Devoting the New Year to Memorization

•February 11, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Greetings everyone! I have been doing a lot of reflection this past year (I’d imagine a lot of us have been using this time during the pandemic to do the same). There are some things that I have come to realize and even come to appreciate during this time. It is not simply enough to read or consume God’s Word, but we should make it part of our heart and mind. The real transformation will come to us when we begin to actively take time to make it part of who we are.

Though I have already come up with a lot of habits, events, priorities that I am trying to make as the new norm in my life, the coming of Lunar New Year has caused me to think about how things are going and some things that I planned, but might not be high priorities. An old missionary friend of mine in Hong Kong once told me that he loved Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) because it gave him another chance to start over the resolutions that he had already planned or broken for his New Year resolutions. While I have been doing fairly well with my new year resolutions, I have done some further reflecting and want to change or modify some things. Today, I want to share some a list of Bible verses and payers that I want to commit to memory in 2021.

I am not sure about you all, but lately, I have not been committing a lot of things to memory. I think I have been relying too much on having access to information 24/7 at my fingertips. I have shamefully become lazy in the memorization of Scripture. With recent events that have taken place both in China and the USA, I am beginning to see a new importance in how we really need to commit these Scriptures to heart. My goal isn’t to be controversial here or bring up political problems, but given recent events in our two countries, it has really alarmed me for the future of the Church.

Though, I have been working on yearly Bible plans for the past 3 years and I have been reading/ studying the Bible more this year than in a long time, but unfortunately I haven’t dedicated time to memorizing Scripture. So I have decided over the next 45+ odd weeks of 2021, I am going to commit to memory a Bible verse(s) or prayer to memory (both in English and Mandarin Chinese) each week. I want to make this an attainable goal and since I will be memorizing these Scriptures/ Prayers in Mandarin Chinese as well, I think committing to one a week is probably a better idea. The translations that I will be using are the English Standard Version ESV and the 新譯本/ Xīn yìběn/ the Chinese New Version (CNVT).

Week 7-
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV- No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
哥林多前書 10:13- 新譯本- 你們所受的試探,無非是人受得起的; 神是信實的,他必不容許你們受試探過於你們抵受得起的,而且在受試探的時候,必定給你們開一條出路,使你們能忍受得住。
哥林多前书10:13- 新译本- 你们所受的试探,无非是人受得起的; 神是信实的,他必不容许你们受试探过于你们抵受得起的,而且在受试探的时候,必定给你们开一条出路,使你们能忍受得住。

Week 8-
Romans 12:2 ESV- Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
羅馬書 12:2新譯本- 不要模仿這個世代,倒要藉著心意的更新而改變過來,使你們可以察驗出甚麼是 神的旨意,就是察驗出甚麼是美好的、蒙他悅納的和完全的事。
罗马书12:2新译本- 不要模仿这个世代,倒要借着心意的更新而改变过来,使你们可以察验出什么是神的旨意,就是察验出什么是美好的、蒙他悦纳的和完全的事。

Week 9-
John 3:18 ESV- Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
約翰福音 3:18 新译本- 信他的,不被定罪;不信的,罪已經定了,因為他不信 神獨生子的名。
约翰福音 3:18 新译本- 信他的,不被定罪;不信的,罪已经定了,因为他不信 神独生子的名。

Week 10-
Serenity Prayer- God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
寧靜的禱告- 神啊,求你賜給我平靜的心,去接受我無法改變的事;賜給我勇氣去做我能改變的事;賜給我智慧,去分辨兩者的不同。
宁静的祷告- 神啊,求你赐给我平静的心,去接受我无法改变的事;赐给我勇气去做我能改变的事;赐给我智慧,去分辨两者的不同。

Anyway, this is what I have planned for the next couple of weeks. If any of you have a suggestion on some other Scriptures or prayers that I should memorize, please leave me a comment either here on my WordPress, WeChat or Facebook. Be encouraged my friends, God bless。

Out of Quarantine

•October 23, 2020 • 1 Comment

Well everyone, after arriving to Shenyang China, we had to go into quarantine. Everyone arriving from outside of China needs to go to a government approved hotel for two weeks. 14 days later, we are finally out and on the way to our apartment in Dalian. We are in a rental car heading back. Elizabeth kind of went overboard with wanting to bring back stuff! Haha But God has provided all the way. Thank you all for your prayers, we will miss our family and friends for sure! But God has provided us the ability to visit more often now!

I will say that I am super impressed with how the Chinese are handling the pandemic. When we touched down, the authorities boarded our plan and told us all what we needed to do. We immediately went to check in at the border and afterward we had to take a blood test, a mouth swab and a nose swab. They even sanitized the rooms everyone was in after we were leaving. The same was done at the hotel and we were not allowed to leave the room for the whole time, except to get two more tests completed. Today we have a clean bill of health and we received an official health certificate from the Liaoning government saying we are COVID free and can go back home!

The Chinese authorities boarded the plan before we could go into the airport to tell us what we needed to do.
Them cleaning the airport customs area after we were processed into the country.
Them fogging the whole room.
They even erected a plastic wall to protect the driver from the passengers on our way to the government approved hotel.
They even disinfected our luggage.
PPE for every hotel staff
They even fogged the entrance after we were all checked in.

Praise Be to God!

•October 8, 2020 • Leave a Comment
I’ll miss my mom and sister!

Everyone, this will be the final update until we enter quarantine in China. The Lord has done tremendous things these last 48 hours, not to mention the other blessings He has provided for us. Yesterday, we went to Nextcare Urgent Care to complete a Covid-19 test, the Chinese embassy explicitly stated on their website that we needed to complete a RT-PCR test before we leave in order to enter China. When I first went to Nextcare they assured us that this test was the exact test the Chinese government wanted us to get. After receiving the test results, we have found out it was in fact not the test that two of their staff told us it was. I had submitted their results and was denied because it was not a RT-PCR test (which apparently is the only type of test that is accurate for COVID on the market).

Well this caused us to call doctors offices all around town yet again to find the appropriate test. We called dozens of offices and they said they were either fully booked or didn’t have that test. We began to pray and fast for God’s guidance, favor and mercy. I knew God could and would provide because He has already overcome every obstacle for us. Well out of the blue, a few hours later around 4:30pm, a close family friend Rebekah Weins called me with a computer problem! Haha She had no idea about our dilemma and she could sense that something was wrong. I told her our problem and she was able to make some calls and provided a solution! We drove to Apex to get tested with Vero Diagnostics and they helped us tremendously!

We literally received our test results onboard our flight to LA and even God provided our flight to have WIFI on board so that we could take care of getting these test results and email the Chinese Embassy them, so they could give us our last negative COVID clearance form! Even now, I’m writing this blog post thousands of feet in the air, currently about to land to LAX. Now all we need to do is when we land in LAX is find a printer!

We were a little nervous about flying half way across the country without knowing whether or not we would receive our test results and this other document, but as these unfortunate mishaps were happening, it reminded me of a story I read about in the Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson. There was a very similar story were he was praying for God to provide the money for their mortgage for their half way house. He prayed and prayed and God didn’t seem to provide. But eventually around the last hour before this big mortgage payment was due, God sent a older man that felt led to write a check covering the costs. Not knowing their need. This story and our personal experience with our amazing Father gave us the courage to move forward even without these documents! Praise the Lord, we are ever grateful to Him and those He used to help us!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Noah’s Documents Have Officially Arrived

•September 30, 2020 • 2 Comments

This is Noah now when we ask him to smile! lol

Well everyone! We wanted to let everyone know we have officially received Noah’s travel permit to China! God has opened almost every door for us to go back! The last thing we need to do is get a COVID test (RT PCR) test on Tuesday morning and have the results emailed to the Chinese embassy, then they will give us a health clearance so we can board the plan October 7! We only have a week left here in the USA, but if the pandemic is over in the summer time, we will be back!

Praise Report and Update

•September 16, 2020 • 1 Comment

Hey everyone! I just wanted to provide another update and share a tremendous praise report since you all were helping us pray for God’s favor. Last time, I had sent you guys an update, we were waiting for the Chinese embassy to reply back to our emails in regard to our son’s entry exit permit. Literally the next day after that post and so many people praying, we received a reply. Though the reply was not what we expected or wanted. The Chinese embassy basically told us that they would not help us until we purchased our tickets back to China first. This was a little confusing for us but I contacted my school and asked them to arrange tickets for us because traveling to China is still heavily restricted. My school began trying to work with several Chinese travel agencies to see what they could do.

Though we received this unfavorable news from the Chinese embassy, we continued to pray (and I know you all did as well)! Well Thursday of last week, the embassy emailed us again and asked us to make an appointment on Friday so that we can get Noah’s travel document started! Another individual had read the email and decided to override the previous person’s message. Praise God! So we went ahead and completed the beginning steps that we were instructed to do. Well it turns out that we had to make appointment for Monday on Friday and this was the only appointments available for the entire month of September. Well my company on Friday had finally purchased our tickets, which they purchased them for the first week of October. If God hadn’t changed the heart of whoever was responsible for reading our email, I am quite positive we would have missed Monday’s only available appointment with the embassy and who knows when the next appointment would have been able to be scheduled in October. Divine Providence!

So yes, Noah’s paperwork was mailed out earlier this week and are on the way to the embassy. Thank you all for your prayers! Please lets continue to pray that these documents get safely to the Chinese Embassy, that they expedite Noah’s travel document and that it can arrive back here within a week.

We have really enjoyed our time here (and I have really enjoyed being back), as I was driving around today working on some errands, I realized that I am going to really miss Fayetteville (especially family and friends). But we are ready to return back to China and begin the work that we have been called to do! Please keep us in your prayers and I will keep you all posted once Noah’s travel permit arrives!

August 2020 Update

•August 13, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Hey everyone! I had originally wrote a post on this past Monday, but didn’t publish it. Probably a good thing, because the situation is always changing.

I have officially received an invitation letter from the local Chinese government (where we live in China) for me to go back. Obviously my wife is a Chinese citizen and can go back at any moment (but we don’t want to separate) and my son can go back because of Elizabeth. Well I sent in my passport yesterday morning and it already arrived in DC to begin this process. Unfortunately, we found out yesterday afternoon that it will be delayed a lot longer than we expected…

We really are in need of prayer. We have enjoyed our stay here and it’s been a total blessing to be back, but we want to go back to China. This is where our heart is and at the moment our lives are. Please help us stand together as a triple braided cord and ask God for His protection over us, that my VISA will be approved and expedited, along with my sons special entry permit and that God will pave a way for us to get back to China within the next 2 months. Thank you all for your support and prayers! I’m quite fortunate to have such a group of brothers and sisters in Christ like you all, along with other good close friends!

Mid July Update

•July 18, 2020 • 1 Comment

IMG_8248

It’s almost surreal to actually have my wife and son in my hometown, taking photos in places I spent a lot of my time previously.

Good morning everyone! Wow, as I am writing this journal update, I am now realizing that we have been back in the USA now for a total of 6 months… Who would have thought that God would have permitted us being able to stay in the USA this long? God is eternally good. Well, I’d like to give a few updates about what’s going on in our lives and how you all can continue to pray for us.

First of all, toward the end of last month, I applied for an extension of Elizabeth’s VISA until the end of December. She is able to stay a year on her B2 VISA, except after I spoke with someone in the US immigration department, she told me that the extension process can take months… Needless to say  I was concerned about her VISA expiring, but I was assured that since we have completed the paperwork, she can legally stay until the requested date, unless they reject her extension application. Please help us pray that the government will grant my wife permission to stay under these unprecedented times until we can go back to China.

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Noah trying to act all cool during our drive in service at Northwood Temple Church. XD

 

Many of you have asked us if we are going back or why would we want to go back. To answer the first question, we definitely are going back to China for however long this season is that God would have us there. The answer to the second question will take a little longer to answer. China has been a country that God has put on my heart for a very long time. It bears a very special meaning to me, both spiritually and physically and even being where I found my wife and had my son. Mostly Americans who asked me this question of why would you desire to go back, have only seen the negative image of China portrayed in the media complex here in the USA. China is not perfect, but we need to know governments are very different from the people of those countries. This is where we are being called at the moment. I really have to leave it at that and I believe you guys can understand our motives.

So when might we be able to move back to China? I have spoken with my school and they have said there is a possibility that we can go back sometime in September. Everything is up in the air at the moment, but it would seem that this projection seems reasonable. That being said, there have been no official announcements regarding to China re-opening it’s borders to foreigners, so please lets pray for China to re-open their borders to foreigners as soon as possible. Otherwise, we will need to possibly figure out another country to travel to after this upcoming December.

IMG_1635

Crazy Pandemic Times…

The great news is that I have received an email from Maple Leaf, saying that despite whether they re-open the borders in August or September, I am still contracted with Maple Leaf. Therefore, I can still work via distance learning with my school back in China. That has been a huge burden lifted off my shoulders. Unfortunately, there is a lot that I cannot share with you all online, but please keep us in your prayers.

Anyway, please be praying for the USA and China, that God will end the cornavirus pandemic, guidance on how God wants us to proceed, Elizabeth’s VISA and that China will re-open it’s borders to foreigners soon. Thank you everyone and God bless!

 
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