Dear friends and family,
The last 19 days were awful. Demonstrations and road closures meant no school, no work and no sale! About 300 stores in and near our city were looted. 89 were owned by Chinese. 2 were owned by the families of 2 of our young people. Several members of our church are grateful their stores were spared, though a mob was close to them. God answered our prayers for them. These days, even owners with guns and tear gas canisters got looted! Many closed their business temporarily to avoid being looted. Several of our people, who refused to leave in the past, are considering leaving. Those who own stores are still threatened by the prospect of looting. Last week, a deacon was selling fish. A well-dressed man walked into his store, pointed a gun at him and robbed him (and his customers). Victoria thought she would be safe at home in a high rise building. One day, she had to cover her face with a wet towel because tear gas surrounded her building! She lives near a spot where demonstrations take place frequently. After some time, she thanked God because it started to rain! Please pray that God would protect his people and move them to rely on God and pray.
Remarkably, no meeting was cancelled in this period. Thank you for praying! Church attendance was high. Going to church is better than watching depressing news at home. We are okay. We preach, teach and make plans for our ministry for young people. Please pray God will speak through us and guide this ministry.
For years, believers at our church were afraid to speak their mind, serve, or try to do things in a new way because they were afraid they would be harshly criticized. Such an atmosphere stifled growth of workers. Recently, the atmosphere changed. The new one is more encouraging. Recently, 2 lay leaders agreed to preach on Sunday. They had received substantial training. They were good communicators. Now, they are no longer afraid to try! Praise the Lord. Please pray God will use them to speak for Him.
On May 20, 7 persons from our church joined more than 60 persons from a near-by church to reach out to poor (Spanish-speaking) people living near that church. Some started cooking breakfast at 4am for 400 people. Many prayed. From 8am to noon, 12 teams visited 60 households (about 240 people). They brought breakfast with them. Some said they were willing to come to church. Some even professed faith in Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord! Thank you very much for praying! Please pray for follow-up and the next visitation scheduled for next month.
Please pray God would protect us, the believers here and our church from the evil ones.
The Lord be with you!
Manjohn and Christina
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