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Far East Where Are the Laborers? By David Harris Since becoming the Far East Director last year, I have been privileged to learn more about the rest of our BIMI Far East family. We have some of the finest missionaries in the world. our numbers would double or triple. Our missionaries have done a great job in seeing souls saved and churches established, but there is a problem. Our missionaries are getting older. It is a blessing to serve with such dedicated servants who continue to go into all the world. Our 78 missionaries and their ministries saw over 15,000 people saved in 2011 and 108 new churches started. Believers are being discipled and missionaries are being sent out. Please do not tell them I said that. If we do not get some replacements, we are facing some major challenges in our BIMI Far East mission family in the not too distant future. When BIMI divided the countries into field designations, it was based on the number of missionaries. An arbitrary division was made between the Far East and Southeast Asia. Serving in the Far East are missionaries in Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan, the Mariana Islands, the Philippines, and several other countries that are difficult to enter. For example, one of the countries dear to my heart is Japan. There were 14 or 15 families when we arrived on the field in 1988. Since then, numbers have declined. Of the ten families and one single lady we had when we developed a prayer list a year and a half ago, we lost two families with only one replacement. Of the remaining eight families, five have been missionaries for over 20 years. Of those eight families, three have been serving for over 35 years and one for over 50 years. The majority of our missionaries are in Japan Although we would hope all of our 35 and the Philippines. Most of the other countries families and three single or places have only missionaries will live a few families. In all Who will fill their shoes? forever and continue of the South Pacific Who will take their places? serving, this is not possible. north of the equator, Some develop health we only have three problems. Some suffer accidents. Other families. Two of those are in the Mariana ministry changes occur. Islands of Saipan and Tinian, north of Guam. Hawaii and Taiwan only have one family each. I In August 2011 one of our men, Brother Dennis know each of these places needs more laborers Pyles, died saving his daughter and friend who to help them reach the teeming masses around were caught in a riptide. As we heard the story them. from Mrs. Rose Pyles, we learned just how close we came to losing Mrs. Pyles, their daughter We do not have missionaries in Bhutan, North and her friend in that tragic event. In February Korea, South Korea and many of the islands in 2012 we lost Brother Rick Conrad who went to the South Pacific. Recently, we approved a new be with the Lord after suffering a severe heart missionary family to Japan and a single young attack on the field. Who will fill their shoes? lady who desires to serve in the Philippines. Who will take their places? On deputation, we have two families and a single young lady. In the Philippines we had 17 families. Other than Brother Pyles, we lost one family who God has given us some great men and women returned stateside and have another family who serve faithfully. It is our hope and prayer 8 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013