December 2022 RCMI Newsletter
A Faithful Follower
Mack and Evelyn, from Revival Christian Church in Southern China
Dear Partners of Revival Christian Church and RCMI,
As a couple, Mack and Evelyn worked with Pastor Dennis Balcombe in the early 1980's, serving the rural church in mainland China. A faithful shepherd led faithful followers, and the sheep faithfully served the Lord for more than forty years with these faithful follower-shepherds as their examples. They were among the first coworkers of RCMI (Hong Kong) back in the early days, who enthusiastically delivered Bibles to our brothers and sisters in mainland China and faithfully followed Pastor Balcombe's teaching and calling. Mack and Evelyn are a missionary couple in Southern China now serving with RCMI's Church Development focus. They provide pastoral care in a branch of Revival Christian Church in southern China and also teach music and worship throughout China. Originally from Hong Kong, they emigrated to Canada in the late 90's, where Mack graduated with a music degree from a Bible college in Canada.
Mack and Evelyn
RCMI teaches music and worship all over China
Here is Mack and Evelyn's newsletter: Dear Partners of RCMI, Pastors, and all, Peace be to you all! Isaiah 48:10 says, "Behold, I have refined thee, but not as silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." In this verse, Isaiah is telling God's people He will refine them and that they will be made clean. Today, although very few Jews believe in Jesus Christ, yet they obey and worship the One True God, unlike their ancestors who in Old Testament days made idols for themselves. Chinese Christians hold the view that faith must be refined, just as silver is. People may ask why they want to live in a situation where they don't yet have freedom to gather for public worship. However, we believe God is preserving Chinese believers from the corruption of the world under this bamboo curtain. Like the rest of the world, China has been experiencing the pandemic for the last three years. After early 2020, city after city was locked down at different times for different lengths of time when the number of local Covid-19 cases would rise -- some cities for as long as three months, some for only weeks. The Chinese government used lockdowns as part of its policy to control the spread of Covid-19, aiming to minimize the leisure activities of its civilians. Visits and travel to other provinces, even to other districts in the same province, became limited by a series of official restrictions. In order efficiently to control the travel of its people, China required everyone to have his or her own cell phone with the 'WeChat' app (similar to WhatsApp) installed. Within WeChat, when the user scans a QR code label at the entrance to certain buildings, public transportation facilities, etc, a health QR code is generated which indicates the user's current health situation. Failure to scan and produce a current health code usually results in being refused entry by security guards. QR codes have three colors, reflecting three levels of alert. A green code indicates the user may enter buildings, public transportation facilities such as bus, train, or subway stations, etc. A yellow code shows that the cell phone's owner may have closely encountered someone with Covid-19 and therefore must go to a government testing center, take a nucleic acid test, and obtain a negative result; or else he or she will be refused entry into most public venues. Finally, a red code shows he or she may have caught Covid-19 and must be quarantined immediately.
A Green QR code indicates the user's health condition is 'good.'
Guangzhou City Under Lockdown
Because of the pandemic, most churches in China chose to meet online. But they needed help in learning how to use the latest technology, and they experienced difficulty in two aspects: First of all, despite the fact that conducting meetings online greatly reduced the risk of infection for Sunday worship congregations, the spirit of 'being together' has been weakened, and many believers showed up for only part of the services. The worst thing is that quite a few congregations stopped meeting altogether, and their members may never return to church again. Second, beginning in 2021, the impact of the pandemic decreased in many provinces, and most house churches resumed in-person meetings for most Sunday services. But believers have had to exercise great caution because each one's cell phone records (in the health code) where they have traveled and met. They might have used their health QR codes to enter venues wherever they had gone. Furthermore, the most difficult aspect is that (Facial Recognition systems) have come into widespread use, and they more efficiently track Chinese civilians’ activities. In fact, it sometimes seems that every single movement in the daily life of most Chinese is recorded! We need to be concerned in prayer -- to ask for wisdom for today's church leaders, as most of them face these difficulties in reaching out to members of their congregations during lockdowns. Indeed, online meetings can be an alternative for those who cannot move around, yet we know that physical fellowship is essential to spiritual growth. We are thankful to the God of the universe, for He alone is our trust; He is always faithful at all times! Modern technology is another tool for doing God’s work, but we believe the Holy Spirit is the source of all power, for He is the Comforter when man feels hopeless. Indeed, the church in China has been experiencing unprecedented difficulty. Thousands of missionaries have had to leave this harvest field because they were not able to renew their China visas. But we believe this is the Day that the Lord had made, and He has raised up Chinese Christians to step out and become part of His international missionary force. Over the last five years, China's leadership has been working very hard to promote the “One Belt, One Road” plan. They have purposed to increase China's economic influence in Asian and Middle Eastern countries, but who knows whether this Silk Road Economic Belt is a plan that God is using behind the scenes! Many years ago, missionary studies introduced the needs of the "10/40 Window." We believe that along with economic development along the Silk Road, China is also sending more Chinese Christians who are reaching out to establish God's Kingdom. We believe the new Silk Road plan is also a new evangelical movement to reach out to the Muslim world. Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered! Sincerely, Mack and Evelyn
Golden Opportunity -- Nexus and You -- Bringing Hope to the Hungry
Historic Floods! 33 million Pakistanis have been made homeless, and more than 1,300 people have died. "Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep those who weep." Romans 12:15
Continue to remember those who are suffering!
Food Packets Include Rice, Oil, Sugar, and Salt
Nexus co-workers recently again traveled to the disaster area and distributed food packets along with the local church; the packets included rice, oil, sugar, and salt. Gray, together with his local coworker Pastor Yaqoob, distributed food packets to 315 families, proclaimed the news of our Redemption, and distributed literature: 200 copies of John and Romans, 70 copies of the Jesus film, 50 Urdu New Testaments, and gospel tracts entitled "Entering the Journey To Life." More than 400 Hindus open their hearts to hear the gospel; among them 20 people were willing to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior! Our hearts overflow with thanks and praise to God!
Twenty of them were willing to open their hearts and receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior!
Sincerely, RCMI, joining hands with Nexus Mission