Recently, we took some Chinese friends to a shooting range. They had never handled a gun before, so it was quite an experience for them. But that’s getting off track. Aiming at targets got us thinking about our focus, our mission, the target of people that God’s given us a great passion for, Chinese students.
Rick Warren wrote an interesting article on this subject that’s worth sharing. To some, the idea of “targeting” people might seem wrong. But the truth is, targeting specific kinds of people for evangelism is a biblical principle, that’s as old as the New Testament. Remember the Canaanite woman who asked Jesus to minister to her demon-possessed daughter? He publicly stated that the Father had told him to focus on “the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:22-28). But after some short conversation, Jesus went ahead and healed the Canaanite woman’s daughter because of her faith. He publicly identified his ministry target: the Jews. This was not his idea. It came from the Father.
Earlier, in Matthew 10, Jesus had instructed His disciples to target their ministry also. Was He being partial? Of course not! Jesus targeted his ministry in order to be effective, not to be exclusive.
Also, both Paul and Peter are models of a targeted ministry. Paul targeted his ministry to Gentiles and Peter targeted his ministry to Jews. (Gal. 2:7)
The Great Commission tells us to make disciples of “all nations.” The Greek word “ta ethne” from which we derive the word “ethnic” refers literally to “all people groups.” Each people group need an evangelistic strategy that communicates the Gospel in terms they can understand. Now, that’s targeting!
A few weeks ago, we attended our first annual conference with COM in Valley Forge. It exceeded our expectations…and isn’t that always a good thing! It was remarkable meeting other br…
Source: COM Annual Conference
A few weeks ago, we attended our first annual conference with COM in Valley Forge. It exceeded our expectations…and isn’t that always a good thing! It was remarkable meeting other brother’s and sister’s that are in the identical work with you, except in a different geographical place, there’s truly an instant bond. The whole conference was all-around exceptional! The fellowship: unified and sweet. The worship: quenching to our souls. The teaching: very Biblical, challenging, and very God adoring! We felt like family. It sealed the fact even more that China Outreach Ministries is a mission agency that exudes integrity and unity and we are blessed to be a part of them. And then to finish the conference we humbled ourselves and served one another by washing another person’s feet in a foot washing ceremony.
Our speaker was Yaw Perbi. He was an African medical doctor who is now pastoring an English-speaking Chinese church in a French city in Canada. Wouldn’t you like to hear his God story?? Anyway, in his most recent book titled, “Thinking Outside the Window”, the theme of the book is a call to open our eyes, our hearts, our mouths and our homes to the 10/40 “world that has come to us.” A call to get engaged with the world God has placed us in – reaching out across the hall in our apartment buildings, across the street in our neighborhoods, on the campus, in the workplace, across cultures and to the ends of the earth. “God is bringing the nations to us.” We live in a highly globalized twenty-first century world and the harvest is plenty!
Before we returned back to America, we weren’t totally sure what ministry was going to look like here. With the differences, practical and vocation wise, we weren’t sure what God had planned for us at NC State, in ministry to Chinese students. Well, he’s clearly shown us some of what He is doing and what we are to join in with Him. This is what we want to share, some of the differences and some of the similarities, first the differences. We don’t live on the university campus and we don’t have a free apartment.😦 We don’t have easy access to Chinese students 24/7 if we choose, like on the campus in Beijing. We don’t have the opportunity to have meals on campus each day with students. Our apartment is not as convenient to students, that they can walk to us anytime. So there are challenges, but there are still many opportunities to meet up with students, it just takes more creativity and more intention. It takes longer to build relationships since we are not with them in the classroom. Now for the similarities, just like in China, they want to practice their English, they want to learn our culture, and they want to have Americans as friends and be invited into an American home. They also want to travel and see some of the tourist attractions here before returning home. Some of them, just as in China, also want to know about Jesus and Christianity. In China, we were exposed to the culture, so we know to minister to them better here. We can talk about their food, their great modes of public transportation, their holidays, their language. We can relate to their being homesick and the culture shock they feel, and how important family is to them. We can share that we taught English in Beijing, which seems to automatically give us favor with some. What a perfect plan God had for us to first go to China, it’s all piecing together. So now, we are still using most of our 40-hour week in some mode of finding more of God’s partners for us, aka raising support. We are joining with other missionaries to internationals on the campus in helping Chinese with their English. We’re also committed each Friday night in multiple formats involving Chinese students. Seeking, with spiritual discernment, that God will direct us to the relationships that will eventually be eternal. We are so thankful to be in a place where our partners/friends can visit and be a part of this ministry to the Chinese students. Maybe you’d like to come and see what ministry to Chinese students looks like at NC State.
As followers of Jesus, what is better than having some knowledge of what He is doing in the world? That’s what this link below will show you! After Glenn and I read it, we had goosebumps! So awestruck about what our Awesome God is doing in this extra-large people group! We are so excited beyond ourselves to be a part of this ministry to Chinese people! Please continue to pray that The Gospel will spread in China like wild fire!
This month is a very special month in many ways to many people all over the world! Ours begins with a very good friend, Karen Bauthier, coming to visit for the weekend. She will be our first overnight guest! She will be in town to referee quad rugby and we get the blessing of spending time with her.
The following week our daughter, Cara, will be coming for a visit. It’s been sixteen long months since we’ve seen her and we are believing God for His best as we are reunited as a family. We have really missed her and we’re excited for her to meet her two nephews and see how her sweet niece has grown!
Also, in that time period, my dear momma will be turning eighty! I can’t believe it, since she still looks seventy! I am sad that I will not be with her to love on her on her special day, but Skype is the next best thing. Glenn came up with a great plan to surprise her over video! I guess all my hugs and kisses for her will have to be delayed just a bit.
After those visits we will prepare for, get this: five of our Chinese friends that were students on the campus we lived on in Beijing are coming for Christmas! Two are traveling from Rutger’s in New Jersey, two are coming from Georgia Tech and one will be stopping here in Cary, on his 12 city train journey in 30 days! We are rejoicing that God had all of this planned! We are so excited to have them stay in our home for a traditional Christmas! The last time we saw them, besides video, was in Beijing! We will get to share with them, again, the Reason for the Season!
Don’t you just love it when you make plans and then you walk into God’s and they are SO much better? Today we walked into His plan for a church for us here AND also into beginning ministry here. We were planning to visit a friend’s church this morning but they were out of town, so we chose to go to a Chinese Church five minutes from our apartment. God showed Himself so clearly today as we felt right at home in an amazing, loving church family. After several introductions, when they found out that we are full time missionaries, we met a wonderful Chinese couple that are in ministry to Chinese students at NC State! They have been praying for additional workers and told us we were God’s answer! How Great is our God! So we will partner with them in ministry and begin attending their outreach on Friday nights to offer Chinese students near the university an opportunity to practice their English, a traditional dinner and Bible Study. Glenn and I walked away today in awe! Thanking and praising God again and again! Trying to process all that God had opened up to us in one morning.
In all the transition and the moving, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re going to be doing. We have been missing China and all of our friends so much this past week and wondering how all of this was going to work out in the states. All along, our precious Father had this plan that He knew would fill us with encouragement in that we are supposed to be here! We will say it again and again: He Is Faithful!
Oh I almost forgot: It’s Chinese tradition to share lunch together in Chinese churches after the service. This one was no different and today they served one of our absolute favorite dishes we have missed, Spicy Tofu over rice! It’s the little things in life, right?