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Second generation missionaries to China

January 2020 

Dear Supporters and Friends,

This new year, as we approach our third year in Xi’an, we are thankful for all those who give to and pray for us. This year has begun with an unexpected hurdle, but at the same time we can see that God is still working and that excites us. 

Many have asked us about the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus, so I’ll take some time and address how this has affected us here in Xian. The outbreak was not something people where worrying about we they returned home for Chinese New Year. Many people who left town for the holidays are either locked down in their home towns or have no way to get back to Xi’an as many of the means of transportation have been shut down here. So we do have several people who are currently stranded in several surrounding provinces. We do have one family, the Zhao Family, who stayed in Xian for the holidays, and so they have have been able to continue to attend services. 

The Xi’an government has begun enforcing some restrictions to try to contain the spread of the virus in our city. Most communities are not allowing anyone who is not a resident into the community, and also taking temperatures and registering everyone who comes and goes. Though this might seem like an affective way to control the virus, because of the long incubation period, people seem to be communicable before showing any symptoms. Also, meeting together for services can be quite tricky. Before we organized Pillar Baptist Church we rented an apartment space for the church to meet in, and as of right now the community is still allowing non-residents to enter the building. Those entering are required to have their temperature checked and register their information with the management company. For obvious reason, this is not an ideal situation. At the same time, we have not had to cancel services, and we are thanking the Lord for His protection.  Please pray that they would continue to allow us to meet there next week. Both Pastor Xu’s community and our community have put restrictions in place, making meeting at either one of our houses nearly impossible.

Beth Teaching her Sunday School Class (left), and the kids with their masks on for Wednesday prayer meeting (right).

Another aspect of this you could pray for is that the government would not put our city or our community in lock down. Other cities, including some in our neighboring province of Henan, have been locked down making it almost impossible to even leave their residence. Over 20 communities in our city have been locked down completely, no one is allowed to go in or out, because of confirmed  cases of the virus. As of right now, in our own apartment complex there is one person that is being investigated for the coronavirus, and if three people begin to show symptoms they will lock us in. I am not at all worried for our own safety as I know that God is in control, I feel like Satan is using this as a distraction for so many, but I am confident that the Lord will use this to save some. 

Editing work on the hymnal continues. We now have around two hundred songs completely finished and being used in our church. One aspect of the hymnal that we have been working on a-lot lately is getting the hymns recorded on put online so that other churches without a pianist can use the hymnal. It has been a church effort, with everyone at Pillar Baptist pitching in. I definitely could not do it all myself.

To learn more about our hymnal project and hymn related resources in Chinese check out the 《新颂主诗歌》website.

This is a new tract I wrote called “Concerning The True God”. It uses Scripture and general revelation to explain who God is while at the same time addressing many Chinese gods.

To find Chinese preaching or downloadable copies of gospel resources check out our church website at Xi'an Pillar Baptist Church. 

God seems to have been working in the hearts of Mr. and Mrs. Zhao. You might remember us mentioning Mr. Zhao before, He was unwilling to attending our services for a while so I studied with him one on one. He then made the decision to come to church. He has since been able to get his wife’s job transferred to Xi’an, and they are able to attending church as a family. We are excited to see them making some good decisions, and know that this virus is a test of their faith. Please pray for them.

During all of this we have been able to have great conversations with our children. My wife has been reading Pilgrim’s Progress to the kids at night, and they have been made to think about spiritual things. On the evening of February first, after have a long conversation with Beth, Lois and Abby came to me desiring to accept Christ as their personal Savior. I went over the gospel with them individually, and both Lois and Abigail were very clear on their need for a Savior. Both prayed and asked God save them! 

We covet your prayers, especially over the next few weeks. We know that God is wanting to do something in hearts of the Zhao’s and my own children, and we don’t plan on letting this virus get in the way. 

In Christ,
Neal, Beth, Lois, Abigail, Naomi, and Edward

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