Our team served in China December 2-11, 2014. Please enjoy a few of our stories in the following pages. Over 375 people received training and we celebrate at least 20 new believers this trip! Below, I will explain a little about our delay in sharing with you.
It was truly amazing for us to go to China with Ron & Angela Dalton as well as Dean & Julie Folkerts. Wonderful to see the connections only God could make and to serve in 2 orphanages (not our usual venues) with Ron & Julie who were adopted from Korea years ago. Only God!
Additionally we are excited about new connections for the future—wow! We hope you can take time to read about these & much more on pages 2,3. Enjoy and praise God with us!
Blessings & many thanks for your love, prayers and support,
SO...WHAT HAPPENED ON OUR LAST MORNING IN CHINA?
Ron & Angela and Julie & Dean awoke to the news that their beloved mom, Pearl Dalton had just a few days to be in this world. Before our trip, she had told them to “go to China and serve the Lord!”.
Pearl Dalton, 92, went to be with Jesus December 14, 2014. Pearl wanted to hear about their trip and her children were able to say “goodbye”.
Jon & I awoke to the news that our newest grandbaby had come into the world 9 weeks early and was in the NICU at OHSU, Portland.
Here is our daughter, Amara with baby boy, “Iraja Ian” born December 10, 2014.
I went from China to Portland to help with baby boy and his 2 year old sister
until he came home 5 weeks later.
God put an amazing team together from Colorado, Hawaii and even from Korea against impossible odds, took us to China and connected us to people, groups, businesses, orphanages and even government offices to do His work. We are all amazed to look back now and to see all that was done in His Name.
Each member of this team was so gracious, willing to split into 2 or 3 groups and be sent via taxi armed only with directions in Chinese. They battled colds and cold weather and yet each morning came together to pray and eat with smiles and concern for the others. Love these people!
Dean & Julie said, “Our China trip of 2014 was amazing from the beginning to the end, especially since we weren’t sure whether we were even going to make the trip since our mom was doing so poorly. The Lord worked out all the details with our mom and gave us peace to go ahead. Mom wanted us to do God’s work and we were than able to focus on the trip and what God wanted us to accomplish in China.
We enjoyed the people, culture and the food, but the most enjoyable times were the orphanages, where we interacted with the children and the workers. We can’t leave out our absolutely wonderful translators and getting to know them! The group of “Mary Kay” girls blew us away with their thirst for the word and the boldness of the churches that refuse to hide their Christianity. Last but not least was the unity of our team, even though four out of six was family members. Still-- we had a wonderful time and were extremely blessed. Thanks Jon & Peggy “ Dean & Julie are posing with a Christian singer who looks like their son!
Angela’s story, “On my recent mission trip to Beijing, I met a young girl who works in an orphanage; one of the truest examples of being an obedient servant for our Lord Jesus Christ I’ve ever seen! Liz worked with the children who had been abused, both physically and mentally and shared heartbreaking stories with me. It is amazing to see how God connects people so we can share the hope coming from surviving tragedy because of our faith in Jesus Christ! I was able to encourage her with the strength God had given me as a result of my personal experiences with abuse.
Liz herself had gone through a horrific accident that had left her handicapped less than 2 years earlier: an explosion in her family’s basement left her with such severe burns to her right arm that they had to amputate. She is now learning to live life with a prosthetic arm and hand and despite this unimaginable set back, her desire to serve the Lord only seemed to grow! She has dedicated her life to these special children in the face of unthinkable circumstances. I think of her delightful smile when I’m struggling and need some encouragement and only hope I can be the kind of obedient servant Liz has shown herself to be. Thank you Liz for reminding us that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!” (Philippians 4:13)
Ron said, “This was my second trip to China with Peggy and Jon and there are so many special moments during both trips. We had several translators, all unique, serving the Lord well as we shared the Good News. I had wanted to get a Chinese/English Bible and we were able to go a Christian bookstore although unable to find it. Talking to our friend and translator Wei Whitbeck, I mentioned the Bible and Wei who’d just been given a Chinese/English Bible, turned around and gave it to me! She not only demonstrated her love for the Lord by giving of her time and finances to return to China to translate for us but reflected the character of Christ in being a giver and it meant the world to me.”
Julie and Ron were both adopted from orphanages in Korea and endured so much! Julie had been found living on the streets, nearly starved when taken to the orphanage run by the Holts.
“Our first stop on our trip was a orphanage and I shared my life story about adoption and forgiveness. There was a young man named Joseph who was also adopted and was abused. He said my story touched his heart. I asked him if he forgave his abuser as Jesus forgave us and he said that he knew and accepted Jesus, but was working on the forgiveness part. He was glad to hear my story and that somebody else had gone through it, and was able to forgive.” Julie
“It was a long journey by cab and a walk along a busy street, bundled up against a biting wind. Through winding alleys, the sights and smells let you know you were far from your nice hotel. We went through a dark, gray alleyway and came to a door, like all the others. We knocked and were welcomed by maybe 13 or 14 well-dressed Mary Kay ladies, seated on small chairs, wedged onto a few couches, and smiling with welcoming smiles.” Ron
“The charming thing with the "Mary Kay" group was how, when I gave a passage of scripture, they all read it in unison, We were going overtime because I took longer teaching and asking questions, but when I told them I was going to skip over some things, they didn't want me to, they were ok with staying longer.” Julie
Jon loves this story...me too! I was asked by Rita to share a secular version of my “Balancing Life & Work” training with her Real Estate office staff. I wish you all could experience the openness in China! I simply shared about how spending time with family and having family traditions are important in our homes and how on Christmas eve (only a week away), Jon tells the Christmas story. Before I could get out another word, a young man raised his hand and asked if Jon would tell it after I finished! Hmmm...let’s see—”Yes!”.
Another open door for the Gospel and new believers for His Kingdom!
“We traveled at close to 200 mph on high-speed train in order to get to Tianjin to an orphanage called Shepherd's Field. I was reminded of those who God has equipped with love to shower upon the unwanted children. Our host was a young man who showed us around and told the story of the place. It was bitter cold and we stood outside wearing many layers. Our young guide forged ahead with head uncovered and hands exposed as he pushed his old wheelchair around the property sharing his stories. I tried to give him my gloves and hat but his protests were loud that he didn't want those things while others did without; he broke my heart. God sees his children all over the world working in hard in places well-known to a God who loves the world and gave His Son that we could have eternal life.” Ron
Wei, amazing friend of GPIH in Omaha, traveled with us this trip. It is Wei who connected us with the large unregistered church in Tianjin, her hometown. This trip, Wei was able to introduce us to Jenny Guo, Director of the Women’s Federation, Tianjin. Jenny is in charge of programs and education for women and families and is very interested in the training we have for marriage and parenting. We are excited about this amazing door God is opening. Pray for wisdom as we begin to walk through it in April!
“Jon and Wei and I traveled to the very outskirts of Beijing. As with many buildings we entered, they had a beautiful façade but gloomy and rough inside. The apartment was full of young people, some of whom spoke English. I taught on how to study the Bible to a group well educated and well versed, knowing many facts having memorized many scriptures. What would I have to share? As I began to speak, the questions came quickly and the thirst for the Word of God was evident, They were hungry not just to know the words but to understand the message written to us by our loving God. We could have spent several more hours talking about the Lord and the way He communicates with us.” Ron
We can’t minimize the hearts opened to God’s love by the knitted gifts from the
Texas KnitWits & Sharon Tom!
Those of you who give, pray, knit, love and go, make possible the ministry in China. Thank you!