April was an incredible month for Awakening Church. As we celebrated the resurrection, we’ve had countless conversations with people who have never heard the glorious good news of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This is a natural time of year for gospel conversations to occur. Easter Sunday was a beautiful day filled with many relationships that God has been building over the past couple years. You can listen to the message here. By God’s grace, we were able to lead several people to faith in Jesus this month.
After one of our ESL classes, one of our regular students from Iran approached Kathy after the class. With a smile on his face, he wanted to thank her for teaching the class and shared that he had been in America for about 5 years. However, today he finally understood what Easter was all about. What an encouragement to see people grasping the truth of Jesus. For faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
A few months ago, God brought a young lady named Amanda Into our lives. The week that we met, I had just begun reading a new book by Paul Tripp entitled, Suffering. I had not been in a season of suffering personally, but still I felt compelled to read the book. Not three days after beginning this book, I received a phone call telling me that Amanda was just diagnosed with stage four cancer. Things didn’t look good. We knew that Amanda didn’t have a relationship with Jesus so we began to pray for her physical healing as well as her spiritual healing. I bought the book for Amanda and had one of her friends read it to her in her hospital room. At times, she was angry with God, and didn’t want to hear it…but she began to become more open to the conversations about Jesus. Through the countless prayers, fasting, conversations, late nights in the hospital, and the roller coaster that suffering brings she said YES to Jesus. Our hearts are rejoicing. That same week we saw two other young ladies that have faced tremendous hardship say yes to Jesus! Thank you for your support that allows us the opportunity to bring the gospel to people that need Jesus.
This summer we will have an opportunity once again to serve our partners in China. Our partnership in China involves equipping and encouraging those on the ground that face increasing challenges of persecution. It’s my passion to help others that are not mobilized for the great commission. As we prayerfully build this team, YOU may feel led to partner with us or be able to connect other people that may be interested in partnering together for this amazing opportunity.
A quick contextual scope…Since 2013, The Chinese Communist Party reversed course and embarked on a 3-phase, 14-year plan to “suffocate” Three Self churches and “annihilate” underground churches. During the first 2-year phase, it further eased persecution of the underground church, enticing more of them to surface and be identified. During the second 2-year phase, it invited and then pressured the identified underground churches to register and become Three Self churches.
In the current third, 10-year phase, the gloves have come off as both the remaining underground churches and even Three Self churches are being persecuted using Mao-era brute-force, as well as mass surveillance, artificial intelligence, and big data.
The greatest need of the underground church in China today isn’t free Bibles or even protection from persecution, which tends to purify, spread and grow the church, but Biblical teachers, including missionaries, who can exegete the Bible and share the True Gospel.
The foundation of our partnership is just that…better equipping those that serve on the front lines every day. I hope that you will pray about joining us as we deploy across the world in the name of Jesus.
One of the questions I often get from partners is, “how can we be praying for Awakening Church?” The response is typically three-fold. One, pray for partnerships. Without partnerships, this work is not possible. We are continually asking God to bless our partners so that we can continue to be blessed and empowered through them.
Secondly, we are always asking for prayer for new believers. It is why we are here! We are praying for death-to-life stories. Many days, the only thing that keeps us going is that Jesus told us His fields were white and ready for harvest. We believe there is a harvest in the Northwest. We long to see more baptisms in 2019.
Thirdly, we pray for laborers. We need people to come be a part of Awakening Church both locally and others to relocate to serve alongside us. Whatever it takes for God to build His church and multiply disciple-making churches, we say yes!
Alongside that third prayer request, we always praying for the unity of our team and the endurance it takes to fight the spiritual attacks we so often experience.
Thank you again for your partnership and commitment to going the journey with us. That support is the wind in our sails!