Weekly Updates (Fall 2021)

11/29/2021 Happy Winter Break

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. This week marks the ending of our Fall Semester for FriendSpeak. You have done an AMAZING job loving our international friends this semester. It is truly a blessing and honor to be serving with you in FriendSpeak ministry. Please help inform your readers that FriendSpeak will resume on January 24th, 2022. However, you are welcome to continue your sessions with your readers during the holidays if you like.

When FriendSpeak resume in January 24th, 2022, you will continue with your same reader and the lesson where you left off. If you are unable to continue in the spring, or you would like to take a break from FriendSpeak. It’s totally alright to do so. Just let your reader know that you are taking a break. If your reader would like to continue while you are taking a break, do let us know in advance and we will try to arrange another worker for your reader. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is anything you need. Thank you for your servant heart. Have a blessed Winter Break and a very Merry CHRISTmas!

FYI, you may find our FriendSpeak resources at: https://friendspeak.net/help

11/22/2021 Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

As we are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I am extremely thankful for each one of you for allowing God’s love to flow through you to touch the lives of our international friends making an eternal impact for His glory. I pray that you will have a great Thanksgiving break and to be blessed by this week’s featured FriendSpeak@Grace feedbacks:

Alice Cheryl Chuang (FriendSpeak Reader):

Thank you FriendSpeak for pairing me with Ms. Peggy. I feel that she is not only a teacher and friend, she is also my family as she always greets and treats me and my daughter warmly. Even though we only meet once a week, we have so much to talk about as we share about lives and different culture, countries and generation. I appreciate Ms. Peggy’s willingness to understand all aspects of me. To be honest, I was like a missing lamb since I came here. From reading the LUKE1 workbook, Ms. Peggy led me to understand the goodness and love of God and his son Jesus. We talk about how the Lord works on us and how he makes our path purposeful and peaceful. I am grateful and pray for such an arrangement, and pray for a heart of wisdom that I can be strong to help those in need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. Thank you Ms Peggy for being so helpful in assisting me to integrate into the life here in the US.

Connie Hagler (FriendSpeak Workers):

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to serve in FriendSpeak. It is such a wonderful ministry. Not only did God bless me tremendously by pairing me with YanLing but He also strengthened and grew my faith. I plan to serve again in FriendSpeak after the holidays. Thank you and God Bless as God continues to use FriendSpeak to grow His Kingdom.

Have a blessed week and Happy Thanksgiving!

11/15/2021 Good Shepherd

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

Praying for God, our good Shepherd to lead you to green pastures and quiet waters and refresh your soul as you share your life and shepherd your readers this week. May you be blessed by Laurie’s sharing:

Laurie Bowling (FriendSpeak Worker):

Our missions pastor asked if I would be interested in reading the Bible with someone who wanted to practice English. I knew I had to say yes when I found out Raida was from Lebanon where our oldest daughter is serving the Lord.  I was nervous about what to “teach” but in addition to the training they give you a workbook that you read through together. The lessons are very easy to discuss and the questions lead to more conversations about God. I’ve been meeting with Raida for one year now and it’s been so fun to share about our lives and discuss the differences between Christianity and Islam. She has really opened up and we have developed a great friendship.

Raida wanted her sons to meet mine so one Saturday she invited us to lunch. Our boys were hesitant, but went for the food! Her sons probably felt the same, but everyone had a delicious Lebanese meal and hours of great conversation. At a baptism of a FriendSpeak reader one of my sons said “Raida’s next!” So God is impacting our family as we pray for her.

Recently, she told me she needs to listen better and not judge what is being said. “For example,” she said, “instead of just thinking I disagree with you or don’t believe what you do, maybe I should listen and consider what you’re saying may be true!” I love meeting with Raida each week.  I’m praying the Truth of God’s Word will open her eyes to Jesus who is the Truth!

Have a blessed week!

11/8/21 God’s Heart for the Nations

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

Praying for God’s empowerment and anointing upon you as you share Christ’s love with your readers this week.

Yesterday, Pastor Jim Leggett preached a beautiful sermon on how God’s Heart is for the Nations and how He is accomplishing His purpose through each one of you via FriendSpeak.

Pray that you will be blessed and inspired by the video:

Chloe & Kenneth’s Baptism (Oct 10, 2021)

My house shall be called a House of Prayer for all Nations. – Isaiah 56:7

Have a blessed week!

11/1/21 Sharing God’s Gift

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

Praying for God’s overflowing joy and love to flood your heart as you share your life with your reader this week. May you be blessed by Janean’s sharing:

Janean Myers (FriendSpeak Worker):

We all know how we feel when we receive a gift and feel that we must reciprocate to show our appreciation. That is how I feel when I consider God’s gift of salvation, the indwelling Holy Spirit, and His overwhelming forgiveness of my sinfulness. How can I ever repay Him? How can I serve His Kingdom? His response has come in several different forms, one of which is sharing the Gospel with someone who does not know Jesus as her Savior through the amazing FriendSpeak format of reading His Word in English with a non-English speaking brand new friend. That is where my precious reading partner comes in (I am protecting her privacy by withholding her name).

We love our Saturday Zoom time together (her night, my morning). She is so dedicated to reading the verses correctly and gracefully accepts my help with translation and context. We laugh, share life’s most recent events, hear about each other’s family, and discuss what the reading is conveying about Jesus.

I love her and pray for her to hear and accept the Truth for herself and to share it with others. I thank God daily for His gift of salvation through His Son and for the blessing of sharing the Good News with my sweet FriendSpeak friend.

Have a blessed week!

10/25/21 Loving the Nations

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

Praising God for your love for the nations as each one of you is a blessing and gift to our international friends. I am thankful for God has paired each one of you by His divine appointment to represent Christ to reach the lost for His Kingdom. Praying for your session this week and may you be blessed by this week’s featured FriendSpeak@Grace feedbacks:

Helen Ding (FriendSpeak Reader)

My FriendSpeak teacher Susan Kennedy is very nice. She has lots of skills in helping me improve my English. She really cares about me and my Alpha class. I really like my FriendSpeak teacher.

Ying Ma (FriendSpeak Reader):

Everything is going very well for my FriendSpeak sessions. My FriendSpeak friend Karna Miller is really great. Normally, we check in with each other about what is going this week. Then, we study the content in the book of Luke. I read the short story after Karna Miller. She also explains the new words to me. In addition, we complete the questions together. Lastly, I will ask her some questions about the story. In fact, I always have a lot questions about the stories about Jesus. During discussing the questions, I relate what I learned to my study and daily lives, and I hope my oral English will be also improved in the near future. I really enjoy the program. Thank you.

Rosa Hernandez (FriendSpeak Reader):

I am so happy with my teacher Sherry. She is the best teacher. She is patient and loving and I’m learning more every day.

FYI: Our FriendSpeak Resources page link: https://FriendSpeak.net/help/

Have a blessed week!

10/18/21 YangYi’s Baptism

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

Praying for each of you to experience God’s presence and His deep love for you as you pour into your readers this week. A weeks ago, Grace Fellowship played a baptism video during the church service. In the video, we heard how Yang Yi came from China to the United States and found God at Grace. Yang Yi is an artist and in his testimony in Chinese, he expressed his excitement in his new life in Christ and his deep desire to serve God using his brush strokes to spread the Gospel.   

I am excited to share with you Yang’s artworks:

I have included Yang Yi’s video testimony and pray that you will be blessed by it:

Have a blessed week.

10/11/21 FriendSpeak Baptism

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

Our hearts are full as our church celebrated 21 baptisms this past Sunday. Praising God for bringing Chloe Dun (Michelle Gex’s reader) and Kenneth (Chloe’s son) into the family of God and changing these lives for eternity. Pray that you will be blessed by their testimonies:

Have a blessed week.

10/4/21 FriendSpeak Experience

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

I am praying for your session with your readers this week that God continue to draw you and your readers to Himself as you share Christ love. We are excited for Chloe Dun’s (Michelle Gex’s FriendSpeak reader) decision to get baptized at Grace this coming Sunday, Oct 10 at 12:30pm. If you will be around, you are invited to stay back for the baptism. Appreciate everyone’s sharing of your FriendSpeak experience with us that serves as an encouragement to many. Please keep them coming 🙂 We love seeing how God continue to cultivate and bless the good work of your hands. Praying that you will be blessed by our FriendSpeak volunteer, Brenda Getty’s testimonial:

About a year ago, I decided to become a FriendSpeak volunteer. I’m a senior saint and not up to an outreach to a foreign field, so how better to do my part to evangelize the lost? Sarah Chong called to give me my assignment, but called a short time later to say she changed her mind and gave me a different reader instead.  I’m thoroughly convinced that was a God-inspired move! My speaker is Hong from Shanghai and when we met there was a sweet connection. It was hard for me not to share more of the gospel than each lesson allowed, but I was also interested to see if the gospel by itself is all that’s needed to change a heart. Hong’s family practiced ancestor worship, so the gospel was much different to her.  Over the course of our lessons together, we became good friends and she invited me to meet her husband and son. We met for coffee one Saturday and all became close. When we finally came to the end of the first workbook, I asked Hong if she believed what she’d been reading was true and she said yes. We prayed together and her name is now written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

P/S We still have readers (females) on the waiting list. If you feel led to take on one more reader, please let us know.

Have a blessed week.

9/27/21 Ambassadors for Christ

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

Praying over you and your readers today! Below is a link of an interesting clip that reinforces some of the important concept of FriendSpeak as we focus on letting the Word be the teacher and us being the illustration and their friends.

Thank you for being the ambassadors for Christ and loving your international readers well.

Have a blessed week.

9/20/21 Alpha Video Series in English/Spanish/Chinese kicking off tomorrow (9/21)

Dear FriendSpeak workers,

Grace will be kicking off the Alpha video series (exploring the Christian faith and the meaning of life) tomorrow (Tuesdays, Sep 21—Nov 30)@6:30pm for the next 10 weeks in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Dinner and childcare provided with pre-registration. My wife Sarah and I will be leading the Alpha in Chinese. We are excited to have quite a few FriendSpeak volunteers and readers signed up. If you or your readers may be interested, please check it out at:  

https://whatisgrace.sitewrench.com/growthgroups

If you have friends that may be interested in becoming a FriendSpeak volunteer, please have them sign up at:

Praying for the Lord to bless the labor of your hands as you love on your international readers this week.

Have a blessed week.

9/13/21 Welcome our new FriendSpeak Workers!

Dear FriendSpeak workers!

Hope you had an amazing weekend celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Grace Fellowship. Praise God for a successful FriendSpeak training and blessing us with 20 new volunteers this semester. Hope everyone get to connect with their readers and begin their FriendSpeak sessions for the Fall semester. If you need a new workbook, please let me know.

Be sure to check out the FriendSpeak Resources page at https://FriendSpeak.net/help/ that contains:

May God bless you and grant you overwhelming joy and love as you share God’s Word with your readers this week.

8/27/2021 –  Welcome back FriendSpeak Workers!

Dear FriendSpeak workers!

Hope you had an amazing summer break and ready to resume FriendSpeak again with your readers.

Baptism

This past Sunday, we are excited to celebrate another FriendSpeak/ESL baptism and praising God for the wonderful works He is doing through each one of you in reaching our international friends with His love.

https://www.facebook.com/lchong/posts/10227198234961026

Calendar for Fall Semester 2021

Our Fall semester for FriendSpeak will begin on the week of September 6th and will last for 11 weeks with the 12th week as optional (Thanksgiving week).

  • Week of Sep 6th Session#1
  • Week of Sep 13th Session#2
  • Week of Sep 20th Session#3
  • Week of Sep 27th Session#4
  • Week of Oct 4th Session#5
  • Week of Oct 11th Session#6
  • Week of Oct 18th Session#7
  • Week of Oct 25th Session#8
  • Week of Nov 1st Session#9
  • Week of Nov 8th Session#10
  • Week of Nov 15th Session#11
  • Week of Nov 22nd Session#12 (optional week)
  • FriendSpeak Winter Break – will resume in Spring 2022

What’s next after completing the Luke workbook?

If you are close to completing Luke workbook with your reader, please contact us and we will mail you out the next workbook (Acts). We provide all our teachers/volunteers with the workbooks and the students/readers will purchase it directly from our FriendSpeak headquarter.

FriendSpeak Training

We are planning to have a Live Training via Zoom on September 2nd@7-9:30pm. The training is only required for our new volunteers but it’s optional for our current volunteers. Let me know if you like to attend the training as a refresher and I will send you the Zoom link. If you have friends who are interested in FriendSpeak, please have them register at:

Thank you for your servant heart!