“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water . . . .” (Psalm 1:3)
Thank you so much for the prayers that have been made for my family over the last few weeks. My father went to be with Jesus late in the evening on September 9. My family came from all corners of the country to honor the man I called “Dad.” During the lockdown time in April and May, we were able to be at my parents’ house. My dad and I talked of many things, including salvation. His two biggest concerns were the care of my mom when he was gone and the spiritual life of his children and grandchildren. The Lord blessed my dad in indescribable ways through his fight against cancer, Parkinson’s, and heart disease. Before he graduated to Heaven, God worked it out so my dad knew that mom was provided for. As Psalm 1 tells us, the man who puts God as His priority WILL be blessed.
It’s also interesting to see that the things my dad was concerned about are the same things Jesus is concerned with—taking care of His own and the spiritual maturity of His children. That turns my thoughts to our Christian brothers and sisters in China. It is obvious that spiritual wickedness in high places is causing much trouble for the work of Christ in China. Praise the Lord, those whom we maintain contact with have not personally experienced the persecution that we know is taking place. There is more pressure being exerted on them though, as we know several of the families we have worked with before have put their children back into the public schools. We also know that while many people and businesses are back to normal, there are churches, state-run and house meetings, that have not been able to assemble together again. All children are being denied access to any kind of religious information, while children from kindergarten and up are being coerced to watch Communist propaganda. One friend of mine with a political science PhD, who spent around 20 years in China, told me he believes the government has moved from an authoritarian style of government to a totalitarian style. He strongly expressed his distrust of this regime.
The door to China is getting narrower, as it has been since the current premier took over. The Lord reminds us, though, that the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord. When speaking recently with my visa contact in China, he assured me that he did not think there would be a problem helping us get back into the country when the time is right. Lord willing, he is exactly correct.
Meanwhile, the Lord’s blessings have continued to follow us. On our way to my dad’s funeral, our van had some trouble in Kansas. It happened at 5 p.m. on a Friday. No mechanic would even be open again till Monday morning. We were frustrated but grateful that we were in a town that had everything conveniently located within walking distance of the hotel we found. We also found there was a church about 20 minutes away. I called, and Ellis Baptist Church worked out a way for us to be in their service. The pastor also mentioned he had a mechanic or two in the church. To make a long story short, a God-prepared man fixed the van by the Sunday evening service! Then to my surprise and pleasure, the pastor asked us to present our ministry, and they gave us a very generous love offering! Praise the Lord for these caring brothers and sisters! The Lord continues to urge us onward as we have been navigating the issues of the times. We are around 50 to 60 percent of our needed support, and we have been able to reschedule many of our canceled meetings from the spring.
Bound to His service,