Due to inclement weather, the 9 a.m. service for Sunday, Jan. 20 has been cancelled. We will have one morning service at 10:45 a.m. as road conditions improve.

The "L" Family (Secured)

Messages from the "L" Family

January 2024
Dear Praying Friends,

"How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.  "Psalm 36:7

After much prayer and support from all of you, we are excited to let you know that we are safely back in the country where God has called us to minister.  We spent some time with our families as they experience health issues. We also traveled through 21 states and spoke some 20 times in different meeting places from New York City to San Francisco and in many places in between. We put almost 30,000 miles on our car and through it all we saw the Lord's hand of protection as we traveled and reported to so many.

One of the needs we shared for you to remember was the ability to re-enter the country without any trouble. Based on new laws that were put in place while we were stateside, we were not sure that re--entry was even feasible. We are happy to report that we made it back in without incident. Normally when entering the area of immigration and customs, there are hundreds of people waiting and being processed. When we arrived this time, we were the only travelers left to be processed. We thought that might be a problem but were delighted when it went quickly and there didn't seem to be any issue at all. We are confident that the Lord heard the pleas of so many people on our behalf. Since our return we have talked with some of our friends who are nationals here -  who have told us of others who have been arrested at the border for religious activity, even for things they had been involved in five or more years ago.

We ask that you continue to lift up these situations. We have heard from several of our friends that meeting places are also being shut down on a regular basis. We know of some international groups that have been closed and the people threatened with deportation if they are caught in these meetings again. Some people who have been taken in by the police, have also been questioned for old situations going back several years ago.

We have several decisions that we need to make. Decisions about how to be a help, and not a hindrance to the people that we work and serve with here. Please lift us up that we might know how to come alongside our national contacts. That we would be wise a serpents and harmless as doves.

One last request is for our upcoming visa. In the next few weeks, we will need to start the process of applying for our visa for the next year. Please ask that this process will go smoothly. This year since we were home, our business ended the year in the red, which could affect our ability to successfully get a visa. Also, we know there is still an open investigation into our ministry, and this also could affect the process. We are trusting that our Father's will will be done and ask that you do the same on our behalf.

In Him,
1st Quarter 2023 Update
Dear Praying Friends,

"The LORD is my strength and my shield, my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him." Psalm 28:7

It has now been three years of Covid lockdowns and restrictions, but we are beginning to see a slow change since life is actually getting back to somewhat normal. We can definitely say with the Psalmist that we rejoice in our Lord. Who has kept us and provided for us during this time. We look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead for us here in China.

Two weeks before Christmas, the government decided to bring an end to the zero covid policy. Though we were very happy for this to come about, it unfortunately caused a massive covid outbreak around the country, lasting for the better part of a month or more. Most of our planned Christmas outreach activities had to be cancelled. Even though some were cancelled, we did decide to o ahead with one activity. This gathering is very close to our hearts. This specific group is made up of the men and their families who have given their lives to continue the work and with whom we serve most closely all year long. We had about 25 people come to celebrate the birth of the savior with us at our home. Three days after this party, we found out that all of them came down with covid symptoms. We were very concerned. Thankfully no one was very sick for long, and for whatever reason, we never tested positive for covid. We praise the Lord for His hand in all of this and thank Him for His care and protection.

In the middle of January, we took our first trip outside of our province in more than a year. We met with some old friends and enjoyed being able to go in person to another city to encourage believers and find out what has been happening in theri city during these difficult times. This trip went very smoothly The Lord opened the opportunity for us to return a month later, and this time I was able to speak in person to a group of believers that we have not been with in almost 10 years. What a wonderful time of renewing old friendships, meeting new friends, and seeing the faithfulness of these believers through hard times. They had come through these 3 years with a constant attendance and have even had some new people join the church. One of the most encouraging aspects was to see their teen children now serving in the ministry as well.

We have been able to continue our regular ministries during the covid time, including the ladies' studies, as well as working with the international church in our local area.  __ is continuing with online teaching as well. Each week he has two separate online Bible studies and is also preaching for a local group online. We hope to continue these studies, but are looking forward to meeting in person more and more and traveling to encourage more believers in various other cities. This year we hope to be doing summer camps in at least two or three different cities, so we ask that you pray that these camps are able to happen.
One thing that we need to ask specific prayer for this month is our visa approval and processing. We have started the application process, but it is a little more complicated this year than normal years. This year __ changed to his new passport number before we can apply for our visas which expire in March. This entails going to multiple government buildings and offices. Foreigners are not allowed to do this for themselves, so we must rely on others to understand the importance and time-sensitive deadlines. We ask that you pray with us that we will be able to get the business information changed over in time and get our visa applications started before the end of March. We are trusting the Lord to go before us and to prepare the way.
In Him -- 
Spring 2022 update
Dear Praying Friends,

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."  Isaiah 41:10

This verse is one that should bring great comfort to all Christians, and especially for those that are going through difficult times as the children of Israel were when this verse was given to them. It brought the promise that God had not forgotten them. For those of us living during these unpredictable times it is also a comfort to us.
We know that there is a lot of news about the new Covid outbreak here - and much of it is true. As we always say, "Whenever you hear about something that is happening here, it is probably true somewhere here". We have friends in Shanghai who have been locked in their homes for almost 2 months now. We personally have experienced soft and hard lockdowns as well. The scariest thing is the unpredictability. We do not live in fear... But any time that we are out of our home, we have the potential of interacting with someone who might test positive. In that case, we would be contacted to either be quarantined in our home, or be taken to a quarantine camp outside of the city. Currently in our province we are having to do mandatory testing once or twice a week. We are trying to say vigilant. We are able to purchase most staples like meat, bread, and vegetables. However, all of this is subject to change at any moment and without prior warning. Continue to pray that we will maintain a good attitude and be a positive testimony to our neighbors and friends.
Our weekly meetings are also being affected. It changes each week whether we will be able to meet in person or need to meet online. We were able to meet for Easter but the following week we had to be on Zoom again. We do praise the Lord that as of now, we are able to meet online, there have been some real concerns about this being stopped nation-wide. We are also meeting online for three studies each week with people from Beijing, Shanghai, and even as far as Barcelona. I am also preaching for a local group in Beijing that is currently having to meet online. We look forward to a time when we can all be together again in person, but we recognize that meeting online is a provision from the Lord. I have been able to add two new people to the study in Shanghai and both are actively seeing for understanding. Please pray for the members of this study. Currently there are six people in the study, three are believers and three are not believers. This is the group that I was meeting with on Tuesday nights, but their company has recently moved them all to shanghai.
P-S has been able to continue to meet in person, when allowed, with a local lady, Mrs. C. Her husband, Mr. C, had to go to the US for his father's funeral and to also relocate his mother. After the funeral he moved his mother to North Carolina, which is near some friends and near a good Chinese church for her to attend. Mr. C is now trying to return to his family here in China. Please pray that he will be able to return quickly. He must renew his passport and get a visa for Korea before he is able to come back. Also, the tickets for returning are quite expensive at the moment since there are so few flights flying here. Pray for wisdom as he tries to navigate all of these challenges.
We would like to take this opportunity to again praise the Lord for allowing us to be able to renew our visa for another year. The climate here is constantly changing and we are never sure if we will be allowed to renew each year. With the pandemic, many businesses have suffered, however, since we work from home it has not really affected us and the Lord has blessed us to be able to do enough to earn our visa again this year. We are all set until March 2023.
We ask that you continue to remember us in your prayers. It appears that things will most likely continue in a heightened reaction to the virus until after the new year. There is a big meeting and election in November that could have a huge impact on things here, but until after that election we feel that things will remain much the same as it is now. Please pray that we remain diligent, and redeem the time!

In Him,
S and P-S
Dear Praying Friends,
"I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole hear, I will shew forth all thy marvelous works." Ps 9:1
We would love to show forth the marvelous works the Lord has done since our last update. We have seen the goodness of God and have had multiple big opportunities over the last few months. From Bible studies to outreach activities, the Lord has been gracious to us to allow us creative ways to serve Him.  
Since Thanksgiving, we have had several chances to use our home for outreach activities, something that we have been restricted from doing for quite some time now. We have had almost 100 people in our home in November and December, with groups varying in size from as few as 4 people to as many as 40 people at a time. This was not even a possibility in 2020 but the Lord in His faithfulness made it possible this year.
We have continued to have our normal ministries, and these have been a real blessing. 'PS' meets with several ladies on Tuesday nights, these are mostly foreign ladies, and she is happy to be a part of this group. She also has continued to work weekly with several of the local pastor's wives and has enjoyed mentoring these ladies in both their ministry and family issues. She is hoping in the spring to do a special ladies retreat with these dear ladies to continue to be an encouragement to them. Please pray with us that this will be able to happen.
'S' has also continued his Tuesday night studies with several Chinese young men. Please be in prayer for one young man named Paul who has recently been coming but does not know the Lord. We are studying the book of John and he has already heard the clear gospel presentation several times in this study. Besides Tuesdays, we continue to have our Wednesday night study with a family in Beijing, as well as a family who used to be in our church, currently working in Madrid. On Friday nights or Sundays, 'S' is preaching online for a Church in Beijing. We also have a continuing study on Saturday mornings currently studying the book of 1 John. All of these show forth God's faithfulness and his marvelous works. Besides this 'S' also preaches about once a month for the international  fellowship.
in addition to these continuing ministries, this last year we had several large groups where we were able to explain about American culture. At Thanksgiving, we took the opportunity to explain the need for showing thanks to God for his faithfulness. We had several groups to our home for Christmas celebrations. In one of our gatherings, we invited a local "Group" to come and encouraged them to invite unsaved friends to hear the real meaning of Christmas. We had the opportunity to share the Christmas story starting in Genesis through the Cross. One professor who attended told us that he had recently been given a "Book" and had read how it all started but he had not heard about how the problem of sin was resolved. He had lots of good questions. We had another girl say she was interested in learning more and we were able to encourage her to attend our friend's meetings on the weekends. We understand she is still seeking and asking questions. Please pray for Teacher Z. and Shirley as they continue to seek answers to their questions.
One additional prayer request we would ask you to be remembering. The government here has enacted a new law that takes effect on March 1st that will make it illegal for any online teaching, preaching, or sharing unless you have obtained a government license. We currently teach online anywhere from 3 to 4 times weekly, plus additional times if we are doing training. We are not sure what this law will look like and how stringent it will be, so we ask that you remember not only us, but the many ministries here that were forced to go online during COVID. This has allowed us some success in harder-to-reach places but may now be stopped if this control is tightly enforced.

In Him - S and PS
The “L” Family

Dear Praying friends, 

“Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8

These are definitely verses that have truths to remember for 2021. As we look back at 2020 there were times when anxiousness and worry seemed to be a daily part of life. However, as we “think on these things” as Paul says, we can rest assured that God was in control - and still IS in control. In February, these were actually the verses that “P” had the opportunity to teach through, with approximately 25 ladies, in an online seminar. During the week she spent about 2 hours a night going over the truths found in this scripture, especially, “being anxious for nothing”. The ladies felt it was very timely and a good lesson for all to learn. 

Because of the opportunity that “P” had with these ladies, the same group asked if I would be willing to do a once-a-month service for them online. It has been a blessing to serve this small congregation in this way. I was also able to preach a special Good Friday service for this same group online. We look forward to the day we can travel again and encourage these dear brothers and sisters in person. 

Besides these opportunities, we have also had the privilege to start three new studies. “S” meets on Tuesday nights with a small group of men who are seeking to know more about scripture. At the same time, “P” is able to take some ladies from one area of the city to another area for a Ladies’ Bible study. On Fridays, “P” has started a mentoring study with a local pastor’s wife. She is excited about this and the possibility of adding some additional wives to this study. We also started another study on Saturday mornings with a young family. We just finished an extensive study through Colossians and are now excited to be going through the book of 1 Peter focusing on, our Living Hope. 

We are extremely excited about all these new opportunities that the Lord has allowed us to be involved in, and we look forward to seeing what will continue to come as 2021 unfolds. Please continue to remember us and the work that is happening here. “S” also had the opportunity to do an Easter chalk talk for about 50 people for the local expat group. It was a good opportunity as many of the believers had invited unsaved friends to the activity. This was one of the rare times since March 2020 that we actually were able to have everyone meet together. What a blessing to be able to celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection in this way. 

Unfortunately, our correspondence will continue to be very sparse in this time of heightened risk. We appreciate your gracious understanding in this area. Please know we are still working here and doing as much as we can for His Kingdom, but for safety reasons for both us and the dear brothers and sisters here, we need to keep our communications very limited. We do appreciate your thoughts and concern for us and would appreciate your continued prayers on our behalf. We have been faithfully remembering you, our partners, as well in our daily devotion times, as we know things are difficult all over the world right now. 

In Him
 “S” and “P”.