Tag: Stories of Mission

Interview with Henry & Betsy

Henry and Betsy share their experiences of coming to Christ after their marriage, how they felt called to bring to gospel to unreached people after hearing just how many places the gospel has yet to go to. They share their experiences of mission in Mozambique, how many of their colleagues struggled with lack of training which caused them to set up Didasko.

Check out the Didasko Website

See our other partners

If you're interested in unreached people groups, check out this video on our channel by Walt Chen:

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Interview with James Goss

James Goss is interviewed by Christine Paterson about his experiences of ministry in China, Mongolia and his native Australia.

For more info on Mongolia Care visit their website: www.mongoliacare.org

For more on Chinese Church Support Ministries (CCSM): www.ccsm.amccsm.org

 

James Goss is an old friend and colleague of Ross and Christine Paterson, based in Perth. He used to run Chinese Church Support Ministries (CCSM - founded by Ross Paterson), but now works with Mongolia Care, as well as in end-of-life care in Perth, where he lives. In this interview, James shares stories from his years of mission in China and Mongolia - including an experience of being arrested by the authorities. He encourages us on the topic of heavenly authority, spiritual warfare and the importance of prayer.

 

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Interview with Peter Askew

Peter Askew serves cross-culturally in the north of England! His title is “Operations Manager for the Antioch Network Manchester”, an Anglican initiative, which plants churches in ethnically diverse communities and on housing estates across the Diocese of Manchester."

 

For more on the Antioch Network in Manchester, go to: www.antiochnetwork.org.uk Peter Askew serves cross-culturally in the north of England! His title is “Operations Manager for the Antioch Network Manchester”, an Anglican initiative, which plants churches in ethnically diverse communities and on housing estates across the Diocese of Manchester." Pete is an old friend of the Patersons, Ross and Christine knew him when he was growing up in York, where his parents and they were involved in planting a church together – now known as Gateway Church in Acomb. In this interview Pete speaks of his own experiences as a young person working in different parts of Africa. But the real challenge he gives to the church in the UK is to see that “the world is now on our doorstep” - so many nationalities from across the globe now live within our borders that we can now obey the Great Commission just by crossing the street! However, we might still be well advised to get some cross-cultural training, and Pete kindly recommends FieldPartner’s courses to that end.

Peter benefitted from our Crossing Cultures 101 course - check it out for yourself!

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Interview with Christina Winrich

In this interview Christina shares openly about the challenges and joys of serving God in another culture. She shares movingly of how the Lord redirected her towards “less than 1% Christian” Japan and about the hard work of mastering a second Asian language with characters.

 

For more on OMF Japan, go to: www.omf.org/asia/japan

Christina Winrich was born in Wisconsin, came to faith as a musician working in France and then rashly offered the Lord a whole year of her life to serve Him in missions! After taking 3 short-term mission trips (one to South America and two to China), she landed up on a a year’s cross-cultural programme run by our Antioch School of Missions in China. Her one year ultimately became five in China, largely spent using her skills as a special needs educator, then teaching oral English in a university. After that, she went for specific Bible training in Canada and eventually moved on to serve in Japan with Overseas Missionary Fellowship. In this interview Christina shares openly about the challenges and joys of serving God in another culture (or two!). She shares movingly of how the Lord redirected her towards “less than 1% Christian” Japan and about the hard work of mastering a second Asian language with characters (though it does have a kind of alphabet as well!)

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Interview with Christine Paterson

Christine Paterson Interview

Co-founder Christine Paterson tells us about her life on the mission field from her childhood in Africa to present day working in Taiwan.

 

In this interview, Jen Bishop interviews Christine Paterson (co-founder of FieldPartner with husband Ross). Christine was born in Burundi of missionary parents, and lived in that region of Africa until she was 13 so her cross-cultural journey began really from birth. She had been through multiple experiences of culture shock before she even knew what it was! Exposure to Chinese culture after marrying Ross and joining him in Taiwan in 1975 was a further example of that. Gradually Ross and Christine became aware of how many things had been much harder for them because neither of them had had any cross-cultural training or orientation. This fuelled a passion to provide such training for those they were to sending to work in China and beyond. That physical school, a one-year stand-alone programme, became the forerunner for what FieldPartner is now – an online resource to help people thrive not just survive in a cross-cultural calling.

 

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A Son Missing For 32 Years

Mao Yin was stolen on 17 October 1988, while his father, Mao Zhenjing, was bringing him home from nursery in the city of Xian in Shaanxi province. The boy asked for a drink of water, so they stopped in the entrance of a hotel. The father looked away briefly, and the boy was taken. He was 2 years old, born on 23 February, 1986. According to his mother, at that time he was a “very clever, cute, and healthy” baby.

The family searched in and around Xian, putting up posters. Then they expanded the search. Mrs Li quit her job to search for her son – handing out some 100,000 flyers in more than 10 provinces and municipalities – all without success. Over the years she appeared on numerous Chinese television shows to appeal for help, including The X Factor.

In 2007, Mrs Li started volunteering with a group called “Baby Come Back Home”, to help other parents look for their missing children. Reports say she helped reunite 29 children with their families.

In April police received a tip about a man from Sichuan Province in south-west China - about 1,000km from Xian – who had adopted a baby years earlier. Police found the adoptee, now a 34-year-old man, and a DNA test came back positive. Police said he had been sold as a boy to a childless couple for 6,000 yuan. The family were reunited in May. The son – now aged 34 and running a home decoration business - said he planned to spend time with his parents. He said he was not sure about the future.

Child stealing is a major problem in China. There are no official figures, but on the website of “Baby Come Back Home” there were 14,893 posts looking for missing boys, and 7,411 looking for girls. In May 2016, the Ministry of Public Security launched a system called “Reunion”, which by June 2019 had led to more than 4,000 children finding their families.

It is a powerful story in itself. But it is also a parable of the way in which our heavenly Father passionately seeks for His lost children in China, some who have wandered away, some blinded by the devil. In recent years multitudes of Chinese have found their Heavenly Father through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing men and women to Christ. God seeks the lost in every part of China today.

But as in the parable of Jesus in Luke 15, the elder son (vv25-32) is angry at the love of the Father. Recent footage showed a house church in Xiamen being raided by security police as the children of believers cried out in fear at the threats they faced. The cross of a century-old church in Anhui’s capital city of Hefei was forcibly removed on the evening of April 27, 2020.

Source: South China Morning Post

Pray for the work of parents and of government agencies as they hunt for these stolen children. Pray that many would be found.

Pray for children recently stolen, living in fear, and for those who steal them, that they might repent or be discovered.

Pray for many, many Chinese to find their way home to their heavenly Father, to be restored to Him as Mao Yin was to his father and mother.

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Interview with Ross Paterson

We hear from co-founder Ross Paterson sharing his experiences from over 50 years in the mission field.

It’s more than 50 years since Ross Paterson (founder of FieldPartner with his wife Christine) left for the mission field, with the backing of just one church behind him. At the time he was single and determined and sure of God’s
leading, but he was also completely untrained in cultural terms. His first ten years spent in Taiwan were fruitful but they were also hard, as was the case for Christine when they married six years in.

By the grace of God Ross survived and has continued with longevity in service to China and the Chinese, but doing it the way we did is not what we recommend. That is what Ross stresses here, from his own experience. Indeed the very purpose of FieldPartner is to help those wanting to serve God in another culture to be well prepared for the challenges and then to thrive in their service.

In this interview Ross describes his own journey and how God called him clearly to serve the church and the people of China. Over the years he has lived a total of 23 years in Taiwan and a further 13 in Singapore - making a substantial part of his life spent in Asia. The Patersons still live in Taiwan, but plans are afoot for one more major transition back to the UK before too long!

Why not check out our YouTube Channel for more interviews, bible studies and other resources?

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Churches Under Lockdown In China

ChinaSource recently reached out to three church leaders in China, asking them to reflect on their experiences of “doing church” in the midst of the health crisis and quarantine. These are some of the many thoughts they shared:

Prayer. Churches came together to ask for 3 days of prayer and fasting at the height of the Wuhan crisis, obviously by on-line means. “Let’s come together with one heart and mind to pray for Wuhan, for China, and for the world.” “It is the early rain in the drought. Churches in China are very engaged in prayer these days (by online methods).”

Unity. “One of the greatest lifelines for me has been our citywide pastor’s network. We officially meet for prayer monthly, and this has continued online during the past two months. However, what has been especially helpful is our organic, sharing of notes, ideas, policies, etc. I appreciated so much the lack of territorialism or competition – the virus has only increased our ‘same team’ mindset.”

“We may have friends or find people in need through the internet who are impossible for us to pay in-person visits. We can probably invite a church closer to them to reach out.”

Training. “The crisis has also helped us identify potential leaders and cultivate discipleship ministry.” “In my opinion, online is not the best platform for evangelism. It is, however, great for training and mentoring, particularly for people with whom there is already a relationship.”

Online Meetings. “In our case, the senior pastor preaches online every Sunday and does training for the fellowship and small group leaders to equip them to reach out on behalf of the church.”

“We promised to meet people online in different forms, such as streaming simplified Sunday services, small groups, and fellowships. Thanks to the Lord for His creation of the internet that allows people to continue to engage with and encourage one another. It’s also been vital for lay leaders in using various forms of online media to take responsibility for caring for brothers and sisters.”

Giving. “One of the by-products of this experience has been that people are tithing more!”

Change: “Although the pandemic has slowed down, it has encouraged many Christians to ponder the question of why we have to face this challenge. Perhaps the Lord is determined to transform our way of life so that we will turn away from evil and back to Him.”

Evangelism. “Pray for gospel advancement. The goal is not survival, but that the crisis would allow the gospel to be implanted in a broader number of people.”

Pastoral work. “We’ve organised a ‘touch-base initiative', where the pastoral team touches base via social media with five people a day. It has been remarkable how it has opened up opportunities for conversation and prayer, and even led to giving to the church, since all of that has been done online as well.”

Source: “Salt in the Soup”. ChinaSource. Narci Herr

Prayer:

Take one or two of the areas mentioned above and pray that the Lord would apply those lessons to the churches in your country.

Pray for the churches in China as they emerge from the lock-down, that they might hold on to what the Lord said to them in the crisis and also know how to function as China slowly opens up.

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The Power of The Word of God

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season.” Paul, writing in 2 Timothy 4:1-2, makes a very interesting emphasis to his young team member, Timothy - especially since “this is the final chapter of Paul’s final letter.” Paul’s emphasis is on the Bible, the Word of God.

SOME READERS will be aware of the challenge in China today to the Bible. Over the last YEAR it has become more difficult to purchase copies of the Bible (now banned from selling online). Also THERE IS A very serious threat from the Chinese authorities to ‘sinicize’ the Bible, to rewrite the Bible to “adapt to socialist society." The plan proposes “implementing socialist core values by ‘retranslating’ the Old Testament with some Buddhist scripture and Confucian teachings and adding new commentary to the New Testament to make socialist ideals and Chinese culture seem more divine” (The Christian Post). In this context Paul’s challenge concerning the Scriptures to the young Timothy is even more urgent for China.

Therefore it will be good to focus on prayer for China and its church, that they should have the freedom to read and teach the Bible, the word of God. Perhaps we need to be reminded of the power of this word, even in societies that might reject it. As an encouragement to our faith in the power of God’s word, it is worth sharing the following true and powerful story.

The crew of the British naval ship HMS Bounty seized control of the ship. Goaded by the cruelty of their captain, they gave him and his friends a boat and watched them float out to sea. In the spring of 1789 the mutinous sailors settled on Pitcairn Island, a tiny dot in the South Pacific. They burned the ship, took Tahitian wives and recruited Tahitian workers. It had all the makings of a tropical paradise. But they turned it into a living hell, a cesspool of adultery, violence and drunkenness. Within a decade the natives attacked the settlers. Only one survived: Alexander Smith.

Left on a five square kilometre island, surrounded by natives, he did something remarkable. He began to read a Bible crew members had salvaged from the their ship, the Bounty. “When I came to the life of Jesus,” Smith later explained to his British Navy superiors, “my heart began to open like doors swinging apart. Once I was sure that God was a loving and merciful Father to them that repent, it seemed to me I could feel His very presence and I grew more and more sure every day of His guiding Hand.” The Scripture transformed not just Alexander Smith, but the entire island. When the British Navy discovered Pitcairn Island in 1808, its order and decency astonished them. The name Pitcairn became a byword for piety. From immorality to piety. What made the miraculous difference? The Bible!” (Quoted from Word For Today).

Pray for that amazing power of the Bible to be freshly released in the church in China.
Pray for that same power to be released across the nation of China, from North to South and East to West.
Pray for those working on sinicizing the Bible, that they would be changed themselves and overshadowed by both the love and the fear of the living God.

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A Hidden Miracle.

So many events take place that speak of the grace and power of the Lord in answer to prayer, yet at the same time we may not hear about them if they take place in “closed countries”. When we do hear, we are encouraged and challenged to pray for the Lord’s work in other nations, knowing that He is faithful to hear our prayer on behalf of the suffering church.

The Story of Yazdan

In 2016 Yazdan, a young man living in a ‘closed’ Muslim country, became a believer in Jesus. Yazdan had met a believer on a work related task, and while working at the believer’s house, he saw Christian literature and a Bible on the desk, became interested in Christianity. After talking with the believer Yazdan gave his life to the Lord.
At that time, Yazdan was 15 years old. Yazdan soon became a successful evangelist and a church planter. He turned his little shop into an underground church gathering place. The same week as he gave his life to Jesus he invited his customers to his shop and testified about Jesus. 60 students turned to Jesus. During the next 5 years, he planted 13 churches and led hundreds of Muslims to Christ.

His Persecution

Because of his activities, Yazdan's parents got very upset as they were radical Muslims. They went to a religious police station and betrayed their son. Yazdan was put in prison after his own father had handed him over to police officers for his faith and spiritual activities. Because his father was a religious leader in the city and had a great reputation, Yazdan’s case was even worse.

During his stay in a temporary jail, he was visited by the mullah of his city. This leader urged Yazdan to renounce his Christian faith, telling him to confess before a camera that Christians gave him money to spread Christian literature; otherwise he would be hung publicly. Yazdan refused to renounce his faith, telling the mullah that even if they killed him by hanging 1000 times and then they raised him 1000 times from the dead, he would announce publicly 1000 times that he was in love with Jesus and that Jesus is his Lord and Saviour. As a result of this, the mullah became angry and said he would kill Yazdan with his own hands.

After this, the prosecutor accused Yazdan of crimes that he had not committed: international terrorism, drug dealing and rape. Thus they changed his offences from religious ones to terrorism and drugs; they did this so that his arrest would not come before the Human Rights Commission and no one would know about Yazdan’s case.

There was a big possibility that he would be executed in 2016. The court did actually sentence him to death but then commuted it to over 20 years in prison. The court offered his parents the chance to mediate on Yazdan’s behalf and to pledge their house as security but his father refused.

God's Grace

Folk who knew about his situation prayed that God would change his father’s heart. Finally, his father made the decision to be a guarantor for his son and Yazdan was released and expelled from his country. He is now safe and secure in another country, but for the time being, he is unable to talk publicly for security reasons – his parents are still in that country and they are in danger.

In answer to prayer the Lord reached out and rescued this faithful young middle eastern believer. Whether for one or for many, our heavenly Father’s promise remains true as we pray for believers and those not yet saved in other nations, as we enlarge our hearts for “the ends of the earth”.

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