The Taiwan Times
by Mark Wolfram
Reporting on God’s Mission in Taiwan
Happy Chinese New Year
Happy Chinese New Year to all of you! The month of February provided a time for travel and relaxation, as Taiwan celebrated its biggest holiday, Chinese New Year. I was blessed with the opportunity to go to India on a short term mission trip, with a little extra time spent in the country for vacation. It was an amazing experience that I am excited to tell you all about, however I think I am going to save it until next month. In this newsletter, I would like to share with you a few shorter stories that have taken place in the last month or so.
Barber Shop Ministry
While doing presentations this summer, I know that one person I specifically mentioned was my barber: Sue Hway. She often asks questions about church and talks about how she would like to be a Christian someday. Her husband and relatives all practice the traditional Taiwanese folk religion. I know that many of you have been praying for her, so I wanted to give you an update on the situation, and show the power of prayer as God continues to work in her life.
First, praise God that he puts many people in her life to witness His love to her. About 7 or 8 weeks ago, I was in getting my hair cut, and Sue Hway commented that she has many customers who are Christians. Two specific people she mentioned were Pastor Alex from Salvation Lutheran Church and another woman who attends Bread of Life Church in Chia-Yi. My conversations with Sue Hway are all in Chinese, so this presents a little bit of a problem. While I am able to use my Chinese on a functional level, I lack precision and command of the language to always be able to communicate with her in a clear way. But praise God that he has put other Taiwanese people in her life who come as customers but also testimonies to God’s goodness.
While we were talking, she mentioned that she had began to pray. I was very excited to hear this and inquired more about the situation. The lady who attends the Bread of Life Church in the city talks with her about faith, and prayer while getting her hair cut. This lady had given Sue Hwaye a prayer book, and began talking to her about prayer, and how Christians pray. Sue Hwaye said that she had begun praying since early December.
I was very excited to hear this and asked her if she wanted to attended church. She said that she was too busy, and that she had to have her shop open on Sunday mornings. I then asked her if she had a Bible, which she said she did not. As I left, I remembered that I had a Chinese-English New Testament in the trunk of my scooter. I gave it her and suggested the Gospel of Mark as a good place to start reading about the life and work of Jesus Christ. It was an amazing opportunity that God gave me to share God’s word with her. I told her if she had questions about what she was reading that she could ask me, or Pastor Alex if she needs a better explanation in Chinese.
Two days ago I went back get my hair cut and asked her about how she was doing. She said that she still prays every day, but has not had time to read the Bible. Please continue to pray for her. God is definitely working in her life, but pray that she will be connected with His word and will come to faith. Your prayers have made a difference over the course of this year, so keep it up prayer warriors.
8th Grade Baptism
In early February, our 8th Grade Bible Class curriculum began studying the life of Jesus. The students study more Old Testament stories in 7th grade and the first semester of 8th grade. However, beginning 8th grade through 10th grade, the focus shifts to the New Testament. Our first lesson of the new semester was Jesus’ baptism and temptation.
After completing the lesson, one of my students, Jack, came up to me and told me that he wanted to be baptized. I was really excited and surprised by this, as I had never had a student say this after a lesson before. I asked him some more questions, and found out that he attends the Lan Tan Lutheran Church here in the city. I told him about the great gift that baptism is, and encouraged him to talk to his family and pastor.
After class today, Jack came up to me again, and said that he would start school on Sundays. I was confused by this and asked him to clarify a little bit. Eventually, I figured out that he will start classes on Sunday in preparation for his baptism. Praise God. Jack didn’t know how many weeks the classes would take, but he was starting them next week. Please praise God for Jack’s faith and pray for him as he prepares to be baptized later this year.
It’s Prayer Time!
1. Pray for Sue Hway. Pray that God would continue to connect her to His word and work faith in her.
2. Praise God for Jack’s faith. Pray for him as he takes baptism classes.
3. Praise God for His guidance and safety on the excellent trip to India.
4. Pray for me and the other missionaries as we start the new semester. May God give us renewed strength and energy, and bless all of us as we work together and share the Gospel.
5. Pray for me as I consider where God would want me to be next year. I am prayerfully considering a return to Taiwan, or pursuing a teaching job in the States.
Happy Chinese New Year, and may God bless you all,