News from the Seamans

Posted by on May 19, 2008 in Members, Missions | 0 comments

I imagine all of you are aware of the double tragedies unfolding in Asia – the Myanmar typhoon and the Western China earthquake. We had considered going to Myanmar – but the way seems blocked at the moment for Americans (and most everyone else, for that matter). Pray for a breakthrough in the spiritual strongholds that keep help from arriving. Then there was the earthquake in China almost 1 week ago. We received a call from friends in China who live and work in that area. They have been contacted by many national believers who want to help but have no training or experience. They have asked for our help. After praying, we knew that we should respond to this request.

This is a strategic opportunity to help the Christians in China reach out and demonstrate the love of Christ in a very practical way. Therefore we will be leaving this Friday, May 23rd, for Chengdu, China which is about 60 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake. Karen and I will be accompanied by our good friends and frequent companions in these efforts, Gerard and Maureen Haberstro and their son, Matthew. Our Singaporean “daughter”, Jolene, will also be joining us. We will be training local believers in disaster response and perhaps helping them get started with deployment, doing assessments, etc. As you might expect, we really have no idea what we may be getting into. We will be stopping in Singapore on the way over and back to make contact with our friends there who also want to be involved.

I know that many of you may want to be involved in this in some way. First we need prayer support. I’ll be updating you with items as often as possible. The first things we need you to pray for:

  1. Visas. China is being very restrictive about granting visas right now, due to the Olympics. hey are also being very restrictive about people helping in the disaster response effort. Our visa applications and passports will be taken to the Chinese embassy tomorrow morning (Monday) for processing. Please pray for FAVOR with embassy officials.
  2. Contacts. We need to meet and connect with the right people here, in Singapore and in China.
  3. Wisdom to know what to teach and how to teach it as we prepare our materials. Wisdom for our hosts as they prepare for our arrival.
  4. Flexibility as plans, schedules and circumstances change.
  5. Grace and strength. We are already quite tired from the preparation of the last few days (with a wedding thrown in the mix). We have much to accomplish in the last few days before departure. The weather in Chengdu is hot and humid – quite oppressive – we will need extra grace to adjust to the climate.
  6. Health and safety. With the stress and climate change, we need your prayer that we would stay healthy. Also that we would know when to rest and when to press on.

Our second need is for finances. Travel costs alone will be about $15,000 for the 6 of us. Not sure yet what we’ll need for supplies, etc. We’re thankful that a number of you have already started to offer support. We appreciate your help. If you would like to participate with us financially, you can send donations to Hope Extended, 1355 Paul Road, Churchville, NY 14428.

Some of you may want to actually participate directly in the relief effort. We’ll know a lot more after this trip about ongoing needs and opportunities. I will be keeping you informed about this after we have had a chance to be there and assess the situation. There certainly will be need for a prolonged time. It remains to be seen what the role of outsiders will be. So, stay tuned and be prepared. If there are opportunities for you to participate, we’ll let you know and probably design some training to help you get ready.

Blessings to you all,
Dr. John Seaman

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