Brothers and sisters:
Hello, Thank you and your organization for continuing to support my work in this New Year. May God bless you and your whole family and also all of your labors. May God use all the labors of your hands to bring greater blessing to local churches.
I was under a lot of pressure in my labors this month, but it also has been a month with a lot to be thankful for. My wife and I had more time to pray together. I realized that in the past my leadership of her was severely lacking. I had not communicated with her very well, leading her to rely on God, or helping her grow spiritually. Also my wife and I had several deep conversations about the raising of our son: how to share the gospel with him, how to raise him Biblically, and also how to discipline him Biblically. What we are putting the most effort in right now is providing consistency in each case and also consistency between both of our dealings with him. This month I still led every evening in reading the Bible and prayer, and also explaining the passage to my son. One evening, to my great sorrow, my wife and I had an argument about something and I got angry with her. But thankfully we continued dealing with the issue till late that night till we resolved it. We apologized to each other, confessed our sin to God, pinpointed the problems, and dealt with them Biblically.
This month I preached all four Lord’s Days. I am still working through Matthew 9. The passages concerning the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod were especially helpful as a reminder to me not to be hypocritical like the Pharisees, having a godly exterior but not godly in reality. Also, not to be like Herod who went astray in politics by valuing public opinion and so forsaking the truth. In my current situation there are both of these types of yeast. So these passages were a great reminder to me to beware not to fall into these types of temptations.
Over the past eight months of study on Thursday evenings, we already finished our study of the 1689 Confession of Faith. I am very thankful for everyone’s response especially from those brothers who were most consistent. They said there understanding of the truth is much clearer and also some of their doubts have been resolved.
This month we also finished reading “10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health” in our Sunday afternoon studies. While studying this book, they were directly applying it to their lives. They themselves suggested practicing one of these disciplines this year. One brother called Chen suggested that every day we could take half an hour to read spiritual books. A sister called Hu suggested at least half an hour of prayer each day. Another brother called Wen suggested getting up at 6:30 every day for Scripture reading and prayer. They also raised the suggestion of praying for a specific request for each brother and sister each week. I was greatly moved by hearing this. God is working in their lives, enabling them to pursue growth and sacrifice on their own in pursuit of following the Lord. This encouraged me a lot because I am slowly seeing the fruit of my labors.
This month we also started to establish membership. We asked those who want to commit to us to share their testimonies publically in the Sunday gatherings. Every week we have one single or a couple share. After they are all done sharing their testimonies, we will talk with them to further understand their knowledge of the gospel, the church, and also the current condition of their lives.
Finally, please continue to pray for me and my family, for my ministry in this new year, and for the growth of our church here.