The Taiwan Times
By Mark Wolfram
Reporting on God’s mission in Taiwan
20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[a] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.1 Peter 3:20-22Reaching out through baptismGod is a patient God. He continues to love us and reach out to us with his grace and mercy, even when we don’t love him or our neighbors. He calls us and snatches us from the claws of sin, into a true joy in Christ. This month I’d like to share about an example of God’s continued pursuit and welcoming of a new member into his family through water and word.We were blessed on Sunday October 2, to have a baptism and confirmation at Salvation Lutheran Church. First, a student in our youth group named Lin, was brought into God’s family through the waters of holy baptism. Lin is a great testimony of God’s working in his own time and way.I remember about 4 years ago, the youth group was taking an outing in the Chia-Yi area. Pastor Paul (who was a “fill-in” pastor for one year), was leading it and I was one of the chaperones for the students as we went to see a few monuments and go for a hike. Throughout the trip, we would talk and joke around with the kids, and try to answer questions that they had.At that time, my Chinese was starting to improve and I could understand a lot more of what I was being spoken around me. I distinctly remember a conversation that Pastor Paul had with Lin concerning baptism. He asked her if she had ever thought about getting baptized, and explained how it was an assurance and out-pouring of God’s Holy Spirit, in which God promises eternal life. Pastor Paul asked her if she was interested in baptism, and she just kind of shrugged and didn’t respond.I remember feeling discouraged at the time and thinking that she must not be that receptive to the message of the Gospel. However, praise God that the story does not end there and that he does not give-up. Lynn continued coming to youth group, and continued to hear God’s word, and now is a baptized Christian.In addition to Lin’s baptism and confirmation, a high school classmate of hers named Wei, confirmed her Christian faith during the worship service.Here are some videos if you would like to watch the baptism, confirmation, or just practice your Chinese!Lin’s BaptismWei’s ConfirmationI wanted to share this story with you, to help you understand how God continues to work through you, me, and all the Christians here in Taiwan and in America. God hears our prayers and answers them in his way and his time. I hope you remember this, and that God will present to you opportunities to share his love with the people around you.More teachers neededHere at the elementary portion of our school, we are in desperate need for more teachers. We currently only have 2 elementary teachers on staff, and the school has asked teachers from the high school to teacher overtime hours to pick-up missing classes. If you know anyone who is interested in serving overseas as an English teacher, please let them know about the need in Taiwan. I can give them more specific information if they contact me. We could have teachers start as early as February, which would be the start of our second semester.It’s prayer time:
- Pray for my fellow teacher Noel Schaff, who is back in the US getting treatment for some growths that are in her body. Pray for God to heal her body, comfort her spirits and help her to put full trust in Jesus. Pray also for Noel’s husband Andrew, who is here in Taiwan continuing to teach.
- Pray for Lin and Wei, that God would continue to grow their faith in him.
- Pray for God to raise up new teachers to come and serve at CELA.
- Praise God for the service of short term mission team Ken and Mildred Young, as well as a wonderful experience at the ALEA conference in Hong Kong. Both of these took place in the last part of October and I’ll report more on these in next month’s newsletter.
God’s peace be with you!Mark