1. Jake and Steph is back! They are the senior missionaries here in Harbin and the reason why we came to train under them for a period of time. We look forward to working with them this year.
2. Jake has outlined a plan for planting two churches this year. There are reasons behind planting two, and it isn’t because we’re ambitious. We’re observing that a full time Chinese pastor may need to pastor at least two or more churches to remain in full time ministry. So we wish to first model this first.
3. “Nine Marks of a Healthy Church” is the current book I’m reading through with Jake. There are no perfect churches, but there are healthy ones. I am enjoying this book so far.
4. Language learning for us has its good times and down right discouraging times. I feel like a tennis ball being knocked between both sides. Nevertheless, the language remains a key factor in our purpose here.
5. Recently I’ve felt that The Lord has been revealing Himself to me by revealing more of myself. He is all the lovely things that I am not and I love Him for those things. Allowing me to have a relationship with Him and benefit from His goodness goes completely undeserved, but gratefully received. There’s no one like our God!
6. Pray with us about our more permanent home here. After our time with senior missionaries we plan to search our places in China where the Gospel is non-existent. So we need to make a few survey trips this year and praying about where to go.
7. Alisha is in her 2nd trimester now and all the signs are good. I’m certainly nervous about being a daddy.
8. I’ve noticed many folks in the states still believe some incredible things about what missions in China is really like. Through posts on facebook and through blogs, many people’s beliefs about missions in China, in my little opinion, is suffering a severe case of ignorance. For instance I still see post of people saying that it is illegal to buy a Bible in China or that you cannot plant churches in China. These opinions are certainly wrong. I’m willing to remedy this issues if folks would only ask or better yet, come see for yourself!
9. Students are returning! I am glad because the majority of our ministry is young people. During Chinese New Year all students return home for several weeks up to a month, so it has been slow going. We’ve taken this time to work on other things, but we are very ready to get back to the plow!
10. We are planning our first furlough for the beginning of 2015. We understand this to be the normal protocol for missionaries to take a short furlough after two consecutive years of being on the field. Since this is the case I plan to spend half the time visiting with our current supporting churches and the other half with new potential ones. Please return an email to me if you would like to go ahead and reserve a spot for your church.