With grateful hearts we acknowledge that 2019 saw a significant breakthrough in our ministry in Asia. In Taiwan representatives from all five HIM partner churches came together for the first time to share their prayer concerns and vision for the coming year. A new sense of unity and purpose now exists. The summer English Bible camps seemed to go extra well, and we were
blessed to have an excellent team of helpers assisting. Byron and Missy Manners and the national pastors continue to lead their churches effectively. People testified of receiving spiritual help in a retreat where Dr. Randall McElwain spoke.
Bradley and Anita Halter continue ministering locally to churches in their area and support the Chung-li church. Their Taiwanese pastor, Pastor Rich, loves God and is leading his church to be a powerful witness for Jesus in a dark country. Bradley helps with counseling, preaching, and teaching, and Anita helps with the children’s ministry. We are encouraged with several baptisms held there this year.
The new Nanzi church is doing well with an average attendance of twenty-six. Families have heard of Jesus for the first time, people have renewed faith in Christ, and powerful conviction is evident in others. Phil and Rhoda Valentine cared for that congregation while David and Christina Black were on home assignment.
The church in China is on the move in spite of intense persecution from the government. Often larger churches break into smaller groups and meet in multiple locations. The church has renewed their vision to plant Christian schools to train their youth with a Christ-centered worldview. The Blacks train first-generation pastors and teachers and mentor first-generation families on biblical teachings.They are grateful for the successful completion of the first two-year formal Christian teachers’ training program. Eleven students graduated!
This year one of our great missionaries, Jeanne Schwartz, could not be as involved with the ministry due to physical reasons. Dorothy Hsu, along with Chris and Crystal Zhou and Dr. Randall McElwain, continues to go into China to teach and to train pastor and Christian workers. As long as the doors are open, we will come alongside the courageous believers in China to help in the growth and expansion of Christianity.
Nichole Barr has experienced God working through relationships she has developed in Mongolia. She continues working at Mongolia International University where her leadership role has broadened. Even with added responsibilities Nichole makes time for students. Three struggle with depression and are suicidal. Many are addicted to cigarettes and alcohol. Nichole checks on them and often buys them a cheap lunch. In 2019 she was invited to join the leadership team of a church there in Ulaanbaatar. Additionally, she connects with other Christian foreigners serving in Mongolia and helps with a support system for American missionaries. Nichole wears many hats—counselor, doctor, pastor, teacher, friend. She believes God is also preparing several people to come to the field for long-term commitments. Praise God for helping HIM missionaries make disciples in Asia!
~David Black, Director of HIM Asia