Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In China, Christmas Was No Ordinary Time of Year!

The Christmas Eve Tree Lighting :)

In China, Christmas was no ordinary time of year. While many people had little idea about the meaning of the season, You could see splashes of Christmas everywhere! Trees decorated, one entire street of small shops dedicated to selling Christmas decorations and artificial trees. Boa ai lu(the name of street in Mandarin)...Aw yes, I remember it well.

We shared the true story of Christmas as often as we could, in class, at our home during "English Corner" (a time to practice speaking English), at public celebrations. 
Every Christmas Eve most 5star hotels hosted a special evening with catered food, live entertainment, Santa clause and often an American family. :) James Sr. was an easy pic for Santa and our whole family was often asked to sing. But one year we got to share the birth of Christ! Right on the stage with 500 guest present. What an opportunity!
Our family hosting a Christmas Eve celebration, we invited guest to come on stage and act out the birth of Christ

Jia Jia, our foster daughter. She lived with us on the Island of Hainan for 2 years. Her first Christmas with our family

The Three Self Church, Christian Choir(A Government operated Church)

We wish you and yours the Merriest Christmas ever! 
As we reflect on God's perfect gift of salvation, may we also remember in prayer, those who have not yet heard of His extravagant love! 

Yours truly, The Dick family

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2009 - 2011, God Is Faithful...

God is faithful!
As 2011 comes to an end, we are looking ahead toward 2012 and the changes it will bring to our family...I am also reflecting on all God has done for us and the people who have been such a part of His faithfulness...God is so good. God YOU are good! We began a journey with God so much further back than we were aware. But in the year 2000, James and I along with 4 of our children obeyed the call of God on our lives to extend to the nations. This journey began with a call to China, a nation that is communist. Where God has been outlawed by man. We were not intimidated by the call. God is omniscient, He is everywhere! We knew He would go before us and make the crooked places straight. We were serving at Jubilee World outreach...what a place! What an awesome body of believers. So much, love, joy, growth, training, change and preparation... James and I had the privilege of serving as Children's Pastors for nearly 3 years. We were given a gift, Diane. The missions coordinator. With the blessing of our pastors and the support of our congregation and many other friends we left for China. What does "leaving for China" look like...We sold everything we could, we gave away everything else. We moved in with friends for a month before spending three months with my sister and her family, right here in NC. We filled out a 35page interview packet, attended a three day interview, and believed God for a house and school in China that would except such a big family! :) God did it. He supplied the school we would teach English as a Second Language at and He provided the house in which we would live. We lived in China for 7 years. First in Xian, and later on the Island of Hainan. We knew God had a call on our family for nations, so it should not have been to big of a surprise when we were asked to consider Africa...We began a three year preparation process while in China. Before leaving China, we moved from the country into town, sold and gave everything away again and then gave birth to Jaedon our now 2 year old. He was 11 days old, when we took a two hour ferryboat ride to catch the bus, we would be on for 12 hours to go to Guangzhou to apply for a passport for him. We flew back to Hainan and began the visa process for him to be able to leave the country. Truly it was a miracle and intervention from God, a process that usually takes up to 3 weeks was completed in 3 days! The day we received Jaedon's visa, was the day our other family members visas expired! We had already purchased plane tickets by faith. We then  flew to Hong Kong for 3 days while awaiting a connecting flight to Japan that would bring us back to America. We flew into Raleigh/Durham where my sister and her family welcomed us to live with them again for about 3 months. In between that time, we boarded another plane to Oregon, where we stayed in Missionary housing for a month, and then Chicago for a week. Back to NC. :) In November 2009 we came across Siloam Missionary Homes...Praise the Lord! God had located a place for our family to live. We spent our first Thanksgiving back in America in our "own home"  with every need supplied. Siloam provides temporary housing for missionaries on furlough, transition or medical leave for a low cost. We were so blessed by their generosity and care.  Beatrice our eldest daughter returned from China to be married to Will, while living at Siloam. And later that year I flew with Elizabeth our second eldest to CA, where she is currently attending Simpson University. God has provided for her in every way to include covering her tuition! Praise the Lord! While living at Siloam God continued to show Himself faithful. He then led us to a another body of wonderful believers Word Of Life Family Church. Can we say praise the Lord again? Praise the Lord! Our teens had found a family, and we were being refreshed, encouraged and embraced by our pastors. WOL, has since become our sending church. God is so good. After living at Siloam for more than a year, God relocated us to Burlington NC where we are currently residing until we extend to Tanzania in the Spring of 2012.... While living in Burlington we graduated James Jr. the 3rd of our home schooled graduates.  I have not included the other trips to for missions training and the many other hills and valleys...but one thing is clear in all that I have shared with you my friends....God is faithful. We returned to America with our children and our suitcases. We can testify, God keeps His word, He has proven He will open the windows of heaven when you are in alignment with His word.  He has proven if you preach the gospel you will live by the gospel. We give Him all the glory and honor for what He has done and will do.. We thank God for each of YOU! Stay with us, and see the glory of God. We will be a blessing in the earth. We will make His praise glorious! It's not over yet, we have only just begun...again!

Thank YOU for your prayers, financial gifts and care. We can "go down there" but we need YOU to hold the ropes! a famous quote by a missionary to India.With faithful prayer partners we can GO forth in the name of the Lord!

The harvest is truly plentiful,
Much love The Dick Family