Being There for Our Youth at the Good Neighbor

How will the world know God has sent the Son, except by the way we love one another!  God has given us at the Good Neighbor Caring Center in Dalin, Chiayi County, Taiwan many ways to reach out to our young people with the love of Christ–

  1. Saturday afternoons we have music classes, with teachers teaching piano, ocarina, ukelele  and guitar.  We hope to get a cajon in lieu of a drum set for now.  These classes have just been running two weeks, with about 7 students coming out.  Praise God for 90 year old Mr. Lim volunteering his time to teach piano, and church member Sandy Chen volunteering her time to teach ocarina and ukelele–AND taking responsibility to contact the students and organize our class lists!  We have a short 20 minute “Getting to Know Jesus” time in the middle of two music sessions between 2:30-4:30.  We are hoping to give our students the chance to serve in church once a month after they have become more proficient with their instruments.
  2. WHIZ Kids program on Sunday mornings gives our Youth the chance to serve as Little Teachers for the Elementary School children.  It’s a great time for them to hide God’s Word in their hearts, too!
  3. Sunday Evening English Conversation class has been a great stage for talking about spiritual things as we go through a book called, “Uplifting Stories.”
  4. After-School English class meets twice a week for our Junior High students; as Mark and Ruth will be going on home service for six months beginning October 23rd, we are wondering if God has a college student who is fluent in English who would like to carry on this service to a group of about 5 students–all 8th graders this year at Dalin Junior High!
  5. We just finished a week of Leadership Youth Camp at Dalin Junior High, thanks to the help of 18 teachers–mostly university students–from Nan Jing East Road Church in Taipei!  We had about 18 students come out; Wednesday’s pizza party drew out 30 youth, who were blessed by the evangelistic skit and message prepared and executed so well by their teachers from Taipei! We are rejoicing with the angels in Heaven, as Emily trusted Jesus!
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Fast-paced game!

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The Youth learned from King David’s life!

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Lot’s of interaction!

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Dalin Heroes being trained at the Excellent Leadership Camp

 

TODAY we got to treat our After-School Students to a trip to Sun Moon Lake!  Why not treat them like FAMILY, for Jesus!

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L to R–Emily, Billy, Tina, Sunny, Mary

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A Day in the Life of a Missionary Family

Today was a wonderful day of ministry!  Here are some highlights!

8:30-9:30 Team Morning Prayer and Bible Reading

9:30-11:30 Team Meeting with Pastor Caspar Liu

12:00 Usually the first Thursday every month, our friend Grace Jian takes our team out to lunch!  She likes to encourage us; her husband was the first Taiwanese Bishop in the Anglican Church in Taiwan, and our former coworker in Dalin until his death a year ago.  Today Grace’s best friend,A-Keng, joined us because she wanted to treat us this time!  It was her way of thanking us for visiting her in the hospital; she’s been resistant to the Gospel, until she came down with cancer.  She looked good today, praise God!  Oh that she may come to Christ!

1:30-3:00 We cleaned the church, preparing for a team of 18 young adults coming down to lead our Excellent Leadership Youth Camp next week, August 10-13.  We are excited about their coming; this is the third year for Evangelist Joshua and his wife Evangeline to bring a team down from the Nan Jing East Road Church in Taipei to run a youth camp for the Good Neighbor Caring Center church!  Oh, but it was HOT and SWEATY today!  A super typhoon is coming, and we hope it passes in time for the camp! It always gets REALLY HOT before a typhoon hits!

3:00-4:15  Friend and former FAITH coworker, Rita Chen, together with her mother, joined Ruth for Visitation ministry this afternoon.  They visited Mrs. Lai to begin leading her through a study of The New Life, the first book in our discipleship series.

4:15-6:00 Rita introduced Ruth to a friend’s little brother and mother.  The brother, A-Bin, is suffering from mouth cancer.  The gospel was shared freely, as altogether there were five of us Christians gathered to minister to this family.  Praise God for the joy of proclaiming Christ and His promises!  Praise God for the privilege of coming boldly before His throne of grace in prayer!  We know God’s Spirit was at work in A-bin’s (and his mom’s) heart today. He brought his Bible out (which his sister had given him) and let us mark Psalm 23 for him to recite as a prayer every day. The Lord’s been speaking to me lately about expecting to see the power of His resurrection as we minister in His Name! Christ came to give us hope!

7:30-8:15  After a quick bite out to eat together, Mark and I gathered together with Rita and Chen Mama in our living room, expecting our neighbors–Lisa and her mother–to come out for The New Life study.  Lisa’s mom had a rough day, so they didn’t make it!  But A-Tiao, another neighbor to whom Mark has been especially ministering, did come over! (A-Tiao’s mom is the Jian Mama featured in our previous blog, “Jian Mama Has to Hear This!”) Praise God, it was a very touching time in the Word.  God is at work in A-Tiao’s heart and life!  Will you believe God with us for his salvation?  AND his whole family!

From left to right--Pastor Liu, A-Keng, Skye (young English teacher from England staying with us a few days), SEND coworker Naomi Leung, Ruth, and Grace Jian

From left to right–Pastor Liu, A-Keng, Skye (young English teacher from England staying with us a few days), SEND coworker Naomi Leung, Ruth, and Grace Jian

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Rita Chen Ru-Yin with her mother helped us lead A-Tiao in a Bible study. God is at work!

 

WHIZ Kids Begins Again

July 25th marked the beginning of the Good Neighbor Church’s second semester of WHIZ Kids!  WHIZ Kids is a Sunday School program built around memorizing words of wisdom in both Chinese and English.  We had a wonderful time  with seven children and Little Teachers (junior and senior high school-aged teachers), and seven adults!  What was fun about the little crowd that gathered was that we had two families out! One of them is in the our neighborhood, and we have begun going to their home to share Bible stories; we long for Stanley, the father in the home, to realize how big a blessing building a Family Altar with his family really is!  There he can lead his family to draw near to God, as God longs to draw near to and bless them!

The other family–a mom with her two teenage kids–were coming out to get acquainted, to check out WHIZ Kids and see if it’s something they would like to continue coming to and helping.  We hope to see Lilly and her children again!  It was fun having them!  And the more helpers we have, the more WHIZ Kids will successfully hide God’s Word in their hearts!  In Chinese AND English!

A Little Teacher helps a WHIZ Kid, Claire, memorize a Bible verse in Chinese and English!

Little Teacher Kiki helps a WHIZ Kid, Claire, memorize a Bible verse in Chinese and English!

Are you going to Heaven?

This last Friday’s health check-ups in the temple square ministered to about 25 people.  We were blessed by the American doctor, pharmacist, and dentist who gave of their time and expert advice, that the people might know the love of Christ.  Ruth gave foot massages to several ladies. Then she asked Li Mama as she showed her a Gospel Bridge tract, “Li Mama, after you’ve lived to 120, are you going to go to Heaven?”  Li Mama looked at her in surprise, and asked, “Is it possible to know?”  The 83 year old white-haired matron seemed so sincere.  Ruth smiled and said, “Yes, God wants us to KNOW!”

Ruth shared with her how we were made by one Creator God, and how our sin has separated us from Him.  But God loved the people of the world so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross in their place.  All who receive and trust Him for the forgiveness of their sins, to them God gives the power to become His children! Their sins are forgiven, and they will  KNOW the Lord is in Heaven preparing a place for them!   Li Mama wanted to pray with Ruth, and put her trust in Jesus that day!  Afterwards, when asked if she was going to Heaven someday, Li Mama’s face broke into a big,  beautiful grin and said, “Yes! I am!”

Hallelujah! Salvation comes from God!  Oh that we might proclaim it with abandon!

Happy Huang Mama receives foot massage

Jian Mama HAS to Hear This!

Today 70 year old Grace Jian came with me to share her grandmother’s salvation story to our neighbor–82 year old Jian Mama.  Jian Mama lately has given up on coming to Jesus herself, because she has her ancestors to think about; she says, “Of course Jesus will accept you; you’ve known him all your life!”  So when I heard Grace’s grandmother’s story, I knew Jian Mama had to hear it!

Grace started with her father’s salvation experience.  He was just a youth, playing in the fields after the rice had been harvested and the hay rolls burned.  He liked to play!  He jumped into the middle of a pile of hay not knowing that the inside was still smoldering and piping hot!  He ended up being sent to the Christian hospital in Tainan to be treated for severe burns.  While he was there, he got to hear the Gospel daily!  Eventually, he even followed the Lord in baptism!  When he recovered and returned home, he told his mom and dad he had trusted the Lord and been baptized!

“No!” they shouted.  “You MAY NOT become a Christian.  You MAY NOT go to church!”  Grace’s father was so disappointed, and so much wanted to go to church.  So he prayed and waited.

One day his mother fell ill, and ended up in a coma.  She laid on her bed like that for weeks.  While asleep, she met an angel, or perhaps it was Christ, all dressed in white; she could only see his back.  He asked her, “Woman, what are you doing here?”  She said, “I don’t know, but I’d sure like to go play!”  The angelic figure took her a place where the road was wide and dark.  She heard screams and moans.  She told the Man, “I don’t like it here.  Let’s go someplace nicer.”  So he led her to a road which was narrow; it got narrower and narrower, but it was bright!  She could hear beautiful music.  ALL was peaceful, and her heart filled with joy!  But the angel said, “It’s time for you to go home now.  Your family needs you.”  Grace’s mother replied, “But I’d like to stay here!  And I don’t know the way home!”  The angel said, “I’ll take you there.”  And then, Grace’s grandmother awoke from her coma!  She excitedly told her family where she had been.  Grace’s father knew from all he’d learned in the hospital that his mother had seen heaven and hell; he offered to call the church elder to come and explain what she had experienced.

Grace’s mom told her experience, and said to the elder, “I’d like to go back there, to that beautiful, happy place.”  The elder told her there was only one way, and that was to trust in Jesus and His shed blood on the cross for the forgiveness of her sins!  Then He would receive her into His Heaven when she died!  So immediately the one who formerly opposed her son becoming a Christian became one herself!

But there’s a problem when traditional, idol-worshiping Taiwanese come to faith in Christ.  It’s not immediately clear what to do with the idols and ancestors.  One day God did another miracle for Grace’s grandmom–without anyone lighting a fire, all the idols and fetishes hanging on the wall caught fire and burned up!  She wouldn’t be needing those anymore!  No other furniture burned, only the idolatrous stuff!  God did yet another miracle after that–He restored to Grandmother the use of her legs, for she had been bedridden a long, long time!  After that, her husband and whole family trusted Christ!

Today, when Grace told this story, Jian Mama confessed, “I often feel Christ’s Presence when this American comes to visit.”  I told her, “That’s Christ calling you to believe in Him.  He wants you to come to Him like a child.  All your questions and worries, entrust to Him; He loves you so much, He will lead you and give you His peace!”  Grace encouraged Jian Mama to pray to the Father in Jesus’s Name.  Jian Mama confessed that she often tries to pray, but always forgets His Name!  So Grace said, “Just call Him Abba!”  Then Grace prayed with us, and it was time to go.  But Jian Mama had a big smile on her face, and the name, “Abba” on her lips.

Hallelujah!  Salvation is of the Lord!

Return to BLESS the little children to come to ME!

Pei-Ling with Little Brother Cheng Hong.

Pei-Ling with Little Brother Cheng Hong.

Wow!  This last weekend, as Sunday morning’s WHIZ Kids approached, the LORD just told me not to worry about the kids coming out.  Rather, He wanted me to BLESS them that they might come to HIM!  So that’s what we did. . . we prayed for each child by name and blessed them in Jesus’ Name, that He would draw them to Himself!  Hallelujah!  On Sunday morning I heard one of the Little Teachers say, “I wonder if there will be fewer kids today?”  But in they came, one by one, and we even had a new child come out for the first time!  Hallelujah!  Plus, He blessed our morning’s activities–I was so proud of our Little Teachers who took their job so seriously!  It was fun watching SEND coworker Naomi teach the children the new memory verse.  And while the children were upstairs playing games, Mark was downstairs and available to some parents who came in to talk.  So much to give thanks for.  But the greatest lesson for us today was that God does not want us to worry about numbers; He wants us to BLESS the children that they might come to Him!  We prayed the same way for our church folk, and God blessed and brought back some who have not come for a while, and healed some who came even though they were feeling sick!  Hallelujah! One BIG prayer God has put on my heart as a result of this day is, “LORD, help us to be faithful to do what You want us to do, then cause us to GET OUT OF YOUR WAY and watch you do Your saving work!”

Church Planting Plan

Ray and Ellen joined our team in Taiwan for three wonderful weeks! Their thoughts here will keep us inspired, planning and striving to fulfill the vision God has given! Only by His grace!

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We did a number of projects during this STM, including conducting workshops, preaching, teaching Sunday school, visitation, helping a missionary with his computer challenges etc. One of the assignments involved reviewing a church-planting team’s budget, which evolved into an examination of the team’s plans. A budget is an itemized allotment of funds, and reflects how the team plans to spend its money to achieve its goals. For a church-planting team, the ultimate goal is the establishment of a reproducing church. From a zero-based budgeting perspective, this immediately raises the question of whether each proposed expenditure is justified in the light of this objective.

For instance, some activities may be aimed at attracting the unchurched (the community) so that they might become regular church attenders (the crowd). [Refer Saddleback’s 5 different groups of people.] However, if the unchurched are outside of the church plant’s normal commuting distance and unlikely to…

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Bless the Little Children to Come to Me, AND their Moms and Dads, too!

Our Sunday School had dwindled down to one faithful student for several weeks.  Something had to be done differently!  So we prayed and waited on the Lord for guidance, and WHIZ Kids was born.  It has not been an altogether smooth start.  But we now have an average of 16 children and Little Teachers–junior and senior high helpers–every Sunday!  Praise God for His tender mercies, as He desires the little children to come to Him.  What has been particularly exciting has been the beginning of our Youth Group–these are some of the Little Teachers, the ones who are interested in preparing for Sunday’s ministry by memorizing the verses in Chinese and English which will be taught the next day; these are the young people who are discovering that they enjoy getting to know God and His Word better; this is what they said when we asked them why they like coming to Youth Group.

Recently we began getting into the homes of our WHIZ Kids.  We met a dad, who we call Shawn.  A very interesting fellow, as his English is excellent!  Yet he’s a farmer with beetle-nut-stained teeth!  He asked a question about angels and devils, and then he asked for a Bible.  Four days later, he had read five chapters. That day he asked, “If God is love, why do people suffer so much?”  We had a great spiritual conversation, and he exclaimed, “Now I know the Bible is more than a storybook!  I’m going to take it more seriously!”  Wow!  God’s Word is transforming lives; we believe that we will see WHOLE FAMILIES transformed as the children, the youth, and their families get into God’s Word. . . and they get God’s Word into their hearts!  That is what WHIZ Kids is all about!