The weather is finally warming up here, and we’re appreciating a dry spell before the rainy season begins soon.
We also enjoyed a little extra time off from teaching during the Chinese New Year holiday in February and were able to use that time for more organizing and planning for our churches. Many of you know that the M___ family, who works closely with us here, is going back to America for an extended time this summer due to S___ M___’s back issues, so please be in prayer for them and for us as we prepare to “fill in the gaps” while they are gone.
We had a very welcome and enjoyable visit in March from Pastor and Mrs. R___ T___ from L___ Baptist Church in Alabama! We met them in Beijing and were able to escort them to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven—three very famous tourist attractions in China’s capital city. As we were being transported from place to place, we were blessed to be able to share the Gospel with our tour guide and our driver. It was a new concept for both of them, but it was obvious that the Holy Spirit was working because D___, the tour guide, said, “I won’t be able to sleep tonight for thinking about this!” We were also able to introduce the T___s to some authentic Chinese food, including hot pot, Beijing duck, and some local Northeastern dishes.
Bro. and Mrs. T___ also flew to N___ with us so that they could see our home and our ministry here in China. They visited our school and met many of the staff and students. On Sunday, we were blessed to have Bro. T___ speak to our morning international assembly that meets in our home each week. A very common Chinese tradition is to change into slippers or to wear shoe covers when you enter someone’s home, and both the T___s were very accommodating of the culture. Bro. T___ later said, “That was the first time that I’ve ever preached in slippers!” On Sunday evening, he was also able to speak to our Chinese assembly that gathers in the M___s’ home each week. All of our folks enjoyed meeting them and listening to his Spirit-filled messages. One of our Chinese members remarked, “His words were very powerful!”
Their visit and the fellowship were a tremendous encouragement to us. They were the first pastor and wife to visit our church work here. We would love to have them return sometime in the future!
Because of recent edicts from the Chinese government being sent out to the public, dealing with the unlawful assembly of unregistered churches, we decided to postpone our Easter services until the following Sunday, April 8, for security reasons. We met in different locations than usual and were very careful how we announced the time and place, but we felt strongly that the Lord wanted us to go ahead with our meetings.
We held a Sunrise Service at a local park at 5:30 a.m. Some of our church’s college students helped with a silent reenactment of the first Easter morning at the site of the tomb. It was very touching as we read Scripture and watched them perform a short, but moving play of that morning.
Later in the day, we had a combined service for all three of our assemblies. A local Christian businessman, who owns a large store, allowed us to use an “upper room” of his building to hold our meeting. There were about 80 people present, and several were able to hear the Gospel for the first time!
Recently I was able to give the Gospel personally to a young man who is the restaurant manager for J___ M___, one of our church members. J___ and our church have been praying for quite a while that he would be able to see his employees get saved. J___ had been planting seeds with Z___ J___ Y___ and invited me to sit down and talk with him more. After sharing the Good News with him from the Scriptures, he very willingly decided to trust Christ as his Saviour! And this past Sunday, April 22, Z___ followed the Lord in believer’s baptism!
Our church also had 2 other folks get baptized the same Sunday. One was A___ Y___, a 13-year-old girl who has been a student of our school for the past 5 years. Anna has been raised in a Christian home and has been attending church all her life, but she made a decision to trust Christ as her personal Saviour during one of our Bible classes a couple of years ago. Because most churches here frown upon children getting baptized before the age of 15 and because she attends a different house church from ours, Anna had not yet been baptized. However, she knew the Bible teaching on baptism; therefore, she and her parents came to us to ask if we would be willing to take care of this for her. Of course, we said, “Yes!”
Thirdly was A___, the future son-in-law of one of our faithful Chinese church ladies, Mrs. C___. Our church folks have been privileged to lead several of her family members to Christ. A___ was also invited to church by Mrs. C___ several weeks ago, eventually got saved, and then made the important step of obedience to get baptized on Sunday!
The Lord is definitely continuing to work in the hearts and lives of the Chinese people, and we feel extremely honored to be used by Him to help further His kingdom. Please continue to be in prayer for the dear folks of this country. The new president and his government are making strident steps to limit the spread of the Gospel, including disallowing the sale of Bibles online or in bookstores anymore. We all know, of course, Who is ultimately in control!
May God bless you all! Thank you so much for all your prayers and support on our behalf!
Missionary #6009 and Family