Ministry at Holy Grace Church
The Lord is certainly at work here, and most exciting for me personally is that we have seen a renewed interest in Church planting among the Presbyterian and Reformed Churches in Taiwan. As you know, during the past year we have been helping with Evangelism and Outreach at a local Church plant called Holy Grace that is well on its way to becoming a self-governing congregation with Elders in the near future and hopefully deacons in the not so distant future as well. They also have a vision for future Church plants in the nearby Cities around Taichung as their congregation expands.
During the past year in Taichung, I’ve gotten to know and befriend three men from Holy Grace who during the course of the year have sensed a greater and greater call to the Ministry. Two of them are heading to Seminary this fall with the goal of becoming Church planters in Taiwan. The other has sensed a call to foreign missions (possibly Japan) and would like to pursue further training before entering the Mission field. We are so thankful that God has been answering your prayers for the Lord of the Harvest to send out more workers into his harvest field.
This past week we hosted our 2nd annual English Bible Summer Camp at Holy Grace, and this year we had close to 50 students sign up (more than 5 times the number as last Summer!)…. We actually had to turn some students away because of the limits of the Church facility and the number of volunteers. The week was very full of singing, activities, games, crafts, and Bible lessons, but the highlight was definitely the closing ceremony which allowed the parents of the children to hear the Gospel clearly — many of them for the first time. I preached in English and a dear brother in Christ translated the sermon so that everyone would be able to understand without any difficulty. Also a short term missionary from San Diego named David gave a short Gospel presentation after the children performed their English skits and songs. Please pray that the parents would receive the Word of Truth with faith and that they would be baptized and join a local congregation of believers where they can begin to the life-long process of discipleship.
Moving on from Taichung
Because of the stability of Holy Grace and the urgent need in many other parts of Taiwan, we are planning on leaving Taichung and moving to an area which currently lacks any Reformed witness. After talking with several other missionaries and our team leader (Rev. Joel Linton), we believe that God is calling us to plant a Church in San Xia which is adjacent to Taoyuan City (population 2 million) in Northern Taiwan.
As I mentioned in our May prayer update, San Xia is such a unique City, and we especially love the area near National Taipei University where there are many new high-rises and hundreds of new young families moving there each month. Every time we’ve visited so far, we’ve enjoyed the environment there and have found it incredibly easy to connect with people in the community.
But one of the downsides to how much people love living in San Xia is that it has been very difficult for us to find a suitable apartment to rent there. We want to be close to the University and walking distance from the center of the City so that we can most strategically host Bible studies and do Evangelism. Please pray that God would provide a place for us to rent in order to best reach the community and begin to make disciples.
We have met so many wonderful friends here in Taichung the past year and it will be sad to say goodbye, but we know that we will always be able to visit them and it definitely helps that Taiwan is such a small island: San Xia is only 90 minutes away from Taichung City.