Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Advent: A Good Busy
Hello everyone! November has come and gone and we are just about to get into the thick of things with December’s Christmas preparations. Right now it is the season of Advent, which means we are preparing for the arrival of Christmas. I absolutely love Advent, even though it is one of the more busy times of the year. In fact, I was just having a conversation on Friday about how the Christmas season is a “good busy”. I say that because under all of the skit practices, music practices, parties and outreach events, the central message is one of great joy and hope. We have these celebrations and activities to share in the jubilation that God sent his son to our world. As we prepare for Christmas, we complete all of those items on our list to help celebrate this fact and to share the life changing message of Christ with other people. May God continue to remind us that he is with us.
Advent at Friday Night Bible Study
In the four weeks leading up to our celebrations at Salvation Lutheran Church, we have been observing Advent at Friday Night Bible Study. FNBS has 5 different levels of classes: Little Lambs Class for Elementary students, a Bi-lingual class for beginner English learners, Junior High class, a Senior High class, and an Advanced English Adult Class. Each class has been taking their angle on themes of preparing for Christmas, and I would like to spend a little time introducing the lessons for the Adult Advanced English Class.
The first lesson was taught by Petrea, and this lesson studied the role of angels and the proclamation to Mary that she would give birth to God’s son. Ben taught the second lesson and focused on the shepherds. The lesson examined who the shepherds were and what they did at Christmas, but it also related the idea of sheep to the fact that Christ is the Passover Lamb, blameless without defect.
Last Friday I taught a lesson looking at the Wise Men, and the gifts that they brought. Several people knew that they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. We went further though and discussed how each of these gifts can remind us about who Jesus is. Gold shows that Jesus is our king, frankincense shows that Jesus is our priest, and myrrh reminds us that Jesus came to die for us. We then looked up Bible verses to show how Jesus fits each of those descriptions.
Please pray for this Adult Advanced English Class. May God continue to strengthen the faith of the believers in that class, and may he bring to faith those who do not know yet know him.
Thank you very much for your continued prayers for Noel, Andrew, and James. I would like to share an update on the situation. A few weeks ago, Noel went back to the doctor and discovered that her tumors were gone. Praise God! Doctors continued to have tests and examinations, and then this past week they gave her a clean bill of health, so she will be able to join us in Taiwan this Christmas.
In addition, James Rush was able to make it out to Taiwan and fill in for Noel’s classes. He has been a great addition to the team, not only in easing the teaching load, but also with the new energy and excitement that he brings. Praise God for him and his willingness to come and serve.
This semester, CMS requested that the American teachers work together to make a website introducing the work and lives of the missionaries here in Taiwan. The school wants to link this website to the official CMS website, and hopes this new English website will be beneficial for people here in Taiwan, but also people in America. The whole team has and will continue to work together on this website, but Graham Guenther has volunteered to work with the school on managing the site. I would like to invite all of you to check it out. It’s not finished yet, but feel free to browse and get a feel for it. The website has videos, general information, and a blog (which will be updated by several members of the team).
The address for this website is: https://sites.google.com/a/cmsh.cyc.edu.tw/foreignenglish/home
To see the blog, click on “What’s Happening”, or go to: http://lcmsteamtaiwan.blogspot.com/
It’s Prayer Time!
1. Praise God for Noel’s recovery, and ask for God to continue to be with her as she prepares to return to Taiwan.
2. Praise God that James Rush has been able to come to join us. Pray for him as he teaches Noel’s classes this semester.
3. Pray for the students of the Adult Advanced English Class at FNBS. May God continue to work on their hearts to create faith.
4. Pray for all of the Christmas preparations here in Taiwan. May God give all of us missionaries strength, energy, and wisdom in sharing the Gospel.
A joyous Advent to you all!