Easter was an exciting time! We kicked off the celebration by having a sunrise service at a local park. It was a beautiful morning for our church members to gather for a time of remembering and refocusing on our Saviour. That day many of our college friends were working on giving the Gospel to fellow students during a special day at their university. It was a great encouragement to meet early before the day got busy.
That afternoon we had a combined morning and evening service. The purpose was to give everyone an opportunity to bring someone to hear the Gospel. Wow, did they take advantage of that opportunity! We had around 100 people in attendance! Many of our people were able to participate in the service. There were singers, nursery workers, ushers, and just good old-fashioned hard workers. The most exciting thing was seeing all our people get involved and bring visitors. There were 2 saved and 2 baptized at this meeting.
The Saturday following Easter, we hosted an Easter party for some of our children’s friends and the children of those who attend our church. Often it gets so busy around the meetings that we have little time to work with the children. We wanted to make sure that they also had an opportunity to clearly hear the Gospel and have a chance to trust. W__, one of our newest church members, is very eager to learn and grow. I felt this would be a good opportunity for him to give the Gospel. When I approached him with the idea, he was very happy. I was unsure if he understood that this was for children. I wanted to be sure he dealt with them the right way. He answered me by telling me he was a Sunday school teacher at the church he attended in his previous home. He showed me pictures; and, to my surprise, he had been a teacher of the very same age group that was coming to the party! W__ and I went over the method we usually use to give the Gospel. He prepared for several days, and on Saturday he did a marvelous job keeping the children’s attention and answering their questions while giving them a clear plan of salvation. Five young people decided to trust that day! One of those young people is my son’s friend. My son became burdened for this boy about a year ago. He put in a prayer request to our church for his friend to believe and for him to have the boldness to give the Gospel to his friend. Praise the Lord! God answers prayer! His friend, along with 4 others, readily shook my hand in agreement that they had decided to trust Jesus to save them. Also, on the Friday after Easter, Bro. W_____s and J__ met with one of J__’s workers who had asked him why he was so happy all the time. J__ and Bro. W_____s were excited to tell this young lady about the Source of all happiness. She trusted and was baptized that Sunday. So in all, there were 8 saved and 3 baptized the week of Easter. What a blessing!
J__ and T__, the young missionary couple that was with us last February, have returned to the work in Burma. Recently they informed us that T__ is pregnant. They also said there is some concern for the safety of the baby. The part of Burma they are working in is very poor. There are not many modern conveniences or even medicines that are readily available. Even the normal prenatal vitamins are not on hand there. They asked us to pray for them. I would like to ask all of you to hold up this situation in prayer also. They are a great, God-fearing couple. I am sure they will raise their children for the glory of the Creator.
Now we are looking toward the summer months and some exciting prospects. There is a great need here for biblical teaching on marriage and child rearing. Interestingly enough, material isn’t the problem. We seem to have come across several great resources of child-rearing information already in Chinese. The problem comes when trying to apply the wisdom from the Bible. The truths of child rearing go against family traditions and cultural habits. Often the parents are unsure as they navigate these forgotten ways of God that were commonly practiced just a generation or two ago. As they make steps toward truth, they are intensely questioned by family and friends. This questioning brings doubt and some apprehension to continue. This summer we will be trying to encourage and work with some of the families that are struggling in this area. Also, we will be working to help the church as a whole to continue on. Please pray for us in this endeavor.
As always, thank you for your prayers and support. Our church here is thriving, and we need wisdom and Holy Spirit guidance to follow where He leads. Thank you for all you do.