August 6, 2016

August 2016



Warm…very warm…Summer Greetings from Beijing!                    August 2016

     We have just concluded the saddest part of our “Gathering, Growing, and Going” ministry here, saying good-bye to dozens of students going back to their homelands around the world. Yes, we praise the Lord that so many Biblically grounded, gifted, and well educated young adults will give their hearts and souls to make Jesus known in their nations and congregations! And, we have had a small part in helping them grow more like Him! But having grown to love them, it is hard to say good-bye. Pray for them as they settle – often the ‘shock’ of going back home can be surprising and serious! – and seek the next steps of their lives and ministries. 


In the next couple weeks we will say hello to hundreds of new students who will Gather in our congregations and small groups! Pray that we will be ready! And that the Lord will bring many to Himself this coming academic year.

In June we had a great trip “next door” to Almaty, Kazakhstan. It was a special joy to see our son Josiah and granddaughter Maylee.


Please continue to pray for the Church in Central Asia. There is great opposition to Gospel from governments and Islam. It has now been 7 years since we moved to China, from living 11 years in Almaty. Sadly, Bible schools there have been ordered shut down. Opportunities for training leaders are few. Facilities of Kazakhstan Evangelical Christian Seminary are still open but usage is limited. (One of our friends led a conference for “Post-Abortion” recovery there the week we were in Almaty.) Local churches grow slowly but believers are growing in maturity. One “M” org had the largest number of Kazakhstani believers ever on mission trips throughout Central Asia and China this summer. Nearly 100 local believers were sent - and their churches have paid all costs! This is a sign of a maturing Church. For one week Mark taught a night course on “Biblical Interpretation” for an evening seminary program. Here were some of the students…
  
In July we had a Beijing International Christian Fellowship Staff Retreat. We bused a couple of hours to Beidaihe – where the Great Wall meets the Pacific Ocean. It was a great time – team building, growing in the Word, relaxing, and encouraging one another in the Lord. 





Our Green Team won Third Place…see why!?




Dayna is doing a great job keeping Hawaiian traditions going in our church here. Terry, our faithful Church Administrator turned 30 a couple weeks ago. So Dayna and his wife, Joy, made 30 leis which 30 of our members presented to him at the close of our morning service. These leis were filled with lots of goodies, including some of Terry’s favorite snacks like Tea Boiled Eggs, Chicken Feet, Pumpkin seeds, and assorted pickled vegetables in foil packets…anybody hungry!? Lots of good eats here in Beijing! 
 
Later this month we plan to travel to Indonesia for the Synod of the Holy Word Christian Church in Jakarta. They have graciously sent and support a wonderful pastor and his family to serve our Indonesian congregation here in Beijing. They have asked Mark to share with their pastors on “The Life of Believers in the view of the Book of Ecclesiastes” and preach in one of their congregations there.

We hope to return to Beijing refreshed and ready for a busy Fall season of ministry. We will start the “new year” preaching thru the Letter to Titus, a great blueprint for the life and faith of the local church. We are planning some new ways to expand our ministry, more small groups on campuses, and Sunday “Lunch Time Talks” at a nearby restaurant following our morning services. We’re also working on “Welcome to Beijing” flash drive that we’re loading with information to help people land well – from medical care, great shops, tourist sites, how to get a driver’s license and where to buy plants to help clean the air in one’s apartment! We want our new coming neighbors to feel loved!  

Thank you so much for your prayers and support that enables us to touch the nations from here in the Capital of the world’s most populous nation!

Yours in Him who has all authority in heaven and earth, Mark and Dayna Blair

Our Mission  Pioneers - 10123 William Carey Dr - Orlando, FL 32832 USA        
(Checks should be made out to ‘Pioneers’ – with a separate note attached saying: ‘Mark and Dayna Blair, Beijing.’                         Electronic transfers can be sent to: http://www.pioneers.org/Give/AutomatedGiving.aspx )


Our Blog  www.blairstan.blogspot.com  /  Skype  blairstan

Our Ministry Beijing International Christian Fellowship www.bicf.org/zgc



Mark just finished preaching thru the Gospel of Matthew:

BICF Sermon App for Apple or Android: www.bicf.org/#app   (ZGC sermon tab)                  




June 6, 2016

Greetings from Blue Sky Beijing



Greetings from Blue Sky Beijing,                                                                June 2016
If we grumble about the smog (and we do!) we oughta give thanks for the beautiful days the Lord gives us in this massive, amazing, city where Jesus rules. Here’s some of the ways we see Him working in the last several weeks….


This is Graduation season here in Beijing. And for Mama Dayna its lei making and giving time. Here’s one of our church’s high school graduates. As more than 70% of our congregation are University students, we are busy with good-byes! Our church motto is “Gathering, Growing, Going” and about a third of our members leave every year. As they go, we are impacting the more than 70 nations they come from. With all the social media connections, we are able to help them transition even better. Just sent some Small Group resources to Mexico City…! 



In April we attended the “Global Church, Global World” conference in Hong Kong. About 300 leaders from International churches gathered for this unique event, spanning denominational lines, united in Christ. It was so unique that Os Guinness and Ravi Zacharias put us into their busy schedules to come and speak. It was very encouraging. We co-led a workshop on “Integrating International Students & Returnees with International Churches: A Highly Strategic Interface” as you can see below.


It was a privilege to share this workshop with two friends who have a lifetime of experience reaching International students. We have hosted them here and they spoke very kindly and enthusiastically about what the Lord is doing in our midst. We have an International church that would fall apart if the International students were taken away! They do “Go!” – sadly for us! – but we also get to see them “Grow!” We recently held a Ministry Leaders retreat in the hills surrounding our city; calling on the Lord of the Harvest to help us grow even more.



Shortly after our retreat we added three more Deacons for our church. Two young (compared to us they’re ALL young!) fathers who have been faithfully serving our people for the last couple years one from China (now an American citizen) the other from Holland. And our new Deaconess is a PhD. student from Uganda. You can see all the Elders and Deacons as we prayed God’s blessings on the newest members of our leadership team.


As I am preaching toward the end of Matthew on Sunday mornings we recently considered King Jesus’ commendation to those unsuspecting sheep who unexpectedly cared for Him in His hunger, and nakedness, and imprisonment. These words prompted our African Connect Ministry to go out and visit orphans instead of their normal gathering. They found “Sun Village – Beijing” one of seven in this nation where children of prisoners are loved and cared for. It was very encourage to learn how 20 years ago a woman who was a prison worker was so burdened by the children “orphaned” (some sent to relatives, others landing on the streets) when their parents were imprisoned. She, a devout follower of Mao!, got funds and facilities and has now cared for thousands of kids. Some of them – now University graduates – come back to help. So we were welcomed to come play, sing, and share Jesus with these kids…


Thanks so much for your faithful support and prayers that keep us going strong here. We will be here for most of the summer, saying “Good-byes” and new “Hellos” in August.
Dayna will help guide our Children’s Program’s (about 100 kids!) for several Sunday’s this summer. They’ll keep cool as they consider the Life of David, with an “Island” theme!
Mark will co-teach our June Tuesday Training course on “Guidance - How to Follow God in the Choices of Life.”

Later in June we get to see Josiah and Maylee in Almaty, Kazakhstan! Mark will teach “Biblical Interpretation” for a week in the Reformed Evening Seminary there. We look forward to seeing some of the brothers and sisters we grew to love during our 11 years of serving there.  May the Lord bless you as you “Gather, Grow, and Go” wherever you are!

With love and prayers, Mark and Dayna Blair

Our Mission  Pioneers - 10123 William Carey Dr - Orlando, FL 32832 USA                                              
(Checks should be made out to ‘Pioneers’ – with a separate note attached saying: ‘Mark and Dayna Blair, Beijing.’                     Electronic transfers can be sent to: http://www.pioneers.org/Give/AutomatedGiving.aspx )


Our Blog  www.blairstan.blogspot.com  /  Skype  blairstan

Our Ministry Beijing International Christian Fellowship www.bicf.org/zgc

Hear Mark’s current sermons:

BICF Sermon App for Apple or Android: www.bicf.org/#app   (ZGC sermon tab)


March 22, 2016

Easter 2016



Greetings from Beijing in the Name of our Crucified and Risen Lord!  
Happy was probably not the word in our Lord’s mind during this most significant week in human history. As I now preach through Matthew, I am grimly reminded it was a week of insults, tough questions posed by religious leaders trying to trap Him, Satanic attack, betrayal, denial, torture – and then crucifixion!
But during this Holy Week in Beijing we now rejoice in Him who died and rose again to save us! I (Mark) first heard – and believed – His Gospel at a YMCA Easter camp in 1972. I praise Him for so many years of His faithfulness and mercy. It’s my birthday week – twice – redemption accomplished and applied!
Dayna and I are very happy to share His Great News in a church full of young people from around the world. Many already follow Jesus, and a number are coming to investigate His claims. Good Friday night members from USA, Uganda, Madagascar, Costa Rica, China, and Ivory Coast will reflect on His seven words from the cross. Choirs, dancers, and preachers are getting ready for our Resurrection celebration! 



On Palm Sunday I had the joy of dedicating our grandson, Kekoapomaika’i, as his parents Nathan and Heather are here on vacation. In my other arm is Emmanuel whose parents from Nigeria are doctoral students and members of our church. 
 
 And since we’re bragging about grandkids, we’re proud of how well Maylee did this winter in competitions tearing down the slopes of the Tien Shan Mountains in Kazakhstan!

 Happy Year of the Monkey!
For 15 days in February we shouted at one another in our small apartment as fireworks exploded outside our 29th floor window. Concussions boomed through the passageways between the 17 30-storey towers in our complex. The population of Beijing dropped by more than half during this period – just 10 million or so of us left here – while hundreds of millions clogged trains, planes, and highways around the nation to be “home” for lunar New Year’s Day. 


Explosions every night, lots of rubbish every morning!! Yikes!

During the Lunar New Year break 27 of our young adults from 15 countries spent five days considering their place in God’s
global mission by taking the Kairos Course (www.kairoscourse.org ) hosted by our church. It was great to see them grapple with this well-packaged course’s presentation of the Biblical, Cultural, Statistical, and Historical viewpoint of world evangelization. 

 We had a nice Chinese New Year’s dinner in our apartment with some of our students from the Pacific islands. It is a joy to see them trusting God while so far from home.

 As our church is full of students, and focused on students, we must “ramp up” our ministry at the beginning of every Spring and Fall term. We usually begin with a Leader’s lunch, the rally and encourage the Team.  
About 30 of us recently gathered to share, plan, and pray. As 82 Universities are in our immediate “Jerusalem,” we have a “front row seat” to see the Lord of the Nations build His Church. 


Christy, one of the leaders of our Indonesian congregation, stands to introduce their new Pastor, Edy (with son Benjamin sleeping on his lap) and his wife Katherine capturing the moment. The Holy Word Church in Indonesia has graciously sent them to serve the nearly 100 Indonesian students we have. We’re praying for another 100…at least! 

 Deacon Daniel from Ghana urges more of us to show up on Sunday’s at 7:30 a.m. to help the Set-Up Team he leads. When he graduates in June with his Engineering degree (B.Sc.) we will not only lose a team leader, but a preacher, worship leader, and the guy who always can figure out what’s wrong with the lap top computer! He’s praying about where to do his Masters and Ph.D. – we’d be glad if it were right here in Beijing!

In April we will attend this gathering of International church leaders in Hong Kong (http://globalchurch.info). We will team with Leiton and Lisa Chinn to lead a workshop on “Integrating International Student Ministry with International Churches.”
And so the cycle of our ministry goes on – Gathering, Growing, and Going! Thanks to your prayers and generous support, we see dozens transformed from “raw to ready” in the service of King Jesus every year. And now in our 7th year of service here, we’re hearing from those we have sent off. They’re now moms and dads, Ph.D. students in Western nations, Professors, Government workers, pastors, even one woman is Vice President of her African nation!

Who would ever imagine all that God can do in this most unlikely place. Truly He is the Risen Lord, ruling at the right hand of God.

Yours in His Sovereign Grip, Mark and Dayna Blair 

Our Mission  Pioneers - 10123 William Carey Dr - Orlando, FL 32832 USA                                               www.pioneers.org

(Checks should be made out to ‘Pioneers’ – with a separate note attached saying: ‘Mark and Dayna Blair, Beijing.’ Electronic transfers can be sent to: http://www.pioneers.org/Give/AutomatedGiving.aspx )


Our Blog       www.blairstan.blogspot.com

Skype  blairstan

Our Ministry Beijing International Christian Fellowship www.bicf.org/zgc


BICF Sermon App for Apple or Android: www.bicf.org/app (ZGC sermon tab)