Dear Friends and Prayer Partners,
This world is in turmoil and men’s hearts are failing them for fear, but as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, we have the assurance that God is in full control of every situation. First Corinthians chapter13:4, shows us that God is patient and long-suffering. May we follow His example, and be patient and endure until His return.
Charity suffers long. Charity (love) originates from God for ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8). Love is personified in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ as He displayed it in His life and in His death on the cross. ‘Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins’ (1 John 4:10). Now that He loved us, we are given the greatest commandments to obey: to love the LORD our God with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbours as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39).
Charity suffers long. Love endures persecution, resentment and hatred by others. How easy is it for us to retaliate and seek revenge upon those that take advantage of us? Do we lose our temper and grow in anger when we face injustice? The Lord Jesus suffered unjustly, for us: ‘Who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not’ (1 Peter 2:22). He has left an example for us that we should follow His steps.
Charity suffers long. Love is time consuming. How many years have we prayed for someone to be saved from their sin? How many times has that person heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and still has not put their faith in Him? How many QMBC lessons has a student completed, yet they still do not understand the way of salvation? God is patient, and after 2,000 years He is still waiting for those to come to Him through his Son.
As previously advised, we are issuing our Prayer News on a six-monthly basis at present, due to the fact that the work of QMBC has decreased substantially since the beginning of the pandemic. While we are not receiving nearly as much mail from overseas, we have recently heard that the prisons in Thailand are opening up again this month, and we have actually had a little more mail from there in the last couple of weeks. We have also heard that a number of prisoners were released during the pandemic, so we pray that they will contact us and be able to continue doing the lessons from wherever they are living now.
The mail from Papua New Guinea has been very irregular, but we are praying that now that the elections in that country are over, the students will be able to send their answer sheets back to us again. Our Australian students are still faithfully doing the lessons, although the number received this year has fallen slightly. For your interest, the following is a breakdown of the number of students who have returned
their lessons during the twelve months to October 2022.
534 students (from 16 countries) returned their lessons. This number was 236 less than when we reported on the figures last year, and some 730 less than before the pandemic.
We would ask you to kindly remember our fellow-worker Martin Benson in your prayers at this time. Sadly, ill-health over the past several months has resulted in Martin having to go into care, and he is no longer able to work with us at QMBC. Martin has worked tirelessly on the Panorama of the Bible Course over the past several years – writing the lessons and the assignments, designing and printing all the booklets, and also marking the assignments. He also recently wrote and published two volumes of a book incorporating the lessons. The lessons are still available to our students, and we currently have fourteen students (three from Queensland, three from Hong Kong, three from Thailand, three from Papua New Guinea, one from Solomon Islands and one from USA) who are doing the lessons.
We take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed Christmas, and to thank you for faithfully
praying for us and supporting this work.
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 lessons:
Monica, Age 40, Thailand:
Thank you so much for your letter. I have to inform you that Thailand has changed the law so many prisoners have been released. Unfortunately I don’t know who, as I’m no more in the women’s prison side. I’m waiting to hear the outcome of my new sentence and hopefully will go home soon as well, but I would still love to do the lessons please. With God nothing is impossible!
John, age 42, Thailand:
The Lord Jesus is living in my heart now and He will live forever and ever, because there is no other God like Him. I thank God for this wonderful lesson, it helps me to learn more. Since I started studying my Bible my life has changed. I thank God.
Siriphat, age 43, Thailand:
I’m so pleased to have received these lessons from you and thank you that you give me a chance to learn Gods words. There is a lot of Covid in this prison, I have had the infection too, yet fortunately, it is not serious. In this “D” course I have learned many important things including [how] to abide in Christ and to trust Him to be everything I need to live a life that pleases God.
Ogbonnaya, age 45, Thailand:
First I will thank you people for the way God is using you to spread the Word of God to us, through these lessons. I’ve just [been] a Christian for a month, but when I entered into this situation [prison] I thought my own [life] was finished, but someone introduced me to Jesus, that He is the only One that can see me through in this situation. I began to read my Bible and see that Jesus came to suffer and die on the cross for my sins to give me salvation if I will just believe in Him only, and allow Him to live in me. Since then I have been seeing His manifestation upon my life. You will ask me how do I know? – believe me, before I read the Bible without understanding anything in it, but now I am able to teach others the Word of God.
Cyril, age 37, Thailand:
First of all, I was born and raised in a Christian family in Nigeria. My parents usually took me and my siblings to prayer meeting and Bible studies…However, I got to know wonderful stories about Jesus Christ, but I remember whenever I saw the cross and Jesus hanging on it, I didn’t understand because I was still small then. I grew up to a teenager and I became a very staunch Christian. My father is a man who doesn’t like his children not to do or follow God’s instruction. But there came a time in my life when I started battling with sin. I was supposed to study Petroleum Engineering in Canada, but the circumstances of life and troubles made me lose money I had at hand then. I came to look for money in Thailand and I got trapped in drugs, and that is why I’m in prison. But I thank God because He has been merciful to me.
Christine, age 34, Hong Kong:
I started to lose my way living a life of crime in Hong Kong, but I never stopped believing in God. I thank God everyday for bringing me in here for something small, when it could have been far worse. I may have strayed away from Him, but He has never left me. I will always love Him with all my heart.
Dennis, age 45, Hong Kong:
I greet you all in the name of our Lord. I’m writing to inform you that I will be finishing my prison punishment on 23.12.2022. Therefore the answer sheets for the coming lessons that you will send me, I will send to you from my home address to enable me to continue with the Course, and also introduce it to my family.
Brigida, age 37, Hong Kong:
I am writing to you because I am feeling that it is a difficult time for me right now. Three years ago [a friend] began teaching me about God, and she talks to me about Jesus and His suffering, and I tell her that I want to be like Jesus, but on my own I cannot. Some of them [the other prisoners] mock me because I don’t know English, but I try my best, because my friend who teaches me about God, teaches me English too. Please pray for me, that God will help me to be calm in spite of these kinds of people, and I hope one day they can know God and Jesus. Pray for me because sometimes I feel that I’m a coward, not strong enough and stupid. I have to trust God, but my insecurity makes me sad because I don’t trust God enough. I would like to surrender before God, I want to give Him my entire life, I want to serve Him and I don’t want to go to hell. I hope you can understand my letter with my poor English and I’m begging you to pray [for me].