Dear GSMI/ISOM Friends,
I am writing this from some remote part of China, somewhere in Hunan province, which is China’s most populated province with over 100 million residents. I am about to speak for the 5th time to about 200 top leaders from 23 provinces in China. These leaders oversee millions of believers, some estimate close to 10 million in number.
With me here in China is Barnabas Chen, a Chinese businessman from California who has faithfully worked with ISOM for 14 years to help train over 40,000 of China’s underground church leaders in four major movements. Roughly 13,000 of those leaders were in the Fangcheng movement we currently are with. The movement’s founder is Zhang Rongliang and the book about his life “I Stand for Christ” was just released by Whittaker House this year in the USA. While here in China, Zhang gave me one of his only two copies and I devoured its 239 pages in two days. I was riveted by his well-researched story. Many of the key people from that book are among the leadership I’m speaking to here. Zhang was in prison for seven of the years while ISOM was used by God to train many of his leaders. According to him, the movement grew and was strengthened in those years.
Reading Zhang’s book opened my eyes anew to the sacrifice of these believers for Christ and the honor I feel for Good Shepherd and its partners to have had some part in helping to strengthen their faith through the ISOM. The torture Zhang experienced during five imprisonments spanning 15 years is almost unimaginable. A few years ago I was deeply privileged to arrange for Zhang to receive an honorary Doctor of Ministry degree from Vision International University, one of the partnering institutions ISOM works with. This year Zhang joined me in honoring six ISOM Master of Ministry degree recipients. One recipient was Sister Han who pastored over a half million believers in the Manchuria oil fields of northeastern China after a huge revival swept through that region. She left her pastor position at the request of Zhang to spearhead the training of about 8,000 of Fangcheng’s top leadership. A second Master of Ministry recipient headed up the training of an additional 5,000 leaders. These leaders will now spearhead a thrust for many in Fangcheng to do the ISOM Bachelors program. After years of work, the translation into Mandarin of 160 new sessions of teaching was recently completed.
-World Missions Partner (WMP)-
If you become a World Missions Partner (WMP), you will strengthen the heart of Good Shepherd and all that we do. In addition, you will enable us to sponsor hundreds of ISOM schools into the persecuted Church and into the unreached people groups of the world. Please read the enclosed brochure and consider joining us in this challenge. We have an amazing team at Good Shepherd but few understand how much we struggle every day for the needed finances to get done what we do for the Harvest. I seldom ask for support so when I do, as I am doing right now out of China, it is on behalf of those on the front lines we so tangibly help. For those who make or renew a pledge to Good Shepherd of any amount, Lisa and I want to send to you a free copy of Zhang’s book, “I Stand for Christ.” Even while overseas, I have ordered 200 copies for our partners and look forward to sending a copy to you. I pray you will be inspired and moved by it the way I was.Thanks for standing with us in prayer and in your giving. Please consider a special end-of-year gift to help us finish the year in the black. Also, we would appreciate it if you would put our team photo on your refrigerator or in some place that will remind you to pray for us.Much love in Christ for the Harvest to be Discipled,Berin, Lisa and the Whole Good Shepherd Ministries Team