Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Part Four

Well, my conscience is definitely weighed down right now. I said some things to someone close to me that were out of frustration and anger. He said he forgived me, but he still sounded mad. Such is the result of an untamed tongue. Oh well, onto what I hope you've all been waiting for (b/c I want to share my life wth you), my daily update on the English Camp in Jhutien.

Things have definitely started to click at the camp. I'm getting the hang of things for sure, and I'm hoping things continue to go this way. The kids are starting to get used to us to. More exciting than that, though, is the hope and dream of any missions team: A person got saved today.

The new believer's name is Nina, and she's been working as a translator, mostly with my Dad. She told the person who led her to the Lord, a local named Jany, that she saw the impact made on our lifes, specifically "that this religion was different than other religions. Notice that she didn't see our good English, our good skills, our good whatever, and definitely our loud protesting at some abortion clinic, or something. She saw a Jesus lived out. Although the opportunity was there, someone had to take it, and Jany was that someone. She has such a love for Jesus, and she loved Him enough to obey what He said.

On a sadder note, on the way back from the school at we saw a tradition funeral on the roadside. The family members were dressed in the robes of Chinese gods, and a man was walking around with an incense censer. Earlier this evening, I walked past the awnings where this funeral had been held, the incense in still heavy. Suddenly, it hit me. This funeral was for a person who was currently in Hell. One had been saved today, and the family of another had unknowingly commerated their beloved's eternal damnation. One saved. One lost. One lost. One lost. One lost. How manyt times do we have to read that before it hits us? Lost. Damned. Burning in Hell. Weeping. Knashing of Teeth. Lost.

Please continue to pray for the Hakka and for us as well. Please lift up a girl named Peggy, specifically. She is my translator in the morining, and I'm not sure if she's saved or not. I do know that she's one of the sweetest nicest folks I've ever met. Please pray that God will open doors, and that we will be enboldened to walk through them.

Part Three

And so, English camp began with a bang today, with us doing a session in the morning and the afternoon apiece. In the morning, I lead teach a class of 30 plus third graders. In the afternoon, I assistant teach a class of 15 or so fifth graders. Let's start at the beginning, (a very good place to start.)

It didn't feel like God stretched me this morning, the feeling was more akin to Him ripping my arms out of their sockets. As stated above, my class had 30 plus kids in it. 30. Plus. That is absolutely huge, when you consider the fact that I can barely communicate with them! I definitely felt like I did/was doing nothing right at all, that I was a miserable failure, and that I should never have come. I forgot steps in the lesson, I couldn't get some of the kids to interact with the stuff, we had logistic problems coming out of our ears, etc. I had to let my brother Michael usher the kids to rec while I just sat by the fish pond, choking back tears that I knew I could not shed in public. I really can't remember what it was God told me, but it was along the lines of comfort and encouragement. He gave me strength to go into the afternoon, where things were better.

Assisting was so much easier than leading. I was blessed enough to paired with Bro. Matt, our Direct of Evangelism and Missions for the association. He's been somewhat of a ministry mentor to me and supervised me last summer as I interned with the association. Needless to say, he means a lot to me. I learned a lot of things from him today, both things to do, and things not to do. Beyond that, the afternoon allowed me to slip into VBS mode. I was able to laugh and have fun with the kids. God used this to pump a little bit more fuel into my tank, and now I'm hopeful about tomorrow.

Hope. The missionaries here refer to their ministry as "Hope for a Hakka Harvest," and dream of the day when church planting movements will sweep the Hakka communities all over the globe, a day when the Hakka will become the largest missionary force ever seen on this Earth. Will it happen? I don't think that it's my place to say it will or won't? But can it happen? :) With God all things are possible, and we can have hope (even faith) that He will continue to call this lost world to Himself in ways that will blow our minds.
Thanks for your prayers. Please keep 'em up, for we do not remain in step with the Spirit, we will surely die in our morning commute. Seriously. Four words: no traffic laws enforced.

Love to all of the Family.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Part Two

My personal goal is to update this site and my other blog, at least once a day. Our small hotel is right across the crowded Taiwan street from this massive internet cafe. There have already been so many things to blog about today, I'll try to hit the best ones.

We attended church today, here in Dzuk-Tien, at the only indigenous congregation, a Presbyterian church. They were extremely gracious to us and seemed to worship God ardently. As a side note to mission's majors, I would label this church as 2.5-3.1 on the Contextualization scale. In basic English, it has a lot of American elements to it. However, Asian nations try so hard to be Western, at least Taiwan does. Starting churches without many Western elements to them would indeed be difficult.

But so many other things happened today and happened to me today. We went to a Taoist temple after lunch, at which the "Deacons" were beyond welcoming and polite. They let us get up very close to the idols, and explained what they do in worship and why. They offered to bring out their spirit medium, but our IMB missionary politely declined the offer. The missionary gave us the skinny on what the medium does. Basically, he get's possessed by the spirit of the god, i.e. demonic possession, takes out a sword-skewer thing, and goes to town on himself. He'll slash his head, arms, everything, not to mention stab himself through the cheek. In the morning, he's absolutely fine with no scars at all. Such is life in the non Western world. Satan shows himself to be a god of great power, and Jesus is seen to be a God of no power. Why? Those who claim the name of Christ don't live as if their lives were changed. The missionary talked about how we must show the power of God through our actions. Consider these words from Scripture.

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his estate, his possessions are secure. But when one stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, he takes from him all his weapons he trusted in, and divides up his plunder. Luke 11:21-22

Jesus Christ is indeed the strongest of all. Yes, Satan has been allowed what appears to us to be great power. But yes, Jesus Christ is God eternal, and possess infinite power. He is the Strong Man and he will bind the counterfeit strong man. May he plunder the slaves of Satan and release them into freedom, especially here amongest the Hakka of Taiwan and the world.

Please continue to pray for us. English Camp starts tomorrow, and I have to teach in it. I have no idea what I'm doing. It's going to have to be all God, now more than ever.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Thus Far

I am currently sitting at a computer kiosk in Hong Kong International Airport, pondering the many decisions of life, such as whether to buy a replica of a Communist China Soldier Hat, which looks really cool. But seriously, it has been a long 24 hour period. It's currently 8:35 Saturday morning. My Friday has been lost forever, thanks to the International Date Line.

So far, I don't have any culture shock. I guess that's because I'm sitting in a airport, surrounded by other Westerners and Western shops. But I can already feel myself slipping in some regards. I've really been struggling with keeping my temper in check, and Asian culture tends to be very pornographic. God gave me this verse earlier today:

"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worth of the gospel of Chirst." - Philippians 1:27a

Please continue to pray for the team, especially my family, the Hakka people, and the English camp