Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!
新年快乐!

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Chinese New Year 2016 will take place from February 8 to 22 and marks the beginning of the “Monkey” Lunar New Year, the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar. It’s a time for “friends and family” to get together and wish each other good “health and prosperity” as the year begins.

In China, offices shut down, schools close and tens of millions of migrant workers head to their hometowns for two weeks, leading to what’s probably the world’s worst “road and railroad” congestion nightmare ever.

“Chinese New Year is like Christmas and Thanksgiving all rolled up into one holiday.” Traditionally, Chinese families will stay up until “midnight” on the eve of the new year to wish each other a “Happy New Year.” And then “festivities” go on for the next 15 days.

Heads up, “Monkeys.” It’s your year and that’s not exactly a “good” thing, according to some “predictions” on luck. Be cautious about “financial” investments and don’t be “flippant” toward your love life this year. People born in the Year of the Monkey are characterized as “mischievous, playful, clever and curious.” They’re “social and adventurous, and sometimes a bit eccentric.” We also hear that babies born this year may be “cute” but possibly “condescending.”

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The Chinese Zodiac “cycles” through 12 animals, so the “Year of the Monkey” arrives, yep, you guessed it, “every” 12 years.

As we welcome the “Year of the Monkey” we would like to express our appreciation for your “prayers, partnership and support” and offer our warmest “wishes” for the year ahead.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Cor 5:17 NIV)

As you pray for China and for us please remember:

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Pray for Pastor Gu Yuese (Joseph) and his wife Zhou Lian Mei, a prominent leader in China’s officially recognized church whose congregation in Hangzhou had been the largest Chinese church in the world. Pastor Gu was “removed” from the pulpit and “detained” last month. It is widely believed that his detention is in “retaliation” for Pastor Gu’s speaking out against the removal of “crosses” from hundreds of church buildings in his province.

Amidst increased “social” tightening in China, join Chinese believers in praying for the leaders of their nation, that they would see the Gospel not as a “threat but as a blessing” to China.

Pray for the family of Xu Guoyong, a Christian publisher from China who was tragically killed in an “accident” on the second evening of the conference “The Intellectual and Ethical Foundations of the Flourishing Society,” a seminar for Chinese pastors, academics and business people hosted by the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, MI.

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