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Prayers appreciated!

Your prayers are appreciated for some of the team members who are already in China. They are suffering with some sickness. The remainder of the team will be heading over soon.

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May 2017

Crumbing China, May 2017

Charles, Toby, Rhoda Jane, Annabeth, Wallace, Ian, and I are so grateful for those who prayed for us and those who heard the Gospel during this trip. Almost 50 villages (plus other individual targets) had the Gospel hand-delivered to each home, market, school, mosque, temple, and police station. It matters where each of those Chinese people will spend eternity, and God promises us that His Word will not return void. Since the trip, we have received several responses via social media from the people who received the Scripture booklets.

It was an intense trip, since many of us struggled with sickness and had other things that needed to be done on the trip in addition to crumbing. We had interesting experiences eating at Chinese and western restaurants (like when I didn’t know what I was ordering, and when Charles tried to ask for two creamers for his coffee at KFC and was given two ice cream cones instead 😊) and exploring the city and Tibetan town we visited.

Reading the Bible and praying together as a team was one of the best blessings of the trip.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
The earth has yielded its increase;
God, our God, shall bless us.
God shall bless us;
let all the ends of the earth fear him!
Psalm 67

Day 1

As our team arrived into China at three different times and in two different cities, hundreds of brothers and sisters in Christ prayed for us. Once I collected my two roller bags packed with about 40 pounds of Scripture booklets (code word: crumbs) each, and made my way to customs, I could see that all luggage was getting scanned and that I would probably get caught. I prayed and texted some friends asking them to pray. Amazingly, the fear that I had felt for the last two hours turned to peace within moments. My luggage was scanned, and the Communist officials took me aside for questioning.

When my roller bags were opened and they saw the 4,000+ Scripture booklets, they were amazed. One of the officials picked a booklet up, angrily slammed it down and said “太多的!你疯了!” (too many! You’re crazy!) They had me stand in front of a group of about 12 officials and answer questions. One of them spoke some English, and I spoke some Chinese. It was a miracle, only by God’s grace, that I was able to speak with peace and a smile, because just before that I felt afraid and tired from the long flight. I’m so grateful for all the saints who prayed!

“What are these?”

“These are the good words of Jesus! Let me tell you the Gospel… (then I shared the Gospel)”

“What were you planning to do with these?”

“I want to give them to the Chinese people. Please let me keep them!”

“Why?”

“Because God is good, and I want the Chinese people to know Him.”

“This is illegal in China. You cannot do this!”

“Jesus says to share the Gospel with everyone in the world. This is not political. There is nothing wrong or bad about these booklets. Please let me take them into China!”

“Where are you going?”

(I told them the next city I was flying to)

Most of them were not happy about the Gospel getting to China, and they spent a long time discussing what to do with me and asking more questions. They finally decided to confiscate my crumbs, but still let me into China. I was given a receipt, and hopefully I will be able to retrieve them when I leave China in a few weeks.

The official who spoke English packaged up the Scripture booklets, and handled them with great respect, occasionally pausing to read them. He quietly told me while no one else was listening that it is good to tell people about Jesus, and that he hopes that I can bring these booklets into China and distribute them on my next trip. He secretly helped me keep a few hundred in my luggage. I’m not sure if he is a Christian or not, I didn’t know if it was safe to ask. He heard the Gospel though, along with those other officials.

Everyone else and their crumbs made it safely through. Charles had a good witnessing conversation with a Chinese man while waiting for the next plane. Also, the 1,500 crumbs in my large backpack were never found. It stayed on me throughout the whole ordeal.

Truth shall not be bound by walls upon the earth!

Day 2

After an intense journey of another flight, two taxi trips, and an 8-hour train ride, we arrived at our destination city. We got caught at train station security, which had never happened before, because usually they just look for weapons and dangerous items. They stopped me and said there was too much of something in another team member’s luggage, and the rest of the team managed to get away. One of the officials forced me to open a roller bag full of crumbs, said that Christian literature is illegal in China, questioned me and threatened to report me to the police. After a lot of conversation and pleading I eventually convinced them to let me go with all the crumbs, and just barely got the team and our luggage to the train on time!

Day 3

Last night we had our first night of crumbing! I was so nervous before starting, because of how I have been caught twice already on this trip. It went well though. I crumbed two Chinese towns with Wallace. One of them had a school, and one was a farm area. We were not seen much. There was a man carrying some baskets on his shoulders who we accidentally walked right past, but he didn’t seem to think we were unusual. I placed a crumb at a tent while someone was snoring inside. I fell in a gutter and banged up my knee. May the light of His truth shine brightly upon their hearts as they read the Gospel when they wake up in the morning.

Day 4

We had two special crumbing operations tonight. One was to find some crumbs that Annabeth had hidden on some land near someone’s backyard two months ago when she was running from the police. Amazingly, they were still there, mostly still usable, and she successfully retrieved them!

The other operation was to crumb a Muslim neighbourhood in the city, and it was also successful. While walking out of an apartment complex that we had just crumbed, I saw the computer screen through the window of the security guard post at the gate. It was video footage from the security cameras, and we were on it! If the guard was there, he must have been sleeping, so we continued crumbing.

Day 5

We crumbed four Chinese villages last night. The dogs barked and howled like crazy. At the very last house of the first village that Wallace and I crumbed, a man came out and shined his flashlight at us as we left a tract at his driveway. He yelled and chased us a little bit, but we got away and crumbed the next village.

Day 6

Last night Ian and I crumbed three villages. They were in Chinese areas again. In the second one there was a man who yelled and chased us, but we got away. There were a lot of dogs barking at us in the second one.

Today Annabeth and Ian left to crumb a Tibetan area for a few days.

Day 8

We just finished another awesome night of crumbing. Wallace and I crumbed a Buddhist village, and there was a temple where a ceremony was going on. When we were in the middle of the village we heard what sounded like gunshots, but turned out to be fireworks. We thought that the Gospel arriving in your village for the first time in history is definitely worth celebrating with fireworks! We crumbed outside the temple while people were chanting inside, and got away before they noticed us.

Day 9

We had a safe, uneventful night of crumbing in another Chinese Buddhist village, including the temple and a school. There were lots of dogs barking like crazy, but no one came out to see what was going on.

Day 10

We crumbed a Muslim area tonight, including a mosque.

Day 11

Muslims who have lived in darkness all their lives are now hearing about Jesus Christ! He is the Creator and upholder of the universe, the Saviour of all who repent and trust in Him. He is worthy of the praises of thousands more.

We’ve been busy traveling a lot the past two days, so I haven’t been able to make very detailed records. It’s been a successful, happy time of crumbing though!

Day 12

The Muslim town we crumbed tonight was a confusing maze and at one point we got lost and had a failed attempt at crumbing an enormous mosque (people walking around). I texted some friends asking them to pray, and eventually we found our way.

We returned to the mosque, walked into the huge courtyard and crumbed the outside areas. Then we walked into the massive, towering sanctuary- the door was open! A light in the back was on and there were Muslims standing and kneeling and mumbling prayers at the front of the mosque. We crumbed inside the mosque, and were thrilled about getting the truth about the true God to those people.

It is such a unique, epic experience to sing hymns and pour out your heart in praise to God for the first time in a place where He’s never been worshipped before. While making Him known to thousands who have never even known about Him all their lives!
At this very moment as people are finding and reading the Scripture booklets, the Gospel- the power of God for salvation- is defeating the strongholds of Islam and Communism here in China.

Day 13

In addition to regular crumbing, I crumbed a truck stop and petrol station tonight!

Day 15

Since yesterday was Sunday, we rested. Tonight Ian and I crumbed a Buddhist town where we found some puppies. They were quite cute.

Once Rhoda Jane and I were crumbing together. We did the second part of a Chinese village that we had started earlier on the trip, but someone came out right after I put a crumb on his door. He yelled and chased a bit but we got away. At another place we crumbed a police station and then someone followed us.

Day 16

Tonight was a peaceful, successful time of getting the Gospel to many unreached Muslims and Buddhists. Even the birds joined us in singing praises to God at 2:30am while we crumbed.

Day 17

Ian and I climbed up a mountain and crumbed a village with a mosque. There was a herd of sheep that ran at him- they must have thought that he was their shepherd! We crumbed inside the mosque. There was no one in there, so we sang some hymns and prayed. Then we walked to another village and crumbed it. The call to Islamic worship sounded at 4:30 as we were finishing.

Day 18

Tonight we crumbed a Chinese area very close to the city. There was a prison and three police stations. Wallace and I started out close to the prison, and police cars passed us going up and down the main road a lot. Once while we were on the road with nowhere close enough to hide or escape, two police cars with flashing lights came from both directions and we had to just stand there! Another time we barely escaped being seen up close by the police.

This evening I had dinner with a Chinese lady, who I had met when I lived here. Her English is not very good, so I had to explain myself in Chinese sometimes, especially when I was talking about the Gospel. She allowed me to pray before the meal, and I prayed for her and for her salvation, and she smiled and said amen at the end. She is agnostic, and seemed uncomfortable with talking about the Gospel. But I gave her a copy of John and Romans at the end which she was very happy about. And we have been chatting on WeChat since.

Days 19-20

The last night of crumbing was the most stressful one for me. Ian and I crumbed one village, although we were supposed to crumb two. There wasn’t much moonlight, so we got lost on a mountain and couldn’t find one of the villages. Then someone came looking for us in the village, and we kept getting lost. There were dead ends and drop offs everywhere. We did crumb the mosque and school, but there were security cameras everywhere. I had three shirts that I wanted to give away, so I left them in someone’s back yard. Maybe someday I will visit that village and see someone wearing them!

The journey across China was crazy. We went straight from crumbing to the train station, then took a train to the airport, and we all flew to another city. If we weren’t so tired, we could have gone shopping and exploring the city, but instead we just hung out and slept at the airport McDonald’s. My shirt that has John 14:6 started a conversation with one of the workers. I gave him a crumb and he added me on WeChat. We had our last all-group Bible study there.

When we left China, I was able to pick up all my confiscated crumbs! Now we’re back to our families, jobs, and ministries here where we live, and are planning our next trip to hand-deliver the Gospel to the Chinese people.

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Some of the Gospel tracts and Gospel of John/Romans booklets that we we be distributing in Muslim villages in China in a couple months (We will have much more). Three of my children will be with me on this team. Pray for a fruitful harvest.

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Kevin Garratt, a Canadian missionary held in a Chinese jail for two years on suspicion of spying, arrived back in Canada on Thursday following a court ruling granting his release.

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Garratt was arrested, along with his wife Julia (pictured above reuniting again), in August 2014 in Dandong, a city that borders North Korea. The Garratts had operated a Christian coffee shop in the city since 2008 and have been serving in China since 1984.

Julia was released in February 2015 but Kevin was later charged with stealing secrets and espionage for Canadian intelligence agencies and was kept in China.

Garratt’s release comes on the heels of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first official visit to China, during which a join press conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed that Kevin would be treated humanely and in accordance to the law.

Kevin arrived at the Vancouver International Airport on Thursday and was greeted by his family (pictured above with his son).

Kevin was a missionary focused on sharing the Gospel with North Koreans – many of which made their way across the border to China. In 2014, their arrest was part of a general crackdown on missionaries in the area. Several missionaries that Back to Jerusalem worked with were kicked out and others, like Kevin and his wife, were detained and charged with spying.

Kevin and his family denied accusations of ever being involved in espionage.

At the end of last year, China released a new method of catching missionaries working with North Korea – they set up a hotline for citizens to call. Instead of announcing the new hotline to catch missionaries, they called the missionaries “spies.”

The new hotline was unveiled in the north east province of Jilin, where most missionaries who focus on North Korea work. During the Jilin International Security Conference that was held on November 1, 2015, the Chinese government announced that the new hotline would help stop spies and would be a follow up to the new anti-espionage law.

The new hotline targets missionaries by mobilizing the citizen forces to report anyone “who does not have a clear line of work, but seems to be well-funded, overseas correspondents, missionaries (including NGO workers), and people who participate in various seminars and business meetings that exaggerate the accomplishments of foreigners.”

If anyone is seen that matches this description, they can call the new hotline at 12339.

At BTJ we praise the Lord that Kevin has been released and we continue to pray for him and his family as they reconnect in Canada.

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Noah’s Fund Raiser

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Final plans are being nailed down for the Feb. 2016 trip to China. If you’d like to be on our team as we share Gospel booklets in unreached Muslim villages in northwestern China, contact me. There is still room available for additional team members.

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The Team is Heading Back to China!

Please remember our family in prayer over the next few weeks. Hosanna, Charity and I are heading back to northwestern China to complete a project we’ve been working on for some time.

Our objective is to deliver Gospel booklets to every home in a large Muslim region. All of our work is done during the nighttime hours so each day you sit down for lunch, send up a prayer for us. We will be on the street.

Hosanna and I are at the airport in D.C. now awaiting our flight. Charity will be a day behind us. Ruthy is used to me taking the older children into the field with me but having a house full of children to care for without me and two of her best helpers can be challenging. So, as you pray the girls and I as we travel through remote mountain villages. please remember to pray for Ruthy and the children.

We will return in mid September.

Thanks for your prayer support and the help many of you have sent our way to help us stay on the street spreading the glorious Gospel of our great Redeemer!

For China and the Savior Who spilled His blood for her,

Denny

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