the local Akha church, and serving the pressing needs of individuals our region. The Lord has used this experience to show us the heart of the Akha people and to prepare us for a new ministry to serve the Akha church.

The new ministry we are undertaking is called Akha Outreach Media, and will focus on the translation, dubbing and creation of audio and video content in the Akha language to equip the local church with evangelistic and teaching materials that will be distributed to the Akha people throughout the five nations in which they live.

Traditional Akha Vocals :: presented by Akha Outreach Media

We have been asked numerous times about traditional Akha music and singing. As we cannot even begin to imitate this beautiful musical style we haven’t been able to fully communicate what it is like.

However, for the AOF 10th Year of Ministry celebration we cut a recording of one of our Akha pastor’s wives singing her version of John 3:16 in the traditional Akha style. We hope you enjoy it!

Traditional Akha rendition of John 3:16
Recorded for Akha Outreach Foundation’s
“Great is Thy Faithfulness 10-Year Jubilee”
by the Akha Outreach Media team

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©2010 Akha Outreach Media :: Used By Permission

A Heritage of Ministry

Paul and Lori VernonTen years ago this week was the first time we arrived in Thailand. As two young, wide-eyed, newlywed college kids we first set foot in the nation that we knew God had called us to serve. We had come to Thailand to visit a fledgling ministry to the Akha people and assist them with some land planning. But the reality was that we were taking the first step of obedience to the call that God placed on our life.

We continued to travel between the United States and Thailand over the next five years; leading teams and growing in our relationship with each other and with the ministry to the Akha. Finally in 2005 we moved here full-time, and Akha Outreach Foundation had grown and matured in its ministry. By this time the ministry here was serving the Akha with three ministry focuses: House of Joy, a children’s home for orphaned and high-risk kids; Akha Bible Institute, a training program for young emerging Akha leaders; Akha Outreach Services, a ministry to Akha villages and churches.

Earlier this month Akha Outreach Foundation celebrated it’s 10th year of ministry. Nearly 2,000 Akha men, women and children came to participate in the event and to celebrate the heritage of ministry that Akha Outreach Foundation has fostered.

The 10-Year Anniversary celebration was a beautiful event that was well worth the months of preparation that we put into it by printing books, images, pamphlets and banners, editing videos, and coordinating visitors. It was amazing to see what God has done over the past ten years. Former drug addicts leading their villages in worship. Men and women who had been witch doctors and mediums smiling with the joy that comes with the freedom of the gospel. Christians from multiple denominations and backgrounds laughing, singing and eating together.

Akha Outreach - A Heritage of WorshipAkha Outreach - A Heritage of EqualityAkha Outreach 10 Year Celebration - A Heritage of FamilyAkha Outreach 10 Year CelebrationAkha Outreach 10 Year Celebration - A Heritage of Honor Akha Outreach 10 Year Celebration - A Heritage of CelebrationAkha Outreach 10 Year Celebration - Heritage of LearningAkha Outreach 10 Year Celebration - Heritage of Friendship

But as exciting as the look back was, and as encouraging as it has been to see what God is doing, the most exhilarating thing is that the vision for ministry to the Akha is just beginning. The barriers that have bound the Akha for generations are being broken, but this is just the start. As God leads the Akha into freedom, the barriers that exist between individuals, villages, regions, and nations are being broken. The rice is ripe and harvest is coming.