“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (Romans 3:23-24)
Forgive us, dear friends: our last update was six months ago. Within that time we have certainly been busy…watching and waiting upon God. Let us share…
In August of last year we felt compelled to hold a watch night (jingtì huì) each week in our home. Simply, this is a prayer meeting without any time constraints. We sensed the enemy attempting to gain a foothold in our home as well as the very real strongholds that have long oppressed the village where we live. Each Thursday we begin at 8:30 and pray as the Lord leads. The Life of Prayer, we have since learned, is the means Jesus gave us to “be accounted worthy” (Luke 21) and fight our good fight of faith through grace. Hallelujah! The victory is won on our knees and then we rise to secure the spoil! Five hours of prayer for five minutes of power!! Oh that we would have rivers of living water continually flowing through and out of us (John 7:38)! We have seen oppression cease, healing come and peace restored in answer to our prayers! More Lord! There is much work left to do for Your Kingdom!
Rich has been working at an International School teaching Korean high school students. He is teaching English, Biology and Physical Education. The first four months at this school has been a great challenge and trial in many ways. On one hand, the workload is difficult requiring lots of time for lesson planning and building but this allows freedom to teach biblically and truthfully. On the other hand, the students are very distracted spiritually and physically. They don’t care that life is a vapor and that they will give an account of their lives - there is no fear of God in their eyes. Many lunch hours are spent walking the track outside praying for their dear and eternal souls.
If you remember, last summer we held an English Summer Camp for the local children in our village. On the last day we held a closing ceremony in which we were able to share our faith and hope. As Christmas approached, we felt like it was a good idea to hold some kind of Christmas party and invite the children from the summer camp, their parents and other friends we had met along the way to our home. So, after a month of planning we held a “Christmas Party.” Jody made some special baked goods, we hung some lights and invited our friends. During this event we sang Christmas hymns and read the gospel account found in Luke, in English & Chinese. It was a dear time in which the Word of God went forth to hearts who have never heard. We gave gift bags to each guest containing a scripture booklet. Rich’s Chinese language has improved but not yet at the place to preach the gospel fully, but he is able to read portions of scripture after much practice. Praise God!
Our hearts desire is to learn the language to such a degree that teaching and preaching in the Chinese language can be done. We desire to “study to shew ourselves approved unto God” that He might use us for a harvest here in China. As the large cities, including Beijing, over-inflate in population, the smaller villages westward throughout this vast country lie nearly forgotten. People are still there living, farming and dying without Christ. This may be the fertile harvest God has for us, complete with language skills to use. To learn the language requires a lot of time and up till now, Rich has not had the time to devote to it. Yes, his language skills are improving albeit slowly. This is an area of prayer we are asking you to help us with. Would God lead us to full-time missions, away from full-time employment? If so, He will lead His people to contribute their time to pray, and their financial support to hold on to the rope as we are lowered down into this mission field more deeply. We feel that freedoms here in China may go either way this year. Either the fires of persecution will blaze hotter OR greater liberty will come. Right now China seems to be at a crossroads. NO matter what - the Chinese church knows that Gold fears no Fire.
Adoption Update: We FINALLY heard from the CCCWA in November and they requested an additional copy of our Missouri background checks, but asked for them to be State Certified and Authenticated by the Chinese Consulate at the federal level. We trust and hope that this was a “good sign” that they intend to give their approval of the adoption, but as of now, we are still waiting for them to catch up with what we believe God has already promised. She has been living in our home for 14-months now and of course in our hearts, she IS a Hagen and she is thriving! She is able to comprehend both English and Chinese and while her oral expression is limited to mama (mommy), baba (daddy) and gege (big brother), she has NO problem getting her wants and needs met. She is walking, running and climbing like crazy and her joyful spirit is contagious. We hope to have news of approval soon!
Most recently, we have been moved more deeply in praise to God. Revelation speaks of the holy beings that praise God day and night without ceasing saying “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8) We hosted the Holiness Revival Crumbing Team in our home before they left the country to return to their various homes. Together we sang songs to our King Jesus! Enjoy a clip of our time together ( https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10214103368151575&id=1033787737&refid=52&ref=bookmarks&_ft_=top_level_post_id.10214103368151575%3Atl_objid.10214103368151575%3Athrowback_story_fbid.10214103368151575%3Athid.1033787737&__tn__=-R ) If you would like to know what “crumbing” is, please look up Cal Zastrow on Facebook.
What is your role?
1. Go - The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few (Luke 10:2). If God is calling YOU, we pray you GO!
2. Give - as you are led of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 15:27). Click here for one time or recurring donation: http://hagennation.weebly.com/support-or-contact.html
3. Groan - as the Holy Spirit gives utterance. Pray the Lord would stand by us, strengthen us and that through us the truth and power of the Gospel might be fully known, that all the Chinese might hear and that the Lord would protect us and delivers us from every evil work, preserving us unto His heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:17-18).