Below is the text from Mark’s April Newsletter:
Greetings to all of you in the love our Christ our risen Lord. He is risen…He is risen indeed. I pray that all of you are having a blessed celebration of the resurrection of our Lord.
here’s a quick Chinese lesson to start this newsletter. In church this Sunday Pastor Lio greeted us with the Chinese equivalent of the famous Easter proclamation. (The following are the phonetic sounds for this phrase in Chinese)
Yeah Sue Sh Foo Hwoe luh…
Tah Sh Jen Duh Foo Hwoe luh
The literal translation of this is “Jesus is risen… He is really risen”
What a joy it is that Easter is celebrated all over the world, in many different languages, but all with the same message. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. He is risen indeed. We have new life and hope in His victory over death, sin, and the devil.
Cleansed by Water and Word
Easter is such a wonderful time. Everything from time with family, Easter eggs and Easter baskets filled with candy, to wonderful Easter hymns and of course the life-changing message of Easter. All of these make it a joyful holiday. Easter here in Taiwan is not at all like Easter in America. We do not sing all of my favorite traditional Easter hymns, nor do we see a lot of Easter treats (although Salvation Lutheran does give us all a hard-boiled Easter egg), and of course I am far away from family.
There is however one difference about being in Taiwan for Easter, that is better than my traditional view of what Easter should be. This is Easter baptisms. Last year two people were baptized at our church, and this year there were four people. While I do remember baptisms in my church, I can’t recall any happening on Easter. This addition to the Easter celebration makes it even more joyous than the hymns, candy, or anything else.
Each person who was baptized this year has a wonderful story of how God is working in his or her life. One is a teacher here at Concordia Middle School. Another is a friend of mine from church who I work with at the Saturday kid’s camp. The other two are students here at Concordia Middle School. I was especially excited about the two students who were baptized because they are former students of mine from last year. Jasmine and Grace are both currently 11th grade students here at Concordia Middle School, and I taught both of them English and Bible class last year in 10th grade.
It was extremely uplifting to see students come to trust Jesus for their salvation. It is easy to get discouraged while teaching Bible class, especially when students are cynical or disinterested. Sometimes it is hard to see God working in the lives of students. Grace and Jasmine are two examples of God’s Spirit working at work. To see these two girls publicly declare their faith and receive God’s blessings from baptism brought such joy to my heart. This is why I came to Taiwan to help people know more about the love of Jesus, especially my students. I am thankful to God that He keeps His promises and has brought these all of these people to faith.
It’s Prayer Time!
Here are the prayer requests. As always we lift these up according to the will of God, praying for Him to be glorified through everything.
1. Pray that God would be with all of those who were baptized this past Sunday at Salvation Lutheran Church. Pray that God would bless them, be with them, and keep them strong in their faith.
2. Pray for all of my students that I teach. Pray that my actions and words would point towards the love of Jesus and that they would come to trust him. Pray especially for the following students. All of them are at different places concerning what he or she may or may not believe about Jesus but please pray for them that God would help give them faith. Jacky, Sunnie, Michelle, Bryant, David, Angel, Nneia, and Lana.
3. Pray that God would continue to bring people to the mission field. That God would open doors for those who have a calling for mission work.
Thank you all for your continued love, support, and prayers.