Category Archives: ministry updates

June 2021 Update

Happy summer and PRAISES for 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.

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May 2021 Update

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.

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April 2021 Update

“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!

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March 2021 Update

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 prayers so 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).

Thank you for your prayers and serving with us!

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February 2021 Update

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 PRAY for 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 grateful and thankful for your prayers, support and love.

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January 2021 Update

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!

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December 2020 Update

Thank you for your support and prayers.

2020 has been a difficult year of doing ministry via zoom meetings, Skype video conferences and thousands of phone calls. I have been unable to go back to China since the virus outbreak in November 2019. I came home from China on December 28,  2019 virus free and in March 2020 the Chinese Government canceled my 12 month visa until further notice. Until China reopens the country and allows non-essential foreigners to get new visas to come back I am stranded at home for the time being. As soon as China opens the border and United Airlines is again permitted to fly into Beijing I will return to the mission field.

In the interim the mission work doesn’t stop. Working virtually online via telephone and WeChat evangelism we daily spend many long hours supporting and communicating with our seven Chinese field staff helping them equipping, reaching, teaching, training and mobilizing men and women for Jesus Christ. The situation for believers in China has become extremely difficult, as Xi Jinping and the Communist Party gradually prepare for what seems like a final assault to try to rid Christianity from the country once and for all.

The Body of Christ, however, has grown to such a size under Communism that they will find it impossible to completely eradicate God’s people. Instead, the authorities have been putting plans into place to “corrupt” the Gospel. By doing so, they hope to control the Church and ultimately render it powerless and subservient to the Communist system.

To that end, the government has openly announced plans to “reinterpret” the Bible and other religious texts, so they will have “socialistic characteristics.” A glimpse into what that might look like was seen recently when a government publisher altered the ending of the account of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery. Their “blasphemous” version now has Jesus concluding his talk by saying: “I too am a sinner,” instead of, “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The battle lines are drawn. Please pray for our precious brothers and sisters in China. This year, tens of thousands of house church pastors and evangelists have gone missing, especially in those provinces with a large concentration of Christians.

Most of those tens of thousands are still alive, but in preparation for the struggle ahead, they have gone into hiding. They have completely disconnected from all phones and computers, because those devices are used by the government to track their location. Each person in China must have an ID card. It is impossible for a person to catch a flight or train, open a bank account, get a job, or rent an apartment without using their card. Each ID card contains a computer chip which is also used to track people’s movements. Many Christian leaders, before they go into hiding, have placed their cards inside a microwave oven for a few seconds, which ruins the chips and renders them useless.

Despite all that, it is a wonderful example of how the kingdom of God has grown so powerfully in China, despite seven decades of efforts to crush and suppress God’s people by the God-hating Communist Party.

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Year End Update 2020

It’s been a year unlike any other. Together, we’ve faced a global pandemic, sweeping political and economic uncertainty, social unrest … and in the midst of it all, we’ve seen God’s powerful intervention over and over again. He is faithful!

Despite 2020 going down in history as one of the most tumultuous year ever, our seven leaders in China were able to teach three 12-week “Faith of Fiction” curriculums. Because of your prayers and financial investments, 1290 participants experienced God’s salvation and were strengthened in their faith after receiving God’s Word through our Bible projects.

It’s no secret that we live in a sick and failing world. Even unbelievers want to improve the society they live in.  The Lord Jesus is continuing to bring in His harvest among the Chinese. Tens of thousands of lost people found salvation in Jesus, and tens of thousands more will be saved tomorrow, and every day after. Jesus’ kingdom is expanding and He is the Victor! His timetable is right on target, and one day when “the full number of Gentiles” has come in, God will close the curtain on this sick and sorry age. Until then, we are called to patiently endure, and to “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord,  and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:3-4)

It has been a great joy for us to be allowed to serve the Church in China, and to come alongside our leaders as they reach out to the lost. Many of those we serve have few possessions by the world’s standards, but they possess Jesus Christ and they desire to make Him known to as many people as possible. God loves such an attitude, and He empowers them to do great works and to bring multitudes into His kingdom. We are honored to assist and serve and we thank each person who prayed for and supported our work this year. Without your vital partnership and financial resources none of these things would have occurred.

“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:13-15).

May God bless you and your loved ones this “Thanksgiving Season” as together we continue to serve the Church in China.

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October 2020 Update

We are very happy to report a new “Faith or Fiction” class has started!! It started during the 8-day October Chinese National holiday with 238 participants!  Please PRAY for our 7 leaders and those in their groups that these meeting times will be deep and edifying.  PRAY these participants will have teachable hearts as they learn who Jesus is and His love for them.

One of our leaders has a deaf husband and she reports that less than 1 percent of the 7 million Chinese deaf are Christians. Often ignored and oppressed, the deaf are some of the least evangelized people. With no Scripture in the local sign language, most deaf people have no access to the Gospel. But they are very open to learning Bible stories that have been translated into the Chinese sign language. This couple has made it their mission to serve the deaf in various orphanages and prisons forming small “Bible Story” groups.

They have diligently crafted Bible stories into the local sign language and created videos for the deaf. With the Chinese government monitoring what people are using on the internet PRAY for good internet connections so the deaf can see the Bible stories when shown. They relate a story about a deaf Muslim they encountered who had dreams about someone that would come and help him find the answers and meaning that were missing in his life. This couple was able to sign the gospel for him and he surrendered his life to Jesus! PRAY for the deaf gospel to continue to spread!

“This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life.” Psalm 119:50

We have some great personal news!  Rolf’s urologist told him at his last checkup that his prostate cancer symptoms from 2 years ago have disappeared! He has no answer why, but Rolf told him that many people have been praying for him. We can’t tell you how blessed and grateful we are for God’s healing power. Rolf feels so good now that he is cancer free. We guess the Lord is not done with him yet!!! THANK YOU all for your prayers!!

With so much uncertainty with COVID, the violence on the streets of America, economic uncertainties and the upcoming election the only way we can be able to wade through this quicksand of fear is by cultivating a deep knowledge and love for the Word of God, and then in faith and by the power of the Holy Spirit living out the gospel and sharing it with others. We found this great little reminder of what is most important and what can bring us peace.                                                           

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September 2020 Update

Many have asked if our ministry has been affected by the pandemic and subsequent China lockdown. Our leaders reported that the last several months have been the busiest they’ve ever been! Amazingly, during this time of stress and uncertainty 223 participants finished the past 12 week “Faith or Fiction” class and gave their lives to Christ. And now people who previously showed lukewarm interest in joining a class have asked to be included in future classes starting mid-October to learn more about Jesus! More good news is that our Chinese leaders have been able to recruit a seventh leader to join the team allowing them to spread out even more in the coming months!

Our house church leader reported that in recent months, house churches across the nation have seen a new openness to the gospel since the virus appeared. Despite gatherings being banned and the Communist Party shutting down many Christian websites and social media platforms the numbers of people placing their trust in the Lord has increased! “Meanwhile, the word of God continued to spread, and there were many new believers.” Acts 12:24 NLT Many house churches have started doing telephone and website evangelism, which has been very effective.

In Rolf’s city there was another virus outbreak which resulted in the schools being forced to close. For the time being all teaching is done online. Rolf also found out that all visas to travel to China issued before March 31st were cancelled. The Chinese National Immigration Administration announced starting Sept. 28, only foreign nationals holding valid Chinese residence permits for work, personal matters and to reunite with families will be allowed to enter China. China-bound passengers are required to obtain COVID-19 negative certificates before boarding in the country of departure. Upon their arrival in China, they will still need to be quarantined for 14 days at a hotel designated by the government at their own expense.

As for travel out of China and coming back…forget it. For example if you want to take a trip to Vietnam and then return to China, you can get to Vietnam but you can’t come back even if you have a valid Chinese visa. The door into China is limited at this time. The National Holiday starts October 1st and everyone in China will get seven days off. Travel restrictions around the mainland will be lifted for most areas but not for leaving China even for Chinese Nationals. The risk of bringing the virus back is what the government is trying to avoid.

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:11,12

Please continue to PRAY for our hard working leaders that they continue to persevere and for all the new believers that their faith continues to grow. The Lord Jesus remains completely in control of this world despite diseases, lockdowns, and the persecution plans of governments. His kingdom is advancing and cannot be stopped! PRAISE the Lord!!

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