To all our Chinese members and friends

On behalf of the Session and the Church, I wish you a blessed, healthy, Christ-centred and fruitful Chinese New Year. For all who are of the household of God, you can be assured that Jesus’ prayer for you in John 14:16 – “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter [intercessor, consoler, advocate] that he may abide with you for ever” – is answered. The Advocate, Consoler and Intercessor is indeed with us, and not only at this time, but “for ever”.

"Shino Leemin", writes Diana Voun in her latest report from Mongolia, is the Mongolian people’s greeting for the New Year.

It has been more than three months now since Diana Voun, our member and an independent self-funding missioner left us for Mongolia. She has been keeping us informed of her activities there by regular emails and updates. I hope that what I share here about her brave evangelistic undertaking in Mongolia will be a source of encouragement to you in the year.

She is grateful for, and is herself strongly encouraged by your prayers for her. She quotes from Dr Charles Stanley’s (Senior Pastor and Founder, In Touch Ministries’) sermon podcasts, to which she has been listening to:

"Reassurance of friends who pray for us, love us, believe in us and support us is one of my greatest assets in life."

She goes on to say that without “your constant prayers for me, believing in what I am doing here in this land, loving me as I am and supporting me in so many special ways, I would not be able to go on…” And she wants to say a big “Thank You!”

She is learning Mongolian to try to connect with the people she hopes to serve and to be able to follow the teachings and sermons in a Mongolian Church which she attends. Apart from that, she turns to international sermon podcasts via the Internet to get her spiritual nourishment.

The winter there is bitterly cold, especially this current winter, but by the grace of God she is coping well. This winter, in the bitter cold, she and the people in the Christian café and bakery to which she is attached undertook the “Blessed to be a blessing” project. The project is aimed at sharing the love of God by the distribution of bread to the poor communities in Mongolia. Through this, they hope to introduce the people to the “Bread of Life.”

The Mongolian New Year is celebrated between 28 January and 4 February coinciding with the Chinese Lunar New Year.

I hope that this Chinese New Year will draw us closer to God and the Advocate will help us to learn that we shall not live “by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4).

I would also like to encourage you to continue to support Diana in your prayers. What she is doing is not easy. To reach a people steeped in tradition and culture alien to the gospel is never easy. So, please continue to pray for her. Do let me know if you would like to support her by monetary means.

“The observable practice of truth and the observable practice of love go hand in hand with the proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ.” – Francis A. Schaeffer.

Pastor Robert Chew