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Gathering the Hot Coals

In my early days on Campus Staff with InterVarsity I was involved in a learning cohort for planting new campus fellowships.  Our trainer and Divisional Director, Chris Nichols, said, “if you want to start a fire, you need to keep the hot coals together.”  Those of you who burn wood as a heating source for your home know how much simpler it is to get a blaze going once you’ve got a couple hot coals.  Almost magically whatever rubs up close will easily start to combust.  Much like InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, our prayer with Light of Christ Greater Portland is that we would be a part of igniting a Kingdom movement for Jesus that would renew and revive the fires of the gospel in our time and place.  In God’s timing some of those ‘hot coals’ are coming together to ignite mission and ministry in Greater Portland.

This summer, Light of Christ has been growing in partnership with a Chinese mission society called the Golden Lampstand.  Like Light of Christ, the heart of the Golden Lampstand is to see the fires of gospel renewal reach the church of New England.  As the church in China has been growing, they have not forgotten the sacrifice of New England missionaries who brought the Gospel to China in the 19th and early 20th century.  In obedience to this vision for revival, the Golden Lampstand this winter acquired a former Roman Catholic church in Biddeford, Maine which they are repairing to use as a ministry resource center for evangelism and marketplace ministry.

The society’s local contact is Pastor Dr. Abraham Chan.  Dr. Chan’s work with the Golden Lampstand is part of a new project called the Center for Chinese Initiatives (CCI).  CCI is an emerging ministry of the Anglican Diocese in New England.  CCI partners with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and other Kingdom-minded organizations as they seek to build reciprocal ministry between the church in North America and China.  This August Dr. Chan invited me to speak on evangelism in New England at a retreat for the Golden Lampstand (photo above).   The following day a crew of some 30 Chinese missionaries visited a Sunday service at Light of Christ.    Our preacher, Fr. Jean Ngabo Segasinde, had his sermon translated into Mandarin (photo below)!  Through the amazing hospitality of a local family, my family and the Chinese missionaries all met at a beautiful family farm for an evening of delicious Chinese food and fellowship (photo below).  By bringing our ‘hot coals’ together with the Golden Lampstand, CCI is helping to spark a beautiful new gospel partnership.

For more information on the Golden Lampstand or CCI please contact Pastor Dr. Abraham Chan,, phone:207-318-5766 

Thank you, Jesus, for sending the fires of your Gospel from New England to China.  Thank you, Jesus, that same fire is returning for our mutual joy and for your great glory.  Amen.

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