As we spend the last two days here in Du'An, we can't help but thank Father for all his provisions. Our team from FPC have stayed free from illness and injuries. A number of our brothers and sisters have been strickened with various ailments. Due to some schedule conflicts at the DuGao school, those of us who taught there had to meet with our classes for 10 straight days. None of the illnesses were serious and it was tended to by one brother (an MD) from Australia.
We have not only share our personal testimonies with students but witnessed a number who profess an acceptance of His Son. We delivered Bibles to 4 teen-age girls in a remote village. They all wanted to learn more about the Son and His Father. What a blessing and unique previlege to share our beliefs with these unreached people. One student in our class asked that we pray for him. We aren't certain of his real faith, but the seeds have been planted. Several students had questions about Father's love for us and asked how He can love everyone. Does He have enough to go around. These are profound questions.
The normal weather in Du'An is hot and humid. We have been deluges with heavy rains for the past week. Some of our planned outdoors activities had to be changed because of the weather. But the Father has a reason for everything. The rain has helped clean the air and reduce the daytime temperatures. The theme for this year's English camp is the Olympics. All of the classes were assigned a country to represent during the closing ceremonies. Susana had Kenya, and I Malaysia. Our closing ceremonies took place on Wed nite and had to be moved indoors because of thundershowers. Jack's closing ceremonies were held tonight (Thurs).
The purpose of this mission is not only to teach English but to share the gospel. We based the English teachings on the Beatitudes from Matthew 5. "The Life of Eight" teaches the students about humility, kindness, forgiveness, honesty and more. Even though the students at this time are not professed believers, they have exemplfied these virtues. Almost all of them come from rural farm villages. They do not have much worldly possessions. I am humbled by their kindness, honesty and caring attitude. They respect their elders and hold all of their teachers in high esteem. It has been a real blessing to have witnessed to these students. Our prayers is that the seeds that we have planted will take root so that His name will be glorified.
Please remember us in your talk with Father and ask for travel mercies as we proceed home over the next several days. Hope to see and talk to you soon. John
I apologize for not being able to blog earlier but my internet access has been pretty sporadic and when I've had it, I haven't been able to log into this page. But all is going well in China, especially at Yao Zhong. It's great to be part of a team that works so well together and, through God's grace, serve as examples of His love. Up to this point my class has gone really well with most of the highlights occuring over the weekend. Over that period of time, my class was gifted with the ability to have a great mandarin speaking teacher share creation with them and try to explain some of the more complicated elements of the Christian faith such as the trinity. Later on that Sunday, as John shared with you, we had a cultural service and then had the ability to take our classes out to the town. At that time, my teaching partners and I had the opportunity to share our testimonies with the students and show how God has worked for His glory in our lives and blessed us all. We then took them to see the book cafe where one of the local Christian women shared her testimony with them and explained the functions of the cafe to them. Although none of our students has come out and been truly converted, the spirit of God stirring their hearts is evident as multiple students "borrowed" Bibles or other informational books and devotionals. Today the team was especially encouraged during a time when we were all feeling a little tired and many people were sick. We had the priviledge of having three former students give their testimonies of how they became Christians and how the English camp impacted their lives. We were also greatly encouraged by the knowledge that six of our servers at breakfast and lunch had also become Christians. God is working wonders in China and it is extremely exciting to watch and be a part of. If the church could continue to keep the entire team in your prayers throughout the remainder of the week that would be really appreciated. There are a lot of sick people right now who are either missing from action of not having the full impact they could if they were healthy. There is also a huge storm system, a typhoon, moving into the area tonight and tomorrow and the weather doesn't look promising at all (squalls of wind and torrential rain for the vast majority of the day tomorrrow), so please pray that that doesn't hinder our activities too much or leave permanate damage on the town. Most of all though, please continue to pray that God keeps working in the students hearts and prepares them to hear the gospel we have to share with them, and that He blesses us with the grace, patience, words, and love to reach out to these kids.Thank you!!
We have had classes with students for six straight days now. On Sunday morning we all attended a western "cultural event" with our students which consisted of sharing the gospel message. Several fellow teachers shared their personal testimonies on they came to faith. We showed the students the book (bible) that we derive the teachings on the "life of eight" from Matthews. There was a mime on the fall of man from the Garden and the redemption through the crucifixion/resurrection of the Son. In our class, some students have asked "where does the Father come from" and "how can the Father have so much love to share with everyone"? These are profound questions that tests our faith.
On Sunday, we had the opportunity to take the students out from the school. Students in China typically attend school 6-1/2 days each week. They only have one-half day on Sunday of free time. So having the chance to go off their school campus is quite a treat. We first went to book cafe. Several of the students browse through the store and "borrowed" books. We give thanks to Dad for this opportunity to share the Word with them. We had asked the students to take us on a tour of Du'An. One student guided us to a Buddhist Temple at the base of a mountain. Two of the students bot incense and bowed/offered to the 3 large Buddhas. Most of the students do not profess to have formal religious beliefs, but they do observe ancestral worship.
Our students arrange dinner at a local restaurant. It was a great opportunity to learn more about their families. I sat among 4 boys and prayed before our meal. They asked why. It was a great opportunity to share our faith and bear witness to Him. Our meal was very simple but incredibly good (better than what we have at our hotel or the school). The students really had a great time and they all expressed appreciation.
The grounds in Du'an are very fertile for His message. We are very encouraged by the receptive hearts and minds of the students. We can not be discouraged by the language barrier or cultural differences between us. We are committed to let Dad lead the way in Du'An We are only instrument to do His work. Our teaching duties will conclude on Wed. We will meet with our students on Wed evening to celebrate the completion of the English camp. Bid our good-byes to all of them. Most of the students will start their first day of the Fall term on the next day (Thur). We ask for your continued remembrances to Dad and hope to hear from you. John and Sue
Internet access is very sporadic. We have sent messages since our arrival in Du'An, but they have not gone through. Things are going well with us. Our spirits remain high and phyical strength is good. The students are very hungry to learn everything we place in front of them. Some of the students this year speak English very well. Most are able to read much better than they can speak. Our days start at 6:45am and usually end at 8:30pm with some personal time off during the afternoon. Besides the English grammar that we teach to the students the gospel message is derived from the Sermon on the Mount (the Beatitudes) found in Matt. We feel Dad's presence here everyday. The wealther has been very hot and humid. For the past 4 days, we have had rain in the evenings to clean and cool the air for our daily activities. As for Jack, he has been a great blessing at this camp. He has been a leader among a group of first time US teenagers who are attending this mission. I can see that he has had a positive influence among them. We give thanks to Dad for hisinflucence on Jack and all first-timers. We are drawing close to our first week in Du'An. Because of conflict of schedule with the school, we will teach on the weekend and not have an opportunity to visit some remote villages till end of our time here. One highlight has been a testimony of a local pastor who share his testimony and conversion. It was spellbinding for many of the students who heard his story.There have been several dozen men and women who have committed their lives to spread the Word here in Du'An. We know His presence is here and it is spreading. Thank you all for sending us to do this vital work for His kingdom. Pending internet access, we will try to send more as days pass. Love to hear from you back home.
Our team arrived in Du'An safely on Sunday afternoon. We met the rest of the international team of 155 in Nanning the previous day..
It was truly an awesome sight to see so many brothers and sister in Him coming together to serve in Du'An. We will meet our students
tomorrow to begin 2-weeks of English language training. Please continue to give thanks to our Dad and ask for wisdom and