Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cliff Hanger :)

We are back in the states and missing our dear friends in China! As I was sharing with my friend Ta yesterday I realized that I left you hanging on a mysterious "gift of dirt" in the parenting class I did. That was the blog about the class on Tuesday, March 16.

Well here's the dirt! Part of the class was on giving honor to our parents and children and in general giving the gift of honor to people around us. The illustration involved giving a gift of dirt (in a nice gift bag of course) to illustrate giving dishonor to someone - and then following up with a nice gift to show how it is when we give the gift of honor. The illustration was very well received and provoked quite a discussion about some difficult parenting some had received and some current situations and how to deal with them.The woman who received the dirt and then the replacement nice gift then turned and gave a part of her gift (a chocolate) to another to symbolize sharing.

The really funny part was in collecting the dirt - this in a virtual concrete jungle around the hotel, not to mention the fact that it had snowed and the dirt we saw around trees etc. was a bit muddy. Well, we were outside Walmart (yes you heard it right - Walmart in China!) and saw a tree that was in a sunny spot and the dirt around it was pretty dry. The friend we were with was Kristy Tan who is luckily fluent in Mandarin which came in handy when I was bending down to pick up a handful of dirt with a plastic bag...

There was an older Chinese man observing us with a funny sort of grin on his face. The Chinese are quite openly curious and as I was scooping the dirt he was getting closer and closer. Kristy saved the day and said in Mandarin, "She loves China so much she wants to take some home with her!" At that, he smiled broadly!!

...and that's the rest of the story :)

Incidentally, Sharon Sanchez' husband Ken is writing wonderful stories of events that happened there which I am posting on my profile page on Facebook if you care to check them out. Thank you again for praying and loving China with us!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday, 3.22.10 Part 2 - Photos

Monday, 3.22.10

We spent a tender time at the orphanage today holding and speaking to the children. Quite a few new ones and they hadn't seen westerners before. It was hard not to pack them up and take them with us!

What a time we had with George Chen, the Chief Director of an organization of Christian entrepreneurs. Here is the brief intro on their website: (the translation is as follows)

Vision: Chinese entrepreneurs are both with honesty, integrity, vision and international perspective, and to actively promote corporate social responsibility, leadership. Because of good faith and mutual trust, and entrepreneurs in each other's mutual assistance, additional resources, so that enterprises can quickly become bigger and stronger, all are with the long term international competitiveness.

George and his lovely wife Jennifer are so happy to partner with us and have a strong desire to see the special needs of women in business addressed! Talk about another divine appointment!!!

Tonight we met with another 10 women about leadership for women's ministry in their churches. They were so excited to have help and support and had so many questions that we were thinking they wanted to spend the night with us! We have seen a total of 12 different churches represented by the women we have trained; the women tonight were from 3 different churches. They really had thoughtful concerns and were so happy and excited! We have a big job ahead and there is such a need for resource material!

Well, one more day and we leave for home. We all feel we are leaving a part of us behind here in China! God is moving in mighty ways here; we thank you for all of your prayers!

Oh, here is a note about the woman I asked you to pray for on the last entry who said she hadn't believed there was a god. I said her name was Kali, but it is Kelly. Her friend Yolanda is the one I have mentioned and wrote this note. Yolanda says Kelly is from a Muslim family:

Dear all,

Please kindly be posted that kelly was quite happy to join our church yesterday. She said that what she got on Sunday that's what she trully needs now.

She said that she shared God words to her friends in dinner after training. All of her friends love it...They even made fun to judge whatever their talking like "this is God meaning", "that's not God meaning"...

She said that she started to read bible last night...

Our God is almighty God, lord of lords...shall we pray for her to join us every Sunday...pray for her salvation at God's time and plan...Amen.

God bless you,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday, 3.21.10

This must be short so there can be rest tonight! This day was beyond packed and beyond expectations!

First, we went to Josh and Sabina’s church and heard an amazing message about living and dying for Christ from Josh who had an episode last week with his heart. He is fine now, but what a moving message. Sharon shared about her great-aunts having been here to teach, share Christ and establish churches and schools. The story moved us all and brought the church to tears! What a legacy of faith! Eight people came to Christ today – and over 70 people attended!

After lunch at church, we went to another house church with Yolanda and Hope’s group. There were 25-30 people crammed into a space of less than 140 square feet. They wanted to be taught about godly marriage so Mary and I shared with them while Sharon and Bonnie stayed with Sabina and the new believers group and prepared the goodie bags for the event tonight. It was a precious time with all!

From 4:30-8pm we were at a tea shop with about 38 women for a requested training on Emotions, Your Story –His Story and godly Career planning. It was very well received and the teaching by Sharon, Bonnie, Sabina and I went quite well with much feedback and many questions too. There were seekers there as well with questions asked and much talking afterward. Pray for a young lady named Kali, who told me she hadn’t believed there was a god, but that her heart was stirred toward Him tonight!

Tomorrow we will go to the orphanage, see George Chen (a leader of a Christian businessmen’s group) who wants to help us to start a group for women! In the evening we will see a few of the potential leaders of women’s groups who couldn’t make the training on the 13th. Tuesday we will see the Temple of Heaven (there was a sand storm yesterday and we couldn’t go) and finish our shopping at the silk market. If I don’t get to write before I leave for home on the 24th – look for our update upon our return! We are all so filled with joy and wonder at His work here – it is hard to express in mere words!!

I love you and thank you for your support and prayers,


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday 3.20.10

My greatest fear is that I will forget any of the events of this trip! Each day I think, “this day has been filled with divine appointments and I am in awe of them!”. I am sure each day was the highlight of the trip…until the next day! I will be including a few entries from my team soon as well because we all just keep saying, “WOW”!

Our VP of international operations, Don Young has been moonlighting as a comic! :) He does an imitation of the Chinese on the phone that is so funny that even our driver who speaks no English laughs each time. As close as I can come using phonetic spelling, here it is: “Whyeeee, huhdah,huhdah,huhdah,huhdah,huhdah,huhdah – ok,ok,ok,bye,bye”. I would imagine my Mandarin teacher wouldn’t be too impressed, but it is somehow hilarious to see the reaction here!

On a serious note, today at the invitation of our China Harmony and Unity Director, Shaun BAO, we attended an event with “The International Famous Entrepreneurs & Philanthropists Union”. This was attended by leading scholars, government officials and business leaders, as well as students about to graduate and looking for jobs. I took pages of notes in total astonishment as I wrote at break-neck speed but I will only include a few quotes for you:

- From Mr. BAO, a leading government official, “Students shouldn’t look to government and government jobs for security – rather look to private enterprise!”

- From the leader of the Christian Business Men’s Committee in Beijing, “Coming here shows your loving heart. We bring moneys earned from foreign countries back to China and we bring back love from our neighbors too”.

- From Mr. Wu, “Enterprise is not just for business, but to build relationships and others; if you try to keep your treasure for your descendents, you are silly – spend money for eternity! & . “If you are given a cup of water, give a drum of water. If you were given a cup and give only a drop, stir your heart to give a drum of water!”

- From the President of Happiness Research Institute (Really!!): “Most employment enjoyment depends on joy in your heart…serving others makes you happy!”

We had the opportunity to listen to our Shaun BAO and hear him stir the audience with his story of family bitterness. His royal great grandfather who hated the English and French for the destruction of the Summer Palace; his grandfather who hated the “national army” for his exile; for his father who hated the communist government for sending him because of his royal heritage – to the country to be “re-educated”. Then after his family went to Australia and Shaun worked as a “house boy” in New Zealand, becoming very angry himself, he came to faith in Christ. What a story he shares about his 20 years in missions in Beijing after leaving successful business in Australia! His dream is reconciliation between people, nations and between man and God!

Each of the team shared for a few minutes as well and were received so well! An older gentleman came up to us before the program ended to say that he had never before heard words like ours and he couldn’t wait until the end to tell us. A prominent woman in banking, as well as others told the entire group how much they loved the words we spoke. Shaun received so much praise and we were surrounded with picture takers for quite some time at the end. The program went from 1pm – 6pm!

Dinner tonight was with Shaun and Sarah BAO as well as a visitor (who just found out about Shaun and this meeting today a few hours beforehand!), Todd Hendricks. Todd shared his story of great success and wealth in a major construction company – with an economy related bankruptcy last spring. Todd shares about being desperately committed to ministry and willingness to be totally committed to Christ!

Must get some rest now; such a day ahead tomorrow with church, a small group to train and a much larger group later on. Please lift us up in prayer! Sharon Sanchez was even asked to share in church about her missionary aunts who were hear in the 20’s!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photos 3.18.10

Thursday, 3.18.10

Another great day! We spent time in the neighborhood where Josh grew up called “earth” around the Tiananmen area which is “heaven”. It is a “back alley” kind of place where you see real life – so wonderful to be there. You will see some pictures of this! More pictures of the people and training will be coming – can’t tell you how many minutes have been filled with so many things. The team is in awe of the people and their hunger to learn.

Yolanda Zhao, who we met at our leadership training on Saturday, went to the Silk Market with Mary, Sharon, Bonnie and I today – helping us to get amazing bargains! She prays before she shops that God would help her to be faithful with her money; I would say He did that today. :) When Yolanda heard that Sharon’s great aunts were here in the 20’s as CIM missionaries, she told Sharon that they want us to teach them all we can; she told Sharon how honored she was to meet her. They spend 3-4 hours in church on Sunday, Bible study and Prayer meeting during the week and study on their own…it is not enough! It is we who need to learn from these people! Yolanda send this email to us:

Dear Peggy and Mary,
“Wish you have good dinner. I was so happy with all of you for shopping. I found that women are quite similar in shopping, we always know what's the best thing with best price:) That's why we need sister ministry.
As we discussed, I wrote a letter to my good friends and the purpose is spread gospel. I am looking forward to listening your comment. You kind help will be high appreciated.”

God bless you everyday,

We finished our evening with a visit to the Upper Room and this time we got to really experience it! What wonderful praise and worship and to sing “How Great Thou Art” and other familiar songs in English while they sang in Chinese – it was unspeakably wonderful! The inlaid cross on the floor, loaves and fishes, 12 tribes – well, we took pictures so we can prove this place exists here! The time is now to enter this open door and help to equip leaders here to do the work they are passionate to do! Keep praying!

Here’s a funny for you: as we were driving home in the taxi tonight, listening to the friendly honking that is common here as the many cars, bicycles, scooters and even horses, weave in and out whether there are lanes for them or not…Mary says the horns are “friendly toots”. Sharon replied that the difference between a friendly toot and an unfriendly toot is about 15 seconds! We’ll be moonlighting as a comedy show :)!

Wednesday, 3.17.10

It’s hard to find words to express my joy today! There have been so many divine appointments in the past few days and no time to post them… I didn’t have access to my own camera at first so I will have some pictures for you in the next day or so. Since the event filled weekend and leaving you hanging about our Sunday night experience at the “Upper Room” restaurant here in Beijing, the minutes have been filled to over-flowing!

Okay, about the “Upper Room”: first, can you believe there is such a place here?? Every night they begin with their band, playing “How Great Thou Art” at 8pm and play worship music for several hours! We met some incredible contacts who are so excited about beginning women’s ministry here! It was a blessing to be there and to be served a wonderful dessert and to be driven home in a lovely car by the owners! I can’t wait to see what happens with each of these connections here. It is also a reading room and coffee house in the daytime.

Mary and I did some Silk Market shopping on Monday, caught our breath a bit and then went to dinner at Iwona and Ramsey Fahel’s lovely home. These are friends of Nancy and Wayne Patterson and we enjoyed a wonderful meal and a great time with the family, including their daughters, Malvina and Esther. On Tuesday we went to visit a community center run by people supported by a church in CA. They teach dance, martial arts and language for children and have begun a great work here. There were two other couples there who also knew two of our GPiH board members and had spent time with one the day before – just really neat connections again!

Tuesday night, I taught a class on parenting – and not because I am a great expert, but with God’s help I believe it was a blessing to those in attendance from Josh and Sabina’s ministry. I will update you with the next blog about the gift of “dirt” I gave and the fun results! In the meantime, check out the site for the Upper Room if you’d like: http://www.upperroomrainbow.com/

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Another update!

Hello again ~ I am slightly more rested than I was yesterday when I wrote to you. I will try to pen the events of these two incredible days for you as best I can – although it is impossible to capture what we see and feel here! It really is like watching the early church in Acts – with such open love, worship and hunger for the truth of God’s word and His ways.

As I had related to you, we were received so well, with happiness and joy at God’s grace in allowing us to have ministry with each other. So many strange obstacles before the meeting began, so many ways the evil one tried to thwart the mission: several people couldn’t come at the last minute due to illness, difficulties with making copies at the hotel for my notes for training (which I had revised on the plane), bringing my computer to read from and forgetting that I needed an adapter for the power cord – and I had forgotten in my travel fatigue to plug it in the night before…Then asking one of our dear Chinese sisters if I could email the file to her computer and Yolanda saying she had a flash drive. No sooner had we copied the files onto the drive than my battery died and my computer shut off…

Normally, I am not so dependent on my notes to train, but when speaking with a translator it is so good to keep your focus and your thoughts in order as you pause to be translated. God was right on time with every detail and hearts were ready and the women so happy to hear. As we spoke of our need to grow and learn and be refreshed as leaders the women looked as if huge burdens were lifted from their shoulders. The laborers here really are few and the harvest is PLENTY! They are tired and yet have only just begun. The leadership principles and ideas for outreach and discipleship were appreciated! Mary did such a great job with the discipleship piece! The idea of a retreat for the women who will lead was a joy for them and they were so happy to know that they would not need to do this alone! We are so happy to know that God truly wants us here with these dear women.

So, that was Saturday, our first day here after arriving Friday night. I was about to summarize today in the quiet of the hotel room and then we received another invitation which could not be refused! (see the last paragraph) First, earlier today (Sunday), we attended Josh and Sabina’s Church where we so enjoyed the worship and then heard such a great message from a guest speaker, Michael Yu. Michael speaks all over the US and China and actually resides in southern CA – what a passionate and really funny speaker. Seven people came to Christ today; with over 70 in attendance packed into the apartment that is there church. They serve lunch after the 2 hour service and everyone stays. After that there was a new believer class with about 25 people staying for that – Sabina taught then for another 2 hours in the course they take for 12 weeks! Such hunger and eagerness to learn. In attendance today were doctors, actors and professionals from different walks of life!

Mary and I spoke to Michael Yu during lunch and he offered to connect us with prominent Christian business women who would love to be a part of what we are doing here!! He said he will love to introduce us to the “richest woman in China”! Well, we finished the day after Sabina’s class at about 3pm (church began at 10am). Sabina helped us graciously decline a dinner invitation, knowing we hadn’t stopped for even a minute to go to an ATM to get currency or just catch a breath. After coming to the hotel and having dinner we settled in for a quiet night….NOT! Michael Yu called and said he was at a restaurant owned by Christians from the second church he spoke for today (where 12 more people came to Christ!). He asked if we could come (it was 8:30pm – they don’t stop!!) because there were several Christian business women who wanted to meet us! I will tell you tomorrow (It is now midnight here) what happened at a restaurant in China called the “Upper Room” with loaves and fishes on the menu and the twelve tribes of Israel hand painted on the windows!! Stay tuned – pictures of the training and church will be sent tomorrow!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Back in Beijing! (3.13.10)

Mary Waring and I arrived last evening (Beijing time) and had a quick dinner – we were in our room by 9:30 and in bed very quickly! What a day this has been and to watch God put the pieces together has been so thrilling! I will give more details tomorrow as it is late again and we have packed in so much today. There will be pictures as well and Mary is a professional photographer so you will not have to endure my amateur efforts :).

We trained leaders and potential leaders of women’s ministry today and there were over 30 in attendance! Women who are so eager to know and so happy to have help and support for their efforts. Two women who came were Yolanda and Hope; they had learned of this event only yesterday – Hope was asked just last Wednesday to begin a women’s ministry group in her church! God’s timing is wonderful and we are filled with joy and anticipation of the days ahead. We also set several one-on-one meetings with some who attended for additional mentoring. I wish I could pack in some of the joy into this quick posting, but the blog might explode!! Your prayers are being answered – thank you so much. More tomorrow~