Thank you so much for your prayers and generous support in 2012. What a blessing you have been to us. We are so grateful for your partnership as we serve Jesus among the many neglected people in China and the needy at home.
As we reflect on all that God has done in and through the ministry we are constantly reminded of His goodness. Our grandchildren are growing into teens and young adults! Pray that God will give them wisdom and protection as they enter college years and workplace activities. We lost some dear and close friends this year and struggled with Sherri’s brother’s, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma health issues. It was a bittersweet time and we’re grateful for answered prayers and the support of friends and family.
Rolf had many wonderful ministry opportunities in China with college students he met near the University, teachers and faculty members, business people and even an elderly cook he befriended in his favorite “noodle” restaurant. Between heavy teaching loads he kept busy with discipleship opportunities and continued to follow up mentoring past and new converts, holding Bible discussion meetings and doing local prayer walks. At the home front Sherri worked tirelessly for the Women’s ministry at our church in addition to doing weekly childcare and being a busy “Grandma”.
Many of you have asked what the life situation is today in this rapidly developing country. China has undergone significant changes over the last few years. Social behavior is getting worse, devotion to money is widespread, social values are distorted, individuals give up their moral bottom line and the media is no longer guided by justice and conscience. “No money, no use” has become a common saying among young people and the happiness index fails to keep pace with the economic policies, growing corruption and censorship within the government.
China today is a society where privilege, wealth, success and power are worshiped. These “faiths” attract devoted followers, men and women, old and young, one after another. The wealthy have an affluent life style whereas the poor and the lowly have no dignity and the empty-handed enjoy no rights. Ignorant, morally degenerated “successful people” can be seen everywhere working exclusively for profits with a poor spiritual life and lack of honesty which has opened up one of the world’s largest chasms between rich and poor.
Life seems to be becoming harder than ever in this wealth-dominated society of power and unreasonable social systems and values. Censorship and absolute control is carried out everywhere and reported to invisible higher levels who have the final say. Thousands of years of political traditions and customs are deeply rooted in Chinese society preventing many from lower social classes to overcome their limitations and escape such pressures. In a society where worship of wealth, materialistic desires and power prevails, many are very comfortable in their skin and not much concerned with “soul” issues or “spiritual values”, both which are deemed useless.
For these reasons alone we must continue to reach out with the love and forgiveness of Christ in breaking down aforementioned “ghost” illusions. We would appreciate your prayers that the Lord would give us desperately needed wisdom and clarity in what we say in meetings and relationship building efforts with those we share the “Good News” with.
On the financial side our support budget hasn’t yet been met and we ask for your continued support for our ministry work as we are convinced that when people hear about lives being changed they want to do more, not less. Some of you may not be able to make a commitment, while others may be able to give more. We would greatly appreciate whatever you are able to give and we trust God to provide for all the resources in this journey.
We are looking forward with anticipation, excitement and joy what God’s plans are for the coming year as we continue to meet people – desperate people who are seemingly without hope – realizing that all God wants from us is our willingness to reach out on His behalf.
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.” II Corinthians 4:18
This Christmas holiday, from our hearts to yours we wish you the “Love, Joy and Peace” that only “Jesus” can bring.