Sunday, December 11, 2011

LAST DAY: MELS PREACHES/ COLD STONE AT THE MALL/ TEACHING CHURCH LEADERS

 Dr. Mels holding up the Forbidden City...just in the nick of time!  Mels preached a wonderful sermon, "What to do when life stinks" (John 11).  We toured a bit and then Mels taught the leaders in Josh and Sabina's church on DISC & spiritual gifts.  The class was to end at 7pm and these people who had been to church since 9am wanted more...we finished at 8:30pm!  Wish we could bottle the hunger for God in this place! 


In honor of the president of my college and Mels good friend, Ralph (Yankee) Arnold - at a mall in Beijing where we stopped to satisfy ice cream cravings!


Here is Rebecca - some of our teams met her nearly 2 years ago - now she is turning 3!  Here she is wearing a hat from the KnitWits... she loved it so much and speaks perfect English, telling me "thank you" and giving me a sweet little kiss!

Mels got a kiss too!!  He loved the Chinese children and they loved him too!

Pray for this dear couple (Benny & Ann) - wearing a hat and shawl from KnitWits.  They want a child so much and have lost 2 in the last year.  Both are leaders in the church.

This is Leo & Vivian - please also pray for them, leaders in the church too and also have lost 2 babies.  Children are precious everywhere but in China with the one-child policy, they are dearly beloved.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

JUFANG'S GROUP/ NEW SISTERS/ HOME RUN DR. MELS!

Here is Mels teaching the ladies!  They loved his training and then treated us to a worship dance + delicious lunch!



These ladies are new believers, trying to encourage each other with marriage, family and their growing faith.  They are floundering without a leader but determined to meet and grow.  Pray for them please...
 It was difficult to capture the whole room but over 100 today - WOW what a training on the DISC and Spiritual Gifts!  The students were captivated and very engaged in the training!  Dr. Mels says he's coming back in March - he can't believe the energy of this Acts Church - so hard to explain but unmistakable when you are here!!!


Dr. Mels was amazed at the openness here - a Christian Bookstore - on a public street openly advertising.  Several meeting rooms are here and we have certainly enjoyed the use of this building before but never so packed as today!
BEST PART: 35 Decisions for Jesus - 12 new believers and 23 dedicating their lives!

This is Jasmine - lovely translator for us and I was so happy to see her again!  She so badly wanted to win one of the scarves from the "KnitWits" - mostly because she wanted them to have her picture to pray for her!!  She did not win but Hope gave her scarf away - these women do not cease to amaze!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

85 IN A STUDY GROUP! 58 MOMS, TEACHERS & PARENTS!!"!!

This sister received a shawl on Tuesday night - she was overjoyed! This group of believers is just 1 of 5 church plants from the same original group!

On Wednesday, I taught on "Living by Grace" to one of the branches of this church - wow, this is certainly the church in Acts!  Yours truly forgot her camera so will be receiving photos of the Wednesday group of over 85 ( more came in after the original count so not sure but they give "packed like sardines" new meaning! All with such joy and so many questions after.  One sister said, "When something bad happened to me, another sister said it was because I sinned.  Now, she had something bad happen, should I remind her of what she said to me?" Ah, living by grace - she received well the instruction to love this sister instead!

This group is new to us and so eager to be part of what we do in China!  There were several interested in our Family Life events and others in the Crown Program! They also loved the bracelets as you can see!  Praising God that the Good News is shared with these and that the ministry here is funded too!
This is James Tao, friend and part time neighbor of Lynne Worcester (May team).  What an interesting man; we learned much from him!  He is seeking and asking many questions - it was wonderful for him to hear Mels' story of having been raised by atheist, communist dad from Cuba. Mels name stands for M-Marx, E - Engels, L - Lenin, S - Stalin!
 These ladies received the beautiful circular scarves from our KnitWits!  Lixia, the lovely sister on the left is sharing Jesus with her friend in the middle.  Hope of course in on the right!  They drove all the way to where the hotel is (over an hour) to pick us up!  
Mels taught a 'lunch and learn" at Anadarko Petroleum while I taught the moms group in a "villa" north east of town on Thursday morning.


Hebin is a sweet sister I've come to know since last spring. Can you see her sweet spirit?  She said, "I cried and prayed last night and this morning because now that I am home with my child, I am happy but also feel useless and no purpose - now you have shown me there is purpose in what I am doing and God will use this time in my life."
 Our hostess, Xiaoli!  Her heart is so big and she spoke of her fear in sharing Jesus with her friend but how the teaching helped her to over-come that fear.


 Our hostess, Xiaoli on the right!  Her heart is so big and she spoke of her fear in sharing Jesus with her friend but how the teaching helped her to over-come that fear.

These ladies are teachers in the private kindergarten - Mels told them all they looked like teenagers - so young, happy and lovely!  Here they are with their shawl, hat and bracelets - they love to receive gifts!

Here is Mels, Hope and the teachers in the teachers' lounge.  Mels had just spoken for Anadarko and then made the trek to the northwest of town to kindergarten.
All present loved the training!  Over and over I heard - "this is too short - we need more!"
 Later, after the school "chef", only 20 years old, fed us well - the parents and some teachers from another school came for the training.  Once again we heard, "not enough, we need more of this!!  
Simon, a young man attending with his wife was so excited he bought every book available from Dr. Mels!  He has been teaching servant leadership for 10 years and was so thrilled to have this training!  Simon was also very happy to hear about the Crown Leadership and I have no doubt he will attend!
This is Anne & Samuel, her son.  Anne is the principal of the school and had also attended Mels' training last Saturday.  After a few questions from Mels, we learned Anne works for free because there is not enough income from the school to afford a salary for her.  She had given up a good banking job to do this!  Talk about a heart for the Kingdom!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

50 IN A TINY ROOM

 Here is our youngest winner of one of the hats from the KnitWits (Knitting a Witness for Christ!)!  So adorable!  Mels spoke to an audience of 50+ packed into a tiny narrow room - there was no way to get a photo of all with the narrow room with even closet space opened up for seats!

  I'm standing in the back, literally in a hallway where people pack in - practically blocking the bathroom.  They listened intently and loved learning about their personalities and gifts and how that impacted life and ministry!

The pastor's wife here with Mels, Fangfang and I.



I tried to find a way to show the size of these chairs :)... The "larger" chairs are no more than 8" or 9" in diameter but standard height - the smaller ones are the same in diameter but at most 12" off the floor!  They are "make a way, find a way" people, not out for comfort but hungry for truth!!

CHRISTMAS, WALMART & THE GREAT WALL!

 The Christmas tree outside our hotel!  Christmas music everywhere both sacred and secular - wonderful to know there are many Jesus followers who worship Him!  "Hallelujah" & "Amen" are the same in English & Chinese~

Mels choosing dinner from Walmart in Beijing!  or not??
 Dr. Mels at the Great Wall!  



Monday, December 5, 2011

NEW LEADERS & JEREMIAH'S CHURCH


video
I met yesterday with Jufang (pictured above) - you might remember her from the song her group sang for us in September!  Jufang is an amazing servant leader who is such a servant leader, she doesn't see herself as a leader!  She agreed today to be our first "coach" - to mentor 10 women's group leaders as they serve!  I am so thrilled today!!
 No, Dr. Mels, you shouldn't ride in the "death taxi" :)!  So named because of the risk in taking these modes of transportation in Beijing traffic!! 


 Dr. Mels with Fangfang translating!  Fangfang who keeps us in line with her detailed "C" personality, is certainly showing some "I" and becoming so animated as she works with Mels.  He brings out the best in those around him!
 Jeremiah's church - transplanted together from a college town - lives in close community in outskirts of Beijing!  Very young believers led by Jeremiah - wise for his years - this group was quiet and subdued until Dr. Mels loved on them and they warmed and became so responsive to his teaching!  Good questions and feedback too!        

This is Sarah - on a previous visit, she had just received Christ and asked me to give her an English or Bible name.  This is quite an honor and imediately, to me she looked like a "Sarah" - she reminded me of this and said how much she loved her name.  Sometimes we just want to take them all home with us!  At least we'd love to bring the hunger for God home with us!
Dr. Mels and me with Jeremiah the "D" and his lovely wife who is a vivacious "I"!



Today, while Dr. Mels is with David at the Great Wall and Temple of Heaven, I met with Jili (pictured here with Sharon Sanchez on a previous trip!).  Jili will be our 2nd Coach for the leaders of women's groups!  She is so excited and has been asking God to use her - He has answered!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

BEIJING DECEMBER 3&4

Flora Qian, Mels Carbonell, Peggy & Fangfang - our team lunch on the first day!  Yum - love the food here and so grateful to have arrived safely last night.  I arrived at about 9pm and Mels at nearly midnight.  Flora was already in south China and came to meet us in Beijing.  Fangfang was waiting for us and has planned a wonderful and very full schedule for us! Ah yes - bright eyed (sort of) and bushy tailed :) ready to roll!

Dr. Mels trained in the afternoon of our first day on DISC as a helpful tool in raising and teaching children!  So many great comments from the attendees:  "This training has changed my life and I feel liberated to be all God created me to be!" & "I have had training like this before but this has made the biggest difference for me!"  50 attended when only 32 confirmed - typical among these people hungry for God's Word!

Here is Mels teaching away on just a few hours sleep - imagine how great he'll be when he really gets rest!  Flora did a wonderful job translating for Mels!  Fangfang also translated whilie taking care of latecomers and so many details.


Our first winner of a prayer shawl!  She was so very excited!!

     "Three Musketeers"? Well, not exactly :)  it's Dr. Mels, Don Young and Jerry Wunder!  It's a privilege to serve with these godly men and a privilege to be in China and to be part of what God is doing here!!
Jerry & Don had just held the first graduation for the Crown leadership program - the very first to complete all 4    courses!  They were amazed at the "electrifying" results!

At Josh and Sabina's church (Dec. 4) - Jasmine is translating for Dr. Mels as he shares his testimony.  He'll be preaching on "What to do when life stinks" (John 11 - story of Lazarus) and then an afternoon session on DISC & spiritual gifts.


Don preached an absolutely wonderful sermon on Colossians. So many parallels with the Chinese church today and Paul's teaching so relevant!  Home Run, Don!


Dinner with Don, Marlen, Matt, Amy (from Don's church), Mels, Sabina, Promise, Josh & (off to left) Leo & Vivian.  What a great time we had, sharing testimonies of God's grace!

Leo & Vivian - such a dear couple and although they've had personal trials are serving well in Josh and Sabina's church.


Dr. Mels won over little Promise!  Grandpa Mels is wonderful with people and Promise thought so too!

Sabina, Promise and Josh!  Sabina helped us begin Women's Connections in China and started our first women's group there at their church!  Now, she is mom and is leading women in training their children in their apartment complex - yet another way God is using this dynamic woman!  We are thankful for you, Sabina!