Thanks for Giving . . .
For the last thirteen or fourteen years, I have lived in areas where we experienced not only a white Christmas but also a white Thanksgiving most of the time! This year, however, I didn’t even wear a jacket to our Thanksgiving meal! What a great time we had with our new friends here in Southeast China. They had never experienced Thanksgiving before. After all, it is a North American holiday. They were very excited to hear about the Thanksgiving holiday where we take time to let God know how grateful we are for His provisions. After stuffing ourselves with many of the normal Thanksgiving foods, which was a blessing in itself, each us around the table took a few minutes to say what we were thankful for in the past year. It was a great time of fellowship and encouragement hearing all the answered prayers and blessings received among our new friends here. We were also able to spend a day of fellowship with the rest of our team in another area. With so many things to be thankful for, we had to have two Thanksgivings this year!
Not too long after my last letter, things began to get busier around here. At the end of October, I invited Danny and some others over for a service. Danny is the young man I mentioned in my last letter. I took the opportunity to teach about baptism. I had talked some to Danny about it previously, and he was interested in doing what the Bible teaches us to do. That evening Danny decided to get baptized. Also that night I was able to talk with Danny’s girlfriend about her relationship with Christ. She said Danny had told her about it, and she had decided to become a Christian too! Also in attendance was another young man, Andy, whom I had also had the privilege of leading to Christ. These 3 all readily agreed that they needed to be baptized. Since I happened to have the water ready (Ha! Ha!), I helped them with their request.
That was the exciting kickoff to our church here. We have had a high day now of 15 and are looking forward to a couple more baptisms in the near future. We thank God for giving us the opportunity to be here. Also, thank you for helping make this possible.
Thanks for Sending . . .
The Christmas season was filled with excitement as usual. It’s a busy time of year, but not because of buying, shopping, and deciding on Christmas dinner, but rather because so many people here have no idea what the real meaning is! All they know is the “old fat man in the red suit.” So we are able to springboard from there and give the REAL meaning of Christmas. During December we were able to help get the good news to several groups, one of which had around 150 in attendance. All events combined, we had a part in about 50 people deciding to trust Christ and 100-200 people hearing the Gospel. It was a great time to remind the Chinese people that the reason for the season was the sending of a very precious Gift to the entire world. Thank you all for sending, so we could send His story to those who need Him.
Thanks for Renewal . . .
Now looking into the New Year, we are plotting our course carefully. It is always refreshing to start off with a clean slate and nothing but potential. It seems as though our churches will be growing. Biweekly we have been attending a meeting where the local Christians have asked us to teach them how to tell the story. At another biweekly service, we have been asked to teach some new Christians how to grow. At our own foreigners’ meeting, we have had many contacts recently about people looking for a place to go and grow. There are so many doors of possibility that it is hard to see which one would be the most productive. The people here are hungry for the knowledge of Him, yet at the same time, our adversary is walking about seeking whom he may devour. We need guidance from the One Who can light the way; not only us, but those we are working with need the light of truth from Him. They need teachers to teach them, but they also need ears to hear. Please renew the vigor in your prayer closet for us to guide and for those we are working with to walk by faith.
Thank you all for your contribution to our work here. Thank you especially to those of you who sacrificed at the end of last year to send some extra help to get the job done during the busy season here. It was a tremendous blessing.
My wife is now around 3½ months along in her pregnancy. She is doing amazingly better than she did with her last pregnancy. We appreciate all the prayers that have been made on her behalf. They are being answered! Thank you all!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,