Dear Brothers & Sisters,
Tomorrow, is the start of school--my 7th in Taiwan. Originally, I had hoped to be back in Canada at this time but as Xiuman is expecting to deliver our fourth child in the next week or so, this has been delayed
I am quite excited about this year! My first class is on the first day. Taiwan Year 99 Month 9 Day 9 Hour 9 Minute 9 ! Let me tell you why I am excited.
@school: I am excited by opportunities that God has opened to plant the seed of the word of God. At the secular technical university where I work, the administration strongly encourages students to take a course or 2introducing the Bible. This semester 450 students have enrolled in 5 sections. (At this rate ~1/3 of all students will be exposed to the gospel before graduation). God has given me a chance to serve with other brothers and sisters in facilitating one section of ~65 students. In our neighbourhood, God has given me the priviledge of using CEF material in a small "Good News" Club on Tuesday evenings (6~10 children). The great thing about this is that I can disciple my children by example. You-en is particularily enthusiastic and Aien is a great help in translation.
@Church: I believe God has asked me to: "look and learn". So I am continuing to seek to learn. I am continually amazed at how God uses imperfect people and congregations in vastly different ways to forward his glorious gospel.
in Failure: I find it easy to see in the lives of others (especially my spouse!) how failure to follow God's guidence results is unnecessary hardships. Last year, I made two wrong decisions (not moral issues): in one only partially following God's leading and in the other acting without asking God what to do. These two decisions have given me much trouble, costing me a considerable amount of time for no benefit. Lesson: Be careful to enquire and follow God's leading.
@Heart: In Taiwan universities, young lecturers feel a strong pressure regarding their research performance. For my first years here, I felt no pressure--research was largely enjoyable and my focus was on Christ and ministry. But in the last year or so, I started to feel pressure the pressure to try to reach others expectations for research. In August, God released me from this pressure, directing me to work on 1 research theme and refocus on serving God. I am thankful for the provision of a new guide, Prof Yang, after the passing away of Prof Fann.
Future: In the past I expected to stay in Taiwan for 6 or 7 years. Now as I look towards going back to Canada for a season, I feel that God may have me return to Taiwan after the time of refreshment.
PS added Sept 28, 2010: I am thankful for the safe arrival of Liang-En on September 18th 12:26 noon after 40 minutes of labor. She weighs 4276g and is 53.5cm long. Do pray for us as Sharon is tired, the other children have been sick and it seems I have had a kidney stone so also feel tired.