By Mark Wolfram
Reporting on God’s mission in Taiwan
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15
Every Tuesday night we have Bible Study in English for the missionaries that serve here in Chia-Yi, Taiwan. Recently we have been going through the book of 1 Peter. A couple of weeks ago, we were discussing 1 Peter 3:15. As a missionary, I have learned that this verse is very important for our lives. I am often surprised at how God presents opportunities to share Christ, at times when I don’t expect it. I would like to share a couple of quick ways that God has presented for me to witness in every day parts of my life.
I get my hair cut from a lady who lives a couple of houses down from Salvation Lutheran Church. She runs the place out of her home, and is a very nice lady. Her hair cuts are cheap ($6.00, including a hair wash after the hair cut). She does not speak much English, so our conversations take place in Chinese, but she is always asking about church. She talks about how she does not like the traditional Taiwanese religions and would like to be a Christian some day. I am always glad to hear this, and invite her to church. She has yet to come because she always cuts hair on Sunday morning. However, we recently talked about Salvation’s new Pastor (Pastor Alex). The lady said she had the chance to meet him, and thought he and his wife were nice. I pray God will continue to open doors and help me to continually be a witness to her as she cuts my hair.
A second example is in my Chinese lessons. This semester I began studying Chinese on Monday nights at church. One of the church members organizes teachers to come in and teach a couple of the American teachers. I have had 4 or 5 different teachers this semester who are not Christians. As part of the lesson I always ask to include 15-20 minutes of Bible reading. This is great because it helps me increase my vocabulary and acquisition of Bible words, but it also gives the non-Christians teachers a chance to read the Bible. Just this past week at Chinese class, another missionary and I were able to have a conversation with a high school girl (Ginny) about why we believe in God and what she believes. She comes from a Buddhist family, but her parents have given her freedom to believe what she wants. The conversation was a great chance to let her ask questions and understand more about what Christians believe and why we believe it.
These are just two examples of ways that God presents opportunities to share Jesus outside of worship or the classroom. As a missionary, I feel this is what God has called me to do. I have life, hope, and peace in Christ, and I need to let that overflow into all parts of my lif. I need to always be ready to be a witness of God’s faithfulness.
God Calls You!
I think this is idea is true for you as well. Really, we are all missionaries for Christ. I happen to be a teacher in Taiwan, but maybe you work at a bank, in a business, a school, or are retired. The apostle Paul made tents. Regardless of what you do, Peter’s words are the same for all of us. “Always be prepared to give the reason for your hope.” What ways and areas of your life is God presenting for you to be a witness in your community? People all over the world need God’s message of hope and life in Christ, even where you are. Can you be a missionary to them?
It’s Prayer Time!
1. Pray for me as I finish school year here at Concordia Middle School. My last day of classes is June 19th. Pray for God to give me focus, patience, and a heart overflowing with his love to share with students.
2. Pray for the school as they consider changes for next year’s teaching school. I am truly blessed that I work at a school which is committed to share Christ with the students, teachers, and those outside of the campus. Pray that whatever changes that will work for God’s glory.
3. Pray for my barber, that God would work in her life and continue to use me as a witness to her.
4. Pray for the people who have taught me Chinese over the past semester. Pray especially for Ginny that God would continue to help her know Him more.
5. Praise God for the support He has provided through people like you. I have raised over $2,000 toward my goal for next year. Pray that God would also continue to provide the remaining $7,000 to raise.
If you feel called to support the mission work here in Taiwan, you can send a check to the following address:
LCMS World Mission
1333 S. Kirkwood Rd.
St. Louis, MO 63122
On the memo line for the check please write “Mark Wolfram account #50152”. Even if you cannot support financially, prayer support is important as well.