The summer has just flown by faster than I could have predicted. We’ve had some great meetings, and we once again are overwhelmed by the generosity of God through His people. Thank you to the many churches who have hosted us recently and in the past. Thank you to our supporting churches and prayer partners for your continued faithfulness to us. We’ve seen many answers to prayer, and it’s a comfort to know that we are not working alone in the calling of God.
One major answer to prayer for our family is the continued health of our newest child, due this October. The due date is almost upon us. In our next prayer letter, we will be proudly displaying pictures of our beautiful baby girl B___. Feel free to look forward to those. Please continue to pray for R___, as her discomfort has increased in the last trimester. We are also praying for our son W___ to adjust well to another little person in the house, though we have no doubt that he will make a great brother.
We are also praying that God will bless our schedule, since R___ will be unable to travel with me for a while. We are asking for God’s help in wisdom, safety, and R___’s recovery so she can join me again as soon as possible.
Developments in China
A frustrating aspect of our field is the need for flexibility. We have hesitated, since starting deputation, to say definitively our plan for entering China. I knew that the situation could escalate before we were finished raising our support, and we would have to change our plans with each new escalation. We’ve waited to make any decisions until we are higher up in our support level for that reason. Recently, things have worsened for visa opportunities in the country, as the government has cracked down even further. They are no longer allowing foreign teachers in China at all. This includes those who teach for online schools. Some of you who teach English online may have already felt the effects of the new policy. We had held the option of getting a China-accredited degree in reserve for the eventuality that I would need to become a teacher again to enter the country. That is no longer an option.
Business in China is still an avenue to enter the country, whether starting a business of our own or partnering with a Christian businessman in China. The government has extended the China-accredited-degree requirement to include all work visas, not just that of teachers, like it was for some time. What this means for our family is that going directly into China is not an option for us now. We had already considered as a possibility going to work with a veteran missionary once we had raised our support. Now, we will have to go this route and start somewhere transitionary while we prepare to enter China. Once we have raised support, we will go to work with a veteran missionary reaching Chinese people. From there, I will take classes online to earn a master’s degree from a college on the China-approved list, all while R___ and I are studying Mandarin and winning Chinese souls to Christ. We don’t know yet whether we will start in Taiwan, Cambodia, the Philippines, or somewhere else God has in mind, but a degree is now necessary if we want to enter the country at all. I would rather earn that degree working on the field than here in the States.
It is disappointing to know that we must go somewhere transitionary and that it will not be possible to go straight to China once we have finished deputation, but we also see this as an answer to our prayer for God to reveal His will for us. It may not have been the answer we wanted; but one of the questions we have had about our next step has been removed, and we have a better picture of what God is leading us to do.
Please pray for God’s leading to be clear as we pray about the right missionary for us to work with initially. Once we are further along in raising our support, some determinations will have to made, but for now, please pray with us that the perfect will of God will be revealed and that we will be submitted and prepared to follow wherever He leads. It can be scary when there are a lot of unanswered questions about what He has in store, but God has most definitely earned our trust. As Isaiah 25:1 says, “O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”
Here for Him,