Gaius (identity protected) is married and has one child. He grew up in a Christian family and was converted as a youth while attending a summer camp. He is now working to establish a healthy church in a large urban area of China.
Dear Brothers, peace in the Lord! I thank God for leading us through another month. May God remember all you have given to help us in His Name! Please keep praying for the salvation of my young son. Please also pray that my wife and I might fulfill our responsibility to raise him according to the Bible.
This month, I studied the book of Ruth. I saw a Gentile girl, who was renewed through grace. She became a member of God’s covenant and a vital and important person in God’s plan of salvation. Again, I saw the greatness of God’s grace in that He could change someone who in the eyes of the world had no hope. Also, my wife and I finished reading Tim Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage. It made us understand that our marriage still has many mistakes that need repentance and change.
I also preached three times this month from the book of Mark. We especially focused on what greatness and lowliness looks like in God’s Kingdom. This encouraged us a lot! Those who want to be great in God’s kingdom must be a servant to all and minister to all, for it is through serving others and laying down our lives that we truly become great. This completely overturns the world’s view of greatness. Also, we saw that those who would enter God’s kingdom must be like a child. This made me see that only those who understand their inability, insufficiency, and incapability are renewed by grace.
At the beginning of this month, I went to the Reformed Evangelical Seminary to teach for five days on Old Testament Biblical Theology. The class has helped me a great deal in that it forced me to organize many great truths and to recall what I had previously learned. I also attended the China Reformed Baptist Pastor’s Conference. There were over thirty pastors in attendance. The conference was an encouragement to me because I was able to see how the churches in other areas are growing. Also, I was able to share both the praises and problems from my ministry with others, and we encouraged and prayed with one another. Shoulder to shoulder, we supported each other on this road of service.
On Sunday afternoons at church, we are still meeting together to study Paul Washer’s book, The Gospel’s Power and Message. On Thursday evening, I am leading a study on how to look at life from the context of the Scriptures (based on a class I taught in the seminary). The purpose of this study is to share the Gospel with the unbelieving visitors and also to help the believers to better understand the Bible. Having to go through and simplify the things that I taught in seminary has helped me personally and enabled the brothers and sisters to understand and participate in the discussions.
Two new families began attending our church this month. Both are newlywed couples. They grew up in Christian families, but have not participated in church life in a long time. They heard about our church from other people and came. I am reminded again that we must grow not only in number but also in a deeper knowledge of the Gospel and our ability to proclaim it! It does not matter what kind of people come; the Gospel is still the most important thing for them to know and understand. It is the most foundational message. This reminder has also encouraged me concerning how important a healthy church is to a specific area or location. The great need of unbelievers and believers alike is a healthy church.