Travel restrictions haven’t kept us from engaging in the work God is doing in China! Keeping in touch with our team we had to get creative at finding ways to fellowship through virtual meetings using digital media strategies. Our team has been capitalizing to engage the lost through information shared over social media. These strategies include texts, video calls, zoom and chat connections, all accessible over computers and smart phones.
The tools were there before the pandemic, but now openness to function and communicate digitally has increased because people were shut in. “We have to engage our digital natives” our team leader explained. “It’s something that is not going away, and we want to ride that wave. We have to be willing to contextualize ourselves in the way we reach our people with the good news.”
Team members then transition those digital contacts to in-person relationships. As exciting and effective as a digital strategy is, nothing can replace face-to-face relationships and gospel conversations. To that end, this strategy is a natural launching pad to real-life relationships not dependent on a media screen.
Starting in October, our team will begin opening a “virtual prayer room” on the third Tuesday of each month. A typical virtual event includes time for those gathered to hear from local believers and pray together. The flexibility of virtual events also makes it possible for team members to connect with and pray for each other which is an effective and important part of the local ministry.
One example of the mission team’s “digital strategy” was a social media page designed to start spiritual conversations that lead to gospel presentations. A young adult responded to the message that asked, “Who is Jesus?” A team member met with him first on Zoom to talk, and then met with him in person. They shared some tea and talked about who Jesus is and why His life is so important to humanity. As this young men pondered the gospel, he surrendered his life to Christ and has become a faithful local church member.
One of our leaders ask we pray for Joy who recently decided to follow Jesus. Pray that she will continue to grow in her walk with Christ, and that she will be bold to share her new faith with others in her community. Please pray also for our leaders as they take these new bold steps to reach more lives for Christ. “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” (Acts 4:29)
In 2020, 1.4 billion people live in China, that’s 56% of the global population. By 2050, it is estimated more than two billion people will be added to that number. The cruel reality is that 86,765 city dwellers die every day without a relationship with Christ. These city dwellers include many unbelievers who have traveled to cities in search of jobs to support their families. Their rural home provinces are often resistant to Christianity, and many have never have heard of Jesus. Ultimately, we want to lead people to faith, share the gospel with them and disciple them so that they can bring the gospel back to their hometowns and to their villages.
Our team goal is to engage every people group, every community and every segment of the city, including business professionals, factory workers, students, migrants and slum dwellers. Collaborating with the local churches and believers is our core component of reaching the lost. One of the Scriptures that is really meaningful to us is 2 Timothy 2:2“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” We want people to be discipled who will disciple others who are going to disciple others. That’s the key to getting the gospel spread throughout the city, through the country and throughout the world and as Jesus has commanded us in Matthew 18:19-20“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Right now it is hard living in this constant state of limbo, not knowing when things might change in China. We have been blessed to have a wonderful place to live and treasure the extra time we have been able to spend with each other, with friends of the ministry and family. But Rolf longs to “go back to China” and be the salt and light in the midst of those that walk in darkness. But that is clearly not the Lord’s will for us right now. We are grateful that the uncertainty and waiting that God’s promises and His character have not changed. As we are going through this transition because of the pandemic and changing US-China relations we are grateful our team continues to work diligently.
On a disturbing note our team has reported that people on the streets are being arrested for no reason at all! Once they are taken into custody, their cell phones are confiscated until they surrender their passwords so that the police can access their private information. This, of course, means more arrests, and more interrogations. The gospel is needed more than ever. In fact, our team leader has started an outreach focused on engaging Chinese people who have been arrested and mistreated by the police.
If you would like to help out financially, you can donate online. Thank you for your love, your prayers, and your support.
Stay safe, stay healthy, be blessed and stay in touch. We love hearing from you.
As COVID restrictions ease up, our team is planning a return to evangelistic events and outreaches during the summer to continue building one-on-one relationships and minister to people in China. A new twelve week “Faith or Fiction” class has been scheduled to begin August with 294 participants who already have signed up.
Our team couple who is leading the “New Hope trauma healing” ministry, not only give earthly hope by helping the hurting overcome trauma, but also provides eternal hope through stories from the Bible. During a meeting a woman who originally planned for an abortion decided to keep her baby after hearing the creation story. This same Bible story also helped a young man, who was feeling unloved and contemplating suicide, to realize that God had a purpose for his life. Life change is happening and relationships are being restored. Pray that as they meet, nonbelievers will be healed from trauma and come to salvation. Over fifty people have been trained so far and many are now leading groups of their own. Pray specifically for those who will receive this training and for the future training of women as well.
Chinese people desperately need to know Jesus who was sent to “the lost sheep” (Matthew 15:24). Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for the sheep (John 10:11). Jesus did everything He could to reach even just one lost sheep. That’s why ministering to people one-on-one must be the heart of everything we do. We are praising God that even during lockdowns, our team actually saw a 35 percent increase in one-on-one meetings with seekers via Zoom, Skype, WeChat and other social connections.
“If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered away? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.” (Matthew 18:12)
By God’s grace, this summer our team will reach thousands of people with the gospel—one at a time! God is constantly providing our team with divine appointments.
May the Lord Jesus bless you as together we serve the Church in China.
China’s Christians, at 100 million strong and constituting that country’s largest religious minority, are facing a new government policy of severe religious repression and persecution. The modicum of toleration that, for two generations, allowed the development of a robust, evangelizing Chinese church no longer exists. In the past three years, the government has launched a systematic campaign to cut China’s Christian demographic drastically and control whatever survives within a little “birdcage,” as Hong Kong’s Cardinal Joseph Zen describes the push by the Chinese Communist Party for ideological conformity.Tactics, aimed principally at church leadership but including ordinary Christians, range from prison to social marginalization, closures of churches, censorship of Christian teaching, secret detention in secret “black jails” for brainwashing and Maoist “struggle sessions,” torture, and likely execution by means of organ excision.
After President Xi Jinping’s directive to “Sinicize” religion, in 2018 the state issued regulations requiring houses of worship to uphold CCP dictates. These include barring minors from churches and from any exposure to religion. Bibles became harder to find and began being censored on the Internet and in app stores. On May 1, 2021, 52 new administrative rules took effect, specifying that religious leaders must actively support CCP practices, leadership, and core values, even in sermons.
Bishop Vincent Zhan Silu, whose excommunication Pope Francis lifted as a precondition for the Vatican’s 2018 agreement with Beijing, seems to exemplify China’s new model of a Christian leader. Upon his appointment to head the Mindong diocese, he promptly led 33 diocesan priests to a “formation course” at the Central Institute of Socialism with the CCP’s local United Front, declaring with palpable fervor, “To carry out the sinicization of religion with determination, we will continue to follow a path that conforms to socialist society.”
The May rules provide for high-tech enforcement: Active Christians will be subject to state surveillance through “strict gate keeping, verification of identity, and registration.” A database will record church personnel by name and assess individuals’ CCP compliance by listing their “rewards” and “punishments.” Those whose balance sheet shows too many of the latter will be left without a ministry and basic rights. For example, Pastor Ezra Jin and his daughter have been barred from boarding international flights, and his large Zion Church in Beijing lost its lease after he rejected facial-recognition cameras in the church sanctuary.
For rejecting affiliation with the state-run Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, Bishop Vincent Guo of Mindong was forced to resign last year after the heat, water, and electricity in his apartment were turned off. These tactics model how China’s social-credit system will keep churches in line. Eventually, every Christian, indeed every Chinese, is to have a personal social-credit score, to quietly achieve behavior control through ratcheting the denial of state-regulated goods and services.
The CCP has always put pressure on church leadership to conform, but now the pressure is widespread and intensifying. A Catholic priest in China commented to AsiaNews that the policy is to treat religions “as state institutions” and religious workers as “civil servants.” This is especially ominous as China, a communist police state anxious for religion to wither away, conflates Christianity with Western democracy, its perceived political, economic, and military arch-competitor. A Chinese political cartoon after the recent G-7 meeting showed various animals symbolic of the member states and seated around a table, mimicking Leonardo’s Last Supper, with the U.S. depicted as a bald eagle in Jesus’s chair, under a picture of an empty cross.
Since 2018, thousands of churches, some registered and others underground, have been shut. Some of the most publicized cases involved the large churches of the booming Protestant underground. The state’s dramatic detonation by dynamite of the Golden Lampstand mega church in Shanxi Province in early 2018, following the destruction of a village Catholic church in neighboring Shaanxi, seemed the opening salvo. Later that year, Zion Church and Sichuan’s Early Rain Covenant Church were shut. Pastor Samuel Lamb’s Rongguili Church in Guangzhou, which he opened in 1979 after spending 22 years in prison, and which had become a virtual pilgrimage stop for foreign Christians, was raided and shut in December 2018.
Church closures and desecrations continue. The website Bitter Winter reports that at least 400 Protestant churches, both underground and state-overseen Three-Self Patriotic, in Jiangxi’s Shangrao city were demolished, closed, or repurposed in 2020. In April 2020, 48 Three-Self churches were closed in Yugan county, Jiangxi. A local government official was cited saying that all churches built after 2014, even those holding required permits, were ordered closed there. This spring, according to Bitter Winter, authorities in Jilin and Zhejiang Provinces banned Good News Mission churches, a ministry serving Korean Chinese. Crosses and holy pictures are being continuously removed from Patriotic churches, with some jurisdictions substituting Xi’s picture, and displays of the Ten Commandments being replaced with Xi’s sayings.
Christian leaders refusing to comply with CCP directives are put under various forms of confinement, including prison, house arrest, and secret detention centers called “black jails.” Recent examples of the last include the May 21 detention of Good News Mission leaders and 18 priests and seminarians associated with an underground Catholic seminary in Hebei’s Xinxiang diocese. Some disappear in detention, such as Bishop James Su Zhimin of Baoding, Hebei, detained in the mid 1990s, and famous defense attorney Gao Zhisheng, detained in Yulin, Shaanxi Province, in 2017. Most Christians in extrajudicial detention go undocumented, and all are deprived of basic due process.
This is not the mass detention in concentration camps suffered by Uyghur Muslims, but hundreds or thousands of underground Christian leaders and some congregants have been detained since 2018, some repeatedly. They are held for weeks, months, or even decades in police offices, hotels, and mobile units. They are brainwashed in Communist Party teachings, pressured to register with the Patriotic churches, and punished, typically by forms of “white” torture — including beatings, threats, drugs, and prolonged sleep deprivation — that leave no scars. Uncertainty about the confinement’s duration becomes itself a torment.
On April 1, Radio Free Asia reported on a Sichuanese Christian who said he had been held in a CCP run black jail for about eight or nine months after a raid on his house church in 2018. He told of being locked with other Christians in a basement with “no windows, no ventilation, and no time allowed outside,” with no limit on the brainwashing process, and long solitary confinement for those who refused to “admit their mistakes.” A lawyer, Zhang, was also quoted, saying that in 2013 he spoke with Catholic priests in Hebei Province who learned of the jails after priests who had been in detention for six years were finally released.
An extraordinary statement from the United Nations on June 14 gives insight into the terrible fate of some detainees: Twelve leading U.N. human-rights experts cited credible reports that China harvests body organs from detained Christians, as a punishment targeting specific ethnic, linguistic, or religious minorities. According to these reports, after ultrasound checks, surgeons excise detained believers’ hearts, kidneys, livers, and corneas. Reports that Falun Gong practitioners have been surgically executed for China’s live-organ-transplant business have circulated for 15 years, but this is significant in citing Christian victims, indicating that the practice is more widespread than previously thought.
In an extensive earlier study, former Canadian cabinet minister David Kilgour and experts David Matas and Ethan Gutmann unequivocally concluded that “the source for most of the massive volume of organs for transplants is the killing of innocents: Uyghurs, Tibetans, House Christians and primarily, practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises Falun Gong.” China’s energetic cover-up — among other things, PRC officials helped to establish the anti-organ-trafficking task force of the World Health Organization — causes such reports to be dismissed as “controversial,” as Matthew Robertson of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation documented last year. The exhibit “Real Bodies”, featuring vivisected Chinese cadavers, is now showing in Las Vegas even though it was canceled in Switzerland in 2018 after Action by Christians against Torture demonstrated that the remains were likely those of extra judicially executed Falun Gong detainees.
Chen Guangcheng, the renowned rights advocate, who is blind, suffered nearly eight years in prison and black jails, and under house arrest, after opposing China’s one-child policy. Following a dramatic escape in 2012, he obtained U.S. asylum. In a recent conversation with me, he emphasized that abuses surrounding extrajudicial detention are CCP policies. The pressures under house arrest, he said, resembled Cultural Revolution struggle sessions, with agents relentlessly interrogating, torturing, and humiliating the prisoner to break his resistance.
At least five Catholic bishops remain detained or have been confined or pushed from their posts since the 2018 Sino–Vatican agreement. That’s as many as the new appointments under a deal meant to fill some 40 vacant Episcopal seats. In addition to the cases of Bishops Su and Guo, Bishop Joseph Zhang Weizhu of the Xinxiang diocese in Henan Province was detained on May 21 for “reeducation.” Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Zhejiang, is effectively under house arrest, and the faithful who worshiped with him this spring in a private house chapel were fined $25,000. For refusing to ban minors from church, Bishop Jia Zhiguo of Hebei is under house arrest and tight surveillance. Since the coronavirus lockdown ended, he has been barred from reopening diocesan churches.
The few Christians given the pretense of a trial are mostly names known in the West: Pastor Wang Yi, for example, sentenced to nine years in 2019; Pastor John Cao, an American resident, sentenced to seven years in 2017; and Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai, who may get life for defending freedom. In January 2021, Pastor Li Juncai of the Yuan Yang County House Church in Henan was sentenced to five and a half years for defiance, including refusing to replace the church’s sign proclaiming “Love God and love others” with the message “Love the country and love religion.”
Beijing’s Vatican agreement and its enormous printing contracts with American Bible publishers are subterfuge, intended to buy Western silence while it wages genocide against Uyghur Muslims and undermines other religious minorities. Vatican officials who continue singing the praises of China’s CCP regime, and the Bible publishers who openly celebrate “Christian sinicization” and the forthcoming CCP version of the Chinese Bible, are, knowingly or not, aiding the cover-up.
Christians, along with other religious-minority communities, are now being severely repressed by President Xi and a reinvigorated CCP. The new religious-affairs rules ensure that the crisis will deepen. China’s Christians need much greater Western help.
Happy summer and PRAISESfor another successful 12 weeks of “Faith or Fiction” classes! There were 324 that participated – that’s 324 lives that have been changed and transformed into the image of Christ!
In this season of many closed doors, the Lord has taught us to wait and pray. Despite the pain, difficulties, and disappointments of these last months, God has been and still is at work in China bringing healing, restoring relationships, transforming lives, and growing ministry partnerships for His kingdom and His glory.
As we look back, we could have easily been discouraged that we were not able to do ministry in person as we had imagined with our Chinese ministry team (they have named themselves In His Image). Now we see how the Lord has been preparing the way and orchestrating His purposes all along. We’d like to introduce you to this hard working, committed team of Chinese leaders:
Jennifer & Paul – Team Leaders, Business Focus
Ruth & Oscar – Deaf/Blind Focus
Martha & Jason – Church/Underground Focus
Anna & Waylon – Education/Teaching Focus
Marie & Jason – Medical/Health Focus
Rose & Craig – Neighborhood Focus
Lisa & Eric – Business Focus
Thanks to the Lord, our team has been able to take the Gospel to thousands who have never heard it before and we know how important it is to have people upholding those efforts in prayer. We hope when you receive our newsletters that you don’t just view it as information, but that you might be actively involved with seeing God’s kingdom expand in China through your prayers and support participation as the Lord leads “The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history.” Quote from Andrew Murray
“Finally, dear brothers, as I come to the end of this letter, I ask you to pray for (our team)us. Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and triumph wherever it goes, winning converts everywhere as it did when it came to you.” (2 Thessalonians 3:1)
Thank you so much for all your prayers, encouragement and support! Please let us know how we can be praying for you.
It all began with a physically blind women. Sharing Braille material via email communication she was searching for the truth. As she studied the second lesson she came to realize that she was also spiritually blind. When asked if she ever received the Lord Jesus as her Savior, she answered yes on February 15, 2021. Her spiritual blindness was lifted. In a phone conversation with her sighted sister she shared her testimony how Jesus had forgiven her of her sins. Together they went to church and she too accepted Jesus as her savior. Two sisters, one blind and one sighted were for over 60 years spiritually blind, but now both can spiritually see.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Our life’s goal is to teach the salvation of Jesus Christ to as many unreached people as possible. The greatest need is for Bibles and discipleship materials, to equip tens of millions of hungry house church believers. There is a famine of Bibles in China as the government restricts more and more activities. Even the official Three-Self churches are in great need, as they have seen their Bible quotas slashed by the authorities in recent years.
Hundreds of unreached groups still lack vibrant witnesses. The Gospel has spread rapidly among the Han Chinese majority, but strong ethnic, cultural, and language barriers have meant the churches have struggles to penetrate the non-Han minority groups. We appreciate your prayers and partnership, as together we “look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.” (2 Peter 3:12).
Here is a current snapshot of the state of the Gospel throughout China. While there is much to thank God for in China, the figures are a sobering reminder of how much work remains to be done.
The statistics used are the latest from the “Joshua Project”, who define a people group as “unreached” if less than 2 percent of its population are evangelical Christians.
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
During the Chinese New Year our Leader team scheduled a week long retreat. They were able to meet together, fellowship over meals and activities, worship, study the Word, and grow together in unity. They feel a sense of rest and refreshment for what is ahead. Please pray that they will continue to build one another up in unity as they seek to be faithful in making disciples.
Refreshed and rested they have now started new “Faith or Fiction” classes teaching about the one true God. Many participants are not aware of the existence of a Savior who can help them to reconcile their relationship with God. Nor are they aware of the need to reconcile this relationship! These classes have been very fruitful but reaching them does require fortitude and diligence and a clear, unwavering call from God and your faithful prayers are appreciated.
Many young people study English in school in the hopes that it will help them to be able to attend better schools and have better job prospects later in life. One of our leaders uses English tutoring classes to build relationships in her neighborhood. She seeks to use these interactions as a way to share the gospel. Pray for her English tutoring business to prosper and have a good reputation in the city so that she can continue sharing the Good News with many people.
Another of our leaders is taking the time to counsel one of Rolf’s former students (Jasmine) who is having personal issues that have been weighing her down. Please pray that God will direct her heart to listen to the counsel in their weekly meetings. Ask that the truths of the Bible will draw her to Jesus for salvation and heal the wounds of her soul.
And to continue on, an underground church that Rolf is involved with has started three new “Faith or Fiction” classes to meet the spiritual needs of the church body. Please pray for spiritual growth, strong faith, and abundant fruit as believers study the Bible and live out their faith.
Lastly (for now) praise for six new Bible stories that were officially translated and filmed by our Deaf Leader team! Even during these trying times God continues providing ways for the Gospel to be spread among the deaf. Pray that as these stories will be shared so that many lives will be changed for Christ.
“Here are my directions: Pray much for others; plead for God’s mercy upon them; give thanks for all he is going to do for them.” ITimothy2:1
God is on the move in China! May His Kingdom continue to advance and His name be glorified!
This month Rolf made application for a new visa to return to China and was promptly turned down! It is now necessary to have what is called a “PU Invitation Letter” to apply for a visa. Rolf has been deemed as a “non-essential” person so therefore refused one. Foreigners are still not welcome to return to China. At the moment the Beijing Government has issued extreme measures to ensure safety there whether you are “covid free or not.”
This “PU Invitation Letter”is issued by the China Foreign Affairs Office in Beijing. With the PU letter foreigners can apply for a new visa in their homeland and if accepted can enter China. This is a new policy since the global epidemic. All previously issued visas were cancelled effective March 28, 2020. Foreigners, like Rolf, who have previously held work/ personal affair/or reunion type of visas must now apply for a new one.
Only certain specific reasons meet the requirements for applying for a PU Letter and only companies can apply for their foreign employees. Agents or individuals cannot! Previously an invitation letter was always required and Rolf has a former student now business owner in Beijing who would write one for him. But now this type of “invitation letter” is no longer acceptable.
The policies have tightened as the global epidemic worsened. Now only the following personnel are possible to get a PU letter:
Important employees of large-scale companies.
The core management staff of small or medium-sized enterprises such as the legal representative or CEO, etc. and the success rate of this category is very limited.
Senior technical experts and other high-end talents who can bring benefits to China.
Under these circumstances Rolf should be thankful he is spared the undignified “derriere”humiliation required for coronavirus testing as people arrive in Beijing! If you don’t what that is about, Google it!!
As we wait and look forward to what lies ahead, we would appreciate your prayersso that by God’s grace and power we will be able to faithfully serve Him to the end without being sidetracked and robbed of the joy in serving the people in China.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14).
The Chinese just finished celebrating their New Year, Year of the Ox, which began on February 12th and ended February 22nd. Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of China’s most important traditional festivals celebrated at the turn of the new year on the Chinese lunar calendar. Natives believe only the Spring Festival marks the official new year, and great importance is attached to its festivities which is typically celebrated with families and friends.
With the New Year comes a new 12 week “Faith or Fiction” class which will start at the end of the month. So far 232 people have signed up to be taught by our 7 leaders. PRAY for their safety and that they would be strengthened by receiving God’s Word in these sessions. Rolf is aching to be there but getting a visa right now is near impossible and even if he could there isn’t anyone even flying directly to China! Hopefully that will change in the near future. Please PRAYfor our patience as we wait to determine God’s will and His perfect timing.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”Proverbs 19:21 ESV.
We have a wonderful program for teaching “Faith or Fiction” but our leaders are also learning the Gospel can be quickly spread through simple believers who sit down in homes, offices, tea shops and factory dormitories and respectfully telling their friends what a difference Jesus has made in their lives. They are seeing that the Gospel is a simple, life-giving message that can transform whole communities, turning darkness to light and changing people bound by chains of sin into children of God.
May we never lose the simplicity of faith and relationship with the Lord Jesus. Each year we serve Him brings with it a new emphasis. Looking forward, we believe the Lord wants us to keep things simple, to love Him with all our hearts and to help as many dedicated Chinese leaders to continue sharing the faith with the unreached and neglected.
While this world system seems to be rapidly falling apart at the seams, we are determined to serve our soon-coming King until the very last moment, before the sun sets and all labor will cease. Jesus said in John 9:4-5“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
We’re thankful that our ministry has a sort of built-in flexibility. Because our movements across the land and China are constantly changing, we have become accustomed to making adjustments. Because of this, shifting from all those trips to the airport to working out of our home has resulted in many amazing opportunities for spiritual growth in those we mentor and gospel conversations with people we’ve reached out to. Even though 2020 has been the worst of years, it may also be the best of years.
And as always we are gratefuland thankfulfor your prayers, support and love.
Another new and exciting ministry opportunity has opened for two of our leaders!! They both work in the health care field and were praying for another way to reach people spiritually. It is not always easy to find a bridge from health issues to gospel conversations. After asking God to show them a way, they realized that the common denominator in their work was mental, emotional and spiritual health.
They found a Christian group called New Hope, a health initiative providing unique and timely opportunities for believers to train local school age children, families, government workers, and churches on the damaging effects of air pollution, pandemics and other health issues. They began teaching Chinese Christians which then led them to starting the first small group in this ministry, a place where participants can share their stories of hurt in a safe environment and hear about people in the Bible who faced similar trauma and walked through it with God. “We needed this so badly,” one participant said.
This first group asked to start another group and in just four months locals have been trained and multiple groups have started. Praise God for what these leaders have done through this trauma healing ministry. Pray for more healing, spiritual conversations, and new followers of Christ. Ask God to provide the churches who are ministering in these areas with follow-up opportunities to share the good news. Pray that the practical health lessons will be a means of God’s protection over these people who many are living in economically depressed areas. Ask for God’s favor with local authorities so that even more work can be done for the sake of His kingdom.
The pandemic has brought about much change and has provided opportunity to rethink how work is done. There is a huge need for healing wounded hearts from past and present trauma. Pray that local believers will facilitate many more groups to provide discipleship and healing. Pray workers and local healthcare personnel will continue to be able to distribute packets of food, hygiene items, and COVID prevention information even though the pandemic has made it more challenging with limited supplies, money and government restrictions.
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:35-38)
We are always so grateful for your prayers and support and joining us in growing God’s Kingdom in China!
Impact as many lives as possible through the public and private teaching of God’s Word so that people are able to understand it, are led to believe it, challenged to apply it, motivated to love it, and equipped to study it on their own.
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