Edmondson Prayer Letter
Ministering to the World in Boston
Supper with Bolin
Recently Deb and I were invited to supper by Bolin (recently baptized) and her parents who are visiting from China. Bolin’s mother is an excellent cook who continually filled our plates with exquisite Chinese cuisine. We had a wonderful evening of friendship which resulted in an opportunity to share the love of God. Bolin’s parents, with Bolin translating, thanked us for taking care of their daughter. We were able to explain that we cared for their daughter because the love of God has filled our hearts and is overflowing into the lives of others. Bolin’s parents are now showing interest in the study of God’s Word. In so many ways the evening with Bolin and her parents reflects the strategic nature and tremendous need of great-commission ministry in places like Boston.
By ministering to Bolin we now have the opportunity to minister to her parents who will soon return home to China. This means that the gospel has the potential of going from us through Bolin to her parents and then into the heartland of China. We also have begun to minister to families from Nepal and Zambia. In like manner, these new friendships have the potential of spreading the gospel into these diverse areas of the world.
Ministering to Chinese, Nepalese, and Zambians in Boston also allows us to potentially minister in a small way to some of the great needs in our hurting world. China’s cities are growing by the size of Canada’s population each year. This has resulted in a huge population of men, women and children who have no rights, no resources and the disdain of the more well to-do Chinese urbanite. Zambia has lost a generation to AIDS and is one the hardest hit of the African nations by this horrible disease. Nepal is a country plagued by political turmoil and instability. The Nepalese family to whom we are ministering have a teenage daughter whom they are not able to get out of Nepal. They live daily with the heartache and concern for a daughter whom they are not able to parent.
Our Spirit, derived goal of facilitating a church-planting movement starting in Boston and spreading to other global centers like Boston has the potential to offer eternal hope for the future and abundant life now for the hurting peoples of the world. We are not able to establish the Kingdom (the Lord Jesus Christ will do that) but we are able to offer a haven of rest for those who will turn to the Savior of the world.
As I think back on our evening of friendship, enjoying the wonderful hospitality of our dear Chinese friends, I am reminded that they are only one of thousands of families in Boston who need the gospel. At the time when we enjoyed dinner together, Bolin’s parents were living in a 15th floor apartment overlooking Malden High School and, on the horizon, the city of Boston. As I stood on their balcony and gazed over the city, I was reminded that in Malden High there are around 60 language groups represented, and as I lifted my eyes to the skyline of Boston, I was sobered by the knowledge that just out there resides the world for whom Christ died. The tragedy is that most of those multitudes will live their lives and eventually pass into eternity without ever receiving a credible witness concerning the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ—and Boston is but a microcosm of the world. Pray for us.
Our second intern (Andy Scott) has been with us in Boston for seven weeks now, and our first intern (Joelle Hoff) has moved back to Boston to live her life and to serve the Lord.
We now have three Bible studies during the week (not including our Sunday morning study): an evangelistic study, an infant believers discipleship study and the “Gospel-Centered Life” study.
We continue to make progress in our personal finances, and we are emerging from crises mode.
The degree is completed and we are implementing the plan contained in the thesis.
The Lord has given us a congregation with people at every level of Christian growth, from non-believers to mature committed Christians.
The Brandts hosted a 4th of July picnic for the church family and for their inner-city neighborhood. Many new friends were made with whom we hope to share the gospel.
Please pray that Christ will be formed in our young believers.
Pray for us as we endeavor to plant a multi-ethnic international church that will be used as a template for other church plants in Boston.
Ask our Father to help us as we plan and host our international camp-out and international student household goods giveaway.
Bill and Deb Edmondson