6/19/2018 Prayer Requests
Bo Ai (Boundless Love) is the name of our program to Left-Behind Students. This is a government designation to categorize students whose parents work outside the province and they are left behind with a grandparent or other relatives to attend school. We help these children through financial scholarships, peer mentoring (big brother/big sister university student relationships), and fun, innovative educational programming to expand their horizons as to what is possible for them. It is illegal to share the gospel with a student while in K-12. If they initiate the topic with a question, the subject is in a grey area. You can respond to the question, but not take it further. When they graduate from High School, then, you can speak more openly. Graduation Parties are one of the opportunities we have to directly share the good news and to inquire more deeply into their spiritual lives. Many of the students are very open to receiving Bibles and hearing the testimonies of their staff friends.
The H'n'n government has authorized us to serve in five areas: 1) financial aid, 2) innovative programming, 3) teacher/administrator professional training and development, 4) faculty/student exchanges, and 5) international cross-cultural experiences to broaden a student’s perspective.
- PTL for 16 Bo Ai Students who were able to travel to X. for a celebration of their high school graduation and successful completion of their national exams. This simple gesture of a party acknowledging a landmark achievement is important for several reasons: 1) A typical Bo Ai student’s parents are not with them to celebrate and 2) A typical Bo Ai student drops out of school. That our students completed high school is a great success and great testimony to all the volunteers and staff who sowed words of support and encouragement that provided the motivation to finish. Many of these graduating Seniors remember fondly the positive impact of summer camp on their lives. Pray that these students are guided wisely into the next phase of their lives (college, vocational school, or work) and that they remain connected with our support network of volunteers and Bo Ai Students.
- Pray for Jessie as she meets with school officials in L'y'ng to introduce our Bo Ai program. We hope to expand into L'y'ng with the same services we currently offer in X. and surrounding areas. Our focus is still Left-Behind children. Jessie will discuss identifying Left-Behind children and doing home visits to assess the student’s needs so that we can provide a customized service involving financial aid, innovative education programs, Big Brother/Big Sister Mentoring, international summer camps, as well as discuss with the teachers and administrators any of their needs involving professional training and developing and faculty exchanges.
- Pray that God raises up a co-worker for Jessie in L'y'ng to work with her. And, pray for favor among the teachers and university students as she trains and recruits volunteers.
- The middle and primary schools have about one week left before summer vacation. Pray for our team as they begin preparations for a new season of volunteer recruitment and training.
JEFF & MIM
Jeff and Mim are stateside. Last week, our organization's Board of Directors met to hear a report on Ch'n' from Jeff and to begin strategic plans for the upcoming year. We held a strategic donors meeting and were blessed that several key churches and donors were able to attend. Jeff and Mim will travel in California, Utah, Idaho, Nebraska, and Oregon on a quick information update to supporting churches, June 18 - July 11. Depending on Yang Guang’s needs in X., Jeff plans either to return to Ch'n' for the 3 weeks July 17 - August 4th to apply for his work visa and troubleshoot operational concerns and further train the staff, or he will continue to visit churches in the Northwest and fly Yang Guang to the States for the NALC Convocation August 6 - 9 and then travel with Yang Guang to speak with various churches and individuals through August 26th. In either case, Jeff and Mim will be at the NALC convocation to present on the work of our organization. They are hosting a break-out session.
- Pray for Jeff as he finishes the first draft of our organization’s strategic ministry plan the next two weeks. This will be circulated among the Board for feedback.
- Jeff & Mim were able to celebrate Mim’s father’s 60th anniversary of his ordination on Father’s Day in California. Jerry and Mavis will celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary this week and their 87th birthday in August. Jeff & Mim’s children flew in for the event. So, it was a mini-family reunion over the weekend.
- PTL Jeff spoke briefly in Bethel Lutheran (Santa Maria, CA).
The biggest prayer request is providing resources for the Ch'n' Team to do ministry in their country. That means money. Pray that the government will rule in our favor for them to solicit funds for scholarships from their own countrymen. Otherwise, we will need to supply the funds for these scholarships from American Donors.
The new religious activity law in Ch'n' went into effect on February 1st. Its implementation in H'n'n has resulted in the foreclosure of all Sunday Schools, the prohibition against children or government workers from attending church, the removal of crosses from steeples, the removal of all theological literature except the state-approved version of the Bible and the state-approved version of the Hymnal. You cannot purchase the Bible online nor can you purchase a digital version of the Bible online. The government has requested a list of names of parishioners with contact information. It is a challenging time for the Christian Church in Ch'n'.
Thank you for your prayers! We need them.
6/12/2017 Prayer Requests
Dear prayer supporters we just finished our time of prayer at our organization’s office. We had so much for which to give thanks and praise to our Father.
We give thanks for last Wednesday’s board meeting. Having just returned home from his recent trip overseas, Jeff expressed how blessed our organization is to have been given approval by the Ch’n’se authorities to continue our work in X in H’n’n. Not only that, but we have also been invited to begin work in L’y’ng and Zh’k’. We are one of only four foreign NGO’s to have been approved to work in H’n’n. We thank and praise our Father for this privileged opportunity and open door.
We give thanks that the board reaffirmed with Jeff their commitment to the Word and service being foundational to all that we do in our work in Ch’n’. Given the new laws and restrictions for foreign NGO’s the board and Jeff were very clear that it is trust in our Father that will direct us and sustain us in the work that he has opened for us to do.
This past Saturday’s strategic donors meeting was described as a very fruitful time. The numbers of people attending were not large, but those that attended (some with long-term ties and some with new ties) expressed real interest in understanding the new developments and in supporting the work.
On Sunday those that attended the Benefit Concert at Mindekirken enjoyed the beautiful piano music played by Nita Qiu. People also appreciated hearing first-hand from Jeff and Lin (Nita’s dad) about the faithfulness of our Father to open doors and hearts for the work to go forward.
Of course we want to give thanks for our dear staff overseas that includes: Yang Guang, Amin, Jing, and Jessie, and our staff in the states: Yanbin and Rosa. They have faithfully kept at the work.
In the reflections of those that were gathered together today for prayer there was praise to our Father that with the new open door for our organization after a year and a half of struggle there are also new voices of ones wanting to support the work and ones wanting to participate in the work. It truly is a new day. Thanks be to our Father.
Thank you, too, to all of you for faithfully praying.
6/5/2018 Prayer Requests
The GAO KAO (national exam) is this week for all high school students throughout Ch'n'. Their entire educational system is geared toward this one exam and a student’s future is determined by their score. The score determines whether you qualify to attend a university. The level of score determines the quality of university (and field) in which the student can enroll. Some families have invested small fortunes in preparing their child for this one exam with after-school tutors, foreign language travel experiences, etc. Please pray for our Bo Ai students who are taking this exam. May our Father give them peace to recall all they learned. May they know that their future, value and worth is from the Father, not this exam, and the Father will open doors.
* Our organization’s H'n'n Representative Office (RO) is operational. June marks their first month of operation. They will need to live into the first month of operations and work out all the reporting requirements for the government and payment of salaries and social insurances with the Tax Commission. Pray for wisdom to be able to solve problems.
* At the end of the week, our RO will host a graduation party for our Bo Ai students who have completed the GAO KAO and are now entering the next phase of their life. Because of the Ch'n' law, proclamation of the g’spel with students is prohibited. Upon graduation, these students are available to our team to share the hope we have in Chr’st.
* Pray for our team to have all wisdom and sensitivity to continue their relationships with these students as spiritual coaches and guides.
* Pray for the team as they now strategically plan the FALL 2018 program schedule. This report will be sent to the H'n'n government for approval by both the Department of Education and Public Security Bureau. This report will be approved also by the Board of Directors of our organization. Pray for all for wisdom as we hope to expand our presence in H'n'n to L'y'ng and Zh'k'.
* Jeff is now in the USA to meet with the Board and to raise funds for our programs. Pray for Jeff and the Board as we clarify our vision to the essentials for clear communication and execution to maximize our results.
* Please pray for our organization's Board as they meet this Wed., June 6th to hear an update on our work overseas and to clarify our 4-year plan for the future. This is an important time for our organization as we enter this new era of service in H'n'n as a registered representative office there.
* Please pray for our strategic donors meeting on Sat., June 9th at 7:00 p.m. at Ch'n' Place as Jeff and the Board meet with our committed donors (and those interested — all are invited) to discuss in detail the current situation in Ch'n' and our clarified vision for the next four years.
* Please pray for our organization's Benefit Concert on Sun., June 10th at 2:30 p.m. at Mindekirken in Minneapolis, MN. We are thankful for the talents of Nita Qiu, a rising pianist talent, who is raising funds to support our work overseas. The quality of music is worthy of Minnesota’s Concert Hall. You will enjoy wonderful music and hear a brief update on Ch'n'.
* Jeff is in the USA for all of June and partially in July and will be speaking at various churches. Please pray for travel mercies and open ears and hearts as our Father raises up committed supporters of our ministry.
* Be on the look out for a special report newsletter (June 2018) that will be mailed out this week. It gives a brief overview of our representative office and work. Additional copies are available upon request from the office (email@example.com), both in print and electronic form. A fuller report and newsletter updating our scheduled Hearts 4 H'n'n trip (we are renaming the m’ss’onary trail trip for sensitive political reasons) will be made available in early August.
* Pray for Jeff and Mim as they return to H'n'n in mid-July to further coach the team, check on operational status, finalize the Hearts 4 H'n'n, and apply for work visas.
We are deeply grateful for all of your prayers and support.