2018 - Paraclete Group

Encouraging News from Mike Garner

This morning, I met Kathy. She was excited to see me and asked if I was the pastor who started Alpha at this church 14 years ago. Good memory! That Alpha course was one of the first in the Bay Area and started many years of Alpha at the church and led to many new believers in Jesus.

But that wasn’t the end of her story. She told me the following: “It’s because of you starting this course that it is now reaching huge amounts of people in China!” That was quite a startling statement, so she continued.

“I was at your first course of Alpha. It was so powerful in my life and the lives of so many others I brought to subsequent classes. Together we contacted Nicki Gumbel (the founder of Alpha) and told him he needed to place Chinese subtitles in his teaching videos. We helped them with this project. And Alpha is now all over China!”

On the way to church, I was praying that I wanted to do MORE for God. How can I do more? I’ve been back to my old stomping grounds numerous times in the past (I served on the pastoral staff here for 14 years), but this is the first I’ve seen this woman and heard her story. Isn’t God amazing?!

To underline her story, she told me of her home church in Beijing. Their pastor is now under house arrest. Please pray for him. But even with such persecution, they are putting on three Alpha courses right now – and have to turn people away! There are so many who want to come and they just don’t have the room for them all!

I have no way of independently authenticating her story. And I’m sure that MANY were involved in bringing the amazing evangelistic ministry of Alpha to China. But it’s a blessing and amazing encouragement that God allowed me to play some role in all of this. Praise our Father who sees so much further than we ever could and uses us in ways we never could imagine!

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