Dear friends and supporters,
Thank you for being our co-workers by means of prayer and giving.
China Report #2 The Divine Control (Acts 8:26-39, Matthew 28:18-20)
I am using this weekly communication to think through and record the lessons Deb and I learned on our recent trip to China. The leading of God through the agency of the church was the topic of last week’s letter. The subject this week is God’s control over the circumstances of our missionary endeavor. In our recent adventure, God showed Himself to us by controlling our daily agenda and schedule. Deb and I have been reminded that we serve God, and that He is able to change the details of our lives any time He chooses.
1. We left for China earlier than expected and stayed longer than expected. When the Chinese consultant granted us permission to travel to China, the dates approved were not the dates we requested. This meant that we were forced to leave in just a few days rather than in a few weeks. Finding an affordable airline ticket necessitated staying in China a week longer than we expected. These changes left no time for planning our schedule for China, yet every day was filled with important lessons and ministry opportunities. We had a strong sense of God’s direct intervention in our day by day affairs.
2. We saw more of China than we thought we would. The extended length of our trip allowed us to experience more of China than expected. We were able to see many historically and culturally informative sites, which is helping us minister more effectively to our Chinese friends.
3. We met more people than expected. We were reacquainted with many friends to whom we previously ministered in Boston. We also met family members in China of our Christian friends now living in Boston. We were also introduced to several churches and ministries. Many of these meetings were not anticipated when we left for China, but they seemed to just come about day after day. We finally realized that God was planning our schedule.
4. We had more ministry opportunities than anticipated. Opportunities to minister to Christian friends, family members of Christian friends, and to friends from Boston who returned to China as non-believers were numerous. We also had the privilege of meeting with groups of pastors. Some of these opportunities were anticipated, but most were not expected. What happened to us was something God did.
5. We are learning more than expected. We are still working through all the experiences we lived through while in China. We sense God has many more important lessons to teach us. Please pray we will be good students.
In Acts 8:26-39, the story of Philip the evangelist is recorded. The divine guidance of God is one of the major themes of this account. Philip is moved to minister to the Ethiopian eunuch and then is mysteriously led on to Azotus. Philip experienced the firm hand of God’s leading. At times it seems like Philip did not fully comprehend what was happening to him. This is the way we feel.
Kai and BeiBei (Kia’s wife) took Deb and me to a wild area of the Great Wall. We had lost contact with Kai several years ago, and were praying that God would help us see him while visiting China. Although Kai did not know we were in China, he providentially contacted us by means of email. We both were surprised to discover that not only were we all in China, but even in the same city. As a result, Kai and BeiBei are now connected to a church in Beijing, and we are meeting on-line for a weekly Bible study.
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We love you,
Bill and Deb