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
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Mark just finished preaching thru the Gospel of Matthew:
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