Category Archives: Ministry & Family Updates

Pray With Us: Taiwan, Visas, Virus

3/21/2020 Update: Thank you for praying! They just announced: “Automatic 30-day extension for foreigners entering Taiwan on or before March 21 with visa waiver, visitor visa, or landing visa (no application is required) (overstayers excepted)” which means we now have until June 14, 2020! Lord willing, the rules will change by then! The Lord is answering prayers and keep praying!

Before today, Taiwan allowed American citizens to enter Taiwan and stay for 90 days at a time. Thus, this is what our family has been doing as we have been in the process of applying for our official paperwork. But as of today, Taiwan is barring entry of “foreign nationals” to combat the virus. This includes American citizens. The last time we entered Taiwan was on February 15, 2020 and we get a 90 day stay from that date before we have to make another visa run out of the country. But with this new regulation once we leave the country, we will not be allowed to re-enter.

Thus, if things don’t change by May 15, 2020 we won’t have a choice but to return to the USA until the ban is lifted. Obviously this in not what we are wanting or hoping for, but we know all is in the Lord’s hands.

Pray for wisdom in the days ahead. I know everyone is dealing with many unexpected things at this moment. I just want to be transparent about our situation and ask for your prayers when you think of us.

On The Ground: An Update From A Chinese Pastor During the Coronavirus Outbreak

As you have most likely heard about the Wuhan Coronavirus in the news recently. This virus is devastating the country as they race to find a cure and control the spread of the virus. China has locked itself down in a way that I have never seen before. One of our teammates wrote a powerful post that explains some of what it is like since he is on the ground there: “Barriers and Thermometers: China and the Coronavirus“. I encourage you to read it and pray for the missionaries who are there serving to reach the Chinese people with the gospel.

In the same vein, I asked Pastor Charles, a Chinese pastor in our ministry, to update our supporters on what has been happening recently and how life and ministry has been while living in a “quarantined China” during the outbreak of the coronavirus. Here is the update he sent me in bullet points. The original is in Mandarin Simplified Chinese that I translated into English (note: I added some phrases to help with understanding). I encourage you to read it and pray for the Chinese believers who are there serving to reach their people with the gospel.

  • Charles, a servant of Jesus, to all the brothers and sisters in Christ, peace to you. I thank God for giving my family the opportunity to serve the Lord, and for the training my wife and I received through Pastor Mark. I have been serving God for almost 4 years and it has been full of challenges. I even had thoughts of giving up. But thanks to God’s grace, Pastor Mark’s help, and my family’s prayers, I was able to persevere.
  • I want to tell you about the circumstances that our church is facing and how we are serving in them. At present, we are faced with two challenges. One is the challenge of church planting. During the process of leading the church, I have been taken to the police station and the National Security Bureau 3 times. They said a lot of harsh things—especially about forbidding church planting and persecuting missionaries. In the face of this challenge, I was afraid. But the resurrected Lord reminded me that He has the greatest authority, and Pastor Mark’s teaching reminded me not to be afraid but to persevere. Thank the Lord for helping me mature and grow in all kinds of suffering, and to prevail over temptation and danger.
  • The second challenge is the challenge for all churches in China, and even for all the Chinese people, that is, “Coronavirus 2019-nCoV”. By February 8th, there was 31 provinces in China that were affected by the virus. Nationwide there are more than 30,000 confirmed diagnoses, more than 30,000 suspected, and more than 700 deaths—of which the actual situation is even more serious than this. Many are affected by this virus. Many schools, companies, supermarkets, railways, public buses, restaurants, and churches are closed. The virus spreads quickly, people become infected quickly and also die quickly. Many people have lost family.
  • There are also infected people near our church. The reason for the virus is because the face masks are sold out. The brothers and sisters in our church are unable to go out to attend services. Everyone is afraid and worried about transmitting the virus. Pastor Mark encourages us to continue having services. So we didn’t stop having services, but we continued to meet and worship with the church family via the internet on WeChat.
  • The church set up a prayer meeting because of the virus. Every day at 9 AM and 7 PM, at these two prayer times, the church prays together.
  • We pray to God for the virus in China, the flu in the United States, the fires in Australia, the locusts in Africa, various disasters in the world, and for those unsaved souls. We ask God for mercy and salvation.
  • The prayer meetings have lasted for almost two weeks now. Family members of brothers and sisters in the church also attend the prayer meetings. The youngest is 8 years old. Together we read God’s Word, sing praises, encourage one another, and believe in God’s promises and will. We also pray for the world to repent—because many countries in our world have done a lot of things against God.
  • We know that God hates sin because He is righteous and holy, but He is also a God full of grace and mercy. We know that God is not trying to judge the world, but through the daily disasters in the world He reminds us that we should be alert, worship Him, and believe and glorify Him.
  • Thank God for giving me two great “graces”. One is that my wife and I during this time, plan to study with others through the internet using the Firm Foundations series Pastor Mark wrote. We chose to start with the course “Marriage and Family”. Through this course we teach that we should glorify God in marriage and imitate the relationship between Christ and the church to build an honorable marriage and family. Thank the Lord, more than 20 families are willing to participate through 3 different groups on WeChat. Some are Christians and some are not. I hope they can believe in Jesus through this and glorify God in their marriage. I hope China can have many Christian families and more people to be saved.
  • God gave me a second “grace” when my father recently believed in Jesus. One day after our prayers ended, my mother called and told me the good news, she said that my dad started believing in the Lord. When I heard the news, I couldn’t stop crying. I especially thanked the Lord, I know that the Lord heard our prayers. After my mother believed in the Lord for 26 years, my dad finally started to pray, sing hymns, and study the Bible.
  • Through the various disasters in the world, we know that the day of the Lord is near. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”  May God be with us all. Amen!

#prayforchina

The Lord Provided – Debt Free!

I Asked. You Responded. God Provided.

I wanted to write a few thoughts that are on my mind tonight before I go to bed this evening. It is Chinese New Year today. New Years is always the symbol of a new or fresh start. And this year, I feel that is exactly what the Lord gave us.

As I mentioned before, we didn’t have the finances prepared in advance to make a move like we did, but we also knew that the whole situation was out of our hands. We were traveling a road that we didn’t specifically choose, but then again, the only real road that we can choose is to follow the Lord. Thus, in this sense, we were following where He was guiding, but we weren’t exactly sure where that was or how it was all going to work out. This is a path that we are still on and we call it “an amazing adventure”.

So there was faith and a lot of hope that God was going to provide for this move. I knew I needed to take care of our family like I was trained to do. So we went forward with a full setup. Honestly, it was exciting on one hand and extremely hard on the other. I didn’t want to make a foolish financial decision. But on the other hand I was willing to pay the price to keep going forward. It weighed heavy on me. So much happened so fast and things start to add up quickly. Where? What? When? How? But I had to remember WHO was in charge and keep looking to HIM.

As of today, all expenses…since leaving America, landing in China and then our unexpected transition to Taiwan and doing a completely new setup…everything up to this point has been paid for…we are DEBT FREE!

Before we left, we were raising some funds for our reentry into China and new church plant, and many gave to that and that helped us greatly as we needed the cash on hand once we landed. But then last November we reported that “we will need to raise [additional funds] for this special need so that we [can] get [established] and, Lord willing, be debt free at the end of it.” And we did it. God did it. The Lord has provided. He answered our prayers! As of today, we are debt free. Of course there are still things that we want to purchase, a church planting budget to finish raising, etc. but everything that we NEED (and then some) to have a solid fresh start in a new place has been provided and paid for. And we can’t be thankful enough. We are extremely blessed!

Praise the Lord.


Follow: I have documented this transition and relocation on this blog.

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Words can not express the gratitude we feel towards all you who have given to make our relocation to Taiwan financially smooth. I was humbly able to report in our most recent prayer letter:

We had our escrow and reentry funds on hand for our unexpected exit from China but we didn’t have anywhere near the amount needed to do a full relocation to Taiwan. Even though we had credit cards with good lines of credit, we knew this could only be a stop-gap measure and would be a hinderance if we were not able to pay them off right away. But as we felt this is where the Lord was directing, we moved by faith. We sent out a plea about our situation and you, our friends, family and supporters, took care of us in a great way. You sacrificially opened your hearts and gave to our family. I sit here humbled by your sacrifice and amazed at what God is doing. God’s people have truly taken care of God’s servant in an unexpected time of need. We estimated how much it was going to cost, but wasn’t sure exactly how much it would be, but around 85% of our actual costs has already come in or is on its way. Lord willing, by the end of this month, we will be setup and debt free! Thank you for giving. 

January 2020 Prayer Letter

When we received our support statement and we were just blown away by everyone who gave extra, not just for the holidays but specifically to be a blessing to our family during the transition. I will be trying to send thank you cards out to those who gave, but several even gave online with no return contact information…and some names I don’t recognize, so there is no way for me to personally say thankful, but by simply writing this public blog post to say, “Thank you”.

Also, we have been contacted recently by different churches who took up Christmas offerings for us of sizable amounts. Again we are humbled. We are grateful. We are unworthy of such pouring out of love.

What many might not realize, is that it is very uncomfortable for a missionary to put financial needs in his prayer letters. Especially if it is more personal and not directly for ministry. It goes against our nature of self reliance. It goes against our pride. It shows our weakness. It shows our needs and struggles.

At the same time it is an honor. Not everyone has the same privilege to write a letter like we do when we have a need. It is a privilege that we don’t take lightly or carelessly. We feel called to be in full-time ministry and many local churches have partnered with us to make that possible. Our partners have gone above and beyond in taking care of us and often tell us to let them know if there is anything that we need, and they would see what they could do to help out. We don’t take such kindness for granted.

I am reminded of the following verses:

“Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”

2 Corinthians 8:1–7

The churches in Macedonia weren’t in a place of abundance where they could give freely, but they had to make a sacrifice to give. They gave as much as they were able, according to their means, but then they also gave beyond their ability or means. They greatly desired to be involved. I recognize that many of you gave sacrificially. You truly abounded in the grace of giving.

I wrote this blog post to simply say, “Thank you!” You didn’t have to give, but you did. You sacrificed. And my wife and I with our five rascals are extremely grateful.

2020 Taiwan Church Plant Budget

When we were returning to China, we had a planned budget of what it would cost to start more church plants. We already had some money given towards those needs and we were saving for it as well. We already had Bibles, chairs, and several church furniture type things in storage that we could use in the next church plants. But even though that will help those still in China, it isn’t going to help us is Taiwan.

After getting setup here and doing it debt free (Lord willing), our next plan is to start the church plant. Because of the unexpected way that everything happened, we didn’t have time to save out of our normal missionary support for this next church plant here in Taiwan. (Of course, any funds that have been given specifically for the next church plant, have been set aside and will be used for it.) We have been using our normal monthly missionary support to pay for our normal expenses, getting life setup here and continuing to support the ministry and pastors in China so they can go forward in our absence.

I have been trying to pay attention to how much every costs here and also been asking different missionaries about the expenses they had when starting their church plants. I was able to come up with the following budget to estimate the cost of getting this church plant going, which comes to a total of around $15,000. Of course, it would be nice to start with everything that we need, and we pray that it will. But I took the budget and broke it up into 4 phases of what we would need to spend based on importance and the minimum needed in each phase.


Budget By Phases

latest update 2/17/2020

Phase 1 – Go For It

These are costs that we will need to start having services in a building. This will give us a meeting space and a place for people to sit as we invite people to start coming to our services.

  • $4,500 – Church Rent – We need around 3-4 months upfront to pay for the deposit, realtors fee, and the first month’s rent. PAID: Actual cost was $2,913 which included first month’s rent, two months deposit and one month realtor fee. So the monthly cost going forward is around $730.
  • $1,000 – Chairs – We will purchase about 50 chairs at $20 each. PAID: Actual cost was $383.23 for 50 chairs and $25.32 for 8 stools.

Phase 2 – Gaining Momentum

As services have already started, we want to make sure the meeting place is comfortable enough for people to come to, make ourself known to the community, and make sure that we have Bibles and other resources on had to help build momentum.

  • $1,000 – Bibles/Flyers/Tracts – We need to be getting the gospel out and making ourselves know in the community, thus having the proper literature and materials on hand to do so. Update: $500 given towards Bibles. We were able top purchase 1,000 flyers for $39.97; 4,000 tracts for $99.94; 500 business cards for $16.63.
  • $2,000 – Construction Cost – Depending on the condition of the building that we rent, there might be some remodeling or painting needed. Update: We will need to install a glass door on the front of the building which cost $‎1,599.26.
  • $1,500 – Church Sign – We want to make ourselves very visible to the community and let them know that we are there. Anyone that passes by, walking or driving, should be able to know about the church. Update: We will need to install two church signs on the front of the building which cost $‎532.25.

Phase 3 – Growing Ministries

As people are saved and discipled, we will have more workers. Once we have people willing to serve, we can start ministries to train them and help mature the church.

  • $1,000 – Musical InstrumentsPiano and guitar for the music ministry. Update: Piano $366 (including delivery and tuning).
  • $500 – Children’s Needs – Material, Chairs, Tables, etc for children’s ministries.
  • $1,500 – Church Furniture – Tables, Pulpit, Speakers, TV. Update: Pulpit $119.71; Speaker System $809.64. .

Phase 4 – Extra

There are always extras that costs that are different for each area. One of the things that was mentioned to me is below:

  • $2,000 – Air Conditioners – If the location we rent doesn’t have air conditioners installed, then I am told we will need to install them when the weather starts to warm up. And from what I am told it is very hot and humid here! Update: We will need to install air conditioners when the weather warms.
  • Miscellaneous Category – I didn’t originally include this but need too if we are being comprehensive. Update: Cleaning and Misc Supplies $119.05

Please be in prayer with us about the expenses. We know the Lord will provide. He has already shown Himself strong in a very real way in our lives as all of our plans have been shaken up. It doesn’t matter how much money you have if the Lord isn’t in it. What we need the most is not a budget fully funded, but we need the power of the Lord. We need to be Spirit-filled. We need revival and to be more like Jesus. We need God to work. Our reliance is on Him. Please pray with us dear friends!


Budgeted Expenses vs Actual Expenses

PhaseItemBudgetActualDifference
1Church Rent$‎ 4,500.00$‎ (2,913.00)$‎ 1,587.00
1Chairs$‎ 1,000.00$‎ (408.55)$‎ 591.45
2Construction Cost$‎ 2,000.00$‎ (1,599.26)$‎ 400.74
2Bibles/Flyers/Tracts$‎ 1,000.00$‎ (656.54)$‎ 343.46
2Church Sign$‎ 1,500.00$‎ (532.25)$‎ 967.75
3Musical Instruments$‎ 1,000.00$‎ (366.00)$‎ 634.00
3Children’s Needs$‎ 500.00
3Church Furniture$‎ 1,500.00$‎ (929.35)$‎ 570.65
4Air Conditioners$‎ 2,000.00
5Miscellaneous$‎ (119.05)$‎ (119.05)
$‎ 15,000.00$‎ (7,404.95)$‎ 5,095.05

Urgent: Persecution Continues. We Need Your Help And Prayers!

A Snapshot Of Our Move! Big Family, Big Move!

On November 11, 2019 we left our house around 6:15 in the morning (local time EST) to head back to China for our official second term. Here is a quick snapshot of what it looked like when we returned to the field: we had 28 checked bags (14 free bags, 1 free stroller bag, 13 paid bags); 7 carry-ons (one for each person); 2 strollers (for the twins); 2 car seats (for the twins on the plane); 6 personal items (5 backpacks and 1 diaper bag); all of this totals 45 “items” plus 7 people (2 adults and 5 kids). I must say that I have a faithful wife who loves God and is brave enough to travel to the other side of the world with this entourage. We arrived in China on November 12 around 10:15 at night (local time). There was a group of 11 or so Chinese waiting on us, many whom we longed to see since our departure last year.

A Radical Change Of Events: Persecution Continues…

The very next day we started house hunting. We had a friend watching the kids so we could spend the majority of the day looking at houses. The very first house we saw was exactly what we were looking for and in the very area we wanted to be in. Although the initial price was out of our budget. We continued to look at places. By the end of the next day, we ended up choosing the first house and discussing the price with the landlord. He was a friend of a friend. We met over tea and he agreed to a very reasonable price. We were praising the Lord for this. We were very excited and prepared to sign at least a two year contract the next morning and turn over six months of rent plus deposit. But the following morning the Chinese pastor received a WeChat request from the police officer who had given him trouble at the beginning of this year. He works for the Chinese Nation Security Bureau. We knew this wasn’t good news. After adding his WeChat, he requested to meet with him in person. He agreed to meet him that afternoon. The following five or so hours was long as we awaited news about what was going on. I fasted and prayed. My wife and a Chinese friend took the kids to a mall to play as a distraction for them. Once the Chinese pastor returned, he informed us that they knew we were back in the city and they were seeking information about us to deport us from the country. He said they were very clear about their intentions. This was a surprise to us as we already went through the necessary protocols and were issued work visas, allowed in the country through customs and security etc. But it appears there was someone who possibly reported us. The police officer had mentioned that someone gave him the Chinese pastors WeChat. We had only been in the city around 3 days and now it seemed that we wouldn’t be able to stay. 

Over the next several hours, we brainstormed about what to do. We got council and prayed for guidance. We concluded that the Lord is leading us away from our current city of ministry to another one, for the time being. Choosing to stay is putting our ability to work in the mainland at high risk and putting unnecessary pressure on the pastors who know me because they are being persecuted to turn over information on me. The Chinese pastor has to meet with the police again in the future because he did not cooperate with them by giving them my information. We are thankful he was released, but he might not find that favor at their next meeting. God has given me faithful men who put their own livelihoods at risk so we can minister here. They are truly willing to live persecuted lives for the sake of the gospel. I am humbled by their reasonable service to our Lord. WILL YOU PRAY WITH ME FOR THEM?

As we started praying about what city we could go to, we felt the best option for all things considered is to move to Taipei which is the capital city in the Republic of China (Taiwan). This will allow us as a family to have a home base and to start a new church and ministry, but also, serve as a launching pad for us to continue making trips into the cities of Northeastern China that we are ministering in. So the goal with this move would be to: (1) have a new base of operations since we are compromised in our current city; (2) have a place to easily travel from to the mainland so that we can continue to work with the Chinese pastors we are training and with our American teammates.

Relocating Setup Fund – A Special Need For Such A Time!

Over the eight years we have spent in China, we have waved through the storms of persecution. We have stayed, fled, moved locations or did whichever one we though was right for the situation. But each instance seems to bring them a little closer as they build a track record on me. This time we have chosen to flee (and avoid deportation from our current city of ministry) to another so that we may live to minister another day in the mainland. I am reminded of the following:

Go forward speaking the gospel and if needed flee to another location. Jesus tells His disciples that when people persecute them in a certain city they were allowed to flee to another city. We should be aware and alert to the danger that could happen and if needed move to another location as long as we keep on preaching the gospel. We are permitted to leave a city because of persecution but we shouldn’t stop preaching the gospel. Thus, the task is more important than the location—even if the location can’t be changed. Matthew 10:23

Lesson: How Can We Go Forward In The Face Of Persecution?

Thus, we are relocating. But this means that we also have to start from scratch for our setup. We will be able to take our belongings with us, but we won’t be able to take our furniture or vehicle and selling them second-hand in China won’t give us a good enough return to replace them in the new city. Thus, we will need to raise an additional funds for this special need so that we get establish and, Lord willing, be debt free at the end of it.

In our last prayer letter we were raising funds for this return to China and we reported the following: “We have raised nearly $5,500 of the $10,000 needed in our Church Planting Fund and nearly $17,900 of the $20,000 needed for our Reentry Setup Fund. Altogether we have reached 78% of our total goal. If you haven’t already, would you pray about giving a one-time love offering of any amount to help us reach these needs?

So we need to finish raising those funds but also raise at least an additional $30,000 for our move to Taipei to cover the cost of resetting up life there…as if it was our first time arriving on the field. This will help cover the cost of the following:

  • Plane tickets for our family of seven to the new city.
  • Moving cost of sending our belongings to the new city (extra baggage cost on the plane).
  • Cost of a new vehicle (van) for our family.
  • Furniture and appliances to furnish the house.

I am sure there are going to be much more cost as we get setup that we haven’t even thought of yet, but this should at least get us started and somewhat settled.

Will You Give A One-Time Love Offering?

We are NOT planning on returning to the USA but relocating ASAP to avoid the chance of deportation. Thus, a one-time love offering will help us relocate and continue the work the Lord has given us to do. We are thankful for our partners who support us on a monthly basis, those who have recently given to help us with our other recent funds and our praying friends, but now we are asking for you to consider again a one-time love offering of any amount ($100, $250, $500, $1,000, $5,000 etc.) to help us reach these needs.

Will you be willing to give a one-time love offering of however much the Lord leads towards our church planting and relocation setup funds? Your one-time gift of any amount will help us, Lord willing, relocated and continue to evangelize the lost, establish many more local baptist churches and equip and train national leaders. I hope that you will prayerfully consider partnering with us to see the cost of our relocation and the need of this new church plant funded.

Will you be an extra blessing to this ministry with a one-time love offering?

We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. All gifts and love offerings of any amount can be given online, ChinaMinistry.org, or sent to Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009 with a note in the memo. Thank you for giving, praying, serving, and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward and keep fighting the good fight. May we strive every day to know Jesus, to be happy in the Him, and to make Him known! 

Special Giving Opportunity For Summer/Fall 2019

Dear Pastors, Partners & Praying Friends,

What if I told you that a one-time love offering from you would help us return to  China and continue to plant churches, would you consider giving?

The People’s Republic of China plays a crucial role in our world today and their influence is felt  around the globe. China is still the largest country on earth. Its population boasts of 1.4 billion souls. The majority have yet to hear a clear presentation of the gospel. And with a death rate that reaches in the millions every year, there is a desperate need for the gospel there. My question is, “What are you doing about it?” China is in need of church-planting missionaries.

God has called my family and I to plant churches in mainland China. Over the past 8 years we have  learned Mandarin Chinese, became familiar with the Chinese culture and gained ministry, church planting and pastor training experience. We are currently on furlough and are planning to return with a plan to establish more local Baptist Churches. Lord willing, we will be working on the foundation that we have already established in China. 

With the changing political climate of China and the constant threat of persecution, we never know when the door of opportunity will be shut unto us. Our desire is to reach the Chinese people while the opportunity to do so is still available. Lord willing, we are heading back to China this fall and will plant more churches. In preparing for this church plant, we are raising funds for all the cost in starting a new church, as well as, funds for our reentry, such as funds for plane tickets, at least three months rent, and the cost of visas before we return. We are thankful for our partners who support us on a monthly basis and our praying friends, but now we are asking for you to consider a one-time love offering of any amount ($100, $250, $500, $1,000, etc.) to help us reach these needs.

  • Church Planting Fund: $10,000
    • Building Rent for one year = $7,000
    • Utilities, Furniture, Materials, Misc. = $3,000
  • Reentry Setup Fund: $20,000
    • Plane Tickets for our family of seven = $6,000
    • Housings Cost for three months rent plus deposit = $4,000
    • Visas and Passport Renewal = $2,000
    • Furniture and Appliances = $8,000
      Washer $1,000; Refrigerator $800; Air conditioners $1,200; Deep freezer $500; Hot water heater $500; Living Room furniture $1,500; Bedroom furniture $1,000; Kids’ beds $1,500.

The one-time love offering will help us return to China and continue the work the Lord has given us to do. Will you be willing to give a one-time love offering of however much the Lord leads towards our church planting and reentry setup funds? Your one-time gift of will help us, Lord willing, return to China and continue to evangelize the lost, establish many more local baptist churches and equip and train national leaders. Of course, a gift of any amount is greatly appreciated. I pray that you will prayerfully consider partnering with us to see the need of this new church plant and the cost of our reentry funded. Will you be an extra blessing to this ministry with a one-time love offering?

We know that we couldn’t do anything without the help of God’s people. All gifts and love offerings of any amount can be given online, ChinaMinistry.org, or sent to Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009 with a note in the memo. Thank you for giving, praying, serving, and being a part of our “China Ministry” team. We are especially fond of you! Let us continue pressing forward and keep fighting the good fight. May we strive every day to know Jesus, to be happy in the Him, and to make Him known! 

 In His Joyful Service,

Mark

Happy Easter!

The resurrection makes all the difference! Praise the risen One!

Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

This Easter I want to praise the Lord for how he is helping us reach the Chinese here in America:

  • In our August 2018 prayer letter I reported:

“I was able to meet a Chinese man who was participating in an ESL class at our home church and started studying the Bible with him in Chinese. Please pray for his salvation.”

Once I started traveling full time, I turned the Bible study over to my friend Andy. He has been studying with him ever since. Andy has also started a Chinese Sunday school class at our home church. That Chinese man now believes in Jesus and is getting baptized tomorrow, Lord willing! Amen!

  • In our September 2018 prayer letter I wrote:

Pray as we reach out to the Chinese community we meet as we travel.”

Since then I have had the opportunity to teach at least two groups in Chinese and share the gospel with them. And just in this month’s (April 2019) prayer letter was I able to report of another Chinese man getting saved: During one of our missions conferences, I was able to teach a Chinese Sunday school class. The class seemed to really enjoy the lesson, especially since I taught a good portion of it in Chinese (usually the class is taught in English). Following the Sunday school hour, we all sat together for the main service. During the invitation, the teacher of that class brought one of the first time Chinese visitors over to me and said he wanted to know more about being saved. I didn’t have a Chinese Bible on me, so I opened the Chinese Bible app on my iPad and walked him through the gospel. At the end, I asked him, “Is this something you want to do now, or do you want to understand it more first?” He responded with, “Now,” and then he bowed his head to ask Christ to save him. Praise the Lord for saving another sinner!

Pray for another Chinese man who I was able to witness to last week in Tennessee that showed a lot of interest in the gospel.

Finally, I want to ask you to pray for Grace Baptist in China and the other churches we are associated with as they celebrate Easter. Through the recent and past persecutions there must be some anticipation about this Sunday, but pray they will boldly proclaim, “Jesus is alive! He is risen from the dead!”

Saving and Raising Funds

We have truly been blessed financially over the past 8 months or so of furlough. We have been able to raise some much needed support (not at our goal yet, but getting there) and even pay off the debt that we accumulated. Now as we look forward to our return to China later this year, Lord willing, we are looking to save and raise funds for the following two reasons:

  • Church Planting Fund ($10,000) – Lord willing, when we return to China from furlough we will be launching another church plant. Our next stage of ministry is to become a multi church planting ministry. With the recent persecution against our ministry, it just reemphasized the need to train men for full time ministry because one day we might not be allowed to return or be kicked out of China. But until that day, we want to do as much as we can with the length of days the Lord gives us in the country. So we want to be able to continue to help that church that was established but also press forward and plant another church and train more men to start more churches.
  • Reentry Setup Fund ($20,000) – As we prepared for furlough, we put much of our things, furniture and vehicle into storage but also several things we sold because of the need to upgrade to meet the demands of our growing family etc. when we return to the field. Thus, we will not only be looking to purchase those items that need to be replaced (certain furniture and appliances), but also need the funds for plane tickets, at least three months rent, and the cost of visas before we return.

Our supporters have always been so generous to our family and we don’t take it for granted. I pray God’s richest blessings upon you.

Also, please pray as we get some medical issues taken cared of before we return.

What Is An Attitude Of Love?

An attitude of love is a way of life that finds salvation in the love of God as it was manifested through the cross of Jesus and humbly accepts it by faith; this life-changing love causes the believers to choose love as the most important characteristic of all their actions and is to be paired with all their actions. As a result there is no more room for the sinful attitudes and actions that comes from a heart of hate. The Holy Spirit works in them to fulfill the royal law of loving others as yourself.
John 13:34-35

God Is Love And God Manifests His Love Towards Us

  • Love has a range of meanings but can be put into four main categories (based on the Greek language): sexual or erotic affection/love—the feeling of being physically attracted to someone; family affection/love—the feeling a parent has for their child; friendly affection/love—the feeling a person has towards their close friends; sacrificial affection/love—the feeling and action of making a willful decision to care about and do good for another, even if they are undeserving and despite the personal cost to do so. It is this kind of “sacrificial love” that God has shown towards us and the type of love we are aspiring to use to love others. This type of love is rooted in God Himself because the scriptures say that, “God is love”. Therefore, an “attitude of love” means to have a determined and authentic way of thinking and feeling about God that expresses being born of and knowing God (our relationship with Him) and enables us to properly respond as receivers of His sacrificial love—to love one another.
    1 John 4:7-8, 11; Luke 6:35
  • God’s sacrificial love was manifested towards us when He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, into the world to save us. While we were still sinners Jesus died for us—to be the propitiation for our sins—so that we might live through Him. We were completely unworthy of God’s love and goodness towards us, but because He is love He chose to share it with us according to His own purposes. He even paid all the expense—it cost Him the life of His son to love us and restore our relationship with Him.
    1 John 4:9-10; Romans 5:8
  • God’s love changes everything for the believer as it matures in us (perfected). As believers, we become children of God. He is love. Thus, love is to be characteristic of who we are. We are to sacrificially love others just like God did when He manifested His love to the world through Jesus’ death on the cross. We can’t see God or love, for these are invisible, but we can see them through the sacrificially loving actions of believers who are living out God’s love here on earth—it is a testimony or witness to the reality of God’s love. As we know and believe the love that God has for us and subsequently live out this love through the Holy Spirits work in our life, it provides assurance that we truly abide in God. It also gives us confidence (boldness) in the day of judgement—we know that our sins are forgiven by God because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, thus we no longer live in fear—anticipating an unsure or unpleasant outcome or punishment. But we live our lives knowing that we are loved by God and thus in return love God and love others.
    1 John 4:12-21; Matthew 22:36-40

To Love Above All Else Is The Goal Of Every Action

  • Love is the ultimate characteristic above all else and everything without love is useless. Thus love needs to be paired with every action that we do. We want to effectively communicate, have great faith, be full of giving and merciful acts and personal sacrifice, but if we do any of these without “genuine love” then it profits us nothing!
    1 Corinthians 13:1-3
  • Paul describes genuine love fo us and what it is really like. It is a love that never fails. The following is broken into four categories to help us apply these to our actions:
    1 Corinthians 13:4-8
  • The “temperament” of genuine love: (1) “suffers long”—patient and even-tempered during difficult times towards others; (2) “kind”—tries to be gentle, considerate and sympathetic towards others; (6) “does not behave itself unseemly” (rude)—not being offensive or impolite towards others; (8) “not easily provoked”—doesn’t get easily upset or irritable at others and doesn’t take everything personally; (9) “thinks no evil”—doesn’t keep count of other’s failures or sins nor becomes resentful towards them.
  • The “selflessness” of genuine love: (3) “envies not”—doesn’t become upset over someone else’s’ advantages; (4) “vaunts not itself” (boastful)—you aren’t focused on expressing your self-importance but on expressing others’ self-importance; (5) “not puffed up” (prideful)—doesn’t exaggerate a sense of self at the detriment of others; (7) “seeks not its own”—doesn’t take advantage of others to fulfill your own desires.
  • The “rigidness” of genuine love: (10) “rejoices not in iniquity”—doesn’t feel happy when others do wrong and doesn’t accept or allow sin; (11) “rejoices in the truth”—does feel happy when others do right and stands firm on biblical truth.
  • The “acceptance” of genuine love: (12) “bears all things”—willing to suffer everything  (small grievances and sins against you) that interpersonal relationship bring for the other persons good; (13) “believes all things”—willing to believe good about others and not wrongfully judge their unverified motives; (14) “hopes all things”—willing to expect good in your relationships with others; (15) “endures all things”—willing to courageously withstand all trials and do our best to manifest the love of God—others might treat us bad but we are going to stand firm and keep loving them.

To Overcome The Inward Attitudes Of Hatred

  • The opposite of love is hate. Hatred is the inward attitude of the heart that feels and thinks intense dislike or aversion towards others (for various reasons). This sinful attitude is often the root of the many outward actions, such as: verbally assaulting others (ex. cursing, insults); physically assaulting others (ex. killing, violence). Thus, hate and love cannot live together at the same time within believers, you must choose to hate or love others. As believers, we choose to love others through the power of the Holy Spirit—it is part of the fruit that the Holy Spirit is producing in all genuine believers.
    Matthew 5:21-26; Galatians 5:19-25
  • The Bible shows us that a habitually lifestyle of hate is a sign that a person is a false believer or false teacher. Is you life defined by love or hate?
    1 John 2:9, 11; 4:20
  • True love means we are not to be partial (respect to persons; show favoritism). If we do we become “judges of evil thoughts”. This includes discrimination (ex. giving preference to the rich verses the poor), racism and bigotry. Instead we are to replace any of these attitudes of hatred with the royal law found in Scripture, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”.
    James 2:1-9

Review Questions

  • What are the different kinds of love?
  • Who is love? How did He manifest His live?
  • The goal of every action fo the believer is to express what?
  • What is genuine love like?
  • Love helps us overcome what kind of wrong attitudes?