May 5, 2007

Dear Brothers, Sisters, Friends: Speaking at Stephen's Wedding

An interesting few weeks. A sister in Christs mother died ĘC her mother had not been healthy for a long time. As there was no pastor available in the morning, I led a small service for the immediate family at the coronors office (FYI: in Taiwan, when a person dies, their body is stored in a government freezer until the time for the funeral). In the afternoon, a regular pastor led the funeral service and internment.

My good friend and coworker at Multimedia University informed me that last week, one sister returning home from cell group was murdered. A brother dropped her off outside of her appartment. Maybe she surprised a burgler in her house, we don't know. Anyways, she was found with hands and feed tied up and her mouth and nose taped shut. The appartment door was locked from the outside. Compare this to the teaching of some recent Christian literature about how trusting in God will result in you being healthy, wealthy, wise and safe, -- and this teaching seems hollow. Evil does exist.

Yesterday, I spoke briefly on Proverbs 5#18-21 at the wedding ceremony of a graduate student who attended the Bible Study at our house. He married a beautiful Christian girl.

Some things...

  1. Thank God that another student who attends the Bible Study, Ryan, has also decided to follow Jesus. Please pray for him as he is now very busy (finishing his thesis and time is short). I fear that Satan will use the business of life to kill the young plant. Ryan is currently under much pressure as a friend of his (2nd year university student) has had a brain tumor. He is now in hospital and is semi-alert but seems to have lost a will to live. My wife and the local church have been ministering to his mother and sister and they have recently prayed to receive Christ. The family has a sad story. About 1 year ago the father died (a construction supervisor) died when he was blown off the top of a building whose construction he had been supervising. His mother has tried to pray to every God possible. We are now praying for healing of the young man. As in the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal, in which after the false Gods were unable to answer the true God showed his power, we are praying that God will heal this young man.
  2. Remember Ronan. He accepted Jesus and was baptized last year. He is now doing his compulsory military service and recently broke his arm. As such his church attendance and fellowship is sporadic. (i.e. One can only attend church when on leave from military.) In this fellowship, we have finished the Bible and are now preparing to start again from Genesis.
  3. Please pray that God will send us the new students he wants to be in the study, we will have courage in sharing our faith, and wisdom in knowing when to share.
  4. Teacher's fellowship is very encouraging as a group,we have an increasing vision to serve God on our campus. Teacher prayer meeting. It is enjoying to meet with other teachers. As different teachers take turns leading the different styles are quite amazing: i.e one week the leader believed in leading prayers with a loud voice and shouts, the next week the leader stated issues and urged everyone to prayer out loud at the same time and in tongues if possible. last week the leader emphasized silent meditation -- 1 hour of silent group prayer with no allowed to make a sound. (A challange for my wife as she had brought my year old son who is just starting to learn to talk!)
  5. Other teachers here are teaching courses related to Christianity and the Bible at the university with the help of local churches. We are very thankful that this year local churches are working with us.
  6. The Evangelistic Bible Bible study in Wugu is continuing. Same students are attending, that have been attending for a few years. Continue to pray for these students. Up to date, none have decided to follow Jesus. We have just completed our study of the Old Testament, and will now start studying the life of Jesus.
  7. Hui-Fan. As she saw God heal her 1.5 year old son who had been severely burned, she decided to follow Christ. She has had some trouble in a second pregnancy but has now given birth to a small but seemingly healthy baby. Pray for her continued following of Christ. Her husband after initial enthusiasm has cooled. Pray for their relationship.
  8. Church life is good here although more lively than what I grew up with. Morning service is 2 hours: 30 minutes of singing, 30 minutes of prayer, 1 hour message.

Youen, Aien are growing well. Aien is just getting over the chicken pox and should return to school next week.. Xiuman is also healthy.

Summer Plans. I received a grant from to do a joint research project with University of Western Ontario for part of this summer. This will cover the cost of my airplane ticket. Thus I will bring my daughter to Canada from July 10 to August 7 (Xiuman and Youen will stay in Taiwan). Aien is looking forward to going to Camp Cherith for 1 week.

God bless,

Jonathon