by Raeha Butler
The date of my return to China snuck up on me. As I type, I have 10 days left in the US before I begin my journey back on February 16th. I return to continue the work in the fields where I spent my first two years of ministry preparing soil. I first broke ground there in April of 2014. I “dug” faithfully. I’m hoping and praying that with my return almost three years later, the soil is ready for seed to be planted and start taking root.
Those first two years brought with it back-breaking work. Raised in a farming community, I know about the long hours farmers put in. But my Oklahoma farming neighbors use modern technology: large tractors plow the ground, intricate watering systems water, airplanes spray for pests. The fields are wide and long, producing a large crop. The ministry I’ve done in China is better compared to the farming of the mountain area of Lanzhou: hoeing, planting, and watering is mostly done by hand. The fields can sometimes seem more like personal terraced gardens on the rocky, sandy soil of the mountainside. Here in the US, the Church is strong in number with many laborers. Many unbelievers are knowledgeable about Jesus. There’s freedom to share the Gospel. In China, the amount of laborers are few, a majority of unbelievers have never even heard the name of Jesus, and sharing the Gospel must be done in a careful manner.
So I worked in my small little area preparing that dry, hard ground. I may have planted a seed here and there, but nothing to make it possible for a large harvest – yet. I’m hoping that upon my return, the ground is ready for seeds to fall freely and that those seeds will find the nourishment they need to take root to grow strong and healthy. Please join with me in prayer that the soil is ready, that seeds will be planted, and God will use me to nourish them. Pray that the Holy Spirit will move through the hearts of those I’m in relationship with and draw them into relationship with Jesus. Let’s pray for fruit during this season of ministry among the Chinese!
I’ve enjoyed attending the Heartland Conference Great Commission Meals. At last week’s Mountain District meal, I was excitedly greeted by two young girls who are daughters of good friends and pastors of one of my supporting churches. They were thrilled to see me again and tell me how much they have prayed for me. I came home to tell my parents, “I think I found out who my biggest prayer warriors are.”
I’m thankful for all your prayers! Trust me, I need them and definitely feel their impact when I’m in China. Keep them coming!
If you have made a commitment to financially sponsor me, please follow through on your commitment. Remember, if paying through your church offering, to designate your gift with my name and support account number: Raeha Butler #90394S. You can write this on your check or write it on an offering envelope.
If you so choose, you can also give your donation on the new IPHC giving site, using the link above.