12/5/2017 Prayer Requests
Jeff shares these requests with us
I have been reading the stories of King Asa ( 2 Chronicles 14-16) and King Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 17-20). Neither one was perfect, but they did love the Lord.
In 2 Chronicles 14:11, King Asa cries out, “Lord, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the might. Help us, Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. Lord you are our God; do not let mere mortals prevail against you.”
In 2 Chronicles 20:12, King Jehoshaphat cries out, “Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
I take great comfort in these verses as I travel overseas to face a vast army of the political (c'mm'st) bureaucratic regime. Unless the Lord moves the hearts and minds of the officials responsible to review our application to register a representative office, there is little that I can do. I feel powerless and stymied. Only the Lord can provide the way through.
I have already shared this with our overseas staff to encourage them.
for Jeff & Mim:
- Jeff travels overseas, Dec. 6 - 19. He will first meet with Pastor Simon Lee in Honolulu, HI to explore options for ministry within and around the mainland, as well as to officiate Huang Rui (Nancy) and her husband’s (CJ) wedding vow renewal on Dec. 9th. This is a wonderful time to encourage one of our significant Mei Wen leaders. Pray that the Lord reveals to Nancy and CJ his call upon their lives for future ministry.
- Jeff arrives in B. on December 12th to deliver a Power of Attorney document to our lawyer, which includes Yang Guang as a named representative of our organization to help with the negotiation process with H'n'n’s Department of Education for acceptance and sponsorship of our application to register a representative office in X. This sponsorship is critically important and is the first step of many toward approval by various authorities. Pray for a good relationship of understanding with our lawyer. (Sometimes language and cultural differences impede clear understanding as to our values, goals, process, and timeline.) Pray for clarity and good communication!
- Jeff hopes to meet with Mr. X' H'ngzh'n, the official responsible for reviewing our application in Zh'gzh' (H'n'n). Please pray for a meeting time between Dec. 13th - 18th! The purpose is to become acquainted and answer directly any questions. The government is already aware of our organization, so we hope to understand its intentions toward us, whether to approve or reject our application. Pray that all this becomes clear and that our Father provides his way for us to be faithful to his call and purposes for us and for this country. Of course, he will! So, we just need to rest in the quiet peace and confidence in knowing that he is leading us and showing the way. Our Father is good!
- Pray for good health, protection from harm, and good connections as Jeff travels alone from B. to the law firm and then to X. His language is improving, but it is always a challenge for him to purchase train tickets at the right window.
- Pray for Mim. She will not be on this December trip. She remains in Hood River, OR.
- Yang Guang and Amin return this week from their honeymoon. We pray for a good beginning to their married life together.
- Pray for Mei Wen’s time together with Jeff in X. May it be encouraging and provide focus and direction for their near future. We pray that the Lord leads and guides them into his purposes for each of them and as a team. Pray for daily provision for them as they continue to serve the Bo Ai and Stay Behind and Volunteer Students. They are doing the work, just without direct support from our organization! Though challenged financially, they are faithful!
- Pray for Mei Wen’s protection and favor with the local government, schools, and police. There is always the possibility of misunderstanding. There is increasing pressure on the ch'rch from the government with more restrictions. Pray for open doors, favor, and protection.
- Pray for open doors for the Bethel Series over there. We pray for continued protection and provision for Pastor Lin and his teaching ministry in the mainland. Pray for unrestricted opportunity and favor among local authorities.
- Pray for the upcoming Board Meeting on Jan. 8-9, 2018 as the Board Reviews registration progress overseas. Pray for wisdom and guidance. We remains committed to serve in the mainland, but sometimes certain ways are blocked while others ways of opportunity open. The Lord is our shepherd. He will lead us to green pastures and the fulfillment of his will and purposes.
- Pray for health and healing for Paul Ofstedal and Amy Cooper (Jason Cooper’s wife).
Thank you, all intercessors! The prayers of the righteous have great power. With faith we can move mountains. Let us pray selflessly, according to our Father’s will, that we might see the Lord glorified overseas and in our lives. May you all be refreshed and renewed in the Spirit through a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s great love for each of you.
11/28/2017 Prayer Requests
Please keep Yanbin and Rosa in your prayers for the important work they do at the office.
- Yang Guan and Wang Amin are officially married but are following a week-long series of celebrations according to Ch’n’se Culture.
- Pray for Jing and Jessie (Wang Shan Shan) as they hold down the fort during the interim.
JEFF & MIM
- Wonderful reception this past Sunday among the people of Bethel Lutheran, Santa Maria, CA to talk about Ch’n’.
- Pray for Mr. Xu (Henan Dept. of Education) to approve our application.
- Working on Newsletter & Donor Appeal Letter.
- Pray for Amy Cooper (Jason Cooper’s) wife. She was recently diagnosed with cancer.
RESENDING OF JEFF’S THANKSGIVING PRAYERS FROM LAST WEEK
We are thankful that our application to register a Representative Office in Henan Province under the supervision of Henan's Department of Education is finally in the hands of the appropriate officials of the Ch’n’se government. Now we wait for a decision and pray with confidence that our Father’s will to be done.
We are thankful for our Ch’n’se partner, Mei Wen 美文, who continues the work among Henan's rural poor with their own resources and initiative albeit under severe economic constraint. They are not allowed to receive funding from unregistered overseas nonprofit groups. If our organization is approved to register, this issue will be resolved and our work will continue.
We are also thankful for Lin who trains ma’nland Ch’n’ pastors and leaders to teach the B’bl’ to their congregations using the Bethel Series. We believe this will have great impact for the future. Feed the poor in spirit, mind, and body. Our Father can use small things given freely in his name to accomplish his great purposes among his people. We hope to partner with this pastor to provide, next year, a Bethel Series training conference outside the ma’nland.
Lastly, we are thankful for you, our partners in ministry, for your faithfulness in support and in prayer.
Our next newsletter will be published and distributed in December 2017. It features our most recent historic m’ss’onary trail trip and gives updates as to the current political situation in Ch’n’ and its impact upon the Ch’n’se ch’rch’s.
11/21/2017 Prayer Requests
Last week we learned from Jeff that Lin just recently returned from the mainland and confirmed that many Ch'n'se ch’rch leaders are expecting further restrictions on their religious activities. We want to continue praying for Lin and for the overseas Ch’rch to remain strong by grace through faith during these times of trial and hardship.
Rosa is back in the office now after her maternity leave. Her daughter, Claire, is now almost 3 months old and is doing well. Pray for Rosa as she adjusts to being back at work.
Yanbin is grateful for Rosa’s return and is busy keeping up with things in the office.
Here are the prayer requests from China:
1. 杨光和阿敏的婚礼 (Yang Guang and Amin’s wedding celebration this Sat., Nov. 26th)
2. 阿敏回家 (Amin’s return to her home town - part of wedding celebration details)
3. 周五龙井和洋河中学的感恩节活动 (Thanksgiving Day Celebration this Friday, Nov. 25th at Yanghe and Longjing Middle Schools)
4. 美文的注册 (CSV’s registration process in China)
5. 金晶科三的练车 (Jin Jing’s third driver’s exam)
Here are the prayer requests from Jeff & Mim
· Jeff & Mim travel to Santa Maria this week and will speak at Bethel Lutheran in Santa Maria on Sun., Nov. 26th
· Jeff is awaiting a response from our lawyer in regard’s to when our organization can expect a response from the Henan department of education. Please pray that Mr. Xu will respond favorably to our lawyer and give his approval to continue the registration process with the Security Bureau of Henan.
· Thankful for all of our intercessors and donors who support our organization and Mei Wen’s ministry in Ch’n’ with their prayers and finances. May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving Celebration. We are thankful for each one of you.
11/14/2017 Prayer Requests
Prayer Requests from overseas (Mei Wen):
- Jin Jing has a driver’s exam. This is a big deal for them. They have to pass five exams to get their driver’s license.
- Mei Wen and University Volunteers travel to L'ngj'ng and Y'ngh' Middle Schools this week to conduct their bi-monthly “reading corner.” This is a ministry to Stay Behind children, whose parent(s) work outside the province. Normally these Stay Behind children live with their grandparent(s) and are quite poor. This ministry provides big brother/sister one-on-one encouragement. Most of the volunteers are Christians. This program is a good way to demonstrate the unconditional love of J's's Chr'st to these children.
- Volunteer Training Session this Saturday (Friday Night - USA Times). This is an opportunity for the Mei Wen team to invest in the lives of university volunteers. For many, this is their first experience with Christians who are of a similar age and background. Training involves leadership development and training in social work, but the team also shares the love of J's's Chr'st with the volunteers.
- Two Bo Ai from No. 2 High School will visit with the Office of the President of the People’s Republic of Ch'n'. This is our ministry to support Stay Behind children who are of high school age. Until our organization is registered over there, this program has suffered from not being allowed to transfer money to Mei Wen to provide financial scholarships for these students. Nevertheless, the Mei Wen team has continued to serve these students the best they can through one-on-one meetings and correspondence to encourage them as big brothers/sisters who shine the love of J's's Chr'st. This year marks the 10th anniversary of our service to these children.
- Pray for Yang Guang and Wang Amin’s wedding on Nov. 26th! We pray that they will have a godly and fruitful marriage and ministry together.
- We pray for the government to approve our organization's petition to register a representative office in H'n'n so that we can transfer money into the country and continue unimpeded our ministry and service to H'n'n’s rural poor in greater scope and effectiveness.
Prayer Requests from Jeff & Mim:
- Continue to pray for our organization’s approval to establish a representative office in H'n'n X'ny'ng. The H'n'n Department of Education has all of our documents. We are awaiting a response from the officials, which could be a decision to approve or disapprove or require additional information. Keep praying!
- Because God is sovereign, we rest in the assurance that God has a plan for this country and is working everything together for his good will and purposes. We trust that God will lead our organization and Mei Wen to align strategically with his purposes. He is the good shepherd and he loves his sheep and he raises up the workers for his fields, which are white unto harvest.
- Jeff is working on the next edition of the our organization's newsletter, due to be released in December. He is also preparing an html email to be sent out to our supporters for a calendar year-end gift. This year, we want to raise funds to purchase discipleship materials in Simplified Ch'n'se for the Mei Wen staff team to use with their university volunteers. Also, we want to support a Bethel Series training conference in Bangkok, Thailand for Ch'n'se Mainland Pastors in March/April.
- Lin just returned from the mainland and confirmed that many Ch'n'se church leaders are expecting further restrictions on their religious activities. Already, throughout the mainland, the government has ordered closed the churches’ Sunday School programs. According to the law, only government certified personnel are allowed to teach on government approved sites/facilities. Also, several unregistered church leaders are being ordered by the homeland security to cease and desist their worship services or face stiff fines and possible incarceration. We pray for the overseas Church to remain strong by grace through faith during these times of trial and hardship.
Thank you for your persistence in prayer. We know the heart of the Father toward his children.