Prayer Letter Feb. 2017

Dear Friends of SAGOS, Greetings!

In the year 1517, October 31st, Martin Luther nailed his famous “95 Thesis” on the front door of the Wittenburg church in Germany. This event was generally regarded as the beginning of the Reformation movement. A few years afterwards, Martin Luther was summoned to attend the Diet of Worms, and when confronted by Eck that he did not have the authority to challenge the orthodoxy of tradition, Martin Luther responded that when the views of the Pope and congress were against that of the Bible, he could only accept the authority of the Bible.

However, Martin Luther also said, “Clearly, the epistle of St. James is a strawy letter. Compared with other New Testament books, it did not mention the true nature of the gospel.” He also said, “I will throw our the book of Esther. My opposition to the book of Esther, to the point of hoping that it did not exist, is because it is too Jewish, and it recorded too many foolish acts of Gentiles”. It goes to show that even a spiritual giant such as Martin Luther has blind spots. For us to honor the Bible, we must accept the total canon of the Bible, and not be selective to discard any portion in accordance to our own liking.

During this year of 500th anniversary of Reformation, SAGOS has organized a “Church History Tour” to be conducted in two buses in Mandarin and Cantonese, respectively. Currently 82 participants have already registered, and all preparations for this tour are progressing in earnest.

On 2/3-5, Rev. and Mrs. Lai will lead a Couples’Seminar on “The Song of Songs” in Austin Chinese church in Texas. A total of 25 couples have registered for this event. On 2/11–12 they will lead a “10-steps Bible Study” seminar at Castro Valley Chinese Christian Church. During this sabbatical vacation, Rev. Lai has completed the writing of “Church History Tour Manual”. They will go to Hong Kong in mid February for training in Asia lasting 1 ½ months.

On 2/18-19 Rev. Robert Shen and Elder Shu will lead a Mandarin Bible Study Camp, entitled “Suffering but not bitter life – study of 1 Peter”, to be held at Gilead Bible church. Over 30 people have registered for this event. Further, the book “10-step Bible Study of 1 Peter” co-written by them both is undergoing the final draft.

On 2/25-27 Rev. Samuel Ho will lead a retreat in a Milwaukee church, and continue the writing of a book on “Expository Preaching”.

The wife of our SAGOS co-worker-at-large Rev. Seahawk Lun (Mrs. Lun) had a fall 3 months ago that injured her wrist and ankle; yet her recovery was faster than expected, praise the Lord! They would like to express their gratitude to all who prayed for them.

On 3/6 – 10 (Wednesday to Friday), Rev. Lai will be preaching at the First Mandarin Expositional Conference in Hong Kong. The theme of the conference is “Chaotic World, Who’s In Charge?” In addition to Rev. Lai preaching on “Life of Elijah”, the President of the Canadian Chinese Theological Seminary Rev. Peter Au will preach on “Daniel”, and Rev. Patrick So preaching on “Revelation”. The venue: Hong Kong Yan Fook Evangelical Free Church in Cheung Sha Wan. Please invite Mandarin speaking brothers and sisters in Hong Kong or other Asian areas to attend this event.

Thank God that Brother Patrick Wong was appointed part-time Executive Director of Hong Kong SAGOS starting 2/1. May the Lord use our brother in this ministry.

Please continue to give thanks and pray for the following ministries:

  1. The various preparations for the “Church History Tour” from 4/18 to 5/1.
  2. The various SAGOS co-workers and teachers at large who are preparing for teaching assignments in March and April.
  3. SAGOS co-workers who are out preaching and teaching in the month of February.
  4. The newly published “SAGOS Newsletter”.

May the grace of our Lord be with you always!

Your Co-worker,

Johann Lai

February 2017