As of February 24, I am blessed to report that all funds have come in through the generosity of friends and families. I will be going to China! PRAISE THE LORD FOR HIS PROVISION! God provided the rest of the funds for airfare. In addition, cash donations came in over just a few days time to finish up the amount that I needed for this trip. Several of you gave sacrificially, personally, and generously. I am humbled, overjoyed, and honored to have a team of friends and family supporting me. I will keep the updates coming as we finalize preparations. I suppose if you'd still like to make donations, other members of the team would benefit. You can see details below. Realize that my personal paypal link however is no longer needed and has been removed from this post. It is great to ask God's people to rejoice with me in the grace of giving!
As of February 18, I just wanted to give you all a quick update on my China trip. PRAISE THE LORD! He has provided through the generosity of a friend, just about all of my airfare costs for the trip. Through donated airmiles, I was able to have my airfare significantly reduced from around $1400 round trip to about $400! God is providing. I still need about $800 total for the remainder of the cost of this endeavor. Please pray for God to continue to provide. And if you would like to play a part ... read on. Support details are in the last two paragraphs.
I am blessed to be part of a church that takes the advance of the gospel around the globe seriously. We know that Jesus asks us to make disciples of ALL the nations. Mill Creek Community Church has worked with strategic partners to make substantial commitments to the fields where God calls our people. One such location is the city of Shenzhen, just across from Hong Kong on the Chinese mainland. Right now Mill Creek has three of her own member families serving in Shenzhen with a broader ministry team. (In order to protect the nature of their work, it is best that I protect their identities in this post. You can however click this link to find out a little more.)
|Just part of the Shenzhen skyline...|
It is no secret that China is an economic, manufacturing, and business powerhouse right now. The city of Shenzhen was the first Special Economic Zone established by the Chinese government, and now the most successful. Upwards of 15 million people live and work in its environs. And thirty years ago the city proper did not exist. Almost all of its population consists of recently displaced young professionals who have relocated from other parts of China in order to take advantage of the economic and employment opportunities there.
You may not have thought of Shenzhen as a household name, but have you ever heard of the iPod, the iPhone, or the iPad? Apple manufactures them there. Many international businesses have offices in China and manufacturing facilities in or near Shenzhen. There is a huge need in the city and there are many hungers. There is a hunger to learn business practices. There is a hunger to learn English. There is a hunger for friendship with so many displaced young people 30 and younger. There is a hunger for the gospel.
Recently one of our Mill Creek families returned to Shenzhen and successfully launched a business specializing in training professionals in English language skills. The hopeof the business was to provide funding for other outreach efforts in the city, to build relationships with Chinese leaders and professionals, and to create a permanent presence for a team in the city. The term "Business as Mission" has become a way of describing this new way of reaching "creative access" countries such as China. The team that is there is utilizing the natural relationships forged in the marketplace to bring the gospel to a needy city. I am excited about the new path for the gospel that this represents. That's where my opportunity to go to China for a two-week visit emerged.
|An English Corner in an academic setting...|
I have been asked to help with a ministry team conference in April. I will be assisting with encouraging the ministry team by speaking, leading worship sessions, helping with team development and challenge solving, as well as assisting the various missionary families and their children with personal assistance and pastoral encouragement. In addition there will be opportunities to encourage Chinese believers throughout the city. I will also get the chance to participate in English Corners where eager Chinese love to practice their English with Americans. Personally, that is the part I am most excited about! I will be spending about half my time in Hong Kong for the conference, and then the other half of my time in Shenzhen. The trip lasts from April 1st through the 14th.
That's what I will be doing. But I'd like to ask that you do something for the millions of people in Shenzhen too. I'd like to ask that you first of all pray. Pray for a team of us who are leaving in April, sacrificing time away from work and family in order to help another team reach a city with the gospel. Pray for safe travels, for a great conference in Hong Kong, and for God to lead us to the right opportunities with people in Shenzhen while we are there.
I also really need people with a vision for eternity who would be willing to give financially to this trip. The total cost per individual is $2300.00. God has been providing. At the time of the writing of this post, I only need to raise about $1700.00 before the first of April. Anything you could give would be greatly appreciated and will be making a difference in a wide open ministry opportunity. (February 24th NEWS FLASH: all support is now raised! Praise God!)
There are a few ways you could give. If you would like to give a tax-deductible contribution to the entire team, you may do so by sending a check to Mill Creek Community Church, 8151 McCoy, Shawnee, KS 66227. Be sure to mark your check "CHINA TRIP" in the memo section. Mill Creek members may also give via debit card or credit card online at Mill Creek's website . Again, be sure to designate the "CHINA TRIP" in notations. With the tax deductible option the China Team will benefit.
I am excited about the opportunity to serve on this missions trip. I appreciate your support and prayers as I prepare, and particularly during the month of April as I am experiencing what God has for me in China. I will be posting trip updates and followups in the coming weeks and months. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 913-667-9812 .