Category Archives: ministry updates

Year of the Fire Dog

A word of advice to progressives: when you see angels with trumpets…do not think “apocalypse.” Rather think “Hallelujah.”

It is , after all, the year of the TRUMP-et.

2018 is also the “Year of the Dog” in the Chinese New Year which begins on February. And guess who is a big “fire” Dog: Donald Trump! And that’s a good thing.

Chinese play tribute to The Donald in the Year of the Dog with this giant statue

Born in 1946, Donald Trump was born in the year of the Dog—the “Fire Dog” to be specific—according to the Chinese horoscope.

It is believed that the “Fire Dog” is naturally charismatic and easily attracts attention.

Ya’ think?

At the beginning of 2017 Chinese astrologers reading President Trump’s “Rooster Year Four Pillars” chart determined him to be an Earth person and predicted that he would be doing things differently.

As the Rooster carries a metal element which represents expression and creativity they also predicted that Trump, being an Earth persona, might have a year of “sharp” words.

Again, ya’ think?

As far as 2018 goes, the anniversary year of an individual’s “birth” sign is said to bring good “fortune so I predict a whole lot more WINNING! for Donald Trump and America.

All I can say is “Hallelujah!” And have a “blessed” Happy New Year.

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New Year Prayer

A Prayer to Keep God First This New Year
By Debbie McDaniel

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Cor. 5:17

Dear God,

Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you’ve allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day.

We pray for your Spirit to lead us each step of this New Year. We ask that you will guide our decisions and turn our hearts to deeply desire you above all else. We ask that you will open doors needing to be opened and close the ones needing to be shut tight. We ask that you would help us release our grip on the things to which you’ve said “no,” “not yet,” or “wait.” We ask for help to pursue you first, above every dream and desire you’ve put within our hearts.

We ask for your wisdom, for your strength and power to be constantly present within us. We pray you would make us strong and courageous for the road ahead. Give us ability beyond what we feel able, let your gifts flow freely through us, so that you would be honored by our lives, and others would be drawn to you.

We pray that you’d keep us far from the snares and traps of temptations. That you would whisper in our ear when we need to run, and whisper in our heart when we need to stand our ground.

We pray for your protection over our families and friends. We ask for your hand to cover us and keep us distanced from the evil intent of the enemy; that you would be a barrier to surround us, that we’d be safe in your hands. We pray that you would give us discernment and insight beyond our years, to understand your will, hear your voice, and know your ways.

We ask that you would keep our footsteps firm, on solid ground, helping us to be consistent and faithful. Give us supernatural endurance to stay the course, not swerving to the right or to the left, or being too easily distracted by other things that would seek to call us away from a close walk with you.

Forgive us for the times we have worked so hard to be self-sufficient, forgetting our need for you, living independent of your spirit. Forgive us for letting fear and worry control our minds, and for allowing pride and selfishness wreak havoc over our lives. Forgive us for not following your ways and for living distant from your presence.

We confess our need for you…fresh…new…again. We ask that you make all things new, in our hearts, in our minds, in our lives, for this coming year. We pray for your refreshing over us.

Keep your words of truth planted firm within us, help us to keep focused on what is pure and right, give us the power to be obedient to your word. And when the enemy reminds us where we have been, hissing his lies and attacks our way, we trust that your voice speaks louder and stronger, as you remind us we are safe with you and your purposes and plans will not fail. We ask that you will be our defense and rear guard, keeping our way clear, removing the obstacles, and covering the pitfalls. Lord, lead us on your level ground.

We ask that you would provide for our needs, we ask for your grace and favor. We pray for your blessings to cover us, we pray that you would help us to prosper and make every plan that you have birthed in our heart to succeed. We pray that others would take notice of your goodness and could not help but to say, “These are the ones that the Lord has blessed.”

Help us to be known as great givers, help us to be generous and kind, help us to look to the needs of others and not be consumed by only our own. May we be lovers of truth, may the fruits of your spirit be evident in our lives – your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Shine your light in us, through us, over us. May we make a difference in this world, for your glory and purposes. Set you way before us. May all your plans succeed. We may reflect your peace and hope to a world that so desperately needs your presence and healing.

To you be glory and honor, in this New Year, and forever.

In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

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Year End 2017 Update

Back in 1993 Sherri and I answered God’s call on our lives to join Him in His work with executives and the leadership community. In the process, the Lord has blessed us with the opportunity to focus His efforts toward the people of China. We have had the privilege of witnessing firsthand God’s provisions in our lives. He has moved in the hearts of many people to financially partner with us in this strategic ministry to share Christ with influencers here in Chicago and China. We count it a blessing and honor to be part of a ministry that is making an eternal difference in people lives. September of 2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of that decision.

Over these last 25 years, God has blessed our efforts with the results of thousands of people making the decision to follow Christ.  Without the sacrificial, generous support of many, these results would never have been possible… and for which Sherri and I are eternally grateful.

Unfortunately, the work is not done. Though there are now over 100 Million believers in China, that is only a fraction of the population of 1.4 Billion people. But, the exciting thing is that we have recently begun developing a leadership team to multiply our efforts and associated results. Rolf will return to China at the end February 2018 to continue to develop and train leadership teams so that the impact of this ministry will carry on for generations. 

If this sounds exciting and you have a heart for the lost people of China, this is where we come to the difficult part of this communication. Maintaining the expenses of two apartments, health insurance, ministry materials, air fare and the work Sherri does locally for our church’s women’s ministry and providing weekly child care, without continuing and additional support, it will be impossible to seize the remarkable opportunities before us.

Though our ministry efforts show continuously, ever increasing, exciting results, our financial position has weakened in recent years. This is probably because we have focused on winning souls to Christ rather than on raising support. Now we find ourselves in desperate need of additional support. Our short fall required that we have to sell our townhouse and move to an apartment to cut expenses.

Our need is great, our need is now and when those of you who hear this call for help respond, we will know that God has answered our prayers so that we can continue to make this huge impact on the largest country in the world containing millions of lost souls. Would you prayerfully consider sharing this letter with anyone you know who might have a heart for the people of China or who would like to see their generosity multiplied thousand fold?

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2. Thank you for prayerfully considering to begin a monthly commitment or making a generous end of the year contribution. Together, we serve a holy, sovereign and gracious God. We pray that you have a wonderful season celebrating the birth of Jesus. May God’s grace and peace be with you.

Support China In His Image through Amazon Smile! http://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-3906814

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October 2017 Update

“But God has surely listened and has heard my (our) prayer.” Psalm 66:19.

It has been a long and challenging few months but God has answered prayers! The outcome is even better than expected. Five weeks after Rolf’’s hernia surgery and needing to have a catheter and with a persistent bladder infection he was able to finally have the Uro-Dynamics test to hopefully determine what was going on. Meanwhile they took the catheter out, showed him how to self-catheterize and sent him home. A week later he was to come in for the results.

But now the best news is after using the self catheter one time it has not been needed again!! The report showed he had some thickening of the bladder walls and the doctor was not quite sure why he no longer needed the catheter. He has an appointment to go back in two months to see how he is doing and to re-evaluate if any further steps need to be taken. Answered prayer, PRAISE God!!! Thank you for Your prayers! Please continue to PRAY for no re-occurrence.

We have received an update on the apartment situation – the completion date has now been moved to sometime in April and the applications should be sent out in December. Rolf was planning on being back in China during this time……so we need to trust God’s timing is best and for a reason.

Rolf has recently talked to one of his leaders and she was excited to tell him that she has started another “Faith or Fiction” class of 11 in the church along with her class of 9. Everything is going well with her and the other leaders. They are very much appreciative of all the prayers for them from all of you. Please keep them in prayer for protection. They are on fire for Jesus which is wonderful but they need to be bold and cautious at the same time!

All the care and concerns and prayers have meant a lot to both of us. Thank you for all your calls, cards and emails. They have been most appreciated and uplifting during a challenging time. We love you, our team!!

Support “China – in His Image” through Amazon Smile! http://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-3906814

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September 2017 Update

Here we are at the end of September and here in our part of the world it feels like the middle of July!  Boy is Sherri glad we got the air conditioner fixed in her car!  She almost put it off because the weather was cooling off and fall was coming.

Another thing we are very glad about is that Rolf did not go back to China as planned. Actually it is a huge PRAISE!!  He had to have surgery a couple of weeks ago for a ruptured hernia. Unfortunately the news doesn’t get any better.  Unrelated he also has a blockage at the base of his bladder which hopefully surgery will be able to correct.  This involves a catheter until surgery, and a string of doctor appointments.  Meanwhile he has developed a bladder infection which has put everything on hold until that clears up. Needless to say he is very uncomfortable and not very happy.  Please we need your PRAYERS for good results and healing. 

“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philemon 1:6.

We have some good news to pass along from China.  “Faith or Fiction” classes are continuing on!  Anna’s class of 14 from this summer is finished and all 14 are now brothers and sisters in Christ!!  She is a teacher and has recruited 6 of her students from this new school year to join a new Faith or Fiction” class.  Jennifer is starting a class with 8 from her work place and neighborhood.  Martha has a class of 9 from the church.  Lisa is taking a sabbatical as she is starting a new business but she “cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20) and is doing a Bible study with 3 people from her new business! So the word of God spreads. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly,” (In this case Dalian China!) Act 6:7.  PRAISE God with us!

And more good news and an answer to prayer, we have been put in contact with someone who works for the type of housing that we are planning on moving to.  She has been able to answer some of our questions and has told us to call her as soon as we get the application and she will help us complete it.  Her words were, “we will get you in!”  Not that she has pull but that she knows what is needed and how to get it filled in correctly.  We are so relieved and grateful!  Of course this is not a guarantee so keep praying please!

We are so grateful for all your prayers and we are so excited to share how God is and has answered them.  Thank you for holding us and this ministry up before the Throne.  You make a difference.

Support “China – in His Image” through Amazon Smile! http://smile.amazon.com/ch/36-3906814

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About Amazon Smile

“Amazon Smile” is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization “China-In His image” every time you shop, at no cost to you.

When you shop at smile.amazon.com you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as at Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.

How do I shop at Amazon Smile?

To shop at “Amazon Smile” simply go to smile.amazon.com from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to smile.amazon.com to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at “Amazon Smile.”

Which products on “Amazon Smile” are eligible for charitable donations?  

Tens of millions of products on “Amazon Smile” are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for Amazon Smile Donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.

Can I use my existing Amazon.com account on “Amazon Smile”?

Yes, you use the same account on Amazon.com and “Amazon Smile.” Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on “Amazon Smile”?

On your first visit to “Amazon Smile” (smile.amazon.com), you need to select your charitable organization “International Ambassadors for Christ” to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping.

How to Set it up:

  1. Go to smile.amazon.com from your web browser.
  2. In the Bottom Right corner, search for “International Ambassadors for Christ”
  3. Click “select”
  4. You’re finished! Now it’s time to Shop!.

Amazon Smile will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at smile.amazon.com will result in a donation.

Can I change my charity?

Yes, you can change your charity any time. Your “Amazon Smile” purchases after the change count towards your newly selected charity. To change your charity, sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.”

What charities can I choose from?

You can choose from almost one million eligible 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations. 

What if my selected charity has been removed to participate in the “Amazon Smile” program or becomes ineligible?  

If your selected charity becomes ineligible, or requests to be removed from the program, you will have a chance to select a different charity to receive the accrued donations that have not yet been disbursed to your charity. If you do not select a different charity, the accrued donations will be distributed to other organizations receiving donations.

How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?

The “Amazon Smile Foundation” will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible “Amazon Smile” purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.

Can I receive a tax deduction for amounts donated from my purchases on “Amazon Smile”?

Donations are made by the “Amazon Smile Foundation” and are not tax deductible by you.

Your charitable contributions to “International Ambassadors for Christ”  however are income tax deductible and are made with the understanding that “IAfC” has complete discretion and control over the use of all donated funds.  No goods or services were provided by the ministry for these contributions.  We will receipt annually all gift donations.  If we offer books, tapes, or other materials for a suggested donation, we will receipt the amount given above the retail price of the product, plus shipping and handling costs.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has determined that “International Ambassadors for Christ” is tax exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) as a publicly supported nonprofit mission organization incorporated in the State of Illinois.

Thank you…for your support of “International Ambassadors for Christ”. Through your investment, prayers and partnership you are helping to reach men and women in leadership positions here in Chicago and in China with the Good News of Jesus Christ.  It is an honor and a privilege to work in a ripe and ready harvest with you.

“I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields!  They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35

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August 2017 Update

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

The date was set, reservations were made and the ticket was paid for but then plans needed to be changed. That means Rolf will not be returning to China now until spring. A number of factors played into this and we know God’s hand has been directing this starting even before Rolf left to come home when his new leader wanted to lead a “Faith or Fiction” class this summer.

A couple of weeks ago John, the owner of the school called to tell Rolf he was expecting him back but at that time he only had 5 students signed up for Rolf’s school classes. Usually he has 50 or more students.  Rolf has been madly cleaning, purging and shredding out his office in preparation for our upcoming move and was finding there was no way he could be finished by the time he was supposed to leave. He called John back and they agreed it would be best for Rolf to stay home and take care of this move and then come back in the spring. Oh! and he was able to get almost a full refund on his non-refundable airline ticket!  So the purging and shredding and cleaning out continues.

Meanwhile back in China, we are thrilled to report our new leader Anna is in the midst of her own “Faith or Fiction” class with 14 students. Even though she is teaching this class in the church they are non-believers. Yes there are people in China that find themselves in the church but do not have or do not know yet how to have a personal relationship with Jesus. PRAY for them and we will keep you updated. PRAY also for our other leaders that they will be able to get some classes going while Rolf is gone.

A sweet story we would like to pass on to you – One of our leaders, Lisa very sadly told Rolf that her grandfather was dying. She wanted to go to see him but didn’t know if she should. – a not so easy 8 hour train ride away. This is a grandfather that raised her and was closer to her than her own parents. Rolf encouraged her to have no regrets she needed to go which she did. She did get there just before he died and she posted the beautiful picture below of their hands entwined.  PRAISE she made it in time and PRAY for her as she grieves her loss.

Well team we still need your support and we still need your prayers. This moving thing is stressful especially without yet the certainty that we have an apartment secured. We are watching it as it is being built and the completion is still on track for Feb/Mar which means we won’t even get the application before November! Once this is over we are looking forward to being freed up from the financial concerns of home ownership and the control stuff can have over us.

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2                                                                        

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