To China and Back (And Back to China Again)

Some of you know that I have already spent five years living in China. Below is the story of how the Lord got me there and how (and why) He brought me back to the U.S. to eventually send me back again.

Since I took my first short-term trip to China in 2007, I felt the Lord leading me to serve Him as a missionary in China. The opportunity finally came in the Fall of 2010 when the Lord opened the door for me to teach English in China. I always wanted to preach and pastor in China, but the only direction other missionaries were giving me at the time was to go to China as an English teacher. I reasoned that I could go as an English teacher for the first few years until I could speak the language and then figure out how to get into full-time ministry from there. I arrived in Longyan, Fujian, China in December 2010 and began teaching English in that city. Unfortunately, I did not go to church that first year because the national pastors at the local church were unsure of letting a foreigner attend. After my first year, I asked the pastors again and they agreed to letting me come to church. I had already begun studying the language, but church attendance really helped my Mandarin progress. I learned Chinese hymns and was under the preaching and teaching of national pastors. After about three years in the country, I met Anny Grace, who started attending church with me. Shortly after she was saved, we began to discuss engagement and marriage. At the same time, a national pastor began allowing me to occasionally lead a college and career small group as well as gave me a couple of opportunities to preach in a Bible study setting. In April of 2015, Anny Grace and I got married. By May of that year I was already trying to find ways to more involve myself in ministry in China. The national pastors were still unwilling to let me preach in main church services due to me being a foreigner and my job as an English teacher was restricting my time and took away from other ministry opportunities. Through much prayer, I decided to reach out to the Project China team. I had discovered and been reading their blogs for about a year and really admired all that they were accomplishing for the Lord in another region of China. After reaching out to the team online, one of the missionaries called me and told me about the Our Generation Training Center, a training center for missionaries located in Alpharetta, Georgia, out of Vision Baptist Church. Realizing that this would be the ideal opportunity for us to get the training we needed to do full-time ministry in China, we secured American residency for Anny Grace and arrived in the United States in December of 2015. Here I have been able to receive invaluable training on how to do cross-cultural missions and church planting full-time. Anny Grace and I are now on deputation to raise the support we need to go back to the field in China. We look forward to getting back and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost souls of that great country.

Weekly Devotion Proverbs 3:9-10

“Honour the LORD with thy substance, And with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, And thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”

If we honor the Lord with what we have and with the firstfruits of what He gives us, He will bless us with plenty to the point of “bursting out”. Here is a principle that the Lord blesses those that honor Him with their possessions by putting Him first.

Lord, help me to honor You with all that I have. Help me to put aside selfishness and put You first as I make financial decisions. Help me to trust that You will bless my putting You first.

Born Again?

Over the weekend, Vision Baptist Church held an outreach to the many Indian families in our community. The Lord blessed, and over 100 Indians visited our church, many of whom were hearing the gospel for the first time.

I was given the chance to speak with one man in particular who told me that his parents converted to Christianity in India many years ago. Within only about two minutes of our conversation, he plainly asked me, “I have heard the phrase, ‘born again,’ a few times before and many times tonight. But, I’m not familiar with that concept. What does it mean?”

I was able to tell him from the Bible that he actually isn’t the first person to have that very same question! I told him the story of John 3 and Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus. I explained that we must be born again to see the kingdom of God.

The man was fascinated. Though he owns a Bible and claimed to read it, he had never heard that story. I encouraged him to read the Bible for himself and join Vision’s Desi Bible Fellowship, a bible study to help Indians understand the bible.

Please pray for him and the other Indians that came to Vision. Pray that he would read the bible, understand the gospel, and be saved. Please pray that the Lord would allow our church to reach many Indians in our community with the gospel.

Please pray, too, that my family and I would finish our deputation quickly so that we can return to China and tell the millions of Chinese who have yet to hear the gospel about the necessity of being born again.