Our team served in China April 7-16, 2015. Please enjoy a few of our stories in the following pages. Over 493 people received training and we celebrate at least 13 new believers this trip!
From Yinyan, “Father I thank you for gathering your children from cities in China. Thank you for showing me how much you love them and care for your own sheep. I see that you call faithful shepherds to care for your flock and I see that these followers hold Jesus precious in their lives. I am grateful for 2015 April trip. God has opened my eyes and touched my heart once more. God has prepared many people’s heart to receive our teaching and provided many opportunities for me to share the gospel. I am excited to see God gradually open their mind and heart to understand God’s grace and salvation.”
Yinyan with Victor, a friend from middle school in Beijing and is a high level manager at Beijing Airport. He has been interested to know more after I shared the gospel with him on my last trip. He realized that during last year God has given him hope for his falling-apart marriage and he is ready to move on seeking Jesus. Although Victor is concerned about his Communist party member status, at the same time he courageously decided to visit a local Christian house church. He has been going for almost a month. Pray that God would give him courage to accept Jesus as his Savior and Lord. Victor attended session at Manna Church with us - Yinyan is explaining the personality assessments to him here.
Grace (modeling a gift from "KnitWits") is a CEO of a new business counseling company. She once struggled in her marriage but found hope in Jesus Christ after divorce. She is actively involved in prayer ministry, supporting her local house church - Zion church, which is the biggest house church in Beijing. Grace is compassionate and loves the Lord. Although it was Yinyan’s first time meeting Grace, they were immediately connected. Yinyan had the opportunity sharing her testimony and the “Surrendering the Secret” ministry with Grace. We are praying for opportunities at Zion church to host abortion-healing ministry in the future. Please pray for open doors and God’s ways.
Helen (“Miaomiao”) is a passionate young Christian and an owner of a fashion shop in an office building located at central Beijing. She has been married for ten years but has no children. Yin-yan met her two years ago on her first trip to China and Peggy met her five years ago at a Bible study with MaWei. The Lord gave Yinyan extra time to spend with Helen this time visiting her shop. Helen shared how God restored her marriage after both she and her husband had an af-fair. God has been faithfully building her marriage stronger and she is willing to assist us as a volunteer on future trips. Helen shares the good news in her shop when God brings young women and opens doors. Yinyan had the opportunity to share her testimony, to encourage and pray for Helen. Please pray that her husband would give his life to Christ and God would bless them with a child.
"I am feeling so blessed to see people from 4 and 5 years ago with whom we've maintained contact and continued mentoring through the years. I love catching of glimpse of what God is doing through GPIH in individual lives in China!” Peggy Anthony: Four years ago, Jon and I shared with Anthony whose wife had left him, taking their three year old daughter to a city in the south. He was broken-hearted and felt God could not use him anymore but felt called to serve in spite of his life situation. We were able to encour-age him with our stories and have kept him in our hearts, prayers and mentoring from afar. On this April trip, he asked us to teach small Bible study groups as well as the larger church group at Manna church where he now serves as pastor! Anthony had recently received a de-gree from the seminary at Beijing University. He is having more access to his precious girl and at age seven, she has grown to love her father. He is a serious and faithful man whose smile lights up the room - what joy to see his story in progress and to see his love for Manna church. Anthony wrote this note: “Your teaching strengthened my hope in the Lord. My God will never abandon me, I shall not fear. I will rely on God’s grace.”
Laura and George: Four years ago, I spent time with Laura and George who were in love and wanted to marry. Laura's family objected because they considered George to be unworthy of her in large part because of a physical disability he has . Now, recently married, they want their relationship to improve and loved the teach-ing on personalities relative to marriage and parenting. It was wonderful to see their worried faces light up as they learned not only about the struggles they have and why but what to begin to do about them. We will enjoy keeping in touch with this precious couple. What fun to watch them "role-play" (in photo) the normal re-sponses of a strong "I-type" personality (Laura) trying to understand a strong "C-type" personality (George). Laughter is indeed good medicine!
I met Michelle (left) for the first time on this trip. She is sharp, speaks excellent English and quickly became someone to trust with not only translation but with assisting us as a volunteer in the future! I am still amazed at how God is providing for the future work in China by introducing us to people like Michelle. She is willing to go the extra mile in her service and has a sweet spirit evident in the ways in which she relates to others and cared about me after hearing that I fell and injured my knee. God is so good!
I met Helen (pictured on right) 5 years ago and have reconnected with her through Hope last year when we first began to go to Tianjin. Helen's English has improved greatly since we first met and her heart is so big for her brothers and sisters in Tianjin and for us as well. Already Helen has introduced us to 4 church groups made up primarily of Nankai University students and now a new, vibrant group from Tianjin Normal University. Not only will she be assisting us in Tianjin but is will-ing to take time off to travel with us as needed to Beijing. Helen is married, has a grown son and a full-time job but time in the evenings and some flexibility to help but more importantly, a passion to serve! We are blessed!
We are grateful for this open door. Here is a glimpse of the 300 women plus about 20 men who attended our first training for the Women's Federation of the city of Tianjin. We taught on how our basic personalities affect our marriages and parent-ing. It was well received and we are praying about where God will take this in the future. Thank you to Wei for this connection and opportunity!
Remember Vivian? We met her in Tianjin in March of 2014, she was suicidal and desperate for help. The Help she received was from the Source she can depend on—Vivian accepted Jesus as her Sav-ior that day and is now in the US with her husband, moving forward in her walk with Christ. After an encounter with Jehovah’s Witnesses, she knew something was wrong and I received this text while in China: “I am not sure how to find a real Christ church”. We sent help to her and through Wei Whit-beck, Yinyan and me she is now in a solid place to worship and in a Chinese BSF in Illinois. Today, I received this text, “Thank you for your pray, my life had become better since I know Jesus”. She is pictured here at her baptism!
I met Paula (far left) at least 3 years ago and have shared at her apartment Bible study as well as individually. This time Paula brought us to a study group made up of co-workers at Gymboree International Schools (meeting in the home of a woman who started a pre-school in her apartment). Such sharp people with great interaction and participation on the subject of “Finding Common Ground in Relationships and Culture”. Each trip, we are introduced to new believers and are so excited about the possibility of sharing with staff at Gymboree very soon!
Here is the church made up primarily of Tianjin Normal University students. They are a vibrant, missions-minded group whose pastor will take his family on long term mission to Indonesia. The following is one of the notes we received: “Thank you so much for teaching us. I learned so much and all these are what I need to hear. Thank the Lord that He brought us together to share His Grace. Thank you for sharing God’s word with us. We hope you come back again. Amen!” Tianjin Normal University student.