Chinese New Year began with the news about the Coronavirus. Many Christian events in Chinese churches worldwide have been and are still being cancelled. Many people are in fear of being infected by the virus. Still, we can experience great peace from God among us! We are happy that we had the opportunity to hold the dumpling celebration as usual, together with the students that couldn´t return to their families during that time. We are thankful for 32 people that joined us at the celebration, among whom were 16 first-time visitors. During the event we prayed for the people in Wuhan. We are thankful that the peace of God filled our hearts instead of fear, and that the love of God warmed our hearts and brought us hope. After the celebration some visitors stayed with us to ask us questions about the meaning of life. We talked for hours into the night. May God soften their hearts, so that they´ll join us again, get to know Jesus Christ and receive real peace and hope.
Chinese New Year Dumpling Feast
I’m also thankful for the mission team of four people from Hong Kong. I’m thankful that we could distribute about 250 invitation cards for the dumpling celebration in student dorms, in the canteen, in the street and on the bus. We met students who were open to talk about the Gospel. One member of the mission team met a student on the bus who seemed especially interested in hearing the Gospel. When they got out of the bus the member of the team said that he felt that this student wasn´t feeling well. He felt the desire to continue to pray for him, so that he would soon come to visit the church. One month later he appeared in our bible group meeting!
One of the challenges this year was to let go of three core team staff members, who had grown in faith during the last two years. They couldn´t find jobs nearby after finishing their studies, so they had to move.
Among those was a female student who I have known ever since I first came to Marburg. Back then she was still Buddhist, very unhappy and was struggling with her studies. That was why she started to come to our meetings. One year later she decided to receive Jesus. She takes her faith very seriously and has served diligently in our church. She has a big heart and cares a lot for the new students that join us.
It’s hard to let her go, but the cycle of working among students is: getting to know new students, building up friendships, give them an understanding of faith, discipling them, training them to be staff members and then letting them go.
I wish for them to grow in faith, to give honor to God and serve people, wherever they are.
Considering these changes, the tasks among the staff members need to be redistributed. Please pray for me to have wisdom to organize the church under these new circumstances. Please also pray for me to be able to see the positive about this situation. Pray that I might find joy to meet new students, even though I know that every year 70% of our attendants will leave this city.