Brothers of HeartCry,
I send my greetings in Christ, may God watch over you all and the work of your hands.
This February was a month of great encouragement for me. From beginning to establish membership in January to the end of February, we had two couples and three individual brothers and sisters who decided to commit. Also, when we made this decision, other brethren who had not made this choice began to think about what it meant to become a member. It also made those of us who had committed think about how we could better express our role in the church. These 7 members are the very first group of members in the establishment of this church. It also indicates that we have officially begun to function as a church.
This month, my wife and I brought our son and attended a marriage class at the seminary. This time of study was greatly helpful to me; it made me understand how lacking I am in being a husband and my need to repent and work more diligently in leading my wife in raising our son according to the Bible. My wife also went a step further in her realization of her insufficiency. We prayed together before the Lord asking for his mercy and forgiveness. We also went one step forward in regards to training our son. We came to see many ways of training that we used were not Biblical. We repented to God, apologized to our son, and resolved to train him Biblically.
This month I still preached three times. I changed the way I preached some. Before I read word-for-word from a manuscript, but this month I tried using only outlines. The benefit to this way was that I was not limited by the manuscript, but the draw back was that my train of thought was not always as clear. So please keep praying for me that I would grow in my preaching. Also, I’m starting to find it hard to continue to preach regularly to one group of people. Please pray especially that God would give me strength.
Another thing that encouraged me greatly in February was that the brothers and sisters of our church began to give me some financial support. Although the church’s tithes and offerings are not close to enough to support our living expenses, they are willing to act according to the Bible, and their expression of love to me in this way made me see God’s working in their lives and the fruit of my ministry. This was a great encouragement to my family and me.
This month I have been reading “Give Them Grace” by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson. It’s about how to use grace through the gospel to teach your children. The book has been a big help in how to train. Before I used the law more in training, emphasizing outward actions, but after reading this book I am seeking to emphasize sharing the gospel with him so that he can see his sin and need for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Because we Chinese have Spring Festival this month, we canceled three Thursday evening small group meetings. This was done out of consideration for the need of the brothers and sisters to have time to take care of things with family and work. We also stopped to make some adjustments to prepare to change the meeting to be more evangelistic.
Finally, on February 8th, I held a one-year anniversary meeting of thanksgiving. We summarized this past year and gave thanks to God because under His leading we peacefully and steadily grew through this year. I experienced God’s great grace and blessing this year. Though we are still few in numbers, yet grace is always sufficient. This empowers me to continue serving.