Hello Friends! Below are our October ministry updates:
- This month Glenn began to teach elementary aged Chinese boys, English. He’s been creative using games, videos, songs and just simple conversation. While he is doing this, Jing Jing and I are using the “Jesus Storybook” with the boy’s mothers to help them improve their English. It’s been a great tool for learning ESL, since it provokes many good spiritual questions.
- We’ve started going to an International Bible Study hosted by fellow missionaries to NC State. It’s held each week and the evening includes dinner with international students, a game, Bible study and ending with dessert. It’s a great way to meet more Chinese students and to see who is interested as we have Bible discussions.
- This week we have begun to meet with a young Chinese woman that we met at English Club. She has a desire to study the Bible, so we will be going through the “Return to Harmony” study with her the next 4-5 weeks.
- We have had the pleasure of visiting with some Chinese married couples that we’ve built a good relationship with. They end up wanting to either play a game or learn to make an American dessert. Whatever we end up doing, there’s usually lots of English practice that can typically provide an opportunity for us to share about our faith.
- The COM team here will be traveling at the end of the month to Kent, Ohio, for a retreat with other COM workers that are also doing their 2-year Staff Ministry Training. Glenn, Jing Jing and I will make the trip up north for just 2 1/2 days and then come back to NC.
- Our friend, Liam, that was a student at BIT, recently came to America. He is doing research at M D Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston. When he got the offer to come to an American University, we were all excited because the offer came from UNC. But, soon after the offer, his supervisor informed him that he would be going to Houston to do research and Liam was to meet him there. So he is not as close as we had hoped, but he and his new wife will be visiting us for Christmas!
- We want to update you on Li Jia Rui, we shared with you about her in August. Today we received news from her that she is doing well. She joined a Bible Study and the study leader used to be her neighbor two years ago in Beijing, and now they work together. This woman shared with Jia Rui that she prayed for her when they were neighbors! Jia Rui had shared with me that she was lonely when returning to China and the adjustment back to her culture was hard, but now she is very happy! Now she has someone to pray and study the Bible with. Please continue to pray for this young woman, for her growth and for her challenges in China as a newer Christian.
We also want to share that a dear young family that we are friends with here, had their home flooded from hurricane Matthew. Soon they will find out if their home is salvageable or to be condemned. The first time we arrived at their home to help, our hearts broke. We had never known anyone that had their house flooded and it was shocking to see! Undoubtably, it’s been hard for them, but we have loved seeing their faith! It’s clear that God is their Rock and in the midst of this tragedy, they truly reflect the One they love. They know He is faithful and they fully trust His plan for them.
As followers of Jesus, we were created for this world that God may be evidenced. THE EVIDENCE OF GOD! The honor and the privilege of this… so this is so humbling, right? Wherever you live, wherever we live on this earth, we are His evidence! So, when you think about it, practically, what does this look like? Simple…it’s living out the Great Commission as we love God and then love others where they are. So practically, we weren’t absolutely sure what that would like like here in the US with Chinese students. Would it be easier or harder here? Hmmm, not a clue. We really didn’t need to know though, since we were confident God had His plan and we were going to join Him in that!
As part of His plan, He’s placed before our eyes: John 15:5, as we abide in Him, you will bear much fruit. Of course, that’s what we want! So, this along with Ephesians 3:20 have been great encouragement, and we live it out. We are so thankful, that as we step by step have walked through the summer, His plans have been accomplished. Praise God! He has given us opportunities to connect in friendship and to bear fruit!
He is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or imagine, according to the power that works within us, Ephesians 3:20. He is able!
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.