“Our first night in Tianjin was unbelievable!” said Terry Walters. “I sensed a moving of the Holy Spirit as never before.” After teaching on how to win battles through praise, how to journal in their Bibles, it was wonderful to hear them pray! As the people came to us for prayer, one women told me she believed in God but didn’t know how to talk to God. I sensed that she was not a believer and shared the Story Bracelet with her and she wanted to pray to receive Jesus! What a special joy and special groups of people we saw. On the last night in Beijing with Shaomeng group after sharing about prayer and praise along with Judy, our translator Lena said that the Chinese don’t do anything like this, sharing things they are thankful for or confessing or giving gifts as you have done here. They were so very moved and thankful!”
Jessie is part of the Trinity Church formed out of the Pricewaterhouse study group. Shelley Sessions was blessed to pray with Jessie, whose mom is a successful, self-sufficient woman who can’t understand Jessie’s faith and looks down on the church and believers. Now, doctors have found a shadow on her mom’s lung, and although there is no certain diagnosis, she is concerned. Jessie and Shelley prayed together that God would soften her mom’s heart and show her the need for Jesus. How sweet to pray together and know that they will continue to do pray, share and mentor. The groups certainly loved Shelley’s warm heart and appreciated her skill in speaking Chinese!
Judy DeVries shared about a young man from one of the churches made up of Nankai University students: “I do not remember his name, as he didn't have an English name. He sat intently with a smile on his face throughout the teaching on the Fruit of the Spirit, Terry’s teaching on marriage and the teaching of the bracelet. He shared that he has a strong desire to share Jesus with his friends and about what he had gotten out of the night. He bought two bracelets that we took off our own arms to use in sharing. It is an inspiring and encouraging thing to see their passion for the Gospel!
Our team loved the time with Shaomeng Church in Beijing. The teaching there with the women was a very touching time. When Judy taught on forgiveness in the afternoon, Lynette opened up about her own pain because she could see so much pain in the women’s eyes. It opened up opportunities for Peggy and Yinyan to share their stories as well and several women shared and asked for prayer. One in particular was Amy who prayed for forgiveness because of her abortions. Yinyan had prayed for a long time that God would use her to help in the healing of women who need to “surrender the secret” and we see her used time and again. This truly was a special, God-chosen team. Thankful!!
It was so much fun to see parents connecting with the personality differences during the Personalities and Parenting class. Peggy was blessed to share this and to help the parents determine their God-given personalities too. Special thanks to Nancy Patterson for putting the training together and creating the PowerPoint! Judy felt the parents were beginning to believe their children really could be taught and treated differently. It was amazing to watch the couples tapping each other as they laughed about a daughter who is a “C” or their son who is a “D” or the dad with his son in the photo, clearly an “I” (standing on daddy’s hand)! They were so eager to learn and so attentive to the teaching.
On every trip (15 now) since March of 2010, the KnitWits (Knitting a witness for Christ) group from south Texas and now Sharon Tom from Arizona, send beautiful knitted shawls, scarves and hats as a way to express God’s love and remind our sisters and brothers in China that women in the US are praying for them! We are blessed to deliver these gifts and then watch as God IS in the details and hearts are touched to receive the Good News and to receive teaching that warms hearts toward His love! We are the messengers but want the ladies who knit to know what a difference they make in the work God has called us to do! Thank you!
A prayer from Yinyan: “Thank you for a fun and caring team: Peggy, Terry, Judy, Shelley, Lynnette and Kathy are so encouraging and inspiring. I have learned that a team can do more than the sum of all individuals’ work for God’s Kingdom, just like what Peggy taught in her cultural training class. Beside learning about parenting my children according to their God-given personalities and respect my husband unconditionally, I learned more about forgiving others from Judy and seeing God’s work in my life, praising with Terry through tough times. Through interpreting for each team member and hearing life stories from Lynnette, Kathy and Shelley, God has shown me how to depend on His lead when I interpret, so that I can better express the speaker’s feelings, emotions, joy and hope in Christ. I thank you Lord for showing us how to work as a team for your glory. I have experienced the joy of sharing Your message in sync with my teammate.” And we thank you, Yinyan for letting God use you—we love you!
We are thankful that Hope Zhang connected us with Shaomeng’s group. This group of Christians are on fire and so eager to learn. They not only come listen, but immediately apply it as they did on Monday evening, Terry taught on marriage and we did the story ropes and shared with each other. Sister JC shared that she struggled in her marriage, now learning how to trust God in difficult times. Tuesday morning, several young moms traveled a long way with their babies to our parenting class, planning a discussion group afterward. After the first evening session, they asked for a Wednesday evening training. After Tuesday morning training, they asked to add an afternoon session, so Judy taught on forgiveness. Forgiveness seemed possible when we surrender ourselves to Him and Honghua shared with Yinyan that she had an abortion long time ago. She used to think it was all others’ fault but now she knows she needs God’s grace. Lily shared that she aborted her second child when her first was ten months old and understands she is forgiven. We are thankful that Yinyan and this team had the courage to share their stories!
Lynnette Whipple loves Jesus and in obedience to Him, shared that love so willingly in China. We watched that love make a difference as she reached out to “Lydia”, identifying with their mutual love of purple boots and clothes. Later, Lynnette learned that Lydia came as a seeker, to “learn about God” and Lynnette prays that her obedience in coming to China and showing love to Lydia will help her realize the most important relationship of all is a relationship with Christ! Thank you Lynnette!
This was our second trip to Tianjin and to this large church where we've taught many times now. We truly love these passionate lovers of Jesus!. It was great to see our tall friend, Brother Han who is so grateful for the teaching for his family and especially his wife. She asks us to pray for her to hear God's voice and be encouraged in a difficult job situation. They reach out to so many and there are so many needs. The bi-vocational pastor asked prayer for his congregation and for more freedom in China. Ah, and again we saw several come to faith in Christ in this place. On this trip, over 410 received training and at least 15-20 received Christ!
It was so wonderful to be with Timothy’s church and worship with them. Their worship leader was great and their singing was so enthusiastic. It was a large group and they were multi-generational. Judy taught on Joseph (From Child to Adult). It was the first time she had witnessed a church service where there were so many different ages. The story ropes were well received and the people shared a lot. Several people walked with us to get taxis afterward and kept asking questions as we walked. We look forward to more time with this group!
Kathy Ramaekers shared her testimony for the first time one evening and the group was so attentive, seemed to really understand some things she’d been through. After Kathy shared, Terry taught and one young lady said she was ready to accept Jesus. When Terry asked what helped her decide, she told her that it was because of Kathy’s story! Another young man approached and said that Kathy’s story was "really important to him" and that he was "in trouble" and wanted to hear clearly from God. Kathy looked up scripture with him and rejoices that her testimony would touch a young man! It was an amazing night that Kathy won't forget, “We felt the presence of the Lord!” (In the photo, Kathy is sharing Christ with a sweet lady on the train back to Beijing!) The caring and sharing that happened in October with the women from Christ Community Church was truly a blessing!