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Genuine Faith Of A Mother

Bob Sayre

Mother's Day is a very special day for me. This is the first year that my mom won’t be here to celebrate with us. Even though she’s not here, I wanted to write a tribute to her. I know that my kids and grandkids will one day read this. 

On January 10, my mom passed away. A few years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was in China at the time and came back to America to do treatments. Before this, she had never had any health problems. For a couple months she had surgery and did treatments. The cancer never came back, but the cancer treatments damaged her lungs. Even though she lost her blonde hair and experienced weakness, she never complained. For over a period of 3 years, her lungs slowly got weaker.

Meanwhile, my parents continued to do missionary work. We didn’t notice any extreme change in her breathing until March of last year. She wasn't getting enough air, even while sitting down. As she spent over a month in the hospital in China, she did not get any better. We knew we had to fly her back to America within days or she would pass away. We quickly scrambled to find a medical plane to fly her back to California. She would not have survived the journey home on a commercial plane. 

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When she miraculously got back to America, she had to spend another month in the hospital. As she slowly began to stabilize, the doctors released her home. But for the next 8 months, her lungs continued to weaken. Even through the struggles, the precious time with her was invaluable and further immortalized her in my mind. We had a beautiful Christmas with her, sitting around the tree with all of the kids and grandkids. She passed away a few weeks later. There’s one verse that we put on my mom’s memorial stone that describes her – it’s found in 2 Timothy 1:5. The verse says, “I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.”

My mom always had genuine faith, just like her mom. Through all the suffering that she went through, she never complained. She always believed that God could heal her and never asked God “WHY?” We need more fathers and mothers like this. Timothy was the first “second generation” Christian in the Bible. His mother and grandmother were probably some of the first converts that Paul made. We don’t know if Timothy’s father or grandfather were Christians, but we do know that the women in his family had a great impact on him. Timothy was a strong young Christian because of his mother and grandmother. It wasn’t just that his mother and grandmother were “nice” people. It was their genuine faith that impacted him. They didn’t just say they were Christians. They lived it out.

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Mothers have a powerful influence on their children. I am more like my mom than anyone else in the world. Just as a mother has influence, all of us have are having a daily influence on someone. The world is looking for people who really believe what they say they do. There are many Buddhists who don’t really believe. There are Muslims who don’t really believe. There are Christians who don’t really believe. We have to be people who really believe.

Genuine faith produces generational fruit.

A mother is responsible for her children. If she wants them to turn out a certain way, she can’t just tell them, she has to show them. We are responsible for those around us. We are examples. My mom loved us very much. She sacrificed for us. She got us ice cream. She took us to Disneyland. She did all of the fun things that moms do. By loving us, she showed us the love of God. Because my parents were missionaries to China, there were times when we weren’t always physically together. Anytime I was sick, I would text my mom. 

A couple of months ago, I got so sick while traveling in Japan. I called my mom in the middle of the night. Even though she was having trouble breathing, she was so happy to pray for me. One of the life lessons my mom taught me was to always be a giver. She loved to give. She gave to missionaries. She gave to family. She gave to everyone. She didn’t teach me by saying “give” with her words. All of the things she taught me, she taught me by what she did. Genuine faith will produce generational fruit. I honor my mom for her genuine faith.

Moving To Japan

Bob Sayre

It's hard to believe that we've been in Japan for 3 weeks now. Thank you for praying, giving, interceding and spreading the word about the huge need in Japan! It’s astounding to walk down the street and realize that no one you encounter is a Christian. Some estimate that the Christian population in Japan is about .03%. That means that less than half of 1% of 127 million people have a relationship with Jesus. The chances of running into a Christian are slim to none. We’ve gotta do something about this.

Check out all of the photos below for some of the great things that have happened in the first few weeks of being in Japan. Believe with us as we break ground & pioneer a new work here. The best is yet to come!

They gave us a big welcome at Osaka Gospel Church! This is the church we'll be helping as we learn the language.

They gave us a big welcome at Osaka Gospel Church! This is the church we'll be helping as we learn the language.

Osaka Gospel Church was originally pioneered by John & Ruth Bell over 60 years ago! It's an honor to minister at this church.

Osaka Gospel Church was originally pioneered by John & Ruth Bell over 60 years ago! It's an honor to minister at this church.

Here we are being introduced to the church & explaining why God has called us to Japan. The Great Commission must be fulfilled!

Here we are being introduced to the church & explaining why God has called us to Japan. The Great Commission must be fulfilled!

The best ministry is always done by the whole family working together.

The best ministry is always done by the whole family working together.

Most churches in Japan share a meal after the service. We enjoy the weekly fellowship of these faithful saints!

Most churches in Japan share a meal after the service. We enjoy the weekly fellowship of these faithful saints!

We're so glad that Bob Sayre, Bobby's dad, was able to come to Japan for two weeks to help us get settled. This was especially needed after the emotional loss of Cindy Sayre a few weeks ago.

We're so glad that Bob Sayre, Bobby's dad, was able to come to Japan for two weeks to help us get settled. This was especially needed after the emotional loss of Cindy Sayre a few weeks ago.

Lots of interesting and new foods! This is a colorful spring roll appetizer at church.

Lots of interesting and new foods! This is a colorful spring roll appetizer at church.

Here we are with the Cathcart family at the Osaka Aquarium, getting familiar with the metropolis of over 19 million that we'll be working in. The Cathcarts have been instrumental in helping us get settled in Japan.

Here we are with the Cathcart family at the Osaka Aquarium, getting familiar with the metropolis of over 19 million that we'll be working in. The Cathcarts have been instrumental in helping us get settled in Japan.

Here we are sharing a traditional Japanese meal with a pastor and his family. Japanese like to eat their meals sitting down on comfortable Tatami mats.

Here we are sharing a traditional Japanese meal with a pastor and his family. Japanese like to eat their meals sitting down on comfortable Tatami mats.

Thankful for the Cathcarts & Pastor Shuzo Ito's family!

Thankful for the Cathcarts & Pastor Shuzo Ito's family!

Baseball is the most popular sport in Japan. Here Abigail is trying to play some Bamboo Baseball!

Baseball is the most popular sport in Japan. Here Abigail is trying to play some Bamboo Baseball!

The Osaka Tabernacle, founded by Leonard W. Coote after World War II. They've held nightly services for over 60 years.

The Osaka Tabernacle, founded by Leonard W. Coote after World War II. They've held nightly services for over 60 years.

The inside of the Tabernacle. Amazing history.

The inside of the Tabernacle. Amazing history.

In case you didn't know, lots of rain in Japan!

In case you didn't know, lots of rain in Japan!

Robert Abbott Sayre has no idea he's in Japan. He's 11 weeks old this week!

Robert Abbott Sayre has no idea he's in Japan. He's 11 weeks old this week!

Eating noodles with chopsticks is not easy...

Eating noodles with chopsticks is not easy...

The beautiful Cherry Blossoms are everywhere this week! Pray for the new life of Jesus to spread across this country.

The beautiful Cherry Blossoms are everywhere this week! Pray for the new life of Jesus to spread across this country.

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Here we are in Gojo, enjoying the beautiful scenery. We'll be staying in Gojo until we move to a permanent home in a few weeks. Gojo is just outside Osaka.

Here we are in Gojo, enjoying the beautiful scenery. We'll be staying in Gojo until we move to a permanent home in a few weeks. Gojo is just outside Osaka.

Conveyor belt sushi is one of the best parts about Japan!

Conveyor belt sushi is one of the best parts about Japan!

After much searching, we found a very comfortable home at a very affordable price! We move in on April 7th.

After much searching, we found a very comfortable home at a very affordable price! We move in on April 7th.

Here I am with a new friend, Takato. He lives near our new home. We have plans to grab many cups of coffee together. Pray for his salvation.

Here I am with a new friend, Takato. He lives near our new home. We have plans to grab many cups of coffee together. Pray for his salvation.

Making new friends!

Making new friends!

Pray for the Sayre family! We can't do it without you. Japan & Pentecost until Jesus comes.

Pray for the Sayre family! We can't do it without you. Japan & Pentecost until Jesus comes.

Japan Photo Journal — Part 2 (October-November)

Bob Sayre

Japan Photo Journal — Part 1 (October & November)

Bob Sayre

Riding the Japanese bullet train, the Shinkansen! Reaches speeds of 200 mph. Our vision is to see the unreached hear about Jesus for the first time. These trains sure make it easier.

Riding the Japanese bullet train, the Shinkansen! Reaches speeds of 200 mph. Our vision is to see the unreached hear about Jesus for the first time. These trains sure make it easier.

Here with the founding pastor of International Church, one of the biggest churches started by Archie & Verna Alderson. Out of this church, more than 5 others have been planted. 

Here with the founding pastor of International Church, one of the biggest churches started by Archie & Verna Alderson. Out of this church, more than 5 others have been planted. 

The Japanese people are thoughtful and kind. They're always trying to make you happy and comfortable. It was so nice of them to serve us traditional hot green tea on a rainy morning in Osaka.

The Japanese people are thoughtful and kind. They're always trying to make you happy and comfortable. It was so nice of them to serve us traditional hot green tea on a rainy morning in Osaka.

Here with my new friend John! He is the son of a pastor and leads a dynamic worship band. Japanese worship is hard to find in Japan!

Here with my new friend John! He is the son of a pastor and leads a dynamic worship band. Japanese worship is hard to find in Japan!

This church is a very special place. This is the first church that John & Ruth Bell planted in Japan. It's a great location, right by the exit of a train station, so there are constantly people streaming by. This is one of the churches we'll be working with. Right now there are very few people attending and we would love to see it be a full, thriving church again.

This church is a very special place. This is the first church that John & Ruth Bell planted in Japan. It's a great location, right by the exit of a train station, so there are constantly people streaming by. This is one of the churches we'll be working with. Right now there are very few people attending and we would love to see it be a full, thriving church again.

It still has the original plaque! Dedicated to revival. Pray that God would revive this place with His presence.

It still has the original plaque! Dedicated to revival. Pray that God would revive this place with His presence.

Hanging out with Pastor Tokui Sensei! He speaks English and he's offered to help us in any way he can. Thankful for this young family that is pastoring the lost people coming through his doors. We've met with over 11 pastors so far.

Hanging out with Pastor Tokui Sensei! He speaks English and he's offered to help us in any way he can. Thankful for this young family that is pastoring the lost people coming through his doors. We've met with over 11 pastors so far.

A shot of the whole group! There was such a sweet spirit at this church. Love these people.

A shot of the whole group! There was such a sweet spirit at this church. Love these people.

With more friends! This is the Hino family. I stayed at their church for one week while we visited other cities and churches during the day. Great family who also speaks English!

With more friends! This is the Hino family. I stayed at their church for one week while we visited other cities and churches during the day. Great family who also speaks English!

Looking up at a Japanese Castle, a common site in Japan. Every city seems to have a fortress or castle to tour. It's fascinating to study their history and see how it has shaped their culture.

Looking up at a Japanese Castle, a common site in Japan. Every city seems to have a fortress or castle to tour. It's fascinating to study their history and see how it has shaped their culture.

A lady working hard in her garden

A lady working hard in her garden

My new friend, Hitoshi! We had a great discussion over coffee for several hours. He makes crosses and signs for churches and offered his help if we need it.

My new friend, Hitoshi! We had a great discussion over coffee for several hours. He makes crosses and signs for churches and offered his help if we need it.

It's been insane and fun to learn how to drive in Japan. They drive on the opposite side of the road, and of course all the signs are in Japanese! It really hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. They even gas up the car for you and clean your windows!

It's been insane and fun to learn how to drive in Japan. They drive on the opposite side of the road, and of course all the signs are in Japanese! It really hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. They even gas up the car for you and clean your windows!

A sampling of Japanese cuisine. Tempura!

A sampling of Japanese cuisine. Tempura!

Bethel Riverside Chapel in Tsu, Japan! All of the churches I've visited so far are Next Towns churches. Next Towns was pioneered by John & Ruth Bell and continued by Archie & Verna Alderson.

Bethel Riverside Chapel in Tsu, Japan! All of the churches I've visited so far are Next Towns churches. Next Towns was pioneered by John & Ruth Bell and continued by Archie & Verna Alderson.

With the worship leader of Bethel Riverside Chapel! He's a passionate leader.

With the worship leader of Bethel Riverside Chapel! He's a passionate leader.

With Iwai Sensei, the current leader of Next Towns Churches in Japan. He welcomed us with open arms and is looking forward to us starting a new work in Japan!

With Iwai Sensei, the current leader of Next Towns Churches in Japan. He welcomed us with open arms and is looking forward to us starting a new work in Japan!

In Gojo, Nara I'm currently staying way out in the country. These are some of Joseph Cathcart's neighbors who thought I was Joseph! They had fun trying to communicate with me and showed me a huge mudslide that happened recently after the typhoon.

In Gojo, Nara I'm currently staying way out in the country. These are some of Joseph Cathcart's neighbors who thought I was Joseph! They had fun trying to communicate with me and showed me a huge mudslide that happened recently after the typhoon.

There's so much to discover, this is on a back street somewhere in Osaka (where we'll be primarily based out of). Pray for us. Our goal in Japan is to see the churches move forward & for new churches to be planted. Less than 1% of Japanese people are Christians.

There's so much to discover, this is on a back street somewhere in Osaka (where we'll be primarily based out of). Pray for us. Our goal in Japan is to see the churches move forward & for new churches to be planted. Less than 1% of Japanese people are Christians.

A "riverwalk" through Osaka with restaurants and coffee shops. This is just the first part of the trip... more to come!

A "riverwalk" through Osaka with restaurants and coffee shops. This is just the first part of the trip... more to come!

Thoughts on China

Bob Sayre

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While riding on a bullet train at 150 mph, thoughts zoom through your head. Here are some thoughts about China. 

The great thing about China is the openness people have to the Gospel. When Communism took over China, it wiped out all religion, including Christianity and Buddhism. Most people don’t believe in anything. Because of this, there’s an emptiness inside. They want to believe in something. Evangelism comes easy – people often come and introduce themselves to you on the street. In many ways, Christianity in China continues to grow, but in other ways they face more challenges then ever.

Challenges that Christianity in China faces include: Secularism & Intensified Persecution. 

Secularism

For the first time, we’re seeing an emerging middle class in China. While this is great for the people, the downside is that more and more people think they don’t need God. People often compare China’s current economic state to the post-World War II boom experienced in America. The good times are rolling and bringing massive change with it.

Just like in America, people crave the latest iPhone and gadget. Materialism is an increasing problem among young people. While the previous generation starved under Mao & Communism, this generation wants the newest car and house. The hunger that people once had for God is being threatened by the booming Chinese economy.

Intensified Persecution

For the first time, we’re seeing government churches persecuted. Any public displays of religion, including crosses, are being forcibly removed – and again, this is happening to government churches. House churches are also seeing continued pressure.

Establishing a strong local church is becoming extremely difficult in China. As foreigners are strictly prohibited from influencing churches in any way, it’s often left to the locals. While many Chinese Christians are eager, churches are often filled with infighting and weak doctrine. This is where foreign missions becomes so important. Missionaries often provide the maturity and outside clarity needed to deal with these issues. 

Like in many countries, China desperately needs church leadership training. The average believer in America would be more equipped to pastor a church than the average Chinese pastor. This isn’t their fault. They simply don’t have the deep Biblical training or perspective that is so abundant in America.

China is making it more difficult for foreigners to operate in China. They no longer allow foreign-run non-profits to operate in China independently. They now have the right to audit and dictate exactly what you do. Where they used to welcome outside humanitarian help, the government now wants to control it. This makes it much harder for missionaries. This was definitely a factor that forced us to consider our future influence in China.

While the future for China is economically bright, we need to pray for continued religious freedom for churches and missionaries.

Journey To Japan

Bob Sayre

Thank you to those who have prayed and supported us (if you support us, you should have received a letter in the mail a couple of weeks ago). Your ongoing support really does mean so much to us. Because of you, the Gospel is reaching new people every single day. We can’t do it without you. We’ve got some big, exciting news about what God is going to do this Fall and beyond!

We've had an amazing two years in China in 2016 & 2017. Altogether, more than 100 people attended one of our English Corners. By forming a relationship with us, they were exposed to the Gospel in a personal and dynamic way. Many of them are college students who are now back in their home towns to be lights in the darkness. Because of your support, many committed their lives to Jesus for the first time.

From the beginning, we said our mission was to take the Gospel to the "whole world." In Mark 1:38, Jesus said, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” It’s great that one country or one city knows about Jesus, but what about everyone else? During our ordination service, someone prophesied: “You will go to many nations.” This always rang true in our spirits.

Overlooking the beautiful valley of Nara, Japan

Overlooking the beautiful valley of Nara, Japan

Since ministering at a church in Japan in December, God began laying this country on our hearts in a powerful way. We committed it to prayer and trusted God would reveal Himself in time. It was just a short time later that my mom had to be hospitalized in China. There were many days when we didn’t think she would make it through the night. We eventually had to evacuate her to the States on a medical jet. By God’s grace, my mom is doing much better and is continuing to grow stronger every day. Through these circumstances and other words of confirmation, we felt that change was coming.

We continued to pray and seek God, and it was clear He was leading us to Japan. In June & July, I went on a vision trip to Japan to confirm what God was saying (April and the girls stayed with my parents to help out). So many divine appointments and open doors took place while I was there. Japan is a country with a good economy and beautiful landscapes, but on the inside they are empty. Less than half of 1% of Japanese are Christians. The most unreached nations in the world right now are actually “developed countries” or countries that don’t need humanitarian help. On the outside they look okay, but on the inside they are totally lost. There are millions of people in Japan who have never experienced the love of Jesus. 

Over the next couple of months, we will be transitioning from China to Japan. A benefit of working in Japan is that you are “allowed” to be a missionary. In China, we were required to leave the country every 3 months. The government in China has recently instituted new laws that make it even more difficult to operate there. We can make short trips to Japan without a visa during the next few months, but we can't live there until we get the official visa. We anticipate this will happen in the next couple of months.

Japan

Just like the Chinese people, we LOVE the Japanese. We know that God has a future and a hope for them! We will initially be working in Osaka, Japan. This is the heart of Japan and really where Japanese civilization started. Many of the surrounding towns have no church at all. While we are studying the language, we will be serving with Next Towns, an organization started by Destiny Church in Japan. Next Towns has planted churches across Japan and many of them are in need of help. While working with the churches, we will be using English Corners to attract young people ― just like in China, everyone wants to learn English! We’ll be telling them about Jesus and getting them plugged in to the body of Christ. We are excited about the church moving forward in Japan!

Most countries have several people groups, but Japan has just one. All 127 million eat the same, think the same and live life the same. Because of this, Japan is one of the largest unreached people groups in the world. Pray that the Holy Spirit will sweep across this land! 

Pray for our family as we transition to Japan over the next couple of months. We are so thankful for those of you standing behind us and supporting us. Your ongoing monthly support allows more people to experience Jesus for the first time. Believe with us as we take the Gospel to the “next towns.” Believe with us as we continue the mission of #TellingAsia about Jesus!

Pressing On

Bob Sayre

A new year and a new start who doesn't love the possibilities that await? Unfortunately, people often don't accomplish what they set out to do. The sky isn't the limit, their own mind is. Many torture themselves with memories of the past, recounting the failures, the hurts and the bitterness. In 2017, make it a goal to press forward, forgetting what lies behind.

Of all the people in the Bible, Paul had some things he needed to forget. He was famous for holding the coats of the people who stoned Stephen, the first martyr. He dragged women and children from their houses, putting them into prison. There were many times when Paul laid awake at night, unable to forget the faces of those he had tortured and killed. He deserved to feel guilt.

Philippians 3:13-14 says, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Paul knew there was something more important than his past. There was a higher calling to live for. Instead of being a slave to his past, he could now be free in Jesus. What are you holding on to? Disappointments, fear, anxiety, unforgiveness? It’s a new year and a great time to move on. Pray and give it to Jesus, today. In exchange, God has a higher purpose and plan for your life. Only God can take brokenness and turn it into something beautiful.

Psalm 47:1 says, "Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy."

Don't worry about your past, the world awaits! Your neighbors await! Joy awaits! Only God can turn your mourning into dancing. Step into freedom, today! Go all out for God this year! Make a conscience decision to grow deeper in your relationship with God. Take a few minutes in the morning to focus on Him. Allow God's Word to change you and transform you day by day. Be willing to go and do anything that God asks you to do. Whatever you’re hanging on to from last year, let it go. Don't let anything hold you back in 2017. Press on. Live Higher. Forward.

#TellingAsia

Bob Sayre

It’s been an exciting season in Asia and a special year. This is the year we moved to the mission field. China is a country where less than 7% know about Jesus. Since being sent, we’ve started “English Corners” where people can come to practice their English, but really they’re learning about Jesus. We've had 60 people come through our groups since May. The people that we talk to are typically young atheist students. Right now, we seek out any opportunity we can to talk to people about God. The holidays are keeping us busy and provide an awesome platform to share the Gospel. Pray that the seeds we are planting will start to take root. We appreciate our partners who have made this possible. 

The mission field is not always a glorious place to live. Many think of missions as taking epic selfies & traveling abroad. This is not what missions is. I love this quote from John Cathcart “Real missions is hard and it’s harsh.” That’s not really encouraging, but it's truth. We don't live on the mission field because we enjoy the food or enjoy traveling. It’s because there are people who need to hear about Jesus for the first time. There are 1.5 billion people in the world who have never heard of the baby in the manger.

Japan is another country in Asia that desperately needs Jesus.  Our home church, Destiny Church, was started by a missionary to Japan. We had heard about it a lot, but never experienced it. It was exciting to visit Joseph and Whitney Cathcart and see the work they are doing. They did an awesome job showing us Japan. The fellowship was invaluable for us and probably even more for the kids. They don’t get to hang out with Christian, English-speaking kids very much. We really got a burden for Japan while we were there. In Japan, less than 1% know Jesus. There are so many villages and towns with no church at all. Japan is a nation that struggles with ancestor worship and Buddhism. Their passion for it is tangible. People say that in Japan there are too many temples to count. If only their passion could be turned around the other way! Like God turned Saul into Paul, we believe He is going to do the same for the Japanese people. 

We are praying and believing that the land of the rising sun will shine once more. That it will shine with the light of the Son of God. The Gospel must go forward into all the world! Not just in China, but also Japan and the whole world. The stakes are Heaven and Hell.  We are looking forward to whatever God has for us in 2017, big or small. We just want to be where God is. Thanks for coming on our various missionary journeys. I’ve already written a lot about Japan on our Facebook page, but below are a few more pics of our trip. Hope it gives a little taste of what Japan is like. If you would like to give a year-end, tax-deductible donation to our ministry, visit TellingAsia.com/give.

Casual and care-free

Casual and care-free

Gusty and Abby with their dolls

Gusty and Abby with their dolls

Sitting on the floor....not as fun as it looks

Sitting on the floor....not as fun as it looks

We ❤️️ gyozas!

We ❤️️ gyozas!

An amazing Japanese family that came over to Joseph and Whitney's cute little Japanese house for tea. Their family is Christian and they even do homeschooling. This is unheard of in Japan.

An amazing Japanese family that came over to Joseph and Whitney's cute little Japanese house for tea. Their family is Christian and they even do homeschooling. This is unheard of in Japan.

Mochi! It was a little weird at first, but it's growing on me. It's smashed, sweetened rice. It's a popular snack in the States now, too.

Mochi! It was a little weird at first, but it's growing on me. It's smashed, sweetened rice. It's a popular snack in the States now, too.

A traditional Japanese home that has been in the same family for 250 years! We were able to have tea here with the family. It has huge wood columns that seemed to have worked out pretty well.

A traditional Japanese home that has been in the same family for 250 years! We were able to have tea here with the family. It has huge wood columns that seemed to have worked out pretty well.

This might have been my favorite moment in Japan. A total random guy walked up to me and asked if I was a missionary. I guess we were putting out the missionary vibe. He is a Christian who is looking for a good church. It's extremely rare to meet a Christian in Japan and even crazier that his first question would be to ask us if we were missionaries! He was born in China, has lived in Alberta, Canada (where April is from) & has been to the Alamo!

This might have been my favorite moment in Japan. A total random guy walked up to me and asked if I was a missionary. I guess we were putting out the missionary vibe. He is a Christian who is looking for a good church. It's extremely rare to meet a Christian in Japan and even crazier that his first question would be to ask us if we were missionaries! He was born in China, has lived in Alberta, Canada (where April is from) & has been to the Alamo!

Such a fun time with this crew!

Such a fun time with this crew!

Vending machines are  everywhere  in Japan. You can't drive more than a quarter of a mile without seeing one. They have cold drinks as well as hot tea and coffee in a can.

Vending machines are everywhere in Japan. You can't drive more than a quarter of a mile without seeing one. They have cold drinks as well as hot tea and coffee in a can.

Kyoto, Japan (really liked it here)

Kyoto, Japan (really liked it here)

Temple in Kyoto

Temple in Kyoto

Nintendo HQ in Kyoto! This is where it all started.

Nintendo HQ in Kyoto! This is where it all started.

My favorite dish, Tempura

My favorite dish, Tempura

Conveyor belt sushi

Conveyor belt sushi

Best sushi. Raw was good too though 👍🏻 

Best sushi. Raw was good too though 👍🏻 

Japan has creepy abandoned Dinosaur parks...

Japan has creepy abandoned Dinosaur parks...

...but their slides are legit!

...but their slides are legit!

Costco love!

Costco love!

We did a lot of driving in Japan, which I love. Most people live about 45 mins away from work so that they don't get called in on their day off.

We did a lot of driving in Japan, which I love. Most people live about 45 mins away from work so that they don't get called in on their day off.

Pastor Shuzo Ito and his wife. She translates everything into sign language. This congregation meets on the second story of a two-story chapel. We loved the spirit of this church.

Pastor Shuzo Ito and his wife. She translates everything into sign language. This congregation meets on the second story of a two-story chapel. We loved the spirit of this church.

Joseph giving us a much needed geography lesson. Cool pic too!

Joseph giving us a much needed geography lesson. Cool pic too!

Comment if you actually went through all the pics! The best is yet to come. #Jesus2017

Sent & Supported

Bob Sayre

This is not a thesis on spiritual backing, but merely some thoughts on the power of doing ministry with a large team behind you. A dangerous tendency of us missionaries is to do it alone (it still feels weird to say “us missionaries”). As a family, we’ve made it a goal to always have spiritual and natural backing. "Doing it alone" sounds exciting and adventurous. No ties, no rules, no attachments. It's us against the world! Sadly, it doesn’t represent the Kingdom of God very well. How can we encourage others to becomes Christians and join “the church” unless we show them a decent example of what it is? The living church is a vibrant community of people working together to accomplish the Great Commission. Any church, ministry or person can try to do it alone, but it’s not what we’re called to do. All of us are part of the worldwide body of Christ. We need a team.

We are so thankful to be sent and supported by churches (including our home church, Destiny Church) and people from around the world (even Denmark!). While over here, we have met some well-meaning people who “go it alone.” They receive no spiritual support from anyone overseas. It seems to be a sad way of doing life, let alone ministry. I can’t imagine doing what we’re doing without a strong spiritual family standing behind us. We are sent by people. If you are reading this, we are here because of you! In a way, we represent you. We are ambassadors of the goodness of God and the goodness of the people who stand behind us. We represent the church. 

Before leaving for China, some of our closest friends held a party for us. They had Panda Express cater!

Before leaving for China, some of our closest friends held a party for us. They had Panda Express cater!

Abigail and her bffs.

Abigail and her bffs.

Our friends and spiritual backing praying over us before we're sent out.

Our friends and spiritual backing praying over us before we're sent out.

Telling goodbye to everyone before leaving for China. We're so thankful for all of our friends and family who have supported us from the beginning.

Telling goodbye to everyone before leaving for China. We're so thankful for all of our friends and family who have supported us from the beginning.

During a few difficult days, we’ve received much needed encouragement from around the world prayers, letters, financial support. All of it means so much to us. I refuse to “go it alone” because that way is boring and unadventurous. The aspect we’ve enjoyed the most about missions is the new connections we’ve made. These connections are more valuable than any financial gift we could receive. We feel like many future adventures have been launched because of the people we've met. We love the people of God! We are one small part of God’s global plan to redeem mankind. We want to be part of the greatest movement the world has ever seen. We are so thankful to be sent and supported by you  our friends, family and fellow world-changers. Don't do it alone.

Standing Out!

Bob Sayre

The other day at a grocery store, I waited in a crowd of people for a chance to get my vegetables weighed and priced. While waiting, two older ladies started telling everyone to form a line and to give priority to the laowai (slang for foreigner). In the three months we've been in China, I have never seen people voluntarily form a line. I was touched by the kindness of these sweet ladies to put us first.

Everywhere we go, people tell our girls they are beautiful — piàoliang (therefore a Chinese word I've actually learned!). People are always trying to give them candy or balloons or whatever they may be holding at the time! Abigail is learning how to say "no thank you" in a polite way! ;) I am genuinely touched by the kindness of strangers here. It's easy to love the Chinese people. As we shine our light, we hope to show that good works isn't enough. Being good and kind isn't enough. Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only way to life  both here and in the life to come. There is so much need among these people. Most have never even heard the message of Jesus.

God, give us opportunities and open doors to share your truth. Open the hearts of the lost who don't even know they're lost.

Our 1st English Corner

Bob Sayre

In a country that isn’t necessarily “open” to the Gospel, the big question is: how do you bring the Good News to those who need it? I have to admit, this is one of my biggest struggles with doing ministry here. It really forces you to break out of the typical ministry box. One of the strategies that God has given us since Day 1 is something called “English Corners.” We had seen this modeled by my sister Christi and her husband Frank (they no longer live here), and have seen the success they’ve had. Since almost everyone outside of America wants to learn English, and as Americans we ONLY speak English, it makes perfect sense. English Corners take place in coffee shops, restaurants, street corners and many other places!

James, Bobby, John, Abigail, Vicky & Kitty

James, Bobby, John, Abigail, Vicky & Kitty

This week, we officially launched our first English Corner! We purposely went with a soft opening and had 4 people show up for coffee and conversation. It was a great time of meeting new people from all walks of life. Literally 5 minutes after we started, one of the guys asked me, “Will you answer my questions about God?” While I tried to put on my theological thinking cap, I found myself a little taken aback. Talk about a conversation starter! What do you do with people who are so obviously hungry and ready to receive? This week, John is going to write down all the questions he has and I will do my best to systematically answer every single one of them.

Coffee & Jesus

Coffee & Jesus

One of the girls in the group is a 26-year old business woman named Kitty. She went from being a factory worker to creating her own line of beauty products. She is one of the few believers we’ve met and God has blessed her because of it. Another young man, James, is a guitar player in a rock and roll band. Others are working in various fields of business. Each of them are unique in their own way and have so much to offer. God is raising up a generation of leaders who can reach their own nation for Jesus. We believe that many lives are going to be saved and transformed through English Corners.

Kitty and Vicky bought Abigail a cake pop! As you can tell, she loved it. Abigail and Elisabeth are a HUGE attention grabber here because most people have never seen a foreign child. They think foreign children look like angels!

Kitty and Vicky bought Abigail a cake pop! As you can tell, she loved it. Abigail and Elisabeth are a HUGE attention grabber here because most people have never seen a foreign child. They think foreign children look like angels!

As a family, the transition to the mission field has been a growing experience. Anytime that you learn a new language and culture, this is true! We do our best to search for opportunities to share the gospel, live the gospel and open our Bibles to dig into God’s truth with the people we love and serve. We hope that you will pray for us, stand behind us and support us in this mission. When you give, more people are able to hear about Jesus for the first time. Visit our giving page, TellingAsia.com/give, to support what God is doing!

Let It Rain

Bob Sayre

Last night we were in a Chinese hospital until after midnight, helping one of the boys at my parents' orphanage who had gotten sick. A stark contrast to the hospitals we’re used to, the walls are drab and dirty. Patients lay on the floor or wherever they can find space. The hospital is not running at full capacity this time of night. Many of those in dire situations wait for hours to be helped. As many people stumble in, you can feel the oppression of sickness in the air. The hospital seems to embody the spiritual state of the country. The people are sick, looking for hope in a desperate place.

This week I was riding on a packed bus (the most popular form of transportation here), and noticed a man rubbing prayer beads in his hand. This is not uncommon in Asia. He is trying to please God in the only way he knows how. He is doing his best. For that man and for all of us, our best is not enough. Jesus claimed to be the one and only God. Either Jesus, the man who shaped history, is God  or He’s not. This is where our lives hang in the balance. In a way, I am lucky. The only God I’ve ever known IS the true God. But God loves everyone the same. He left you and me with the job of bringing the Gospel to everyone, everywhere. This man deserves to know about Jesus.

A couple of days ago, we got to visit a nearby village. EVERYWHERE we went in the village they were selling garlic stems! Not the garlic bulb itself, just the stems! At first this didn’t make sense. I kept asking, why just the stems!? Where is the real garlic? Field after field that we passed, people were harvesting garlic stems. It’s really a genius system. The stems are cut off before the entire garlic is ready to be picked. It’s like a harvest before the harvest. One family insisted that we take some home with us. The beautiful countryside reminded us that while we wait for the real harvest, the harvest is already happening. We’re not waiting for tomorrow or next year. God is moving today.

Everywhere we go, we see God getting ready to rain down His love! Our only goal today and for the rest of our life is to make Jesus famous. China has its quirks (as we all do), but these people deserve to be reached just as much as you or I. Let it rain!

Life In China

Bob Sayre

As the sun sets on another evening in China, I wanted to give you a little bit of a closer look at what life is like on the mission field. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 6 weeks since we arrived! Our days have been filled with adjustments. The food itself is like learning a new language. The culture, while familiar to us in some ways, often leaves us scratching our heads. Everything they do here is the opposite of what we would do in America! Welcome to the mission field. Before we reach their heart, we must learn their "ways." Even though life is different, it's different in all the good ways. We are happy that God called us here. We wanted to share a couple of photo highlights from the first few weeks. Thanks for reading, and when you get to the bottom, re-post to help spread the message about what God is doing! We must tell Asia about the greatness of God.

Telling Asia About Jesus

Enjoying the beautiful lakeview

Enjoying the beautiful lakeview

Catching a bullet train in Shanghai!

Catching a bullet train in Shanghai!

Dinner with friends. We love these guys! Pray that they all receive Jesus.

Dinner with friends. We love these guys! Pray that they all receive Jesus.

A beautiful view

A beautiful view

Chinese architecture

Chinese architecture

Abigail's first trip to the grocery store. They don't use heat in the stores so it was freezing!

Abigail's first trip to the grocery store. They don't use heat in the stores so it was freezing!

Silly faces for China

Silly faces for China

Noodles for miles!

Noodles for miles!

A famous walking street

A famous walking street

Pray for these precious people, that they would know JESUS.

Pray for these precious people, that they would know JESUS.

Believe it or not, this is right behind where we live!

Believe it or not, this is right behind where we live!

Preaching on Easter about believing without seeing!

Preaching on Easter about believing without seeing!

We were so proud of Abigail for singing her first special song! She really ministered to everyone who was there. She's two...who knows what she'll do in the future!

We were so proud of Abigail for singing her first special song! She really ministered to everyone who was there. She's two...who knows what she'll do in the future!

Meet Nick. He has befriended us since Day 1 and we really feel like there's something that God wants to do in his life. We randomly met Nick at a coffee shop and have formed a relationship with him ever since. Pray that God opens Nick's heart to the Gospel. He loves to watch movies and speaks great English! He is an example of the many people that are drawn to us everyday that need to hear about Jesus for the first time.

Meet Nick. He has befriended us since Day 1 and we really feel like there's something that God wants to do in his life. We randomly met Nick at a coffee shop and have formed a relationship with him ever since. Pray that God opens Nick's heart to the Gospel. He loves to watch movies and speaks great English! He is an example of the many people that are drawn to us everyday that need to hear about Jesus for the first time.

The Call, The Need & The Mission

Bob Sayre

As most of you know, our family is moving to the mission field. In just a couple of weeks, we’ll be moving to China. Here's a little glimpse at why we're going. We hope that you will grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the journey with us. I want to talk about the call, the need and the mission.

1. The Call

The obvious question is: Why would anyone in their right mind do this? Not just us, but anyone. Why go to a place with a different language and a different culture and try to tell them about Jesus? We could live out our days doing what we’re doing now and be the happiest people on earth!

Here’s some reasons we’re NOT going to the mission field:

  • We’re certainly not going to China because we like the food or the culture
  • We’re not going because we want an adventure
  • We’re not going because we like to travel (flying is not my favorite thing to do)

We’re not going because we necessarily want to go. We know it’s what we’re supposed to do, but it’s not easy. Why do we have missionaries all around the world today? Why would anyone go to the mission field?

In the summer of 2014, we felt God begin to call us to the mission field. I believe it was God, because just a few months earlier I remember saying, "I’m not ready. I don’t think it’s time for us to go to the mission field." When we got married, we had an interest in missions. I spent two years on the mission field in China with my family. April’s grandparents and family had been involved in ministry in Cuba and Mexico for many years. We had an affinity for missions, but not a calling.

But over a period of several weeks, we felt God strongly telling us that it was time to go. There was no audible voice. There were no smoke signals. There was an unshakeable tug in our heart that left us with no other option. It’s been a year and a half since God called us. That calling has not gone away.

Our call is first to the Great Commission. We are commanded to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. We strongly feel that our part in the Great Commission starts in China. And that’s where I want to talk about The Great Need.

2. The Need

Why China? Is there still work that needs to be done? China has 1.4 billion people. America has about 300 million people. The land mass is about the same size as the U.S. There are people EVERYWHERE. Less than 7% of Chinese are Christians. China has 550 people groups, and 456 of them are unreached. Chinese people make up the largest unreached people group in the world.

When we go to China, we’re moving to a a beautiful city called XuZhou. The city we’ll be going to is a tiny little town of 10 million people! There are millions of people in China that need to hear about Jesus for the first time. When you think of China, think of people. I don’t know if you’ve seen those youtube videos where they try to cram people on trains in China, but they literally have professional train stuffers to fit as many people as they can onto the trains. It’s madness! I’ve experienced that (here's a link to check it out - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpF9Cf8CCA8)! I’ve been in the middle of those crowds! If you can just imagine the masses of people. There are hundreds of cities like Xuzhou all over the world that need Jesus.

To me, China is very similar to America. A lot of times when we think of another country we might as well be talking about Mars or Pluto. Chinese are just like Americans. They’re kind of loud and fun like Americans tend to be. You have your country people and your city people. China has deserts and jungles and mountains. It’s as diverse as our country is. People are the same everywhere. People need Jesus. The people we'll be reaching have never heard the name of Jesus. Unless someone goes to tell them, millions will die without the Gospel. Everyday, around the world, 80,000 people die having had no chance to hear the Gospel. There’s a great need. What are we going to do about it?

3. The Mission

How can we begin to meet this HUGE need? The majority of people in China have never heard the name of Jesus. We want to give them that opportunity. Our mission is to tell about Jesus, disciple them and get them plugged in to the body of Christ.

The 1st way we'll be doing this is by teaching English in our city of 10+ million. In China, this is one of the most effective ways to spread the Gospel. In China, you learn English starting in Kindergarten. Can you imagine learning Chinese starting in kindergarten? Chinese people know English in theory, but they’ve never practiced it or used it. So when we walk down the street in China, people flock to us. They want to talk to us. They want to practice their English and learn about American culture. Our goal is to start “English corners” where students can come together to learn English, but really they’ll be learning about someone named JESUS. English Corners provide the perfect atmosphere for the Bible to be discussed.

Why teach English? You can’t go into China and start planting churches. The only churches allowed are state-run churches. State-run churches have a video camera in the back of every church. They don’t have the freedom to worship like we do. Now, we love the state church. There are true believers in these churches. Many of them have donated rice and food to my parents’ orphanage. There is good and bad in these churches. One of the problems we're confronted with is the animosity between the state run churches and the unregistered churches. We want to see the church come together in a new way!

In China, there’s much leadership training that needs to be done. The pastors in China have little to no training. The average American church member would be more equipped to be a pastor in China - by far. So while the churches are growing, without some solid teaching and understanding of the Bible, it’s not going to last.

Also, going along with our mission, we will be working with the Home of Hope orphanage that my parents started in the city of XuZhou. We will be using my parents’ orphanage as a launching pad for our ministry. We’ll be helping them at the Home of Hope as well - discipling and mentoring the children, helping them with homework, whatever they need! These kids are truly reaching their country in a way that we never could. These kids will be the future leaders China. We will be working with the Home of Hope as we also launch out into our own ministry - taking it to new people who need to hear about Jesus.

The need is great! Matthew 9:36-38 says, “36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

When we hear about the need are we moved with compassion or are we callous? Do we have the heart of Jesus? Do we love people that way he does? This is Jesus’ heartbeat. He says in Mark 1:38, “But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” It’s not just XuZhou, there are other places that need to hear about Jesus too! Who will go to them? The heart of Jesus is for everyone - the next town, the next people.

The world population is about 7 billion. 3 billion of those are unreached. That’s 40% of the world that’s unreached. In Matthew 18:18-20, Jesus frames the mission of the church - these are Jesus’ last words on earth. A person’s last words carry a lot of weight. This is called The Great Commission. This is our mission. This is the mission of every believer. Our commitment is not just to China, it’s to the Great Commission. EVERYONE needs to hear about Jesus.

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
— Matthew 28:18-20

The amen at the end of the verse means so be it! That’s interjected by the author. This should be our cry! What will your response be to the Great Commission in 2016? Will you answer it? Will you ignore it? Will you say “so be it?” Let’s go for it! Let’s do it together!

A Few China Memories

Bob Sayre

It's been almost 10 years since I spent a summer with the Sayres at the Home of Hope Orphanage in XuZhou. My first trip to China started in San Antonio, Texas. I met the Sayres while attending International Bible College. My roommate was Rachel Smeja, Cindy Sayre's niece. As Rachel's roommate, the Sayres would invite me to hang out at their house on the weekends.

On Saturday nights, we would all stay up late watching TV and having fun. Sundays after church, Bob & Cindy would take us out to lunch and pay for everyone's meal. To a poor, college student living in a dorm, this was a huge blessing. I wasn't even family! My relationship with the Sayres continued to flourish. In 2004, The Sayres moved to China to start an orphanage. A year after I graduated, the Sayres invited me to spend the summer with them in XuZhou and help out at the Home of Hope.

Bobby was there in China that summer, but since he's a few years younger than me, there wasn't any interest between us yet! But I did have fun with the whole family, even though Bobby and Ethan often did their own thing. Christi and I went all over town together most days.

China is a dark country spiritually, but XuZhou seemed to be filled with light. Hope was in the air. Walking down the streets of XuZhou, EVERYONE WOULD STARE. Most of them had never seen a white person before. People would clamour around us, trying to speak English, touching our skin. Chinese learn English starting in kindergarten so many of the young people can speak English. This makes communication much easier! They want to talk to Americans and learn about our culture. What a platform to share Jesus!

We would also hold English Corners where people could come and practice their English in a conversational setting. This allowed people to ask questions about "life" and American culture. I remember one girl asking me about something that was strange and foreign to her...Christmas. She didn't know anything about it! She had never heard about the virgin birth, the Cross or the Resurrection. This still amazes me. I don't know that I've ever met anyone in Canada, the U.S. or Mexico who hadn't at least heard the basic Gospel story.

I had a blast with the kids in the orphanage. They would teach me to say things in Chinese and wanted to play "thumb wars" over and over. The orphanage also had a nursery with many small babies. It was so fun to hold them and love on them. These children had been thrown away, but the Sayres were giving them new life - kind of like Jesus does for us. These children aren't just being rescued, they are being fed the Word of God. My greatest memories are spending time with the kids and seeing them grow into healthy young followers of Christ. They are very much a family.

Not everything was easy. One of the hardest things for me was the spicy food. Thankfully white rice was readily available at each meal. There are always challenges to overcome, but being uncomfortable doesn't feel like much of a sacrifice when most of the people have never heard the name of Jesus. Christianity isn't a white religion - it's a "people of the world" religion. God doesn't play favorites. In His mercy, God drew each of us to Himself. People everywhere need rescued. Whether in America or China, our mission is to shine the light of Jesus to as many people as we can.

- April

So That The World Would Know

Bob Sayre

We've had a whirlwind couple of weeks across the country. We went from Texas to Missouri to Illinois - culminating in a weeklong trip to Wisconsin. Over 3,000 miles traveled altogether! Abigail (2 and a half) and Elisabeth (4 months) did great in the car! It's a miracle. They only got cranky when they were hungry . . .  what else is new? April did a great job re-directing their attention. We created so many new memories as a family. Missions + family = possible.

Our first stop in Wisconsin was in Waupaca, just east of Madison. It was a pleasure to spend the weekend at Victory Church with Pastor Philip Thompson! He equipped us with many practical tools that we can take to the mission field. He treated us like family. It's great to see what God is doing in Waupaca! Philip has a gift for connecting with other churches. He even set up appointments for us to speak at two Lutheran churches! We were very impressed with the overall church culture at Victory Church. You can tell they love missionaries and have a genuine spirit!

The next stop was Shell Lake, Wisconsin with Pastor Virgil Amundson. What a dynamic week! The Shell Lake Missions Conference runs Sunday - Wednesday. This conference includes morning and evening sessions. This was our first time to attend. We looked forward to this one because of the unique missions heritage they have. Their missions conference came about with the help of John Bell, the pastor of Destiny (Revival Temple), our home church. Shell Lake Full Gospel is having a big impact on Wisconsin and the world. The entire church made us feel welcomed and loved. Their church is a multi-generational endeavor, looking boldly to the future. It was a dynamic, faith-building atmosphere.

It was our pleasure to be able to connect with so many different missionaries from around the world. We enjoyed hearing their stories and the great harvest that God is bringing in. The church is advancing and going where it's never gone before.

There were several great messages at the conference. Here are a few:

"There has to be a spark!" - Ron Bishop

"There are those who think they are having an impact and than those who actually do. You have to take a risk." - Kingsley Armstrong

"The relationship is more important than the resource." - Russ Frase

"We are on a time limitation and we want to send the best." - Kingsley Armstrong

On the drive up to Wisconsin, there were times we thought - what are we doing? Are we crazy? By the time we came home, it was affirmed again. All of this crazy traveling is for one reason . . . so that the world would know. In XuZhou where we'll be ministering, there are 10 million people. Most of them have never heard the name of Jesus. As we drove unending miles across our beautiful country, we couldn't stop talking about these two Wisconsin churches that are changing the world.

- Bobby

Chapter One - Traveling!

Bob Sayre

Our story is yet to be written. We hope it is filled with many stories about Jesus, not just about us. We are on day 7 of our two-week, cross country road trip as a family of 4 - this is our biggest "vision sharing" journey yet. We spent 3 days traveling from San Antonio to Sullivan, Illinois. We got to see my cousins Andrew, Esteliz and Ian Gillett (Dallas, TX)  and Jamie Miller (Springfield, MO) along the way. In Sullivan we were able to spend time with my Grandma Peggy Gillett, Uncle Eddie and Aunt Sally Miller (who Abigail affectionately called Grandma Sally). Also spent some time with Curtis Miller & Jonathan and Laura Miller. Thank you Jesus for such an awesome family and a chance to spend time with them! They took such good care of us. They are behind the big move 1000%!

I especially treasured the time I got to spend with my Grandma. I have always looked up to her and Grandpa Irving Gillett (who passed away almost two years ago) and am so honored to follow in their footsteps as a missionary. They spent over 40 years as missionaries to Cuba and Mexico (church planting and Bible schools) and I always learn more every time I am with her. She even knows what it's like to move babies to a foreign country. So good to hear more missionary wife stories from her.

While in Sullivan, Bobby had the opportunity to share at Allenville Christian Church, what a sweet people! We also got to share at a pastor's gathering and a local Bible fellowship. We're praying people catch the vision. The highlight for the girls (Abigail and Elisabeth) was going to The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, Illinois! Abigail had so much fun that she was making up songs about it when we left. She kept singing, "Pumpkins, pumpkins on the ground!" 🎵

We are now spending the day driving to Wisconsin where we will attend a couple of missions conferences. Abigail is so excited about our "trip" that takes us twice as long as anyone else due to a nursing 4-month old and a potty training two year old. When Google says it's a 6 hour drive, we expect 9 or 10.

I can't believe our big move is only a few months away now. It's coming down to "crunch time" to prepare and get everything in order. Sometimes it can be overwhelming but I am so thankful for Jesus. I can trust in the Lord with all my heart. He is good and faithful and cares about all of our needs. It's amazing how the worries of this world fade when our eyes are on Him. Thankful for His call and His leading.

#JesusToTheWorld

#JesusToTheWorld

- April
Happy Fall Ya'll!

PSALM 96 - DAVID’S EPIPHANY

Bob Sayre

Have you ever had an epiphany? A while back, I realized I love coffee. That was a great day. This beautiful realization continues to impact my life. Like many people, it's tough for me to go a day without a cup of God's special brew. People have epiphanies all the time. One day, a man named King David had an epiphany! For David it was probably just an average day. He was thinking about his kingdom, his problems, his schedule, his subjects, etc. But God had something else in mind.

Psalm 96 is the recording of David's epiphany (hint: it's not about coffee). This chapter is often referred to as the Missionary Psalm. In Verse 1 David proclaims, “Sing a new song to the Lord! Let the whole earth sing to the Lord!” Why does he call it a new song? Because God has opened it up to the whole world. It’s not just about Israel anymore.

Missions exists because worship doesn’t.
— John Piper

Verse 3 says, “Publish his glorious deeds among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.” David calls the people to proclaim God among the nations. This should be the response to our worship. If we’ve truly experienced God, our desire will be to tell others about Him.

In Verses 4-5, David talks about dead, cold idols. They can’t hear, speak or feel. They're made of things like clay, wood and iron. David talks about how our God is so much greater than the gods of this world. We don't have to serve idols anymore!

David’s cry is that the nations would recognize God and be able to know Him. This wasn’t even possible during David’s time! It isn't until much later that the Gospel becomes available to the Gentiles. But David gets this unique glimpse of where God is going. God always had the world in mind. 

Psalm 96:10 says, “Tell all the nations, 'The Lord reigns! The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. He will judge all peoples fairly.'"

Toward the end of the Psalm, David seems to burst into spontaneous praise for the greatness and bigness of God. The Good News must be published among all people! Who will tell the Samaritans? Who will take it to the unnamed village on the other side of the world?

This great revelation must hit us, like it did David. We know that God loves the world, but do we love the world? Who will lead them from their dead idols to Jesus? Who will point them to the true object of worship? We must go forward into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every nation, tribe and tongue.

Enjoy the rest of your coffee

Montana Missions Summit

Bob Sayre

It was an honor to be a part of the Missions Summit this year at Last Chance Chapel in Helena, Montana! This was our first Missions Conference as "official" missionaries and we had a great time. We appreciate the missions heart of Pastor John and the entire church. There was such a genuine spirit in the air. April and I were blown away. We're still talking about it!

Each morning of the conference kicked off with "fireside chats." This is a time where missionaries and pastors can share what God is doing through their ministry. April and I were excited to share that God is sending us to the mission field! We talked about the pressing need in China for Jesus. 

We look forward to what God is going to do as we step out in faith and connect with churches around the country! It's very humbling to be around other missionaries who have been doing it for many years. Thank you Last Chance Chapel! Your heart for the nations is contagious.

One of the the most impressive things about Montana is the beautiful scenery. Check out some more pictures of our time in Montana below.