The news is replete with devastating accounts from the Philippines, where Typhoon Haiyan has wiped out a huge swath of central Philippines.  The cities of Tacloban and Ormoc were the hardest hit.  Current estimates place the number of dead citizens at at least 2,000, with the number expected to rise.  Some say that about 9.5 million Filipinos have been affected by the typhoon, in 9 regions across the nation.

The extent of the devastation and damage is making it extremely difficult for emergency personnel and all sorts of aid to reach the hard-hit areas.  More details about the typhoon and its aftermath can be found here and here.

If you are interested in donating towards aid efforts in the Philippines, some reliable avenues (as per CharityWatch) of giving can be found here:

Please keep in mind that cash donations are most needed right now; there is no stable infrastructure in place on-the-ground to enable physical resources (like clothing, supplies, bottles of water) to get through to the most-needy.

Most importantly, as you deem appropriate for your children, we encourage you to gather as a family to pray for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, and the recovery of the Philippines from this awful tragedy.

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New Hope’s New Beginnings

September 17, 2013

On Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, NHF installed her new senior pastor, Ryan Miller, and 2 additional elders, Tim Kang and Alex Lee.  The special worship service was marked by vows of faith, dedication and service by Ryan and the elders, as well as a special time of prayer and blessings for Ryan’s wife Tonya, and the elders’ wives, Christine An (Chae’s wife), Jihye Kim (Tim’s wife) and Sharon Lee (Alex’s wife).  NHF is excited to receive and participate in all that God has for our community under the guidance and shepherding of these new leaders.

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The week of Sept. 8, 2013 also saw the kick-off of the Women’s Ministry’s Bible study in the BOOK OF JAMES.  For 10 weeks this autumn, NHF’s women will be delving into the book of James, using Tim Keller’s sermons and study guide as primary resources.  Groups meet on Sunday evenings, Tuesday evenings and Friday mornings, and have been kept small so that conversation, sharing, soul-care and prayer can be maximized.

Please be praying that NHF’s women would experience great strides in spiritual formation as they study James together, and that ultimately, they would know the Father’s love, and be empowered to thrive in it.

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Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 is the kick-off event to launch the new Men’s Ministry Discipleship Study.  For the next 6 months, NHF’s brothers will be reading The Trellis and the Vine together, spending time discussing, vision-casting, and praying.  The men will have a kick-off barbecue on the evening of Sept. 21st, before starting their meetings on the morning of Sept. 28th (gathering every other Saturday morning).

Please be praying that NHF’s men would be blessed not only by studying and engaging with their minds, but also by loving Jesus with all their hearts, receiving the Father’s love with open hands, and sharing that love with each other in the depths of brotherhood and friendship.

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Finally, September also marks the month when we send out one of our own – Rebecca McAteer – to a 2-year commitment at Tansen Mission Hospital, in the central Himalayas of Nepal.  While World Medical Mission is Becca’s sending organization, we are her sending church, and we do so with great excitement and great faith that God will move powerfully in Becca’s heart and in her life over the next 2 years, and move powerfully through Becca to touch the bodies and souls of many Nepali and Indian patients.

Please keep up to date with Becca at her blog, Where God Calls.  To support Becca’s commitment to Nepal, you may donate through Samaritan’s Purse World Medical Mission page.

Beijing Shouwang Church

Announcement regarding April 17th Outdoor Worship

Dear brothers and sisters:

Peace in the Lord! We want to express our appreciation to members in the body of Christ throughout the world who have been praying for Shouwang Church. God is sustaining us with his mighty hands and has led us to pass through April 17th as another unusual Sunday.

April 17th was a cloudy and windy day in Beijing. We continued to haveoutdoor worship at the same time and at the same location. Compared to lastSunday, more coworkers and believers were watched and detained at home by local police, neighborhood committee members and residential security guards.  Many of our members were prevented from attending outdoor worship. On April 16th Saturday 8:00pm, pastorTianming was summoned to the Haidian police station and was released 8:00 am the next day. Pastor Xiaobai was summoned to the Guangying police station and was sent home after midnight. However, brothers and sisters, knowing what they were going to face if they went outdoors to worship, still went out with faith and boldness.

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As of April 14:

After one of the Pastors, Li Xiao Bai, was released from police custody, he has been under house arrest since 5pm of Wed. While under custody, Pastor Li was tortured. The government continues to show its strength through torture, detaining the leadership at their homes and intimidating the church members. Church members have lost their jobs because the police have pressured their bosses, others have been kicked out of their homes by their landlords again due to pressure from the authorities. Others received horrific threats on the phone warning them not to attend this Sunday.  

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As of April 10th, after the first outdoor worship of the Shouwang Church:

General Announcement of the April 10 Beijing Shouwang Church Outdoor Worship

To every brother and sister in the Lord:

May the Lord’s peace be with you! I believe that April 10 was a day of unusual significance and special remembrance for every brother and sister of Shouwang and for brothers and sisters all over the world who were fervently praying for the safety of Shouwang.

Despite of the cool temperature, class 4-5 winds, and the awareness of  police surrounding the outdoor area designated for worship, on the morning of April 10, other than those brothers and sisters who were detained from stepping out of their homes by local police or neighborhood watch members, those who were able to attend arrived in full confidence. Whether it’d be in groups or alone, they arrived at the previously designated worship area as early as 8:00 a.m. As expected, this area had already been sealed off by the police force; there were policemen everywhere; many police cars were parked along roadside.

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Urgent Prayer Request from Doug Birdsall, Executive Chair of the Lausanne Movement, on behalf of the Beijing Shouwang Church:

Dear Lausanne Leader,

We’re writing to ask for your urgent prayers for Beijing Shouwang Church this coming Sunday, 10th April.  Please see the links below for more information on this situation.

The church has again been forced out of their space and has decided to worship outdoors in the park.  On behalf of the church, church leaders have issued prayer requests for Christians around the world to ask for support during this time.  Their prayer requests are as follows:

“Please be praying for:

  1. Peaceful Solution: We ask God to open a door for a peaceful solution to resolve the problem of a worship place.  Our choices are between obtaining an official document to permit us to rent an indoor worship hall or to begin worship in the new church location of our purchased property.
  2. Guidance from the Lord: While the entire church fasts to seek the Lord’s guidance for the upcoming outdoor worship, we ask for the Holy Spirit Himself to be present and active in our lives.  We pray that the Holy Spirit would remove all fleshly ambition, impetuosity and fears from our hearts so that when we are faced with all sorts of challenges (whether it would be in our work, families, career or personal safety), we may rely solely on the gentleness and humility of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to respond with calmness.
  3. Unity of the Church: The Evil One would like to use this opportunity to fracture and even crush the church.  We ask the Lord to preserve the unity of our church.  Despite of all the differences in our points of view, we pray that we may submit to another and bear with one another in love.”

Thank you for your prayers for our brothers and sisters in China.

Doug Birdsall

Executive Chair, The Lausanne Movement

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As of Saturday, April 9, 2011, from D.:

Just received msg from within SW: “Nearly All members I known were blocked home by police since 20:00 BJ time.”

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As of Friday, April 8, 2011, from D.:

Dear prayer partners,
The most recent report early this morning from within Shouwang is that the heat is getting more intense as police, school officials, employers, neighborhood watch, family, relatives are pressuring church members to not show up on Sunday.   The govt is for sure bent on cracking down.  Pray for a peaceful resolution to come from the very top.  I am working to get prayer requests out through the Lausanne Global Prayer Network.  Pray for Shouwang!  Pray also for me as well so that the Lord will guide my steps through this difficult time.
D.

 

D. lets us know that a 3-day prayer & fasting period has been set and announced:

各位牧者,
Dear Pastors,

现将守望教会的情况作一通报,我们今天主日聚会已宣布10日户外聚会的预案,并宣布从明天即4月4起,全教会禁食祷告三天,各人可以根据感动进行1天或2天或3天的禁食祷告!
I will give an general announcement of the present condition at ShouWang Church. Today, during Sunday worship, we have announced our plan to hold our meetings outdoor in 10 days, we have also announced that starting tomorrow, April 4, the entire church congregation will fast for three days. Each person can decide whether he/she would fast for 1 or 2 or 3 days base on the Spirit’s prompting.

请各牧者及教会为我们代祷,我们深深知道这是我们力不能胜的事,求大能的神怜悯我们,为我们亲自开出路!
We would invite every pastor and church to pray for us. We deeply feel that this is not something we can accomplish by ourselves, but we ask the God Omnipotent to have mercy on us, to act on our behalves and open the door for us.

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