Friday, March 16, 2012


If you haven't read any of the March 2012 blogs from China, please read this one! The 63 women came from 22 churches and most had previously felt isolated and alone... not realizing there were other women with hearts to serve and not knowing there was help and support for them. It was a joy to see the bonding of so many and the team of key leadership (coaches) have become supportive of each other and a true communications network to  allow for a model for self-sustaining ministry among the women of China!
 It is impossible to summarize the impact of our second "Sister Retreat" in China! None of us could have envisioned how God knit the teaching of each of our Chinese coaches with the teaching of the American sisters together to make an impact on each woman there. And talk about a cohesive team - our Chinese sisters thought we'd known each other for years - most had only just met!

Your retreat scholarships brought them to tears: they couldn't believe their American sisters cared so much for them. One teacher, brought 6 of her English students on scholarships - they all accepted Christ as Savior! Praise God for your generosity!

 The women identified with Mawei's call to be like Deborah (pictured above); the feeling of thinking they were "trash" but now belonging to God, as shared in testimony by Liz and further related to talks on courageous Esther, Abigail's wisdom, Lydia's church and then their own stories in sharing the Gospel.
Many indicated a dedication be salt and light for Christ in their spheres of influence, many will be leading study groups in the workplace or in churches and 12 want to be trained as coaches of the leaders to join the group now being trained! The final ceremony presented by Harriet asked them to take a cup of water to show their commitments to pouring out the offerings of their lives to God - as Mary had with the perfume for Jesus!

Here are quotes from the Chinese sisters along with the pictures below:
" I now know He value women and will use women to do great things." and  "I have more security to open to each other and feel relaxed."

"I feel more related to each other since have many common challenges and problems."

"I feel be loved and be understood and relieved."
Don't you just love the pineapple and watermelon hats from the KnitWits!  The ladies sure did!!  
This is Zhao Xiuming (Grace) who wrote this note to me (excerpt): "When it was gift time, Peggy and Hope brought out many knitted scarfs and put them on table. This Chinese girl was immediately attracted by a blue-white colored scarf. She loved it so much that she was afraid it might be taken away by other sisters. After more than 20 sisters were called...she was a little sad thinking she would never get the chance to get that beautiful scarf. Suddenly, she heard the hostess called out "633820" - That was her number!! ...she felt this was a special gift from God. Thank you for those knitted these beautiful scarfs. thank you for your weaving work and prayers....Wish that you could come to China!"

 "Sisters are encouraged by real life testimonies of life, even sufferings"

"We feel we can now help others to know Him better and the beauty and joy in Him"

These are the new sisters - 6 women welcomed into the family of God!

"Feel cared and loved."

"Realize women can exert huge influence..."

 "Draw me near to Him again, life
relieved from many confusion, 
frustration etc. and get hope again." 

"Having heart and life communication with sisters."

"Know clearer about His calling and will for me."

"Know more about how He value women and how he care about women in His heart."
"Find rest and renewed and transformed."

"Feel cared and loved."

"More confident and courageous in service!"

"Know His calling for women and how to live for Him."

I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse into the hearts of these Chinese sisters. Our entire trip and each Divine appointment is impossible to capture in mere words but I hoped to give you a brief look. Thank you to all who helped make this trip and this work a reality and please continue to pray for these women as they seek to take their leadership to a new level.  Pray for us too and about considering a trip to China with us?  Blessings to you all!

Friday, March 9, 2012


 The Great Wall

Mary doing what she does so beautifully - taking the best pictures!  John is always lifting everyone's spirits - they are such a great couple!

We are easily entertained - reading signs and the interesting way Chinese is translated into English!

Like this sign telling people not to light fires... :)

Harriet was the resident comic today - some great one-liners!  Here taking in the sights with Mary and Greg in the background.

Kathy & Greg - these 2 are a delight to everyone - so much fun and so willing to do anything that's needed.

Hope & Liz - what can I say?  Love these women and their hearts for God and China.  What a team God put together!

Hope in one of the lookouts on the wall!  We loved spending time with her today!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


 35 young artists packed this room last night for training on a biblical perspective for career choices.  I so enjoyed teaching these expressive and energetic brothers and sisters! The questions were insightful, bold and yet open to constructive ideas. Wish I could take them home with me - the young man in the back with the long hair smiled big and said, "my name is Happy"!

This is the shawl winner tonight, a guest of one of the's always a joy when those who are seeking are presented with a special gift of love and prayer!

 Our key leadership, our "Coaches"!  These women will train the leaders here: (L to R)  Emma, Jili, Jufang, Kanghui, Helena, MaWei!  Beautiful, gifted women and we are so blessed.

Our coaches with the ladies on our team:  Kathy, Harriet, Mary, Liz & me.
Sweet fellowship today and wonderful training from Liz who was ill but delivered AWESOME leadership material!

Mary & MaWei shared a special bond as moms of adopted children.  Mary was a tremendous encouragement to MaWei who was in tears as she thanked me for bringing these women to her!

We took 2 taxis home from Hope's apartment today for the 5 of us.  Both had a bit of excitement! Harriet and I were thinking this red vehicle might have been preferable to the rattling car we were in with the amiable driver who nearly got us broadsided by a bus - we kept the angels busy today!  The other team's driver dropped them off before arriving at the hotel because his car wasn't allowed that far and they took another taxi the rest of the way!  God is good to take care of us here - we count it all JOY!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


 "100 Fold" is the name of this Kindergarten (named for Matthew 19:29).  The principal, Ann Dou is an incredible lady who volunteers her time because the school cannot pay her.  She is the consummate servant leader and waited on us, pouring tea and giving gifts!

Ann is the lady who traveled a long way to my hotel last trip to bring me a Starbucks mug from Tienjin because she heard that I like them and use them in my home to share about China.
 Liz spoke today on how we are precious to God and on having community together - they loved her energetic sharing and her illustrations and stories - MaWei came up to Liz reciting what she had learned and will be teaching this to her study group of moms!

Harriet spoke today on the "Theology of Work" - she is always so well researched and prepared and again so well received.  Ann, the principal, said this is exactly what they needed to hear today!  Judy, pictured here with Harriet had us driven to our hotel - what a precious sister!

These lovely ladies are:  Jili, MaWei, and Judy.  Jili translated today, and although she was nervous, she did so very well!  MaWei thanked me today for introducing them on my last trip - Jili has prepared and studied for ministry in childhood education and is teaching the moms in MaWei's group! It's a blessing to know connections are being made that will help equip these women for ministry!

These are the women in the morning group! Liz is so impressed with the way they listen, respond and the joy they take in receiving the information! It's easy to see why God is using these women to help reach this nation for Him.

I met Wendy about 4 trips ago - she has a beautiful heart to serve and we have a very special bond.  I love these women!

Monday, March 5, 2012


 Here are our coaches, along with our (staff) & (team): Helena, Emma, Mawei, (Mary), Jili, (Kathy), (Fangfang), (Hope), Jufang, (Liz), (Harriet). Wow, what a blessing to work with these women of vision and heart - willing to give time and energy to build into others for the Kingdom!! The training with Liz went very well - the women were bonding for sure and working on their vision statements when we wrapped up for today.  Part II with this group on Thursday!

Meet "Helena" - a new lady to our group and so sharp with a degree in counseling and a heart to serve.  She is special to me because she has my grandma's name!

Yum!  Hope made lunch for us - "peasant food" she called it and well, it's my favorite! Wonderful veggie dishes, cabbage dish, breads & rice!  We love the food's tough to be loved and pampered this way! :)

This is the most giving woman, Hope had been given a circular scarf she loved on the last trip...gave it away to Jasmine who'd been praying she would win something so the ladies would pray for her too.  The KnitWits heard about this and made Hope a new one (she's wearing that too); they were so touched by the story that they made a special "shawl of many colors", each knitting a part of it and adding a small bead with her name.
THE  REST of the story - One of Hope's roommates told me just before giving these things to her that Hope had just given her shawl away too! God has blessed Hope for her sweet generosity today and she was deeply touched and so thankful!

Here is our 6th coach who had to be late today and missed the group shot: this is Kanghua - lovely leader of a large Mary Kay unit and now a coach to lead women's ministry leaders! She has held many events before and this is the first time she won a shawl!

Sunday, March 4, 2012


 Sabina & Promise - We had a blessed time to worship with these dear brothers and sisters again. Liz & Harriet's first meeting with them and loved them of course!  Promise was tired here but getting so big!  Josh wasn't feeling well but as ever preached a great message!

Liz and Harriet spoke about parenting to a group who have or will have little ones.  Many questions about discipline, love, education and balancing it all.

Harriet shared about her husband's family's legacy of faith and family devotions. We all shared ideas and the importance of the family's role with church supporting that.
We finished at 3pm and went for the first shopping experience at the Silk Market - all 3 of us are quick shoppers so much was done in little time!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Here we are - in Beijing, March 1, 2012!  Our team of Liz Selzer, Harriet Congdon and I arrived at the airport safely and after a few hours Mary's team (her hubby John along with Greg and wife Kathy) from California also arrived (we decided they were worth waiting for!!). At the hotel by 8:30pm we crashed! It's actually a benefit to be so tired that you sleep a full night even though at home it's the middle of the day.  Beijing time is 15 hours ahead of Colorado time.  
At breakfast the next morning, it took only a few minutes to realize that God had put together a cohesive and wonderful team.  It is pure joy to serve with these terrific people!! We were able to take time during the day (Friday the 2nd) to prepare, rest and make our trips to the grocery for water and a field trip to Walmart...uniquely Chinese.

 Here we are at our first day's training - at the Christian Bookstore in the meeting rooms.  The teachers in the photo are Harriet (in the middle wearing teal & black), Liz right behind Harriet, me and Kathy to the far right along with our beautiful Chinese sisters! Wonderful training today by Kathy - "Building Bridges", Harriet- "Psalm 139" and Liz "Having Community" & "Mentoring". More than 50 women were present and loved the teaching so much!
Meanwhile in another room at the bookstore, John & Greg taught 30+ men about healing broken relationships and being a follower of Jesus at work.  Great Day!

Here is Liz!  Hamming it up while modeling the scarves, hat & shawls made by our beloved "KnitWits" (Knitting a witness for Christ).  What fun it is to see their faces when the win the pretty things and how over-joyed they are to know they will be prayed for as well.

Harriet spoke first while the ladies quietly kept filling the room.  Her story of not feeling loved during part of her life brought tears to many eyes, but hope in knowing they were lovingly made by God and are completely adored by Him.

The sisters loved Kathy and her sweet spirit.  Again they were touched by her story and moved to share their own stories while building bridges to share the story of Jesus!

Here is Liz speaking with Rebecca translating.  Rebecca is Australian by birth and fluent in Mandarin.  What a team these two - getting the mentoring idea across while doing their own brand of stand up comedy...might have a knew act here in China!!

Just had to include this lady - she loved her new hat and loved posing for the photos too!

Stay tuned!  Much more to come and we can't wait to share it with you.  Thank you for the part you have played in making this possible!  Much love from the March teams!