April In Asia
30 days ago my wife and I arrived in Asia. This morning in my Bible reading I read these words: “Thou hast dealt well with thy servant, O LORD, according unto thy word.” Psalm 119:65. That is certainly how we are feeling. God has “dealt well” with us by allowing us to be living and working here in Asia.
We were blessed to have our daughter and her family, Matthew and Rebekah Lindquist, already here to do the survey work of finding an apartment for us so we were able to move in and get settled on day one. The Lindquist family arrived in August of 2016 and have been a tremendous help in teaching us how to serve in a creative access country.
Here in China, we live in a city of over 14 million people, the vast majority of whom have never had a clear presentation of the gospel. Even though we have only been here for one month, our schedule is filled.
Aside from the ministry of Barnabas1040, we have been attempting to win souls where we are presently living as well. We are not permitted to do things exactly the way we did in the USA but that does not mean the work cannot be done. Both of our families have full schedules of soul-winning activities designed to prepare the soil, plant the seed and reap the eventual harvest.
Let me give you just one example of how we are reaching out: One night a week, we attend a gathering of local young adults called, “Language Exchange.” People come there to meet others who can help them in learning and practicing various languages. Guangzhou is such an International city that there are groups speaking, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Russian, Spanish and English!
My wife and I gather with Mandarin speaking people who want to improve their English skills. These young Chinese people are excited to spend 2 hours with an elderly American couple. The first hour, they help us with Mandarin, and the second hour we help them with English. We then follow up with those who show spiritual interest by meeting them on a different night for Bible study that is focused on presenting the gospel. We center this study around God’s answer to 3 questions: Where Did I Come From, Why Am I Here and Where Am I Going? Please pray for this creative soul-winning/discipleship plan. It is our prayer that from this small group the Lord will raise up the nucleus that will someday become the Guangzhou Independent Baptist Church. Please join us in praying to that end.
In addition to our work locally, we are praying that the Lord will enable us to drastically increase the number of national pastors that we are sponsoring through Barnabas1040. We currently support 17 men in 8 countries, but I am asking the Lord to increase that number to 50 church planters. I have been corresponding with a Canadian missionary that started an IB Bible College in Pakistan. It is my hope that we will soon be adding some Pakistani brothers to our list! According to the Joshua Project, less than 1% of the people in Pakistan are born again believers. What an incredible need there is to give them the gospel!
In addition to the Pakistani vetting process, I am scheduled to make trips into Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Indonesia in the next 4 months for the purpose of expanding the reach of Barnabas1040. We already support national pastors in Laos, Thailand and Indonesia but I am going to be meeting with more men that have been recommended by our missionaries for financial help. I am also going to be meeting with some men in Myanmar in the hope that we can help them plant churches among their own people. Of course, during each “missionary journey,” we will be teaching, preaching and training nationals as well as vetting those we hope to add to the Barnabas1040 family.
In closing I want to extend my sincere gratitude to each of you who have a part in making this ministry possible. By the grace of God we are joining hands to get the gospel to some of the most unreached people groups in the world. My heart is captivated and stirred by the thought that there are multitudes of people in this part of the world who are lost, yet no one is searching for them!