Mike and Polly are among the most fruitful foreign missionaries inside China today.
What is happening in your mission work at the moment?
We live in the south and go for follow-up visits to the north twice a year, where most of our flock live, as we know them for almost 10 years now. We spend about 2 ½ weeks on each visit, teaching our friends when we go there. Monthly we have two Bible classes with these same friends, via internet, one for the advanced students and the other for them to bring in their new friends.
When we are in the north, our friends always arrange for us to meet their new friends as our friends are quite active in their Christian faith. So, our little flock there also grows steadily.
During the visits in the north, we also have the opportunity to minister to students at the High School which one of our friends started, it is a vocational school to teach students to be Kindergarten English teachers. Originally the school was teaching mainly students from the rural farm areas, but because of the success of the program, city students are also joining this program.
In these visits we minister right now to around a total of 200 students in 3 levels. Of course, each year the number of students grows, as it started with only 30 students. We are able to witness with a fair amount of freedom there about the Bible and the Lord, because our friend is the headmistress, so most of the students received Jesus with us, plus we are able to teach simple principles of Christianity to them, plus motivational classes on how to get along with each other, overcome obstacles, time managing etc. Some of the students have become our friends and continue to study the Bible with us.
In these visits we also minister to the sick, two of them got healed of cancer miraculously, praise the Lord!
Occasionally we are also able to do programs to reach some poor schools.
While at home, we try to meet and give Bible classes to as many people as we can. We have a few regular Bible students here in our home city who try to come once a week, others who we see monthly, others more occasionally, but they are all growing towards getting to know the Lord and the Bible better.
Do you have a vision to stay on your field for a long time? If not, how long do you expect to be there?
Yes, we have a long term vision to stay here as long as we can, like growing old here! We have already lived in China for about 9 years, plus 2 ½ years in Taiwan from 2004-2006, a total of 11 ½ years in Chinese-speaking areas. (Please pray for the political situation to stay stable, thank you!)
What are the biggest obstacles you face?
One of the main obstacles is lack of finances, (we live quite frugally) we barely cover the rent – however we are planning to move to another city so that Mike can study Chinese at a university, he already studied 3 semesters and can speak passably, but he wants to study at least a couple years more in order to become more fluent in Chinese and be able to better teach and train our friends here. – so we are looking for ways to save up for the University tuition and for our living expenses while studying. (update June 2014: Mike spent two years at a Chinese University and has just graduated ‘with honours’ to the highest level of Chinese that it is considered possible for a ‘foreigner’ to attain by Chinese university standards!
AMMC paid 50% of our expenses during this time, praise the Lord!
What do you feel are the potentials of your work?
We feel like we have not yet started to fight, the potential is enormous! Our long term Chinese friends and Bible students here have a vision to reach their country for the Lord, many of them wishing to do it as a full time job, though they cannot at the present. Our students have great potential, as besides really loving Jesus, they are teachers, bosses, business people, who already reach many in their daily lives.
We feel we have not really started the work that could be accomplished here.
We believe that besides training them to reach their own people, because many of them are successful business people, it would be very helpful to also have a humanitarian work, to reach the poor, as they themselves have this burden, but we have not been able to do this yet.
Note from AMMC: Mike and Polly also have a significant amount of business people and government contacts who have become Christians through their direct witness. We would consider them among some of the most fruitful foreign missionaries inside China today.
What are your specific goals for 2012 and 2013, if you know them?
Mike wants to study Chinese in a University, he already studied 3 semesters and wants to study at least a couple years more in order to become fluent in Chinese and be able to better teach and train our friends here.
Of course during the time we are not studying we plan to be witnessing and teaching Bible classes to both old and new friends, as much as possible.
I, Polly, want also to learn more Chinese, but because of health problem with CFS, will not be able to do that in a University, but need to find a more relaxed pace course, but want to enroll in a school, as we believe it is the best way to study the language. We found that studying with friends, usually not very fruitful for language learning as it ends up in us giving a Bible study, ha!
I also want to either study through a coaching course, or counselling course, since in our witness, we help lots of people in many different areas and feel that more training would be beneficial.
What do you estimate your maximum expenses for next year for your whole team in USD?
1,400 USD monthly living expenses X 12 = 16,800 USD + 2,500 USD Chinese University Tuition + estimated 1,700 USD for Leny’s Chinese study= 21,000 USD. God willing about 6,000 USD of this will be covered from our current teaching jobs, so that leaves 15,000 USD that we are trying to raise.
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