Dear Friends and Prayer Partners,
‘But those on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the
word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience’ Luke 8:15
The biggest sand island in the world, Fraser Island, is home to a multitude of plants, trees and vegetation. But how can anything grow in sand? A fungus helps nutrients to appear and survive in the sand, and therefore allows seeds to then germinate and grow. Otherwise, it would be impossible for growth in such poor soil. This reminds us of the Lord Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seed (the word of God) as it was scattered to different environments (Luke 8:4-15). There is good soil in the world for the word of God to be planted despite the cares, riches and pleasures of life, temptation, and the devil himself. We know that there are students with open hearts ready to read God’s word through the QMBC lessons. Having read it and applied it, God promises fruit with time; some thirty, sixty or hundredfold. Let us pray that God would give the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).
The mail situation continues to be of some concern, as the number of lessons coming from overseas is very inconsistent. However, the actual number of students from the prisons in Thailand and Hong Kong has remained fairly constant. We are thankful for this, and also for the evidence that God is faithfully working in the hearts of so many of the students in those countries. Sadly, our student numbers in Papua New Guinea continue to decline, not only because of the situation with Covid-19, but also because of the political situation there.
We were pleased to receive some lessons back from Solomon Island students this month, the first we have received from that country in seven months.
Please continue to pray that there will be evidence of spiritual growth and maturity in those of our students who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
We are thankful to finally have the NBN connected in the office, which has given us a much faster internet connection. The connection had been delayed for several months because of the pandemic.
From time to time we have provided a breakdown, by country, of the number of students who have returned lessons in the previous twelve months. For the twelve months to October 2021, a total of 770 students returned their lessons, 400 less than when we did the breakdown in 2019. This reflects the effect that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on our work:
- For lessons received from Solomon Islands
- For a trouble-free connection to the NBN
- For our prayer-partners who regularly pray for the work and the workers.
- For the many students in Papua New Guinea with whom we have not had any contact for a long time.
- For those who are living in difficult situations, in poverty, and in prison.
- For those who are seeking salvation, that they will fully understand the gospel message and be saved.
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:
Sonsami, age 42, Thailand:
Thank you so much for sending me the next lesson. I’m always eager to learn the Word of God more. I have three daughters and I’m really worried about them because nobody is taking care of them and their father passed away already. Please I ask for you to remember them in prayer. I don’t know when I’m going back home but I want my daughters to also know about God so that they can also receive salvation that comes from our Lord Jesus Christ. I have already got amnesty and it makes my sentence to go down and I hope to go back home soon by the grace and will of God.
Barry, age 40, Thailand:
Thanks so much for the stamps [we send 30baht worth of stamps as a reward when the Thai students complete a Course] and also for the Word for Today. I am really learning a lot from these lessons, as I am learning to become a preacher after here. [Barry comes from Nigeria originally].
Ivy, age 45, Hong Kong:
Please pray for me because I will be going to Court in September for my appeal for my case. I hope God hears and answers my prayer and I hope also I will have success so that they can give me discount for my sentence.
Gideon, age 31, Hong Kong:
I have been greatly impacted by the lessons I learn through the club and I believe that God has a mighty plan for the future. Though I am still in captivity, I am free…the past is gone.
Jill, age 22, Hong Kong:
Yes, I’m in a very difficult situation at the moment (being in prison and all) but I’ve come to realise that God always provides everything. I need to keep being strong. He has surrounded me with good people, I still have access to an education, my family can easily come to visit me…I still have a long journey ahead of me but I know that I will be okay for I am in God’s hands, my life is His. I’ve learned many things I wouldn’t have if I didn’t come in here. I no longer believe in failures, wherever we are in life is exactly where we are meant to be. God has made that so. No matter how many bad choices we’ve made, He will always direct our paths so that we will fulfill His will in the end. I know I am forgiven.
Jonny, age 53, Hong Kong:
Once more I am thanking God for you, always making mention of your name in my prayers…I am always filled with joy whenever I receive your studies. It is so good, that I can’t thank God enough for you all, and I am handing you all safely into the Hand of God Almighty to keep you all safe and in good health.
June, age 34, Hong Kong:
I received God as my Saviour since I [have been] in jail. When I didn’t experience suffering, I didn’t think about God. I worked as a domestic helper for almost 12 years. Money was very important to me just to support my siblings as well as my children. I worked very hard, I didn’t think about going to Church and sad to say I forgot to pray and thank God at that time until one day, my employer accused me of stealing his money and I was sent to jail. I started praying and reading the Bible…I asked Him to give me a low sentence if I pleaded guilty, because I know He is the only one who can save me. I keep reading the Bible and have faith in God. Tomorrow is my discharge day and I’ll be flying back home to my beloved family (in the Philippines) who are excited to see me. I thank God for everything, and I will praise Him forever.
From students doing the Panorama Course:
Nemboi, age 31, Hong Kong:
I have repented and confessed my sin to the Lord Jesus Christ. I believd in Him and received Him as my Saviour. I live in Christ and Christ lives in me. I have decided to follow Jesus.
Neville, age 58, Hong Kong:
As a child I rebelled against my parents and against God, I was an alcohol abuser and went with the army fighting in a war in Angola for two years. I had a problem with the law and did a 10 year prison sentence at a very young age. For over 22 years I worked in different mines but lost my job with the biggest strike in the world. I couldn’t find a job and ended up sleeping on the streets. In 2015 I was assaulted and ended up in hospital with multiple fractures. After my release from hospital I got involved in drug trafficking and came to Hong Kong where I was arrested. I was totally lost, and abandoned by my family. In 2015 in prison I gave my heart to God, started attending church services and studying with a couple of Bible Schools. Praise God for changing my life through Jesus Christ who has set me free from the law of sin and death. [Neville has written us a few long letters – we have extracted the main points of his story from the latest one].