We want to thank you for your generous support throughout 2009. We know that by God’s grace and through your partnership, many Chinese people have come to know our Lord Jesus for the first time this past year, and many others have been strengthened in their faith through Bible teachings and one-on-one discipleship. Thank you again for your faithful prayers, encouragement and support. In 2010 we hope, with God’s blessing and your help, to continue serving the Church in China and Chicago and we invite you to partner with us to help see this happen. May the peace and presence of the Lord fill you and your loved ones throughout the coming year.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
For many millions of Chinese, God’s Word is unexplored and uncharted territory; and a deep sense of loneliness, insecurity, unhappiness, confusion and distraughtness with life often engulfs the individual. Yet the Bible contains the “Good News” of the Kingdom of God and how it can transform lives in ways you’ve never imagined. We praise God for all 65 donated NIV Study Bibles Rolf was able to give out in spite of the tightened security. PRAY those that have received them will grow in their understanding and love of Jesus through studying His word.
His university teaching tenure in China this year left behind 56 new converts with whom Rolf is in frequent discipleship contact via e-mail and Skype phone calls. What incredible ministry opportunities to let the light of the Gospel of Christ shine to meet the needs of Chinese men and women and make an eternal difference in their lives.
In this year-end letter we would like to thank all of you who have faithfully supported us throughout the last 17 years. Without your fervent prayers, generous financial support and ministry participation it wouldn’t be possible for us to shine His light into the hearts of Chinese men and women. You play an integral role in lives being transformed, souls being submitted to God and His name being spread throughout China.
Rolf has committed to another one-year University teaching assignment in China. In order for him to be able to work overseas long term we need to raise some additional support. We would like to ask for you to think about how you can partner with us on this journey, or perhaps increase your monthly support, or give a special, over and above year-end gift allowing us to continue to share God’s love with people in China. If you feel led to support us please use the enclosed envelope. All year end gifts will be used toward next year’s budget expenses. If you can donate United frequent flyer miles that would be another great help to get us back to Asia.
If you would like more information about our ministry and support-based living please feel free to contact us by phone, letter or e-mail if you have any questions. Our desire is to walk faithfully in the gifts that God has birthed within us and to reflect His heart with our own. Our hearts passion longs to encourage and enable those that don’t know to know intimately who God is and help them to embrace confidently their identity in Him. Many students from last year are saying “Thank You” for giving to the Lord–I am now a life that is changed.
Please let us know if we can pray for you for any personal requests. We’d love the privilege of doing that.
“I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set pines in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together,” (Isaiah 41:19)
Isaiah refers to the traditional Christmas tree, the pine tree. In Isaiah, this is not an artificial tree, or even a cut tree. It is live. This pine tree is not covered with Christmas lights to decorate a living room or front lawn. This Christmas tree is planted in a desert.
In such an environment, it is impossible for the pine tree to exist, but by God’s almighty power it does. In fact, a forest of trees thrives in this desert. The cedar, acacia, myrtle, olive, cypress, and plane tree can all live in this desert because God has miraculously turned the desert into a garden paradise (Isaiah 41:18-19). The pine tree and other trees flourishing in what was formerly a desert is a sign of the wonder working power of God.
When you look at your Christmas tree, see it as more than ornamentation. See your tree as a reminder of a Christmas miracle. The Lord wants to do something miraculous in the deserts of your life. Is your prayer life dry as dust? Do you feel deserted by friends and family? In what area of your life have you not borne fruit? The desert is the place for the miracle of Christmas.
Thank you, Jesus, for suffering desertion on Calvary so as to change my deserts into paradise.
If you’re anything like me, you’re just starting to get into the spirit of Christmas. Many of you have already put up your Christmas tree, sent out your Christmas cards, started your Christmas baking and your Christmas shopping is either well under way or already done. Our family Christmas tree is up, the lights are up on the house, the snow is falling and we’re preparing for Christmas programs at church. As the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”
While all these Christmas “happenings” are common, we all know this is NOT the reason for Christmas. Christmas is a time to celebrate the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord — the Baby Jesus who came to be our payment for our sin. What a gift!
Sometimes it’s easy for us to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and lose the reason for the season.
Religious freedom experts are surprised and cautiously optimistic, but disagree on proposal.
A leading Chinese religious scholar called the country ready for “an institutional guarantee for the legality and quality of all religions,” according to a December article in China Daily, the official government English language newspaper. Religious freedom experts say they are cautiously optimistic about the public pronouncement.
In an interview, Chinese entrepreneur, researcher and religion expert Liu Peng called for a “system to be developed in such a way as to let more religious affairs be governed by law, instead of through administrative means.” All religious groups should be provided with equal and standard access for legal registration, he said.
Read more at Official Chinese Newspaper Publishes Call to Change Religion Policy