Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Dear Praying Friends
Isn’t Jesus wonderful? What encouragement we find from being united with Him! What comfort knowing that He loves us! (Philippians 2) God is truly good – all the time!
A few weeks have lapsed since my time in Lima. I returned quite tired, and was glad for a week of vacation at that point. Reconnecting with Karen and the girls is always important :). Then, this past week was a flurry of “re-entry” – more details below. Thanks for standing with us at World Team as we seek to bring the Gospel of Christ through Church Planting to the Unreached peoples of the world.
- The FIRST Canadian Chinese Pastor’s Research/Vision Trip took place May 11-19 – This trip was replete with God’s confirmation! We met people, enjoyed experiences, and grew as a team in fellowship beyond anything I could have imagined could take place over a one week period! Let me share just ONE of the amazing stories…
Our team was scheduled to tour Lima’s China-Town on Wednesday. Pastor Miguel was to arrange for Lily Yu, a member of their church, to meet us in China-Town – she would introduce us to some of the shop owners and show us around. For whatever reason, the arrangements could not be made. So I, having been in Lima’s China-Town ONCE before was appointed host and tour-guide. Yikes! The first place we sought out was the Chinese Cultural Centre. We immediately hit a road-block! Just as I was wondering what to do next, a lady called out, “Pastor! Pastor Jack!” Jack Yuen, one of our team members, had shared briefly at a church event the day before. A lady who had been at the event recognized him on the streets of Lima! (Jack later commented – “I wondered, do I have a sign that says “PASTOR” stapled to my forehead?”) The lady proceeded to guide us around China-Town, introducing us to people as she went. She is quite involved in the Chinese Cultural Centre, and later gave us a tour! It was just prior to us parting ways with this spontaneous tour-guide that I found out her name – Lily Yu! She was the very person pastor Miguel wanted us to meet – but had been unable to connect with. God divinely brought her to us at just the right time, in just the right place, to do just what we needed! (See Lily in the top photo)
One of the restaurant owners we met in China-Town was A Qing (pronounced “A Ching” – see second photo). A Qing shared with James and Jenny that stress was causing her hair to fall out – trouble with employees, trouble with her son, her husband recently diagnosed with diabetes, her husband traveling to China frequently. James and Jenny shared Christ with A Qing, and promised to pray for her. Jenny also connected with A Qing on “WeChat” – a mobile app used by many Chinese to communicate freely. Through WeChat Jenny was able to provide resources, articles, and encouragement to A Qing. We prayed for her too.
Each day of our trip we took the time to debrief our activities and conversations (see 3rd photo). During Saturday’s debrief Jenny played an audio message from her WeChat – it was A Qing. “Jenny, I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said. Jenny, I need forgiveness for my sins. I need Jesus.” We were so thrilled! Immediately the team planned to rearrange their Sunday afternoon “free time” to return to China-Town for a follow up with this new believer! And, the time with her was so encouraging! A Qing was a changed person. She said, “I used to be so afraid of ghosts. I’m no longer afraid! And, so many people have hurt me over the years. I have forgiven them all – and I am so free now!” James and Jenny were amazed at the transformation that had taken place in A Qing.
Subsequently we have heard that Jenny continues to follow up with this lady, and that A Qing notes an improvement in her marriage. God is at work! And, all this took place in the presence of one of the few Chinese believers in Lima – allowing for great local connection and follow-up.
Surely God is at work! Continue to pray with us as we seek out believers who will leave their homes in Canada to serve our life-saving God amongst the Chinese of Lima. Pray also for Michael Chang, one of the ministry partners that is assisting us in setting up this ministry in Peru. (see 4th photo) Pastors Michael and Miguel have been so instrumental in orienting us, and welcoming us to serve alongside them.
One last note: James and Jenny Yu, Mandarin speaking church planters in Vancouver would be a great asset to the formation of a church planting team in Lima. We (they and I) are not yet sure if this is what God has in mind. Would you join me in prayer for discernment regarding this?
- World Team worker Richard Salas returned from a ministry trip to Cuba. On his way back home to Winnipeg, Richard spent 3 days in the GTA, interacting with World Team staff, sharing at the Guelph Bible Chapel, and meeting with ministry leaders. It was a full schedule, but I was glad to have this time with Richard. Regarding Cuba – a strategic ministry is taking place! During this ministry trip Richard was able to visit a variety of areas of potential ministry. Yet, after interacting with a number of church leaders and receiving multiple invitations to assist in disciple-making and church planting efforts, Richard felt strongly that it would be best to focus on ONE area for the next 3 to 5 years. His desire to strategically strengthen ONE area - minimizing travel time and cost (travel in Cuba is not easy), and focusing on multiplication instead of a "centre-stage" ministry resonates with me. Please pray for Richard as he serves the Los Pinos Nuevos church in Spiritu Santi. As a result of previous visits, they have already seen several new bible study groups formed and 2 church plants launched. God is building His church!
- World Team participated at the 2nd Annual Toronto Chinese Mission Fair – some good connections are forming there! (see final photo)
- Follow up with people I met at the Toronto Chinese Mission Fair
- Continued relationship and logistics development with Keith Lee at GO International regarding the Chinese in Lima - a meeting is planned for tomorrow.
- Assisting our appointees to Cameroon – Lisa, Rachel and Winona – in their last 2 months before transitioning to their area of service
Thanks again, so much, for your ongoing participation through prayer. I am finding that prayer, like the memorization of Scripture, is part of that “way of escape” that God provides us when we are tempted to sin. Jesus, in His moment of greatest temptation, went to the Father in prayer – “Not my will, but yours be done.” As we cultivate the discipline of prayer – in praise, in repentance, and in intercession – we “reorient” ourselves to the ways of Jesus. I encourage you to grow along with me in this process!