Xiaodan and Philipp Fröhlich Ministry Update April 2024

April 2024| min read

BY Xiaodan and Philipp Fröhlich|April 8, 2024

min read

Dear mission partners, 

Recently, I was reading the book of the prophet Habakkuk and was surprised to find this sentence in the midst of the prophet’s gloomy announcements of judgment and pleading words:  

“… but the righteous shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4b) 

Habakkuk did not understand why God seemed to just stand by and watch as godless nations became more powerful and Israel was threatened by them. Nevertheless, he was certain that God had not changed his character. He remains true to Himself and will sooner or later reward those who put their trust in Him. God sees us. This faith can give us confidence and persevering strength, especially when we are still waiting for a “result”. 

On February 9, we had 17 guests, including 8 non-believers, at our home to celebrate the Chinese New Year. We baked and ate dumplings (jiaozi) together, sang songs, solved Chinese word puzzles, and enjoyed the lively fellowship. While we were happy to meet some new and old acquaintances and show them hospitality, we noticed that it was hard to strike up conversations. Lately, we have been getting the impression that newly arrived Chinese students are less interested than before in making contacts in their new place of residence in Germany. 

But an unbelieving student who has been in contact with us for two years was also present at the celebration. When most people were on their way home, he approached Xiaodan and me and asked for a talk: his mother, who lives in China, is having serious health issues. He is the only remaining family member who can or wants to look after her. Without knowing what he could do for his mother, he traveled to China a few days later to help her. We were able to support him that evening with an open ear and practical tips. He gladly accepted the offer of prayer and, despite his doubts, he said a prayer himself. We hope that he can find strength and comfort in faith and that he can find out what the future holds for his mother and himself. 

We have been meeting with two couples since February to prepare them for married life. The topics discussed include their understanding of love, their expectations of marriage, and the role of faith in their lives. The couples bring some difficult questions about their relationship to our meetings. We are very pleased that the course is very obviously helping these couples get to know each other on a new, deeper level, and to intensively deal with their differences. After all, we want them to feel confident about their decision.  

As I write this, the Easter period is upon us. This year, we will not be attending the Easter camp for adults in Frankfurt as usual, but the Easter camp for youth near Cologne, which is taking place at the same time. We will be spending several days in a youth hostel with around 100 young people, attending workshops, spending time in small groups, and taking part in sports activities. Xiaodan and I want to get an impression of youth work among the Chinese in order to find out whether this ministry could be an option for us (especially Philipp). However, we will spend one day at the camp in Frankfurt hosting a workshop on “Enjoying the Single Life”. Pray that the content of the workshop will initiate valuable transformation in the participants. 

The preparations for the church retreat of the three Chinese churches in Kassel, Göttingen, and Marburg are underway. We would like to invite the unbelieving acquaintances we have met since October to participate with us. Pray that they will have open hearts to participate in a Christian retreat.

Xiaodan had her second dental operation at the end of February. After four teeth were removed in December and the wound healed, the bone has now been built up and an incorrectly grown tooth removed. The operation, from which she had to recover for two weeks, went well. Eating is sometimes strenuous, and the dentures sometimes pinch. We hope that the implants can be inserted in a few months so that she can eat as usual again.

I, Philipp, have completed my practical project on intercultural preaching ministry after about four months and have written the report on it. In terms of my studies, I can concentrate fully now on my final thesis.

The book of the prophet Habakkuk ends like this:

“yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deers; he makes me tread on my high places.” (Habakkuk 3:18-19)

So I can already rejoice in God when I don’t yet see any “results”. We know that He is faithful and will reward those who put their trust in Him.

Thank you for your partnership in prayer,

Philipp & Xiaodan

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