Dear Friends and Prayer Partners,
We have just been reminded again of the significance of Easter, and whilst the bastions of Christianity are being assailed on every hand and side, it is good to know that Easter is still being kept up. Some do this by keeping the Jewish Passover, but we as Christians are called upon to keep the Lord’s Supper, which has for its main focus the remembrance of the Lord Jesus – His eternal being, His incarnation, His sufferings as a man culminating in His death on the cross, and His glorious resurrection from the dead. The Scriptures remind us that “He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence”, having first “appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb. 9.24, 26). And keeping Him in remembrance in this way should have a sanctifying effect on our lives.
We have all become concerned about the heightened tension between the U.S. and North Korea, both having nuclear capability. Many of us remember the horrendous results of the nuclear assault on Japan at the end of the Second World War. So people have cause to be concerned, and indeed many are fearful and even alarmed at what may eventuate. The Scriptures tell us plainly the things that are about to take place (see Matt. 24.4-27; Rev. chapters 5-19). But the Lord Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me” (John 14.1). At a later time he said to the Apostle John, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever” (Rev. 1.17-18). So we put our trust in the Lord – the Living One – confident that he is coming soon to take us to our eternal home (see Rev. 22.7, 12, 20). He said to the church in Philadelphia, “I will also keep you from the hour of trial . . .” (Rev. 3.10).
It is with sadness that we make mention of the passing of our dear sister and fellow-worker Marjorie Benson on 7th March, aged 82 years. All the years her husband Martin was writing the Panorama series of lessons for QMBC, Marjorie had been his staunch supporter, helping in the interpretation of Scripture and proof-reading the lessons. From 2005 to 2014 she was the principal marker of the students’ assignments, and often entered into correspondence with students who had special problems. Marjorie is sadly missed, but we know that for her she is “at home with the Lord”, “which is better by far” (2 Cor. 5.6; Phil. 1.23). Please remember Martin and the family in your prayers, that they will know the Lord’s comfort and blessing at this time.
The following statistics for the year ended 31 December 2016, compared with the 2015 and 2014 years, may be of interest:
As you can see, the number of new students and those returning their lessons, was much less in 2016, due to the difficulties with the mail system in Papua New Guinea. On a positive note, we were delighted this month on opening an envelope from PNG, to discover that the students had returned the answer sheets for lessons which had been sent to them back in 2004! So we need to keep praying that others will remember their lessons and post them back when they have an opportunity
- For the students from PNG who returned lessons to us this month, after 13 years.
- For the encouraging letters we receive from the students, showing their desire to live for the Lord. For the sizeable amount of mail received so far this year.
- That students (particularly in PNG) who may not be able to mail their answer sheets back to us, will still study the lessons they have.
- That a permanent Director will be forthcoming to oversee the work.
From our Students
Please take time to read the enclosed excerpts from some of our students’ letters and answers to assignments, which we are sure you will find interesting.
From Students doing the basic Courses:
Ruth, age 19, Papua New Guinea:
We [Ruth and her sisters] are very pleased to have received your mail in one piece, and are very excited to do the lessons and learn more about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Every day has been a challenge for us, going through struggles and experiencing changes in our lives but we will never give up trusting God and His wonderful promises for us.
Tarashiape, age 27, Papua New Guinea:
I am really happy and interested to continue my lessons as life goes on. Life is a bit challenging these days in securing a job in PNG. I am currently still applying for jobs and am happy to continue my lessons as it encourages and motivates me as a Christian. Placed in this letter is K2.00 as my offering to help run QMBC. I pray that our heavenly Father will continue to bless this Bible Club as it spreads the Gospel all over this world.
Maria, age 38, Hong Kong:
This course helped me like you can’t imagine. I am alone but not alone…in the beginning I was thinking I will die here, and I felt very afraid. But right now I can say thanks to God because I know Him a little. Thanks to this difficult time in my life, I know Him. And thanks to you for this course.
Hong Kong Prisoner:
My beloved Lord Jesus Christ came to live in my heart during the most difficult and darkest period of time on my life, when I got arrested together with my husband for trafficking in danger drugs in Hong Kong in 2011. I was carrying my 18 months old baby boy at the time of my arrest, the police took him away from me and due to the language barrier I couldn’t understand what was going on. I felt hopeless, lost, helpless, guilty, depressed, angry, frightened and I felt alone…until I cried out to God in despair. My problems didn’t solve instantly, but step by step He gave me strength, He became my shelter and my refuge. Later on, the most painful experience of my life turned out to be a significant blessing not only for me but for all my family.
Godson, age 39, Hong Kong:
I am so happy to receive the free “gift” of life, which is Eternal Life that Almighty God has given His believers when we take the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour…I know that I am saved, and my reward is in heaven, because the Bible says of some very special rewards for those who faithfully serve the Lord Jesus with all their heart.
Chukwuka, age 30, Thailand:
Warm greetings to you, my dear friends. It gladdens my heart to be a participant in your lessons. I am learning a lot of things necessary for my Christian life. I have nothing to offer as a payment for your teachings, but one thing I won’t abstain from is to continue praying for God’s empowerment and His blessings in all your endeavours.
Macmanuel, age 40, Thailand:
I really thank God and appreciate His kindness in making it possible for me to participate in this organisation and to be a member of QMBC in Australia. May the Almighty God who started this work continue to guide and protect each and every one of you throughout all the days of your lives.
David, age 43, Thailand:
We all in Building One are happy to announce to you the great impact the lessons have brought to our lives here in Thailand, both in our spiritual life and in our ministry here in the prison. Thank God for Jesus Christ our Lord and personal Saviour for coming into our lives and the lives of our other brothers here. Thank God we are saved from the power of sin and condemnation.
Uchenna, age 33, Thailand:
I am very grateful for the stamps you sent to me. May God reward you a thousand fold. I also thank God for using you to help me in this situation both financially and spiritually. I thought my hope had gone but through this lesson you have revived me again. [Note: We send the students 30 baht worth of stamps with a certificate when they complete each Course. 30 baht is equivalent to approx. one Australian dollar].
Manivanam Jim, age 48, Thailand:
Thank you for the ‘F’ Course certificate. The more I do it, the wonderful joy it gives me. Here I am doing my time awaiting the good news for a royal pardon. 20th January was the 100th day of the passing of His Majesty King 9 th of Thailand. His remains will be cremated after one year as of royal tradition. Prisoners were awarded amnesties for the 70th year of reigning last year, the longest monarch reign in mankind’s history. Unfortunately His Majesty’s passing was an unexpected shock just two months before his 89th birthday. Truly a heart of the people’s King. The new King 10th is about to ascend the throne according to Palace law and ancient tradition and international law. The country is still under Martial law army coup. Only God knows, at His will all happens in order.
From Students doing the Panorama lessons:
We should heed the advice given to us from God’s Word (the most important), mother and father, and those who are over us [Heb. 13.7, 17]. God’s Word is most important, lighting up the path of life. It’s a lamp for us as we journey on the path of life, to help us make wise choices.
Thanks so much for an interesting study [Module 1]. It’s not terribly difficult, but it is helping me cement and understand the Word of God as a whole in ways I haven’t had opportunity to explore before. Whilst I may not have had a road to Damascus conversion, the Lord reveals himself to me in numerous ways through his Word and by promptings of the Holy Spirit supported by the Word. Sometimes too it is the ‘still small voice’ or the heavy weight of a burdened conscience.
John, age 34, Thailand:
When I was arrested, I completely lost my mind, but after I prayed this prayer that “regardless of what I have done, I now want my God’s way and will be done”, I suddenly felt free from fear, and I could feel God’s presence with me.