Monday, March 3, 2008


February 5, 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

I pray that the Lord has brought much joy and blessing to you and your family as He has in my life this year. There is much to rejoice about! I apologize that this update is long overdue. I want to share with you how the Lord changed many lives in China this past Christmas! First, let me thank you for your faithful prayers. I cannot express in words how critical you were in our ministry by going to battle for us in that way. "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."(James 5:16) There were many days our team was discouraged and lacking in energy but we had victory in Christ every single time! Thank you for giving of yourselves financially as well. Because of your sacrificial giving, the Chinese people could hear the story of Jesus Christ, many for the first time!
Although we were only in G-City for a short period of time, the Lord gave us so many unique opportunities to share and we took advantage of them. "…Make the most of every opportunity."(Colossians 4:5) Just a few of our ministry tools included: Christmas parties, drama/storytelling, children's play groups, discipleship with new Christians, public performances, teaching English, a radio broadcast, and building relationships with university students. As you can probably guess, we were very busy from early in the morning until late in the evening. Many times we had 2-3 Christmas parties a day, which left no room for jet lag! I was constantly amazed at how God gave us divine appointments with people, no matter what we were doing!
While our team was in-country, there were 25 people that gave their hearts and lives to Christ! Then, after we returned to the States we received word that 4 more people accepted. Let me tell you, that in a country like China , that is so HUGE! In China , professing that you're a Christian is not something that is taken lightly. Many times because of fear of persecution and abandonment, the Chinese are not open to receive the Gospel. It was unbelievable to see the passion and commitment of the Chinese believers. I was reminded that because I live in America I had never seen real Christian persecution until coming to China .
There are so many amazing stories and I would love to share them all with you! But one experience that God allowed me to have I think will encourage you as well. Throughout our trip we had been establishing relationships with many university students. These students are in the same stage of life as we are so it was very easy to find common ground with them. Our very last night in G-City our goal was to make contacts with those that we had built relationships with that past week. Instantly I thought of one of the girls we had met at a Christmas party earlier that week named Sarah*. I could tell on the night of the party that she was really seeking out answers so one of my teammates and I took a bus to the university that night to go talk with her. God had just put an urgency in my heart to share the Gospel with this girl one more time before we left. When she met us at the bus stop she had brought one of her roommates along with her. Once we all sat down together in a tea shop there on campus, the Holy Spirit gave us the words to speak but it was obvious that God had been working in their hearts long
before we arrived. When I asked them if they wanted to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they enthusiastically replied, "YES! But no one has told us how." Wow! They were so ready to receive but just needed someone to share with them how. God had already done the work for us! After the two girls prayed to accept, Sarah told us all that now she needed to share this with her other roommates immediately. Her instant enthusiasm and passion for her God was so humbling for us. Later that night as we were leaving to go back to the city, she turned to me and simply said, "Thank you for giving me the chance to become a Christian." I share that with you to simply extend the thanks to you, you have been missionaries right alongside of us. So, thank you for allowing many of these beautiful Chinese people to hear about what the amazing love of Christ!
We might never see on this earth all of the fruit of the seeds that were planted. That is something that we have to look forward to one day when we meet all of our Christian brothers and sisters from every nation. I expect that on that beautiful day, a Chinese man or woman will walk up to you and simply say, "Thank you for giving the way you did. I am here because of it." I hope that you will continue to pray for these new believers and their families as they are discipled and even as they may face persecution and difficulties inside their culture. Pray that the Chinese believers will rise up as leaders and have an amazing influence in their country. I have included photos of my time there and a website that you will find updated prayer requests from missionaries all over China . I hope that you have been encouraged by what our amazing God has done and continues to do! Thank you for being a part of it!

Serving Him,
Angela Banks