Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings in the precious name of Jesus!
I will never forget this walk through Hong Kong (I also carried the cross in Macao and China)! I’m so thankful to my good friend, David Fansler, a missionary living there who helped me with the walk and who was unashamed and unafraid to walk with the cross at this historic time.
July 1 was the date for the historic changeover from Great Britain to China. For 155 years Hong Kong and its 230 islands had been a British Crown colony. But on this day she became part of the People’s Republic of China. Initially, the mood was that of anticipation and celebration, but after the change and as the troops rolled in, it quickly turned to apprehension and uncertainty. I know that so many are worried about future religious freedom there but the Bible promises that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). I don’t dare make any predictions about what’s to come. I simply trust and pray that God will use this new situation to glorify Himself. The impact of this trip will, I believe, always shake my life in awesome wonder. Not only was the cross carried in Hong Kong, the cross was carried in China, the country of the world’s largest population, and place of the oldest continuous civilization!
The impossible truly is possible (Luke 1:37)! Jesus said, “I will build My Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it!”(Mathew 16:18). I’ve always been told that it is impossible to witness or preach openly in China. Because of the uniqueness of the time, however, I was able to carry the cross and share the gospel openly. The eye of the world was on this particular spot of the world, so not only was I able to carry the cross, I was interviewed by the press. The story of the cross was carried in over 100 print, radio, and television media outlets (all the Asian news, and many of the European outlets, including BBC and French TV!). So many times we are told that something can’t be done, or is impossible. I’m convinced that the impossibilities of the world are in our minds! In God’s way and in God’s timing, we can go into anyplace in the world with the wonderful news of Jesus! The response was that of extremes. Many saw the future as bleak and uncertain, so they were looking for hope.
I was able to pray with many who wanted to know the hope that is only found in Jesus. There was also a large population of people from the Philippines who were familiar with the cross but didn’t know Jesus. So many of these would greet me with tears of thankfulness, then listen attentively and cry again as they gave their lives to Jesus. We also met untold numbers of people who didn’t even know what the cross was! Oh, how my heart broke as so many had no knowledge of the cross! They thought this was an American athletic event. A small minority knew that it was a cross and the symbol of Christianity, but in talking to them, I discovered they had no knowledge of what happened on the cross.
They knew nothing of who Jesus is, or that He loves them so much that He died on the cross. And they had no idea that He is alive and that they could know Him. On the other hand, we met some truly godly saints who understood the cross far better than I ever will. These were those who had suffered persecution because of their faith. Many had lost families because of their stand for Jesus or had been imprisoned or sentenced to labor camps. One particular man had been in prison for twenty-five years (eight of those had been underground in a coal mine)! I just can’t even imagine!
They said the way they deal with this persecution and adversity is to welcome it as a friend. I was reminded of the Phillips version of James 1:2 that reads, “When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your life, my brothers, don’t consider them as intruders, but welcome them as friends.” For the umpteenth time, I believe that I came back with far more than I gave.
Once again, we just want to say thanks for loving Jesus so much and letting us see Him in and through your life. We are amazed and thankful for your friend- ship! You trust our walk with God and help us with what He has called us to do. Still, you are more concerned about who we are and how we are than what we do. With family and friends like you, we are so blessed. Thanks! Please continue to pray for us if you think about it. By God’s grace, I will leave soon to carry the cross through some more of the Middle East. We hope to see you soon!
God Bless You!!