It’s a beautiful 80-degree day here in Brisbane, Australia, as I write this Christmas letter to you. It’s summer in the Land Down Under making it difficult to think of sleigh bells and snow. Even so, Christmas decorations are popping up and I’ve even had several Santa sightings.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, traveling to Australia had to be postponed and delayed several times in the last two years. Thankfully, the long overdue visit to see my daughter and her family finally came to fruition. I still laugh remembering the stern instructions I gave my daughter to not look at, speak to, nor go out with any Aussie guys when she took a job as an au pair in Sydney over eight years ago. Ten days into her trip, she met her now husband. Eight years later, God has given “Pops” a wonderful Aussie family complete with two amazing grandsons and the most adorable accents you could ever hear.
In this beautiful and diverse country, LOGOI also is blessed with three Aussie Bible students. Census reports state that some 171,000 Hispanics live in Australia and I’ve been keeping my eyes and ears open hoping to hear an Aussie/Spanish accent—which I think would be amazing. The first Hispanics arrived from Spain around 1605 and while I can’t really find any factual basis to back this up, I wonder how many returned after trying to eat a Vegemite sandwich. (If you’ve never tasted Vegemite, just make some toast, cover it with stale root beer, then pour an entire container of salt on it.)
I invite you to browse LOGOIMinistries.org and scroll down to see our LOGOI national missionaries’ map (see below). Every new addition to our map feels like opening a Christmas present. I’ve watched our map grow from roughly 3,500 national missionaries some 25 years ago to over 32,000 today! Never would my dad (LOGOI founder Les Thompson) have dreamed we’d be helping equip and encourage a handful of Spanish-speaking pastors and leaders in places as remote as Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
We’ve come a long way from LOGOI’s initial Bible training days. Back then we not only had to print and distribute actual books with paper and ink, but a small team of teachers had to travel to each location in order to teach our students. It was a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. The estimated annual costs to train one student back then was over $3.00 per day. Today, thanks to internet, it costs less than $0.15 per day.
Back “then,” LOGOI’s ministry was well limited to how many trips the team could make over exhausting and expensive travel schedules. Today LOGOI’s ministry is only limited to our student’s ability to get online. Even then — and with your help — we’ve established a program where we can help a student get online via their smart phone in order to study our Bible courses.
I’m already looking forward to my next visit to see my daughter and family Down Under. I don’t know when it will be, but I will no doubt be amazed by how much my grandsons will have grown. In similar ways, we get to see our national missionaries grow in their knowledge and love for Jesus and that, too, is amazing.
As you consider your Christmas gifts and year-end giving, just think of what God can do through you with $0.15 a day. That’s a total of under $60 for one year. What a wonderful Christmas gift you can give to one or more of our national missionaries. And thankfully, Vegemite is not included.
P.S. Click on the map below if you wish to support LOGOI's ongoing mission throughout the Spanish-speaking world.