Our Lord says, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love Him" (James 1:12). Indeed, this is the hour for us to "labour to be accepted of Him" (2 Cor. 5:9), for "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ" (2 Cor. 5:10). What a mighty Word for us in this last hour and as we begin year 2 here in China! Let's go all out, friends, and lay our own lives down for King Jesus.
The frantic and heavy school year has begun for high-schoolers here in Beijing. It is such a busy time for them; so busy that they have little time to think about anything else but homework and the next 'big test.' So, I use my time with them in the classroom to challenge what they believe (i.e., evolution, atheism, big bang etc.). In the school I do not have liberty to teach anything and everything, however, I can bring Jesus in with me into the classroom.
Jody continues to volunteer teach 2 days each week at the underground Christian school and has learned that there are a few students from Muslim families whose faith in Christ is being enflamed. One young girl in particular, recently shared that at night before bed, she prays in secret because she knows her parents would disapprove. (we don't know why her parents have her attending a school of a different faith). Please pray that the Lord would protect these children and bring salvation to their households!
The Lord has seen fit for us to learn that the Chinese church is very much out of order. They do not have Godly men leading their churches or their homes and there is much misunderstanding of what Biblical marriage or parenting looks like. We are seeking God for His will for us in this area and how He wants us to respond to this new knowledge.
OUR NEW HOME!
After living for 1 year in the 5th floor apartment, we longed for more engagement with the community and God graciously led us to a rural country village about 20 minutes further east. Here is a video tour made shortly after we had moved and things were unfinished. The boys LOVE having a courtyard to play in and safe alleys to ride their bikes and the opportunities to engage with our neighbors is HUGE! A foreigner has NEVER lived in this area so we are humbled and excited to see what God will do! Click here to watch a tour of our house
Our village is full of doors; doors into the lives of eternal souls precious to God. During an early morning prayer walk, we took pictures of some of them and compiled a quick video. The small sheep pen you will see, with ivy growing on the roof, belongs to a dear shepherd that Rich has talked with a little. Oh! God grant the increase in the Mandarin language to tell him of eternity! Pray with us for these Gospel doors, dear Lord Jesus. Give us Gospel doors video link
Can you believe how big she is already?! YangMei is still living with her foster family, our dear friends. We remain eternally grateful that she is with them and not at the orphanage as we get to see her every week! It gets harder every time to tell her good-bye! The Chinese government is being VERY difficult! We will only need an additional $5,000.00 to cover all the remaining costs of her adoption. Their system is corrupt in many ways, but our agency is fighting for us and using their influence on our behalf. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. CULTURE CORNER
In this picture you see a man holding out a long stick with a turtle tied to it in an especially painful way. He is exploiting a belief among Buddhists in order for monetary gain: If someone has done something "wrong" or "bad", then they believe that they must do something "good" to improve their overall karma and journey to nirvana. The good must outweigh the bad. Thus, to rescue a struggling animal and relieve its suffering is viewed as a VERY good deed. So the desperate Buddhist will pay the man money for his "suffering turtle" and thus be able to tell himself that he has done a good deed by rescuing this poor animal.