Monthly Archives: July 2013

July 2013 Update

July brings the end of the school year for most Chinese students. Final exams are the biggest concern for most of them at this time. Many will soon return to their hometowns to rest and to begin preparations for the coming semester studies early September. Others will graduate and begin the task of looking for jobs.

Whether taking tests or looking for work, most young people find themselves under a great deal of pressure to succeed. They want the highest score, the top grade, and the best job with the highest pay. They feel the push from their families, their teachers, and their peers to be the best.

Sometimes the pressure becomes overwhelming–the grade is not high enough, there is no job to be found–and the young people find themselves at a loss of what to do. There is a high incidence of depression and suicide during this time. As a city with more than 10 universities and hundreds of high schools, Xining has many students who greatly need to find someone with whom they can talk freely about their struggles.

There are also the students fortunate to find a job but a job far away from home.  Rolf heard from such a student in this situation that accepted a job in a steamship company.  She is confused and sad and is struggling being alone in this new city that she finds herself.

PRAY for believers in the city and on the campuses to be sensitive and aware of those around them, and to have open hearts to those crying out for help. PRAY for Rolf to have extended times of conversation with students about the hope that comes from knowing our loving Savior. ASK God to do a work in the hearts of young people as they seek out what is really important in life and that which will satisfy them completely.

Rolf has “passed” all his medical tests – although he is still experiencing some discomfort in his mid-section, the tests are not showing any reason for it. Praise God nothing serious was found! And his hand – thank you for your prayers, he has just about all the feeling back in his fingers. It is just a matter of time for the rest to return.

Now it is time to start thinking about reservations to return sometime around the first of September to China and his students. This last month will go by very quickly. Please PRAY for a sweet time with friends, family and especially between the two of us before we have to say good bye again.

We can never say enough how much we appreciate you, your prayers and support. We couldn’t do any of this without you.  THANK YOU!

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people.” Col.1:3,4

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BETRAYED The Clergy Killer’s DNABETRAYED: The Clergy Killer’s DNA is an extraordinary Christian Film that happens to be a documentary.

It is a “spiritual sickness” that affects over 50% of all congregations, and every month it is “responsible” for over 1,500 clergy leaving “active” ministry worldwide.

Medical experts, leading theologians, sociologists, psychologists, psychiatrists and church historians expose what is called the “Clergy Killer Phenomenon.”

The reality of “the clergy killer phenomenon” is that evil has found a great vulnerability in organized religion.

Within a congregation, clergy killers are usually few in number. Yet, because they are willing to violate all the traditional beliefs and practices of spiritual faith and mission, the intimidation they inflict on today’s clergy is uncompromising and unlike anything people might experience in a secular workplace.

Among the many professionals interviewed is Dr. G. Lloyd Rediger, who coined the “clergy killer” phrase and is the world’s premier authority on this growing syndrome. Some people, upon hearing the term for the first time, think it is too harsh and extreme and that no one deserves being called a clergy killer.

However, once people hear firsthand accounts of the devastation wreaked upon ordained men and women and their families and congregations, they understand comments from people like Dr. James Forbes, Senior Pastor Emeritus of Riverside Church in New York City, who say that the term “clergy killer” is not strong enough!

Throughout this documentary, it becomes apparent that denominational officials, seminaries and lay leaders have either been unequipped to rescue attacked pastors or they have chosen to ignore the problem, hoping that it will just go away.

The film ends with professionals teaching that there are ways to address the clergy killer phenomenon, but it is a problem that needs to be addressed now.

BETRAYED the film confirms that there is a pandemic stretching around the globe at an alarming rate, one of which most people are unaware even exists.

BETRAYED represents an art of cinematography that collects interviews with today’s leading theologians, ministers and preachers in breathtaking sequences explaining the Clergy Killer phenomenon.

BETRAYED a perfect documentary that was shot and lit in churches around the world, and the film shows the struggles it took to get that perfect look.

BETRAYED it is a Christian cinematic treasure. A great documentary that concentrates on the real unsung heroes of our Christian Faith!

BETRAYED is the equivalent of our walk with Christ in troubling times facing the church today. A special feature on the DVD is a prayer by Dr. James Forbes that was shot in the Riverside Church in New York.

BETRAYED is the best protection you can buy for employment security and to ensure that your church continues to grow in the faith and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

If you have not been confronted with a “Clergy Killer” in your congregation, you need to watch this film. If you have been confronted with a “Clergy Killer” you need to watch this film.

FILM: BETRAYED: The Clergy Killer’s DNA
Run Time: 93 minutes
4 1/2 Stars

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China’s New Family

China's New Family 02“To be thirty and unmarried is unlawful!” reads this past weekend’s hottest hash tag on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.

The hitherto unhitched, wondering about the accuracy of this pronouncement, may breathe a sigh of relief: “being single after your twenties is not a crime in China—at least not yet.”

Instead, the hash tag comes from a suggestion made by a white-haired grandfather who, during a street-side interview, had been bemoaning something that actually is a new Chinese law, one that mandates family members to “frequently visit or send greetings to elderly persons.” “Che dan!” (“It’s bullshit!”) the elderly man spat, before laying out his idea of who the real criminals are: “Those [unwed] people are the ones who should be punished!”

China's New Family 01

What deserves the letter of the law in a country as vast and protean as China? In recent years, Chinese intellectuals, along with a rising tide of educated professionals, have pressed the Communist Party for the rule of law to replace the rule of apparatchik whims.

Xi Jinping, the new President, and his administration have promised greater deference to constitutionalism, though the exact meaning of that has been as gauzy as the China Dream Xi likes to talk about.

As the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution have made evident, the Communist regime is spectacularly fallible, capable of making the sort of errors for which generations of Chinese continue to pay.

And it also has a habit of micromanaging the most private aspects of its citizens’ lives, such as their permitted place of residence, their employment, and the number of children they may have.

China's New Family 05

Besides the horrific phenomenon of female infanticide, the one-child policy may have had serious psychological repercussions for the only children it produced—including the tendency to be less trusting and conscientious, according to one prominent study—which have only recently begun to come to light.

That these “little emperors” might be self-centered and negligent when it comes to caring for their former guardians might not be surprising to the parents who once indulged the most junior member of their regulated nuclear family.

Whether it’s the psychological effects, or simply that it has created a generation below replacement population, the one-child policy is likely not the only contributor to the perceived problem of elder neglect in China.

There is also the fierce sense of social competition created by the reforms of Deng Xiaoping, which encouraged people to pursue opportunities even when they might mean moving whole provinces—hundreds of miles—away from their families; the growing logic of individualism, sparked by capitalist reforms; and the swelling population of elderly for whom there exists no social safety net.

China's New Family 03

The state, which Mao once deemed guardian to the people, created the problem; now, like the deadbeat parent who faults the deadbeat child without ever thinking of the behavior she had modeled, it is swooping in to meddle and mete out punishment once again.

China's New Family 04

The so-called “elderly rights law” is not the first piece of Chinese legislation whose transparent desperation and patent absurdity have provoked public outcry. Nor will it be the last, at least not so long as the government insists upon decrees that assign to individuals the blame for what political institutions have done, and the responsibility for fixing it as well.

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