February 20, 2017

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Over the past few weeks, my wife and I have been in Southern California. I have had the opportunity to preach for Liberty Baptist Church and my dear friend Pastor Ryan Thompson, and for their Grade School and High School chapel services. God is really using Pastor Thompson and his staff. We were also with our home and sending church, Pacific Baptist Church in Long Beach, preaching for the church family 3 times. I also taught and preached for Pacific Baptist Bible College, as well as, taught at Pacific Baptist School for a couple days for the 7-12th grade Bible Class, preached in two of their chapel services, and for the Grade School Chapel service. Pastor Steve Meyers and his staff are doing a great job at Pacific Baptist. The church, at least in my opinion, is as healthy as it’s ever been, in spite of the fact that my brother, Pastor Joe, has been hospitalized now for nearly 3 1/2 years. I also had the privilege to preach for our church plant, Pacific Baptist Church in Monterey Park (Pastor Kyle Beck). Pastor Beck is doing a wonderful job in Monterey Park. Very exciting to see how they are starting some new outreach programs in their community!

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Along with the above, I also had the privilege of preaching for the First Baptist Church Christian school 7-12 grade chapel service (Pastor Dave Delaney). Really enjoyed spending time with these young people. My wife and I also had the privilege to be a part of the Missions’ Sunday at Canyon Ridge Baptist Church (Pastor Chris Chadwick) in San Diego. Canyon Ridge is an awesome church and Pastor Chadwick has a real heart for the mission field. It was nice to have the Vong family (fellow team members in Cambodia) with us for this special Sunday at Canyon Ridge!

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Of course, being in Southern California gave us a little time with the grandchildren. Now, that’s always a blessing for both my wife and me. We even had a chance to celebrate our grandson’s birthday! 🙂

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As most of you know, Lord willing, my wife and I will soon be relocating to the country of China. Our original intention was to be here in the States until the beginning of March, but it looks like we will be here six weeks longer than we had originally planned. Many have asked, “Why China?” Of course, there are many reasons and I even have posted a page on China, which you can check out by going to the link below:

https://peekingthroughthe1040window.wordpress.com/china/

Consider this for a moment: China is a country of 1.4 billion people. Depending on what statistics you believe, somewhere between 3-5 percent of the population professes to be “Christian.” Just to put that in proper perspective, 77 percent of Americans profess to be “Christian.” The “Unreached” population of the country of China is just under 186 million people, and many of these are not only “Unreached” but “Unengaged,” which means no one is looking for them and trying to reach them with the Gospel. In America, there are somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 independent Baptist churches. Yet, in the country of China, which is almost five times the size of the United States, there are only 50-100 independent Baptist churches.

IN OTHER WORDS, THERE’S A GREAT NEED IN CHINA!

When one ponders these numbers and others like them, it isn’t long before you agree with the great Hudson Taylor who once wrote, “Can Christians in England sit still with folded arms while these multitudes in China are perishing for lack of knowledge – for lack of that knowledge which England possesses so richly?”

I encourage you to check out the videos below:

Why China from carrithelight on Vimeo.

Unreached People Groups of China from carrithelight on Vimeo.

My wife and I will be in Central and Northern California for a few weeks before I head to New England for a couple of weeks. It also looks as if the Lord has opened a door for me to make a very brief trip to the “Bible-belt” to be in a few churches.

PRAYER REQUESTS:

  1. Please pray for all three of our teams in Southeast Asia [Cambodia, Laos, Thailand].
  2. Please pray for our new Bible college in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 
  3. Please pray that God will open doors for future ministry in China.
  4. Please pray about the recent increase in persecution in China.
  5. Please pray that God will bring an increase from all the seeds that we have been planting through our preaching, teaching, reporting, and presenting these past few months.
  6. Please pray for the many young people in recent days who have made decisions about the mission field.
  7. Please pray that God will open a door for a future visit to some refugee camps.
  8. Please pray that God will provide the necessary funds for my wife and I to relocate.
  9. Please pray for my wife’s upcoming surgery.
  10. Please continue to pray for my brother, Pastor Joe, and his wife Mary!

My wife Denise and I want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your faithful prayers and financial support. We could not do what God has called and led us to do without your prayers and without your financial support!

Johnny and Denise Esposito

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