Pray BFF Letter #245
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
His power toward us…
Dear Prayer Partners,
“The surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Eph 1:19).
Linda and I had the joy of sitting next to each other for more than ten hours today on our 36th anniversary! We were traveling back from Allison’s graduation from Union University in Tennessee along with four of our children. Six of our eight children were able to be together. We praise God how He provided for her, financially andotherwise over these past 4 years.
Linda and I have been married for 36 grand years. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. What would I say to young couples? Work hard on your marriage; it is completely worth it. (We hope to get away later this summer - without the children!)
Again, we want to thank the Lord that after traveling over 1200 miles, our van only had problems in the last 5 miles. The brake caliper started smoking and getting very hot. I pumped the break hard and tried not to use it for the last few miles home. I left it at the shop tonight with hope that the problem gets completely fixed before my speaking engagement this weekend.
God has been working through numerous means to help me improve and expand the BFF Chinese resources. The need for Biblical and practical training materials is such a great need in China. Our Mandarin resources are, however, less complete compared to language resources for Malawi (Chichewa) or Ethiopia (Amharic). I’ll be speaking more about this overall goal in another letter and will simply focus on the Chinese resources here. With an audience of more than 1 billion people, the fast increase of internet and mobile app connection in China, we need to prioritize getting more of our resources in Chinese.
We have four books translated into Chinese, two major ones along with a number of other biblical and discipleship-oriented videos/powerpoint, but our major seminars (except for one) are not yet available.
◦ 培養敬虔的後代 Principles and Practices of Biblical Parenting
◦ 十字架学习 Cross Training (bilingual)
◦ 邁向下一步 Take Your Next Step
◦ 培訓新領袖 Training Godly Leaders
Part of the reason for this is that God has had me first focus on the many other people groups. I believe it is because I am too comfortable with the familiar Chinese culture. It is easy for me to stay with what is most comfortable. First, diversify. But it seems to be time to return to the needs of the Chinese people.
I recently heard a talk sharing how China has now determined that the house churches are not a threat to the country, so they are shifting their oppressive pressure away from the church there. There never was a real problem with the house church, of course, but it took time for outsiders to understand this. Godly people strengthen the most essential elements for a stable and healthy society–financially (we save), helping the poor (we give), ethically (we are honest, hard workers, etc.), socially (strengthen the family tie), educationally (build up basic educational and research skills), emotionally (inner healing, peace), etc.
Later, the Lord prompted me to think about our Chinese web resources. Some of you know that our server was ‘incessantly attacked’ by someone in China. China’s usage of BFF resources, especially the audio/video resources, was next highest to the USA. Perhaps they thought we were a political association. We are not (though we have the word ‘freedom’ in our name.) In any case, we made our website ‘unattackable’ from China. It solved the server problem but for well over a year, it has stymied the accessibility of our Chinese resources. We recently have again opened the web door, and China has grown to the fourth in bandwidth use just within a week’s time. It is a trial period for our server. We want no more attacks.
Lima was a whole different setting. One big seminar squished into three eveningtalks, though later extended into Sunday’s service. But this required lots of last minute tinkering with the talks to fit in the allotted time. I started speaking at around 8 pm, and yet, around 250, largely young people, regularly came out.
Meanwhile, I am speaking in Chinese at a Chinese-English retreat this weekend in Iowa! Five messages and if all goes well, I will use Chinese for four of them. The theme is parenting.
Someone recently asked me. Are you willing/able to speak in Chinese (in China)? This retreats serves as great training, though, I already have Chinese resources on this topic.
Thank the Lord that Linda was able to go to Allison’s graduation in Tennessee without any problems.
Thankful to see Allison’s graduation and hear from her how much God has aided her, both financially and otherwise.
Safety for us on our long trip. Our van conveniently ‘broke down’ only a few miles from home and could make it to the garage to get it fixed.
Being able to make our Chinese resources available again for China.
Join Paul on Twitter! @PaulJBucknell
Linda is doing well, but at times, becomes quite tired. Pray for full healing of her heart. We hope further treatment is not necessary.
Paul is speaking in Iowa this weekend (May 23-25). May God really encourage and help the parents and the youth who attend. Paul needs the gift of ‘tongues’! (Actually, just fluency in Mandarin works.)
May the van get properly fixed. Last time, the real problem was not found and so only lubricated.
For the Lord to protect, use and expand BFF’s available Chinese resources.
Salvation for all of our children.
One Chinese person has promised to help translate, but it is hard for him to find time.
Wisdom to pursue God’s timing in gaining more Chinese resources.
Thanks so much for your prayers!
Rev. Paul J. Bucknell, President and Instructor
Biblical Foundations for Freedom
Phone: (+1) 412-398-4559 (Mobile)
3276 Bainton St, Pittsburgh, PA 15212 USA
Note: Give donations via your bank by going to “Pay Bills” on your online account. Just type in BFF and our address and a check will be sent for the amount you desire. No extra fees deducted, not even a stamp needed!
BFF is an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit religious organization and able to offer receipts for contributions in the United States. Address your financial support to Biblical Foundations for Freedom (or BFF). All designated funds go to the general fund, but specified gifts are allowed: STM (overseas training), Love (helping overseas pastors/ Christian leaders and families in need). Thank you for your kind giving!