January 2002 Update

When Sherri and I gave our lives over to God back in 1992 I wrote a prayer request in my diary asking the Lord to show us His clear calling for our lives (Jeremiah 33:3), to use us wherever He needed the spiritual gifts He gave us (Romans 12:6-8), and to send us in accordance to scriptures: “Go and make disciples of all Nations” (Matthew 28:19-20). Ten years after that diary entry and persistent prayers of you and other ministry partners, God has opened the door for a ground floor ministry opportunity in China.

With 5,000 years of history, its varied geography and exotic culture, China today offers an incredible opportunity to bring “JESUS” to the largest unreached population in the world. This area once had several thousand Christian missionaries serving there, until a change in government in 1949 forced them to leave. Through a period of isolation from the outside world, and what was probably the most widespread and harshest persecution the church has ever experienced, God not only protected His children but also enabled them to flourish. During the last 50 years, the number of believers grew from less than 2 million to an estimated 75 to 100 million.

Today, the country remains restrictive to the gospel, but is currently experiencing a period of tolerance for registered church activities. Believers are working diligently to share the gospel , but there are still hundreds of millions of people in China who need to hear the Good News.

In April we are going on a 4 week short-term exploratory mission trip to China, to a city of 14 million people and full of prospects for the future. There we will investigate a ground floor opportunity to establish an outreach ministry to the people who work and live in that city (Matthew 4:19-20).

Sherri and I have a great opportunity to accelerate the spread of the gospel amongst the people in China. Touching the lives of community leaders will help open the doors for more widespread sowing of the gospel as well as laying a foundation for long-term ministry (2 Timothy 2:23-26). As we reach the local leadership for Christ they have direct influence over the blue collar/factory workers, of which there are 250 million ( the equivalent to the US population ).

Our main focus will be specifically on the spiritual growth needs of the community and to prepare them to be effective witnesses for Christ in their workplaces and home communities. We could never think of such a challenge if we didn’t know that you were praying for us. We desperately need your continued prayers. There are human-rights issues for both of us, visa and travel safety concerns, locking up the home place and going overseas and the funds that we will need to see God supply before April.

We thank God daily for you who have ministered to us over the years so that we could partner together in great ventures of faith. You share in what God has done because we count you as essential players in this grand plan God has for His Kingdom.

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