Thursday, April 3, 2014

AMAZING GRACE IN TIANJIN & BEIJING THIS MARCH 2014!

GOD OPENED A NEW DOOR IN TIANJIN AND PROVIDED UNIMAGINABLE BLESSINGS AS WE RETURNED TO BEIJING TOO!

The following are stories of what happened in Beijing and Tianjin in March—oh my! We worked without breaks, Yinyan and me...saw 200 people and 25 or more received Christ! At one point Yan had translated so much that she just looked at me with a blank stare and we laughed! Then, a professional translator, “Adam” stepped up and said, "I'm a professional translator and I would be honored to help". God provides and we hope you enjoy a glimpse of our time as many of you have gone with us with your prayers and support~

We flew into Beijing, spent the first few days there sharing some of the ladies we know and then...off on our first adventure on the high speed train. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive from Beijing to Tianjin - we got there in 30 minutes!  Need one of those in Denver!

 Coki's group in Beijing - love these ladies along with our Australian friend, Rebecca. Each girl learned how to appreciate the unique personality God gave to her. Each made a life story rope that told the story how God worked in her life and brought her to knowing Christ.
 What fun we had surprising Yinyan for her birthday!

 About 40 core leaders from a 1,000 member house church (amazing in China!) came to the marriage training our first night in Tianjin. The training was very well received and many leaders said they learned a lot. The beautiful shawls and hats (from the “KnitWits”) were loved and everyone felt the prayers and blessings of those American sisters who knitted them. We felt like coming home even though we just met these precious brothers and sisters. Pressures from unbelieving parents are major. Some of the couples have to live with parents or in-laws in an apartment! On the way back to hotel, the pastor's wife called more people to attend our training next day.

 Teaching at an Autism Education Center where we shared the gospel and "The Gifts of Parenting" with about 15 parents. One parent accepted Christ and several parents shared with us that it was very helpful. One mom said, "It is great to be reminded that our children are gifts and blessings from God and also know what we can do to bless them.” A dad said that the story rope activity is very healing and he is going to do it with his 4-year-old son. He asked us to bring back more activities like that. He also shared that he learned how to control anger better and he would go to the corner and count to ten when he is about to lose temper at home!”

 We trained on “Faith at Work Place” and people found the message very encouraging. A workplace can be very stressful and even hostile for Christians and add to that a pressure to succeed no matter the cost. Wisdom and discernment are needed every minute of the day. Integrity and honesty are rare. The brothers and sisters had an opportunity to share with each other about challenges and ways to find God’s peace and strength by meditating on God’s word and character. This is Joshua and his lovely wife—a wonderful couple dedicated to serving in their church and serving us too!
Sharon Tom made beautiful hats to send with us and the KnitWits from Texas made shawls, hats and scarves - the gifts open hearts and are much loved!     

  
We went to Baidilu house church to worship. This church has grown from 10 people to 1000 in 10 years (the large house church mentioned earlier). There are men and women, young and old—another unusual factor since most house churches are filled with mostly people in their 20’s & 30’s. The pastor gave a powerful sermon on “salvation by faith in Christ alone”. In the children’s Sunday school they were practicing singing Handel’s Halleluiah Chorus for Easter celebration. There are many questions here about family and ministry—they are excited to have us return and we are so excited to come!           

  
On Sunday afternoon we offered 15 Sunday school teachers training on how to recognize each student’s personality and then shared with them according to how God made them. We enjoyed meeting those dedicated teachers and were able to encourage them with our stories and provide some helpful Sunday school resources. In most of the house churches with whom we’ve shared, the need for a “Sunday School” is new, since most who attend are so young and the numbers small. Not so here!  Exciting!!

 Helen and Yinyan. Helen received a beautiful shawl from the KnitWits and green is her favorite!

Yinyan taught 5 love languages and how to discern the Holy Spirit’s guidance from selfish desire. Yinyan also shared the Good News with the group (about 30 college students from Nankai University), many accepted Christ that evening! One gentle man said that it was easy to understand and he was glad that he was there! Some of the ladies we know in Beijing, have an outreach with students at Nankai University and these students who came to Christ are a part of these combined efforts! We are so thankful to be a small part of this!

 Vivian’s Story! Wei Whitbeck (originally from Tianjin—now in Omaha) who now works alongside us at GPiH, had asked that we make contact with a sweet lady named Vivian who is having extreme marital difficulties and was desperate for help. We met her at church first, then spent time throughout the day on Sunday as we taught. On Monday morning, Yinyan prayed with Vivian in the hotel room and Vivian accepted Christ as her Savior, beginning to learn to trust Him for the future. She followed us to all the trainings afterward and expressed her hunger for God’s Word. Yinyan left her a Bible and Peggy a devotional. Please pray that God would protect Vivian and lead her through the local Christians with whom we’ve connected her. She was literally transformed before our eyes from a sad, desperate woman who had made attempts on her life, to one smiling and filled with God’s love. Vivian kept saying, “You saved me, You saved me!” Of course it was Jesus who did that! Amen!

 Our last night in Tianjin we focused on relationships and personality profiles. We had some Q&A time, gifts (shawls, bracelets and hats) and story rope activities. Every person learned that God made them uniquely beautiful and HE has a great plan for each one. Pictured here are new friend Anna and Helen, a friend Peggy met in Beijing a few years ago! Helen was a great help in Tianjin and arranged for us to meet with this house church of about 100 people and led by Professor Hou of the Nankai University.  Here we are having discussion time and sharing each individual story.

 On our last day in China, we taught a lunchtime Bible Study Group about their God-given personalities and had great feedback and many requests for future training. These are dedicated men and women who gather openly and come from other companies in the area. Our flight departure time was 5:25pm but we had one more stop to make and God had a plan (read the next story!)...

 New Sisters! After we finished at Price Waterhouse we stopped quickly at the Silk Market so Yinyan could get some of our Story Jewelry to help her raise funds for her next trip. It was “power shopping” and we had only minutes but she got her jewelry and we stopped in to our favorite scarf shop. Two of the girls there had received Story Bracelets from us, one of them was a believer. I gave the other two girls their bracelets and Yinyan shared the Gospel. The next moment these sweet girls bowed to pray and receive Christ as Savior! I stepped back to quietly snap this photo—the moment was priceless!


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