The year 2019 was a rollercoaster that has taken and shaken us around. But God is in control and we trust in HIM alone. Living overseas in some extreme and tough environments and even including some dangerous situations actually make these trials seem like child’s play. Praise God. We have been willing to sacrifice and suffer for the sake of the gospel because we know what the highest calling in life truly is. Knowing, worshipping, and serving Jesus Christ. He is the God who will make peace or war with little man. We really hate to think about it but America is in for a rude awakening. So many have no idea what life is like in the rest of the world and live under a normalcy bias that everything is just going to continue on as always. The Romans under the mighty Roman empire probably thought that too long ago. The answer regardless is to trust God.
“For you yourselves know, brothers, that our visit with you was not without result. 2 On the contrary, after we had previously suffered, and we were treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, we were emboldened by our God to speak the gospel of God to you in spite of great opposition. 3 For our exhortation didn’t come from error or impurity or an intent to deceive. 4 Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but rather God, who examines our hearts. 5 For we never used flattering speech, as you know, or had greedy motives—God is our witness— 6 and we didn’t seek glory from people, either from you or from others.” (1 Thessalonians 2:1-6, HCSB)
Let us quickly share with you an amazing story. We just recently came back to Virginia to handle some business up this way and because Darlene’s mother is out of town she was not able to be her guest to go exercise with her. If you haven’t already, please read our old post on Christian health and diet . Darlene decided to get a membership at a local community center that had a small gym for $35/year. While Darlene would exercise I usually take our son hiking in the woods nearby. Last week all the sudden Darlene calls me and says “Quick, come back here because you will never believe who is here exercising.” The man that was in the gym was a brother who led the China training center in Wichita Kansas that we attended almost 20 years ago and was a few years before we moved to China. We owe a lot to him and the things he taught us and was trying to do for those called to China. He is now almost 70 years old and has been suffering some health issues. However he is still traveling and serving in China part time. What an inspiration! Praise God! It just so happens that his daughter and son in law live in the area and he is here visiting them for a while. Of all places to meet him in this little tiny community center at this particular time. God is so amazing. We will be getting together with him this week so pray for our meeting that if God is in fact trying to reconnect us that we could discover the purpose of this meeting again.
We have also had the pleasure of reconnecting with our Chinese house church brothers and sisters. We were invited to attend a Chinese Baptist Church in the area. We have met some of the brothers and sisters that go there years ago but have never been to the Church for worship. The Pastor is a retired NASA engineer and a wonderful believer. His Church primarily caters to Chinese families in the area and local Chinese college students. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and praising God, not to mention really pushing the limits of my rusty Chinese language. I am always amazed that no matter how long passes by when I start speaking it again how the words just seem to come back out without even thinking about it. It is almost as if God is giving me the words to speak sometimes when I am not actively trying to recall and remember what to say. Every time I do get back to speaking Chinese again it is like a fire gets rekindled in my spirit to get back to studying to take it to an even higher level and believe me, no matter how good you think your Chinese is, you still have a long long way to go. That is just part of the territory when you are dealing with a 5,000 year old language and culture.
Another high point was that Darlene was able to get her latest test results today and it is a huge praise! For the first time ALL her levels are at the normal level. This is great news but her levels are normal with medication. So now begins the process to slowly wean her off the medication completely to see if her body can still hold these normal levels. One of the medications was cut some with this good news so the process has already begun. If all goes well we expect within the next 6 months for her to be completely finished with her treatment. Now she will still have to take an anti-malaria medication everyday for the rest of her life to keep the Lupus from flaring up but at least the kidney issues would be under control and further damage stopped. Thank you goes out to all who have prayed and supported us through this battle.
Lastly, please pray for our next steps. We are trying to move in wisdom and in the Lord’s timing and not make foolish mistakes by acting out from outside pressures. We have a few meetings this week with some brothers and sisters and pray for God’s will to be done in these relationships. Please pray for our existing relationships that we have cherished these past few years that they would remain strong and continue to move in ways that would bring glory to Jesus Christ and get His gospel to the lost.
Do you want more or less gospel witnesses in the world? It doesn’t matter where you are today, if you would like to support us to continue to get the truth of Jesus Christ out to the world please don’t hesitate to join these efforts by donating today. https://missionhog.com/product/any-donation/ May God bless and show favor to all brothers and sisters reading this post now. In Jesus name. Amen!