The current office that our ministry works out of is on the first floor of a residential building with three connecting rooms. These three rooms function as our HIV ministry office, orphanage, and church meeting center, respectively.
At the end of last year, we were given notice that we needed to move out by the following June. We have already had to change offices seven other times in the last twelve years, and each of these spaces have been very small. It is very difficult to find a space for our needs. Over these last few months, we have been praying and looking for a new space, and as the deadline was quickly approaching with no results, our landlord called us and gave us a six month extension. Our lease now ends in December, which gives us more time to find a space that will work for us. We are hoping that this place will be our ministry’s home for a long time, and be a place where we can grow and expand.
We have come a long way since our ministry started twelve years ago in an eight-square-meter room under a stairway, and we have faced a lot of persecution in that time as well. The neighborhood that we have been moving around in has not been kind to us overall, and that makes our upcoming move all the more appealing. The reason for this discrimination has to do with our line of ministry – specifically our outreach to HIV patients. People want to get away from them, and we invite them in. No matter how much we tried to educate the public on this topic, nothing seemed to stick.
It is with this background in mind that we are happy to announce that the Lord has opened doors for us to purchase a property for our ministry that fits our needs like the last several have not. Our church just received a legal license, which means that this purchase will remain valid, even through the current tension that we face. The property is easy to access, and big enough to hold trainings for up to two hundred people. Our current office can only hold forty, and we have had to rent meeting rooms for bigger events. The current owner of the new space will also leave behind meeting tables and chairs for us to use.
Our ministry currently focuses on ministering to university students, HIV patients and their families, migrant workers, and the homosexual community. With this new space, we will be able to expand the work that we do to reach out to even more marginalized communities, such as elderly people.
Please join us in prayer:
- There are four and half month left on our lease. Pray for God’s provision of funds for the property purchase. We have raised about RMB 1.5 million, and still in shortage of RMB 1 million (about USD 147K).
- In the hostile environment in which we work, pray for creativity of the Ribbon staff to express the Good News through holistic projects.