Monday, January 3, 2022

A Prayer Update from Mark and Charity

Dear Partners in Ministry,
Greetings to you as we conclude our 16th year of ministry to China. We praise the Lord for a fruitful year of ministry. Although we experience each day both the blessings and curses of living in a technological age, we are so thankful to be able to use these tools to spread the gospel of Christ, to bring clarity to Biblical Truth, and to help Chinese pastors know and preach God’s Word. Pictured above is a Zoom class on Monday where we continued our study of Biblical Counseling, this week keying in on the importance of forgiveness.

Philosophy of Ministry
The goal of all we do to serve the Chinese church is to raise up and equip nationals to do the work of the ministry under the authority of God’s Word to His glory alone. equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ... Ephesians 4:12

It is because the philosophy of our ministry is and has always been about raising up and equipping nationals for ministry that we have not seen a lot of change in our ministry even in the last two years. During that time, our location from which we are doing ministry has changed, but the focus of the ministry has not changed. We praise the Lord that we have seen the impact of the ministry greatly increase in the last two years. The changing political situation in China is deeply troubling. We are reminded of our insignificance and God’s sovereignty as we continue to watch the situation. We often discuss the situation with our elders, leaders at ABWE, and different pastors of our supporting churches. They are helping us to think through the best options to insure a sustainable ministry into the future. Please be praying with us in this. Mark plans to begin courses towards a masters in Biblical Counseling this January. We believe this will help with the ongoing ministry to China, with personal and family growth, and with additional future ministry the Lord has for us.

Impacting churches inside and outside of ChinaWe shared with you in the Christmas letter that our weekly users of the Chinese Bible Study Toolbox (CBST) have increased in the last year from around 1500 to consistently over 5000. Right: Table shows the top ten countries these users are coming from and the approximate number of users per country per week.

“我们属于加拿大的一家华人教会。我们团契目前在用敬虔的丈夫,贤德的妻子这两本书作为我们家庭主题学习内容。” Jennie Liu
We belong to a Chinese church in Canada. Our fellowship is currently studying, The Exemplary Husband and The Excellent Wife as our family study.

The blessings of faithful employees helping to lead the translation work at IRC
Above: Yisa (Isaac) with his wife Xiaofeng at an office fellowship way back in 2016. Isaac began working at the IRC Beijing office back in 2015. He has been a very faithful employee over the years. In the 7 years he has worked for us, he has done most everything at the office and currently oversees the finances as well as the administration of multiple translation projects. This year I have been giving him more responsibility as he moves into a COO type position (Chief Operating Officer). When this picture was taken back in 2016, they did not have any children. Now Xiaofeng is pregnant with their fourth child. Pray for Isaac as he takes on more responsibility at the office, along with the responsibility to care and shepherd his family and serve in various ways at his church.

Each time that I cannot open the CBST, I become very anxious. Thank the Lord that normally there is no problem. I rejoice!

Planning as the Chinese government exerts more and more controls on religion.
In the quote above you can hear first hand an issue that is of concern tobelievers in China. That issue is that the government is stepping up its blocking of religious websites and social media groups. We thank the Lord that it has NOT impacted the Chinese Bible Study Toolbox (the user quoted above is probably experiencing a local internet issue or a time when the website is being updated). In late October, our other website was blocked for users inside the Mainland. We quickly launched a new site with a new web address ( and it has not had any issues.

We learned several things during this time. One is that we need to have multiple web names for our websites known to the users (for those that understand, they block the name not the IP address). We have now put this in place for the China muzhe website as well as the CBST and continue to think through this issue. In the end, we believe that website was blocked because of 1) its popularity, 2) its name contained “China” and “muzhe” - shepherd, and 3) it contained Sunday school material for children. Most of that content on the China muzhe website is downloadable and had been widely distributed on social media. What a blessing that it continues to be used.

Continued work with the House Church
We are blessed to continue to be ministering to different ones in the Chinese house church we were apart of in Beijing. We recently started a class on parenting with 5-6 couples. This is a blessing for several reasons.
1) It is a blessing to see Longqi (upper left corner) take leadership in our study. Mark read a book on eldership with him four years ago and he has taken leadership in his family and at church very seriously. Charity has spent time discipling his wife, Lina. Longqi has invited some other couples to join in and study the same material we taught five years ago at the church.
2) We are thankful that although we have been out of the country for nearly two years, these couples still desire fellowship and discipleship relationships with us.
This illustrates how our philosophy of ministry has worked out in a practical way as we see this couple equipped and doing the work of the ministry.

“感谢上帝,《研经工具》已经陪伴我走过4个年头,受益匪浅。无论是主日学还是平时的查经,第一件要做的事就是把《研经工具》打开。谢谢参与《研经工具》事工所有弟兄姊妹,你们为上帝做工的心志和辛苦的摆上必蒙上帝的记念!” Brother Liu
Thanks to the Lord, the CBST has been my companion for 4 years now, I have benefited greatly. Whether it is preparing for Sunday School or my regular Bible Study, the first thing I do is to open up the CBST. Thank you to all the brothers and sisters who have worked on the CBST. Your resolve to serve the Lord with your hard work is a display that will surely not be forgotton by God.

This is all made possible through your love for Christ, your prayers, and your partnership with us.

We thank the Lord for you! Mark & Charity

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