Dear Friends and Prayer Partners,
The news is full of distressing things happening around the world. Many people are being driven to their wits’ end, but Christians have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to comfort, guide and encourage. The Apostle Paul exhorted the Christians to fill their minds with whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy; then they could experience the promise that the God of peace would be with them (Phil. 4.8-9). The Lord Jesus promised rest for our souls (Matt. 11.29), and He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14.27). The Apostle Paul wanted the peace of Christ to rule in the hearts of the Christians to whom he wrote (Col. 3.15), and he wanted the word of Christ to dwell in them richly. May these and other Scriptures (see Psa. 42.5; Isa. 26.3; 1 Pet. 5.7; Rom. 12.2; Eph. 4.22-24) be a blessing to us as we seek to serve the Lord in this uncertain world, and wait for his coming (Heb. 10.37; 1 Thess.1.9-10).
God is faithfully working in the hearts of so many of the QMBC students. He is replacing anxiety with His peace; tribulation with powerful promises which motivate change; and instability with assurance that His word and love never change. Please continue to pray specifically that there will be evidence of spiritual growth and maturity as they do the lessons.
In a recent Prayer News we mentioned the change of arrangement for collection of mail in Papua New Guinea, and forwarding it on to us. We are pleased to advise that the system seems to be working well now, and we are receiving mail on a much more regular basis. Thank you for praying. Mail from the other overseas countries, particularly Thailand and Hong Kong is still spasmodic, and arriving in large quantities about once a month. This does affect the work flow, and means the students are now waiting quite a long time for their answer sheets and new lessons. As far as we can ascertain, the problem seems to be that the mail is held somewhere in the jails and then posted in bulk. The last week or so we have been very encouraged to receive a large amount of mail from Uganda, with names of several new people wishing to enrol in QMBC. Reports for the QMBC online lessons show that sixteen students have completed at least one lesson online.
From time to time we provide a breakdown, by country, of the number of students who have returned lessons in the previous twelve months. For the twelve months to October 2019, a total of 1,170 students returned their lessons, 93 less than last year. The breakdown is as follows:
[Five countries were added this year, and students from six countries listed last year did not send back their lessons, the net result being that there were students from 22 countries this year, including Australia.]
- That we are now receiving mail from Papua New Guinea on a much more regular basis.
- For the many new names we have recently received from Uganda.
- For our prayer-partners who regularly pray for the work and the workers
- For those students who are seeking salvation, that they will fully understand the gospel message and be saved.
- For many students who are in difficult situations, not only in the prisons but others who live in extremely poor conditions.
- That the volunteers will be kept in good health, and able to continue working at QMBC.
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:
Jiki, age 34, Papua New Guinea:
I want you to pray for me, I am still struggling with how to be saved. And pray that these lessons will help me understand more of God’s Word.
Jinrun, age 34, Thailand:
I am so happy that I got your lessons again. I am Chinese so my English is not good. I became a Christian after I came to this prison. In here, many Christian sisters are around me. Each Sunday we gather together to worship God. Even I’m in prison now, I’m not sad every day. I find hope from God…now I’m a child of God, I’m blessed. I hope my family will become Christians so we can meet each other in Heaven. Please pray for me and my family. Thank you very much!
James, age 40, Thailand:
I came to know Jesus Christ as my Saviour by studying the Word of God, the Scriptures, and believing it as an inspired book leading to eternity, then believing the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross, and accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. Believing that He died for me, admitting and confessing that I am a sinner that needs a Saviour. Depending on Christ Jesus alone because in Him I live, move and have my being. He is my righteousness and the life I live now in the flesh, I live by faith in Christ Jesus who loves me and gave Himself for me.
Luis, age 35, Thailand:
I would like to tell you all that the most important things I have learned from these “D” Course lessons so far is that I am saved through the Lord Jesus Christ from His love towards me, from His Word, the Holy Bible, for my hope and faith in Him; and also through you all because you’re all teaching me the true way of freedom and life through these lessons that speak of our God. Thanks to God for having this nice opportunity to stay with you all to learn all about God, of His salvation, goodness, mercy, love, support, and of His pardon. So pleased that you are guiding me with these lessons and [I am learning] many things about God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. “God is love”.
Charity, age 42, Hong Kong:
I am very pleased to receive these Bible study lessons. I was lost and here inside the prison, God reminded me of Himself…I met new friends here who encouraged me to go back to prayer and by God’s grace I did. I always make a point of having my quiet times with Him. I hope that the lessons you are providing me can help me deepen my knowledge about Him. Thank you so much and God bless you always. [Charity gave us the names of her three children in the Philippines, for us to send lessons to them, which we have done]
Elena, age 59, Hong Kong:
When I was younger, I thought I was a good Christian by simply going to Church every Sunday – raised as a Roman Catholic and schooled in a Catholic school I was just taught to pray to God and attend Sunday church. What I discovered when I was about 35 years old, was that I need to have a relationship with the Lord. By talking to Him as often as I can and accepting Him as part of my everyday life, I have built that relationship with Him and I will love, adore and worship Him forever.
I have always believed in Jesus and gone to Church, but until recently, basically saw the Bible as nothing more than a history book and would read parts I liked and totally disregard other parts. This Course I’ve found to be such simple truth and it is helping me to understand God’s heart. The hardest part is believing [that] God loves me. Since a child I’ve believed God doesn’t love me and doesn’t care for me and I find it difficult not to listen and believe this lie in my mind.
We are still going through Course G with our home group. We have a new believer and he joined in when we came to discipline and chastening – reactions and resentment. He told us that those lessons had made such a difference for him. I really feel that many of today’s churches are missing out on these grassroots teachings. Thank you for being faithful in providing them.
From students doing the Panorama Courses:
George, age 37, Solomon Islands:
My brother-in-law had a stubborn heart and showed no love for his family. He never helped his wife and two daughters. He always argued and got angry. He got drunk every week-end. However, through my faithful prayers, he stopped drinking, arguing and disagreeing. Now he has changed his attitude and lives with his family happily. He came to me and said, “Thank you!” I thank and praise the Lord for answering my prayers – that I won the war over evil. Moses made an altar and gave thanks to the Lord for winning the victory.
Paithoon, age 24, Thailand:
My mother passed away in February [note of condolence sent.] I am now fine because I remain in him, and I talk with him every day. I ask him to lead me all the time so that I will be filled with the Holy Spirit. I dared to preach the Gospel to some people, and God worked in their lives and gave them new birth. I thank him for strengthening me every day.
I cried out to God in prayer, and the next day he answered it! That was 7 years ago. He changed my life that followed from that day forward. He has revealed himself to me in a few ways. He has given me great joy. He has revealed to me the truth of Scripture, and he has provided for me and protected me. God has revealed himself through circumstances and people. God is very personal!!