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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!!

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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.

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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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July 2017 Update

Rolf arrived home safe and without incident on June 30th. Time seems to be already flying by and Sherri is aware but trying not to focus on his return to China with his reservations already made for August 29th.

He has come home to the daunting task of purging and cleaning out files and paperwork in preparation for our upcoming move. We thought we downsized when we moved to our townhouse but moving to an apartment is a whole another story!! It is amazing what can be accumulated in almost 14 years of living here!! Most of it is just “stuff” but then there is the memory “stuff”…..leaving us with the decision of what to keep, what to sell, what to donate and what to just toss.

Since Sherri never heard back from the property manager that was listed for these apartments she contacted back the property management company and spoke to a very helpful and nice young lady. She was able to answer the questions we had and also send us a sample application form. With Rolf most likely going to be in China when the application to apply is sent out, we need to have things lined up so we can apply quickly while there would still be availability.

Please continue to keep us in PRAYER as we work through the preparation and the upcoming application process.  We do our part and trust God for the rest.

“Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place”  Proverbs 16:3 The Message

We have wonderful news from China. The person who was interested in leading a Faith or Fiction” class has started a class this summer with 11 people in the church! We are thrilled and praise God how this program is growing and how many lives it is changing!! She wants to also be one of Rolf’s leaders when he gets back. She and the other leaders are already recruiting people to join. Please PRAY for caution and care in their choice of recruits and for God to be working In their hearts readying them to hear and understand their need for Jesus.

And last but not least we would ask for PRAYER for the ability to fix the air conditioning in our minivan. It is the car Sherri drives and the one we take on our driving trips. It apparently has a leak that can be fixed for $1200! That is a lot of money but we plan on keeping this car for as long as it will run! Right now we get some cool air that will probably last for about a month or so more. It can get pretty hot in the car with little or no air at this time of year!!

We are most grateful and thankful to have you on this team with us. You are loved and appreciated.

” Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”. Col. 3:16-17

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Father’s Day 2017

Open Letter to all Men:

There is a crisis of manhood in the Christian church. It has become so obvious to me lately. Five couples I know are having marital problems. In each case, it is the husband that is at fault. It is no wonder though with the assault on manhood in American Society. All you have to do is watch TV for a little while and you will notice domineering women and wimpy men who are insecure and inept. The characterization of manhood by the media is definitely unbiblical and anti-Christian. In fact, it is creeping into the church and the existence of women pastors is one of the signs of the failure of men in the Christian church to do their job.

There simply aren’t enough Pastors who teach the biblical model of Christian manhood. And Christian men too often are resting in the comfort of their churches, their homes, and their jobs to grow spiritually, not to mention be leaders. Too many are becoming lax, apathetic, and spiritually atrophied. For some men, their lives are so comfortable, so routine that spiritual testing and growth are things they read about in books and taking risks for the Lord is an uncommon idea. Mission work is something that “others” do. Evangelism is for those who are “gifted in that area.” Comfort can be a killer for the church and for us men. It can make us lazy and it can bleed over into other areas of our lives. Let me ask you men something: “Are you willing to take risks for God?  Is it in your heart to do that?”

At the “Church at the top of the Hill”, the parking lot is filled with new cars and mini vans. The people happily walk into church. Some are talking on their cell phones as they move towards the large building. Others approach are chuckling and laughing. They are well dressed, well fed, and quite comfortable. They drop their kids off in the Sunday School classes and head to the air conditioned church and sit in the cushioned chairs. The worship music is very well done and the message is polished. Very nice. Very comfortable. Very routine. Very blessed. But, this time the pastor has an announcement before the people are dismissed and he introduces an old friend he went to Bible college with.

A man dressed in out-of-style clothes walks up to the pulpit.  He looks at the congregation. “Ladies and gentlemen, ” he says.

“I come from a small town in China where I do mission work. The population is about 5,000. The people there are under educated and often don’t have enough food to eat. AIDS is also prevalent. The weather is hot and we don’t have electricity all the time. But, the people are good and they want to know about Jesus. There are cults trying to move into the town and are offering food and literature. Many are taking it and being misled. But, I am only one man and I can’t stop it.

I am here to ask for help. Is there anyone who would join me in this small town to labor to bring the gospel to these people? You can come for a week or two. Or if not, is there anyone here who would care to donate money to fund the work of another missionary to this small town? I need your help desperately. I cannot do it alone. I will be standing at the back of the church if anyone wants to talk to me. God bless.”

If you were sitting in the church listening, what would your reaction be? Are you threatened by the idea of such a commitment to go or to help. Would donating funds mean you couldn’t get something you’ve been wanting and that would make you uncomfortable? If so, perhaps you are becoming spiritual dry, spiritually atrophied, and your priorities are out of place. But, then again, would you want to do something if you could? Would you feel the pull of godly opportunity tug at your heart?  I hope so. Either way, this small story can help you discover yourself and it can get you to see that change might be necessary. Change down deep is where it begins. Sometimes we men need it straight. Sometimes we need to be told to get our eyes back on Jesus.

The illustration above is a round-about way to offer a challenge to see where you are and what your priorities are as men. So, I have a question for you Christian men who are married. Let’s bring it home to reality. Are you leading your family in regular devotions? Now, I’m not talking about having a devotion every single night with a regimented routine of systematic theology. I’m talking about regular prayer with your family, maybe at dinner time, or reading the Bible with them, and guiding them. They are your primary mission field. Are you doing that with them? If you are, great! But, if you aren’t, then repent right now, confess your sin to the Lord, and start leading your family. I don’t care if it isn’t comfortable. Do it. You can’t be leaders in the church and workers for God if your family is left to spiritually fend for themselves.

The dinner table is a great place to have devotions. Also, I recommend that when you and your wife retire for the evening, read a Psalm to her in bed. You must lead.  You certainly don’t have to be perfect. But, you must realize that the man in the family is the head of the family and he is responsible for the spiritual welfare of the family. Your wife is not responsible for this. You are!  It is your responsibility. You are the captain of the ship and God will hold you accountable for that ship. Guide it with love, truth, and service.

Now if your wife is not Christian and regular devotions are not possible, then pray for her, love her, be patient with her, and lift her up to the Lord. Let her see Jesus in you, in your humility, love, and patience. Wash dishes for her. Take her out to dinner.  Don’t point out her faults. Buy her flowers. Love her with actions and words! Read 1 Corinthians 13 and apply it.

I have a question for you Christian men who are not married. Are you seeking to be shaped by God to become men who honor God in your lives? The Lord desires that you become godly men who honor and glorify God in your lives. You see, the primary reason for marriage is not for your pleasure, not for companionship, and not to have children. The primary reason for marriage is to bring glory to God and you cannot do this if you are harboring sin and selfishness.

Men, if you have sins of lust, sexual impurity, pornography, lying, lying, laziness, etc., then confess them to the Lord. Turn from them. Do NOT become lazy about sin and your battle against it. Do NOT become complacent. Do NOT give in to the lust and pride. Humble yourselves before God and man. Commit in your heart to do what is right, to be honest, men of integrity, humble, truthful, faithful, kind, and gentle. Yet, at the same time, be men who are strong in the Lord, bold in the faith, and ready to serve your families and friends. It isn’t always easy, but it is always right.

“But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”  2 Thessalonians 2:13-15 NIV

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June 2017 Update

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.” 1 Chronicles 16:8-9 (NIV)

June is finally here and in a few weeks summer vacation begins. No one will be happier than Sherri as Rolf will be home on June 29th. His last classes for the school will be on June 28th and the last Faith or Fiction“ class is June 24th. We pray these last few weeks will continue to remain as calm and without incident as it has been for the last few months.

We have just good news to report from China! This last “Faith or Fiction” class all 18 students have become Christ followers. PRAISE God!! Not only did they become believers but it happened very early in the startup of the class. They are attending church and growing in the Lord. It is so exciting and rewarding to see how God has used this program to draw so many to faith. We thank God and the person that gave Rolf the material to use.

A Christian friend of one of his leaders heard about the class arousing her curiosity. Rolf met with her and she is very interested in bringing this program to the church. To learn more about the class he invited her to participate in these last few weeks of classes and then join the new class when he returns. If needed she could also become one of his leaders.

“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” Rev. 7:12

On the home front: We know God is working with our upcoming move by finding buyers for our townhouse even before we thought of putting it on the market. And we are trusting God for our next home BUT not having the confirmation of it has caused Sherri to feel some anxiety and some sadness in just the fact that we have to move. We are planning and counting on living in the new affordable senior apartments near here which are scheduled to be completed sometime in Feb/Mar of next year. We have our names in to receive an application which won’t be mailed out until about 90 days before completion.

Meanwhile Sherri has been trying to contact the property manager to obtain more info on what will be needed to make sure we have all the paperwork needed to assure we can have our application in as quickly as possible. She has had no response to her phone messages or email. Please PRAY for a favorable response. PRAY also peace for Sherri and that she will “cast all her cares on Jesus” and fully trust on His provision. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

Thanks for being there for us in the highs and lows and praises and prayers.  We couldn’t do this without you on this journey with us.

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