We are Asher and Loren Cross* serving with the International Mission Board. Although we grew up in Fort Smith and Dardanelle, we call Conway our adult home. We met at the University of Central Arkansas and settled near there after graduating college. We are members at The Summit Church in Conway. In 2013 we left Arkansas for East Asia and our two children, Lilly and Evan, were born there.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have been back in Fort Smith since mid-2020. During this time, we have sensed God’s guiding toward a new field. We will be launching a new team in a new city in Southeast Asia when our host country opens for travel.
We would like Arkansas Baptists to know that our work in East Asia and Southeast Asia would not be possible without their generous giving to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. We also need Arkansas Baptists to join us in prayer for the lost neighbors and friends we encounter every day.
The lost in East Asia are hungry for God’s Word. Many co-workers and our team spent many months collecting audio versions of Bible stories on MP3 players. These were some of the first audio recordings available in an unreached people group’s mother tongue. We strategized about how to distribute them to rural villages on remote mountaintops. We sent a few MP3 players to a contact who knew of a person in one of these villages. A few weeks later the contact asked for more, and weeks after that, she wanted 30! We continued to pray that God would use the MP3 players to let illiterate people from this unreached group hear his Gospel message. Months passed and we received reports back that the MP3 players were being listened to by people all across this unreached area! These devices with God’s Word were being treated like rare treasures! In one village in particular, the people decided to keep the MP3 player in the village square so anyone could come at any time and listen to God’s Word. These MP3 players with God’s Word in an unreached people’s own language has already played a part in several people choosing to follow Jesus. Pray that even now the stories would be listened to, and the Spirit would call out new brothers and sisters from villages among this unreached people group.
Thank you, Arkansas Baptists, for your faithful support of church planting efforts all over the world through your cooperative support of the International Mission Board. Your giving to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering make it possible for our family and thousands others like us to live and serve the lost like Christ.
Please pray for our family as we are in an extended period of uncomfortable transition. We do not know when our host country will open for travel. Ask that we would have wisdom with our time in Arkansas and make the most of what we’ve been given here.
Pray for the lost in our new harvest field where we will be working next. Ask that God would be preparing for us the basics like housing and friendship, but also preparing the hearts of our neighbors and those we hope to minister to.