Thank you for your continued support. God is working here, and we are excited to tell you about it.
Evangelism has been the focus of the last few months. Our big evangelical push has come in two stages. We first began working to produce gospel materials. This is something I have wanted to do for some time but was unable to take the time required to do so. Sadly, most of the materials that are used in China right now are translated materials and do not resonate as well as those written from a Chinese perspective. Not only that, but much of what's available is translated using the CUV (a poor translation from the ERV and NASV English versions), which though it is still the most widely used version in China, it is a poor translation and has a poor source. As you can imagine, there is a great need for more materials using the Peking Committee Bible, an earlier translation from the traditional text. Pastor Xu and I went to work. We began writing articles, but also “stumbled” across some fantastic materials from the late Qing Dynasty that were written by Chinese Christians from that period. We found eight tracts all together and began the process of editing and reproducing these tracts. Not only are they well written from a Chinese perspective, but we have fitted each with a QR code giving people the option to contact us through a form on our US-based website. Eliminating the need to leave personal information on the tracts and making bulk distribution possible without the worry of police showing up at your front door.
The second step was the distribution. We printed a trial run of thirty thousand tracts and began passing them out. With the help of two brothers from Truth Baptist Church in Beijing and a couple of young guys from Pillar Baptist, Pastor Xu went out every day, five days a week for about six weeks. Don’t forget, we are right in the middle of the summer, and temperatures were reaching highs of over forty degrees Celsius. Not only that, one of the guys from Truth Baptist was picked up by the police while on distribution. This was our first run-in with the police since coming to Xi’an, but the Lord protected us! After being warned and scolded, they released him with only a citation. Within two days, we were right back at it. But through all this, the Lord has given some tangible fruit from these labors. Within the first two weeks, we had booked two house calls from people who had received our tracts. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to produce and distribute gospel literature.
The last few months have brought many visitors to Pillar Baptist Church. We have seen many visitors, all unsaved, begin to attend regularly. One of them being our neighbor Wang Lin and her family. She has been the most interested, but her husband often visits as well. Last week she even brought one of her unsaved friends with her. She has heard the gospel many times now, both in person and during church services, but remains unwilling to accept Christ. Many times we see visible signs of the Holy Spirit working on her, as she will often break down in tears when hearing the gospel, but then quickly hardens her heart.
Someone else you can pray for is Sister Ke. She is a member of Pillar Baptist Church, but her husband and her mother are unsaved. Her husband has not yet attended a service but has come to several church meals. Though he is a police officer, he is supportive of his wife, but we would love to see him saved. Sister Ke’s mother is also unsaved but attends almost every service. She is blinded by idol and ancestor worship and has been very hard to the gospel. Last month as the church partook of the Lord’s Supper, I notice her weeping the back row as we explained the death and resurrection of Christ. Please pray for her.
I finished my first semester at school and applied for a government grant that would provide our family with a long-term visa and free tuition. At first, I was told it was too late to apply, and I was not eligible, but then two weeks later another teacher contacted me and told me if I applied that day there would be a chance I could still get accepted. Three months later I was approved and have been given the paperwork to apply for a visa that will last until 2021. We are praising the Lord that he has opened this door for us. I am also excited to get started in September, as studying with other Chinese students provides opportunities to share Christ.
Beth is currently thirty-six weeks pregnant with our baby boy Edward. By the time you receive our next letter, she will have had the baby. The hospital where we are planning to have the baby is very nice, but there are just some things they are not able to handle. So after the baby is born, we will have to make a trip to Beijing both to process paperwork as well as complete the medical care for the baby. All this is scheduled to happen during my first week of classes at the university. So, I told Beth she will have to take the six-hour train ride to Beijing after having the baby with all four children by her self. :) I jest! Pray that God will work out the timing.
Please stay tuned for a video update coming soon!
Neal, Beth, Lois, Abigail, Naomi, and baby Edward