August 11, 2017

IMG_0967That look you get when someone starts a conversation with you in Mandarin and you have absolutely no idea what they are saying, but they think you do!

After nearly a month here, my wife and I are starting to get a adjusted to our new “home” in China. Unlike our time serving in the countries of Laos and Cambodia we really don’t have a whole lot of interaction with folks who can speak any English, other than a handful of folks who attend the church we are working with, (who just so happen to speak English), and two ladies who work at a local restaurant/store near our apartment. We have definitely had a some very interesting experiences trying to communicate with folks. Between funny experiences on the street, in restaurants, our first experience riding the bus alone, and having to pay for the same hat twice at Walmart, we have a boatload of funny, and at times, embarrassing, “China Experiences” that we could share! 

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IMG_0961PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR OUR TRANSITION HERE IN CHINA! 

The summer months bring a unique experience here where we are located. There happen to be a few camps going on, and we have had the opportunity to meet some of the folks putting on the camps. It was a real blessing to meet men from the USA, along with a national who is from here. They were conducting, of all things, a Flag Football Camp. In fact, the group from the USA conducted 11 different camps in 11 different cities over a one month period. I also had the opportunity to meet another group that was conducting an English Camp. They specifically asked me not to post any pictures. Of course, both of these groups were using the camps as a platform to share the love of Christ to the Chinese people.

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Our church, along with another church, worked together to hold a camp in the southern part of our province. I believe there were over 230 young people attending the Camp. While I was not there, quite a few of our folks were there, and I heard really good reports!

IMG_0956PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SEEDS THAT WERE SOWN IN THE VARIOUS CAMPS TO BRING FORTH FRUIT UNTO EVERLASTING LIFE!

It was a blessing to meet “John,” well, that’s his English name. He’s 22-years old, from Afghanistan, and is here in the country learning Mandarin for one reason. So, he could go back home and work alongside missionaries from China who are trying to reach the Afghan people.

IMG_0957PLEASE PRAY FOR JOHN AND OTHERS LIKE HIM WHO ARE BEING TRAINED TO GO TO THE DARK, DIFFICULT, AND OFTEN DANGEROUS PLACES IN THE 1040 WINDOW WITH THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!

I have had the opportunity and privilege to preach/teach a few times since arriving back in the country. As always, it has been a blessing to see the attentiveness and responsiveness of our folks here. Our folks seem to have a real desire to grow in the love and service for Christ!

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IMG_0968PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL USE MY PREACHING AND TEACHING TO SAVE SOULS AND STIR THE HEARTS OF HIS PEOPLE HERE IN THIS COUNTRY!

In our last Update, I mentioned meeting a young lady named Maggie who spoke English. She was the first person that I had a chance to meet in public who spoke English. My wife and I invited her and her husband over for a meal. Praise the Lord, she came. But she didn’t come alone. She came with four other adults and four children. We had a great time and my wife cooked up a wonderful meal for the eleven of us. Lord willing, this will be the beginning of a new relationship that will allow us to share the Gospel with folks who don’t know Jesus!

IMG_0960PLEASE PRAY FOR THE SALVATION OF JACK, MAGGIE, AND THE OTHERS WHO WE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF HAVING OVER TO EAT AT OUR APARTMENT RECENTLY!

It was a real blessing to be able to teach a group of our teens recently during the 9:00 AM hour on Sunday. One of the most “different” things here in China compared to Southeast Asia is how few young people there seem to be compared to the older generation. You can see this on the streets, as well as in the church. So, we are looking forward to doing what we can to influence the “Next Generation” at our church!

IMG_0966PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL USE US TO BE A BLESSING TO OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND THAT WE WOULD REACH MORE YOUNG PEOPLE!

While we have limitations here because of not knowing the language and various restrictions, one thing that my wife and I can do is to open up our home to those who know the Lord and those who do not know the Lord. Hospitality matters, it does makes a difference, and the good thing about it is anyone can do it. It’s been a joy to have three groups of people over our apartment just this past week alone. Not only did we have the unsaved folks over, as mentioned above, but it has been a blessing to have some fellow Christians and co-laborers over for food and fellowship. So very grateful for my wife’s servant spirit!

IMG_0965PLEASE PRAY THAT GOD WILL USE OUR APARTMENT TO BE A PLACE WHERE THE LOVE OF CHRIST CAN TOUCH THE LOST AND SAVED ALIKE!

As I mentioned recently, in my “Over a Cup of Coffee in  China,” it was a real blessing to have the opportunity and privilege to teach for two hours on discipleship, and why we need to start new small groups around the city. I will teach again next week, and again the week after I return from Indonesia. Lord willing, we will meet at our place weekly, and a few of us will rotate in teaching and on various topics.

Arriving on the field at the age of 56, and then arriving in China at the age of 60, there’s always that nagging voice within that speaks to you, asking, “What are you going to be able to do for Christ in this place and at your age?”

GOOD QUESTION! 🙂

IMG_6784.JPGI am grateful that the Lord has seen fit to use us in a small way in such a needy part of the world. Of course, it’s an honor and a privilege to serve Christ and the cause of Christ anywhere, and at anytime, but there’s just something very sweet about knowing you are making a small dent where the need is so great.

If God can use us to inspire and possibly set a fire in the hearts of a few young missionaries, with long lives ahead of them, and a handful of nationals who know the language, the culture, and the hearts of their people, it will be worth it all!

Both Denise and I want to thank you for your faithful financial support and your continual prayers for our ministry here in Asia. We couldn’t be here without your labor of love!

Johnny and Denise

“If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” — C.T. Studd

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