In last month’s newsletter, I requested prayer for our next trip. Thank you for doing so. On Saturday, August 27, we flew to Handan, China, for a bishop-approved, three-day conference for 300 priests and nuns. During this extraordinary venture, we will teach material from the Becoming What God Intended workbook. All of us, in various ways, worked hard preparing for this visit. Perhaps the most unusual preparation came at the request of the Catholic leaders. In order to help avoid confusion and orient the nuns and priests, we were asked to change the names of the books of the Bible and names of places and persons in the Bible to match what is in the Catholic Bible. However, the leaders made it clear that none of the workbook content was to be changed. A team of six of our Chinese evangelical volunteers diligently labored for weeks to make this adjustment in the workbooks that we will be using at the conference. Please continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will work through us to bring a clear understanding of what Scripture has to say about salvation, the life and love of the Trinity, and our identity in Christ. After the three-day convention, we go back to Beijing where Dr. Peter Wang and I will be sharing the teaching at a pastors’ conference. In the October newsletter, we will recount the details of both teaching opportunities.
This month we also had the opportunity to minister at Central Peninsula Church (CPC) in Foster City. With three campuses, Senior Pastor Mark Mitchell and his staff care for a multi-ethnic, technology savvy congregation of about 1,500 individuals. Jennifer Marshall, one of the most efficient and effective Mission Coordinators that I have ever met, was our host. My sermon was drawn from the BWGI Theology of Emotions and the various passages of Scripture that deal with the topic of the Bible and Psychology. The main point is that the Bible and psychology have shared insights. Psychology expresses ideas one way and Scripture says it differently, but often the core principle is the same. In order to show that each system said some things similar to Biblical truth, I compared Freudianism, Positive Psychology and Cognitive Behavioral Psychology with different sections of the Bible. To be sure, the commonalities were not in entirety, but in particular instances. Wherever truth is found, the hand of God is there. None the less, the most emotionally healthy thing a believer can do is to have a vital relationship with God the Father. This is the beginning of Christian mental health. Based on the number of conversations we had, the sermon, which was videotaped, evoked a great deal of interest. Some individuals wanted to discuss the topic at length. A physicist, echoing the idea that all truth emanates from God, spoke about the great harmony of physics and the Bible. Most people, however, were interested in the BWGI materials that we offered. An 86 year-old attorney was so intrigued by the fact that everything he had heard was biblically based, that he wanted to “buy a copy of everything” we had. Unfortunately, our supply of resources sold quickly. In retrospect, we should have brought three times the amount that we did.
Mary Tsai and her team realize that supporters are the financial lifeblood of our ministry, so in order to encourage current donors and give others the opportunity to support us they held a Cupertino-Area Friends-Raiser in mid-August. Because our friends are more important than funds, we have Friends-Raisers. Of the forty attendees, approximately a quarter were brand new, so we had the opportunity to tell them about our work in Southeast Asia. Of that group, one of most enthusiastic people was a missionary who worked in Thailand. She is planning to bring a team of co-workers to the training we will have in Beijing. I also had the joy of introducing Pat Chang and her daughter to the group. Pat, a citizen of Taiwan, translated the Aphesis notebook into Mandarin four years ago. We used and continue to use her translation in China, Taiwan, Singapore and the United Sates. I thanked her for her work and noted that thousands have spiritually benefitted from her work. Many of the other guests at the Friends-Raiser previously participated in groups or classes that were based on BWGI materials. It was such a joy to interact with them. If you have been blessed by this ministry and want to help advance BWGI by organizing a Friends-Raiser, please contact the office at 925-846-6264 and ask for Mary, our Office Manager.