What a few months it’s been! Kingston turned 5. Fiona just turned 4. Parents and family visiting us in Kunming. Thanksgiving and Christmas time. It’s been a whirlwind. However, before we share what the Lord is doing in and through us, we wanted to share a few prayer requests.
Kingston has not transitioned very well from an all Chinese-speaking (local) school to his current all English-speaking (western) school. Maybe it’s because he’s the youngest in his class. Maybe we need to do more 1:1 teaching at home. I feel bad for him because I feel like he’s not able to be a normal 5 year old. He just turned 5 and has a decent amount of homework. He gets frustrated so we get frustrated. Pray that we have wisdom in guiding this amazingly sweet and sensitive little boy. We want him to enjoy and love learning.
Fiona, on the other hand, is thriving. She loves people, loves school, and loves to learn. She’s still in an all Chinese-speaking (local) school. She will be transitioning to the same school as Kingston after the summer. We’re praying for a smooth transition. Also pray that we have wisdom in guiding this spunky and emotional girl, pointing her towards Christ.
The last month or so we’ve had a huge paradigm shift in the way we think about why we are here and what we are called to do, not as “missionaries to China” but as “Christians walking in the faith” (here or anywhere). Our eyes have been open to the urgency and “realness” of the Great Commission...a part of scripture we’ve heard so many times and not taken very seriously. As believers this needed to be and needs to be our calling. We fell into the trap of the enemy’s 1/2 truth masquerading as full truth that really was/is a lie; that it’s okay for other people to make disciples, for other people to baptize, for others to teach...and that it’s okay for us to stand on the sidelines, do the “Christian” things (e.g., go to church, attend bible study, be a part of a good ministry), but not make this our personal mission before we have to see Father face to face.
We realize more and more that medicine or education or whatever “thing we do” is only a platform here to disciple, to baptize, to teach about His goodness. After 2.5 years here and after speaking with many of the local leaders here we realize the biggest need in this country is making disciples, true disciples...to walk with local believers and guiding them to have a deeper, not just wider, relationship with Father. This may actually be the biggest need all over the world (??).
We’ve had the awesome privilege of walking with 6, amazingly genuine, local believers. Some of our group may be young and inexperienced, but we all have a desire grow. Lily and I have kept the group closed for a reason. Many have wanted to join (over the last year), seeing our relationship with each other (and ultimately our relationship with Father) getting deeper is very attractive in a Church culture where wide is unconsciously (or consciously) seen as more important than deep. This has led many to be not committed to their church and ultimately not committed to their faith. But, we felt like if we continued to add more and more people it would have taken away the opportunity for us to grow deep.
Recently, a local pastor’s (who has fallen into the trap of focusing on wide and not deep) daughter and her husband asked (again and again) if they could join our group. They would commit themselves to coming, would commit themselves to going deep together, and would commit themselves to learning and eventually leading their own discipleship group or even fellowship one day. Lily and I were pumped, but also scared because we aren’t “trained” to do this kind of stuff. We were eventually glad our entire group felt like this discipleship group could be a training ground for others. Please pray for Lily and myself, as we guide this group (and eventually transition others in the group to lead), that His name will be glorified. Please pray that this group will continue to grow deep in relationship with Him. Please pray that this new couple can be used ways unimaginable. As local leaders grow deeper in their walk and faith they will have much more impact than Lily and I could ever begin to do on our own, as foreigners.