“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Every November, after Thanksgiving but before the commotion of Christmas and New Year activities, we take time aside to pray and seek the Lord, to ask Him to speak to us about the direction of International Ambassadors for Christ for the next year. As we prayed and asked the Lord Jesus to reveal His direction we believe He wants us to persevere, and as the above verse says, “to let nothing move you.” Perseverance is a key to bearing fruit for the kingdom of God.
The Bible reminds us: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9. Serving the Lord often is adventurous, but as we look back over the years we see how God brought much growth in our work as we kept on doing the challenging everyday tasks He called us to do.
Many of those we serve with in the neglected mission fields of China have also been called to stand and persevere in 2016. We write these words from the heart of Chinese people we have been meeting with, the various project leaders we have been teaching and praying with, and the exciting new strategies in the coming year to advance the gospel even more through the local Church. Because of your sacrificial giving, we were able to provide long-term assistance to local servants of God who were called to faithfully persevere as they continue carrying the light of the gospel into the hearts of unbelievers.
Many people there are under great pressure in various ways. Some struggling with converting from one religion to another. Others are feeling pressure from Islamic fundamentalism, as growing numbers of young Muslims are attracted to the warped ideologies of the ISIS death cult. Many Chinese Christians struggle to overcome the temptations and trappings of rampant materialism and consumerism, while retaining their passion for the Word of God.
We try to operate with as few overhead expenses as possible, so that resources get to the hands of the front line workers of God’s kingdom—the many Chinese Christians we are honored to assist and serve. We are thankful for each person who prayed for and supported our work last year. Without your vital partnership none of these things would be possible. Like many ministries, the “provisions” are low and need to be replenished and we are trusting God will meet all our needs.
It has been a great privilege to serve the Lord in China for another year, and we are blessed to be a link in a chain that has resulted in many people coming to know Him. As we end 2016, we want to thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support throughout the year. We pray the risen Jesus Christ will truly be part of the Christmas Season for you and your family. Next year we hope, by God’s grace, to continue serving the people in China and we not only invite you but need you to partner with us to see this happen. God bless you abundantly!