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Ghost Month in Taiwan

This year, August 14th, begins the annual celebration of Ghost Month here in Taiwan and across many Asian cultures. Ghost Month of Gui Yue in Pinyin is celebrated during the 7th lunar month of the year, specifically during the first 15 days, although the entire month is designated as such.

What is Ghost Month? Although there are some variations on this event, here is a brief guide to what you can expect to see over the next month along with some important cultural information.

First, a little background. Taiwanese religious culture is varied and diverse. There are many religions and beliefs represented on the island. That being said, the main religious belief system is held in the family. It is what we might call Traditional Folk Religion. Some families practice Buddhism, others Daoism while others might draw from both and add some elements of animism.

To help you understand this event, you need to know that most Taiwanese believe that when you physically die, your spirit goes to live in another world which is very similar to this one, the spirit world. Those that have done good go to a place of rest and happiness, those that have done bad, go to a place that is not happy. The second place is also where spirits who are killed or die apart from family are sent. In particular those with no family to worship them, people who moved to Taiwan and left their family in China, died here and now they are forgotten, those killed in major disasters where whole groups of people are killed and no family are left to worship, etc. This group of spirits must go through some process to work their way towards the other spirit world where they can finally rest. This may include reincarnation and another chance for some.

You may have seen or know that in almost every Taiwanese home, there is a family altar which must be continually maintained. At this altar, the ancestral tablets are placed and worshipped every morning and every night by the faithful. On certain days of the lunar calendar, it is very important to observe certain rituals and at times, even enlisting the aid of a shaman or spirit priest to aid in making certain that your ancestors are happy and satisfied. This is one of the most important acts that a good Taiwanese family does to make sure their ancestors stay in a state of happiness and do not turn into Hungry Ghosts. Ghost Month is not related to this regular act of ancestor worship in the family home.

Now, what is Ghost Month – and why is it such a big deal in Taiwanese culture.

Taiwanese, along with many Asian people, believe that during the first 15 days of the 7th lunar month, those spirits which have not achieved the place of happiness are released. This is their “holiday”. It is a time for them to enjoy themselves and escape the worries of the other world to which they have been banished.

Taiwanese people who subscribe to this belief, which is a great majority, will place an offering in front of their home and/or business for these spirits. They will also burn “hell money” and offer worship, the purpose being to aid these “wandering spirits – good brothers” in the hope they will be able to leave the place of torment and finally achieve a place of rest and happiness in the afterlife. Next to the table will be placed a small bowl of water and washcloth. This must be a new washcloth and it can never be used again after this time, otherwise it will bring bad luck. The hope is that if a spirit happens to drop by, they will take their fill of the offering outside, wash their hands and dry off and then be on their way without coming inside. I’ve seen many foreigners perplexed and even try to convince families and owners how ridiculous this is, knowing the items will stay on the table, not ever being consumed. Taiwanese people don’t expect it to “disappear”. They believe it is a spiritual act, so don’t bother.

In addition, over the years, Taiwanese have developed a set of cultural taboos and superstitions that they hold to fairly closely during Ghost Month. Most of them are related to night. The reason behind these taboos have been lost to many people, but if you dig deep enough you can find out the origins. If you are close to Taiwanese people, you may here these things talked about, mentioned or they may even urge you to abstain from certain behaviors. Here is a brief list of some of the main superstitions:

  • Don’t hang your clothes to dry at night. – The reason for this is that wandering spirits might think you have left them these clothes to try on and the next morning your clothes will be gone.
  • Don’t lean or walk against walls. – Spirits like walking next to walls where it is cooler.
  • Keep away from water. – Spirits that died in water will try to drown you. This is a particular taboo and has its roots in the idea that if a spirit can cause your death, it can return to the world of the living.
  • If someone calls your name or taps you on the shoulder at night … Keep walking.
  • No whistling or tapping of any kind. – This behavior encourages wandering spirits to come and visit you.
  • Don’t buy a home. – The reason for this is that buying a home is a celebratory act. During this month, you should avoid all types of celebrations. This is the spirits time to rest and celebrate. You are to lay low.
  • Try not to take the last bus home. – This is when the spirits are coming out at night and you might be stuck on a bus with them.
  • Keep away from hospitals.
  • Don’t take pictures outside at night. If you happen to catch a picture of a spirit, it is very unlucky.
  • Don’t get married. – Related to the idea of celebrating above.
  • Don’t have funerals. – Again, because of the large gathering of people associated with a funeral, it is like a celebration. This one generally applies to the first 15 days.
  • Don’t use the word Ghost. In Taiwan, these spirits are called “good brothers”. More on this below…

So, why call these spirits “Good Brothers”? It’s because they are family. The idea is to create a good feeling, you don’t want to do anything that would create enmity or anger between you and the departed. The one thing traditional Taiwanese fear almost more than anything else is being left in the afterlife with no one taking care of you in this life. Hence the term “Hungry Ghost”. If your descendents in the land of the living don’t pay attention to you in the afterlife, then your spirit turns into an angry and vengeful ghost.

There are three very important days during this month when there will be a great deal of incense and spirit money burned. Of course there will be plenty of burning going on the whole month, but you can expect a great deal more on these three days. They are: August 14th, August 28, September 12. These are the 1st, 15th and last day of the 7th lunar month.

So, over the next month, we will have many opportunities to talk about spiritual things. We ask you to pray for Taiwanese people who feel afraid during this time. Pray that Christians here will speak boldly about their faith and hope in Jesus Christ. Pray that the feelings of hopelessness will lead people to seek hope in Jesus Christ.

Christmas in Taiwan – Planning a Trip

If you are interested in coming to Taiwan this Christmas, we have two weeks of activities planned. You may choose to come for both, or just one. Please read carefully and then contact us to help begin planning your trip.

Week 1:
Start Date: December 28, 2015. Please try to arrive on December 27 if possible. (Dec 28 is okay)
End Date: January 3, 2016 or based on your own travel plans. Please plan to stay for at least a week to ten days.

Week 2:
Start Date: January 4, 2016. Please try to arrive on January 3 or before if possible.
End Date: January 10, 2016 or based on your travel plans. Please plan to stay for at least a week to ten days.

What Now? How do you make it happen? I’ve written this guide to help you with the details. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you might think. Whether you are a seasoned international traveler, or this is your first trip, you are in good hands. Over the years, I’ve helped bring over 250 people to Taiwan and have lots of experience with this particular kind of trip.

After you let me know (CLICK HERE to send me an e-mail) that you are thinking about or planning on coming to help, here is a checklist to help you get started.

First, Pray. Ask God to begin preparing your heart and mind for what He has already planned. Also, begin praying for the people He is going to put in your path while you are here. There is no doubt that when we prepare ourselves, God does His part to bring people to hear the Gospel. Jesus said that the field was ready for harvest, this couldn’t be more true in Taiwan.

Second, do you have your passport? If not, you should immediately begin the process of applying for a passport. CLICK HERE. If you don’t have at least 4 weeks left before the trip date, it is probably too late.

Third, you need a plane ticket. How much? Generally, the earlier you buy, the better, so it’s time to get cracking. If you are coming with a group of people, it would be good to work together to purchase tickets. If alone, then start pricing tickets with a travel agent or using some online tools. I prefer kayak.com as well as looking at the individual airline sites. Just a note – the more direct the flight, the higher the price. I know that seems crazy, but it’s true. People are willing to pay more to spend less time getting to their destination, so the direct flights tend to be more expensive. If you can tolerate a few stops along the way, you may end up with a cheaper ticket. Also, using a travel agent can also reap some rewards. For anyone coming from the middle of the country (i.e. Texas), I highly recommend a stop in California or Washington State and then catch the direct flight to Taipei. It is a much easier trip. I also encourage you to buy a refundable ticket. It’s usually just an additional $30-50 – and well worth it if you have something happen at the last minute.

Your travel destination is TPE, Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. For more about flights, please see the end of the article.

Fourth – you’ll need to plan for your expenses while you are here. You can count on about $50 dollars per day for your lodging, food, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. So take the number of days you are in the country and multiply it times $50 and there is your additional cost. Unless otherwise indicated, you will be staying in housing provided by the National Taichung University of Education. CLICK HERE for a look.

The other options are:
A business type hotel at around $30USD per night depending on how many people per room.
A backpacker type hotel is going to be $600 – 800 TWD per night.
There are also some private B&B type places which are actually quite nice and near our center city district. These average around $10-$15 per person per night.

Fifth – Get some support! Allow your family, friends, co-workers to get involved. You want to ask people to pray for you, and give people an opportunity to participate spiritually and financially. I know for many people, this feels a little weird or strange, but I’m telling you after years of working with people, this is one of the best parts of going on mission trips. Share with people a clear vision of what you are going to be doing and give them an opportunity to support you. I’ve learned that most people are pretty smart with their money, and they are looking for good places to spend / invest it. If they don’t want to, they won’t. Just don’t get your feelings hurt if they don’t. Pray first, trust God to provide your needs – it’s all His – then ask confidently, be willing to put your own resources on the line and go for it. The part that is really important is to keep people informed. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Get the e-mail address of every person and send out regular updates while you are on the trip with stories! People want to know stories, they don’t want endless pictures of food and tourist sites. They want to know that their prayer and money made a difference in someone’s life.

Sixth – get your church involved. Talk to your pastor / mission pastor / youth pastor and ask for their prayer and encouragement. Ask for your church to be praying for you.

Once we know you are coming, we will provide you with the resources you need to prepare for when you get here. We are going to be sharing in classrooms in several college campuses, at the invitation of professors. The presentations will consist of two parts, the first part will be American Christmas and New Year Traditions followed by the real meaning and story of Christmas. Your part of the preparation will be to collect pictures, video and prepare to talk about your family traditions and stories related to how you celebrate these two holidays. We’ll provide you with a guide about how to share the real meaning and story of Christmas.

Tentative Schedule:
We will be spending the majority of each day on various college campuses in classrooms connecting with students, sharing the above mentioned programs.

During the evening hours – you will have time to follow up with students who show interest in spending further time with our team. This is a very natural part of each trip. You’ll be busy from morning to evening each day.

If you are here for New Year’s Day – we will take some time to experience some traditional Taiwanese presentations and performances that can only be seen around this time of year. In addition, we’ll give you the opportunity to connect with Taiwanese host families and join them for a traditional Taiwanese New Year’s Meal.

Over the weekend, we’ll have more opportunities for follow-up as we take in some of the beautiful sights the island is known for as well as introduce you to some of Taiwan’s unique culture and heritage, including the religious side of Taiwanese life. In addition, you will get to experience our church, Taichung Baptist! For those who are able to stay longer, the University will provide more opportunities to enter the classroom and work in an English exchange environment the following week if you are able, if not, you can depart at your convenience. We’ll make sure you are taken care of from beginning to end.

Travel Agents we recommend:

Keren Yu out of Dallas with Gateway Travel. Her contact information is: keren.dfw@gtttravel.com

Also, I highly recommend Justin Bachus at Book it with Miles. If you have airlines miles (or if you don’t) he can help you immensely to make the most of your travel buck. It’s a fee for service, but well worth it. CLICK HERE

http://www.springfieldtravel.com

Riverside. 800-337-6658

Golden Rule Travel. Contact: Sharon(800) 950-3599; (330) 852-8805; http://www.goldenruletravel.com/

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Suzanne at 1.866 .NOW.EXIT

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FLIGHT INFORMATION

There are many ways to come to Taiwan. Most of the time using a search engine, your route will go through one of three major cities, Tokyo, Hong Kong or Seoul. It is possible to end up with another route. Here is what you need to watch out for when booking an overseas flight yourself. Long layovers – check your total travel time. From most anywhere in the United States, you should be able to get to Taiwan in around 24 hours or less, total travel time. There are some places where it will be a great deal less if you can get a direct flight. (New York, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago).

Most airlines allow you to purchase an upgraded economy plus seat. If you are a little older or have trouble with long legs, I highly recommend this option. For about $150 extra each way, it can make a big difference in your travel experience.

Don’t be afraid to use a travel agent. With a little work, you can put together a great route. For many, a shorter overseas flight is important. So a stopover in San Francisco or another West Coast city is important. An agent can help you sort out these details.

And of course, please don’t hesitate to ask us. We’ve made the trip multiple times on multiple airlines. We don’t know everything or all the tricks, but we know who to ask.

From the Field – Carolyn Koh’s Story

11312614_10155678045615296_6081769149224926495_oI’ve gone to church for most of my life, but it wasn’t until the summer before my freshman year of college when I really understood who God was and what Jesus Christ did for me. My church in Philadelphia and New Hope Fellowship with Pastor Ryan Miller has helped me grow immensely in my faith and my dependence on Him. God has been so, so good in all the ups and downs I have experienced in my life.

Last fall, I studied abroad in London. Overall, Europe is spiritually very dry as far as Christianity is concerned, but I was fortunate to have had many God-centered conversations during my time there. Coming back to the US and reflecting on my experience made me realize the true urgency to spread the gospel. I have always been afraid to talk about Christianity with nonbelievers, but God gave me the courage to share my testimony and my faith to my non-believing friends at school, and in the spring he provided an opportunity to continue doing so in Taichung, my first ever missions trip.

I was excited, but so anxious and nervous the day before our flight that I began to go through my old Mandarin textbooks, looking up translations for words like ‘Christian’, ‘pray’, and ‘blessing’. I then proceeded to worry how I would ever successfully share the gospel in just one week with the language and cultural barrier. But praise God that I will never have to carry the burden of bringing someone to believe because salvation is only by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8).

That week in Taichung was one of the biggest blessings of my life. Everyone was incredibly kind, welcoming, and eager to get to know us. I was most touched by how open my Taiwanese friends were – to talk about their families, their dreams, their insecurities, and to listen to me about my life and the one true living God.

The first few days were very discouraging to learn what a spiritually dark place Taichung is. And half the week alone I was simply getting to know people’s names. But seven days was enough for God to open up many doors and many hearts, including mine. It was humbling to see the students wrestle with the truth of God’s love and sacrifice. Our discussions in class about religion were met by interest and numerous questions. I became friends with so many students who I know I will be keeping in touch with for a very long time. We continue to talk about God, and while their acceptance of Christ may be a very long process, this is the beginning nonetheless. I grew very close to one friend who I know has struggled to accept Christ for the past four years, but each year she grows closer, and I could tell her heart opened up a little bit more during our short time together. I pray that in God’s time, my Taiwanese friends would all come to believe.

I’m so grateful to have been a part of something so much larger than myself. This trip has made me see more of His glory, and I am so thankful to you and your family for all your work there. I hope I will be able to return to Taichung soon!

Carolyn Koh

Enjoy this story – Check out what’s happening in Taichung – CLICK HERE

From the Field – Brian Lee’s Story

11393081_10204798818114991_8326276002737730051_nI am so thankful to God for His sovereignty, for His promises, for His goodness. He is good and all he does is good, and for that I am so thankful. Thanks be to God for wielding us as His tools, as His hands and feet to accomplish His work. Though we may have been in Taiwan for a short period of time, I would like to think we began to see His plans come to fruition for Todd and the city of Taichung.

Though our trip to Taiwan was just one short week, it may have been one of the most personal trips I have been on. By personal I mean that we got to live life with Taiwanese university students. One of the greatest things I learned is that the University students that we were sharing lives with were one of the kindest and caring people that I have ever met! There was a genuine interest in the students to invest time in us and precisely because of their interests God allowed for great conversations and for the Gospel to be shared in some instances.

Our opportunities to share the Gospel with these students did a few interesting things:

  • It gave the students the chance to hear the Gospel in full. I do hope that those that heard the Gospel in full would come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord savior one day.

  • Even if the students didn’t receive the Gospel well, sharing our faith and having opportunities to live out the Gospel with them during the week made way to clarify some misconceptions of what a true Christian is.

  • Students that were genuinely interested or needed some more follow ups to ask questions were immediately connected with Todd. I can think of two specific students that have had a rough past and are really seeking for something. For them we pray and ask God to work in their hearts, minds, and souls.

One of the most amazing things God is doing in Taiwan is continuously opening doors for more and more opportunities to make His name known. It was such a blessing and a trust booster to see the connections not only with the students we were making, but also the connections God is providing for Todd. What a joy it was to be included in God’s perfect plan and command of the great commission and to see first hand the work being entrusted to faithful servants of Christ.

There is no doubt that Taiwan is a spiritually dark place. Whether it be the idols set up every other block in temples or the idols of worldly success and riches or the familial idols, it is evident just as it is in America and all over the world that people need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. When focusing on such a daunting task and considering the massive amounts of people that do not know Jesus Christ and have not trusted Jesus Christ, it is easy to get discouraged. That is why I am thankful that God is in control. What a humbling fact. What an awesome truth. I pray and I hope that God would continue to strengthen my heart to trust in Him more and to seek His Kingdom and His righteousness. God is good, all the time.

So, why not join the work, Click Here to find out how you can help.

Short Term Missions

Would you like to share the Gospel with people who have never heard before? Do you have a heart for the Asian culture and people? Here is what you can do to help us share the Gospel in Taiwan.

Here is what a visit to work with us might look like:

  • Developing relationships in English Classes on University Campuses
  • Cultural and relational activities with students where you will build relationships and have opportunities to share your life and Jesus
  • Outreach events in partnership with our local church to connect unbelieving students with local believers
  • Personal meetings with students to share the Gospel
  • Sports activities with students to develop relationships for cultural understanding whereby you gain opportunities to share the Gospel

When should you come to Taichung?
There isn’t a bad time to come to Taichung, but there are a few times when it would be hard to engage in ministry. Please contact us to talk about the best time for you or your group.

What’s our strategy?
We are working primarily to evangelize university students and young adults.  One of our most important strategies is to connect and work with the local church, so we have spent the last four years developing our relationship with Taichung Baptist, a healthy, Bible believing and Gospel centered church. In addition to leading students to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we desire deeply for them to have a relationship with the local church. These dear brothers and sisters will become their family here in Taiwan long after we leave.

What impact will I have on your ministry and what impact will coming to Taiwan have on me and/or my team?
I hope you will help us accomplish what I stated above. We think of our ministry in terms of depth, not necessarily breadth. So we want to develop long term impact in places where we can have the most significant relationships rather than pursue a shotgun approach with little or no opportunity for ongoing relationships. In return, we hope you and or your team will experience an intense time of personal evangelism, an overwhelming sense of the lostness in the world, a great love and appreciation for Chinese culture, an understanding of how to adapt and live in a place where everything is done absolutely differently from what you are used to and see it as different and not wrong. As you return home, I hope to help you carry a sense of living as an alien (1 Peter) back to your own culture and think about what that looks like no matter where you end up in the world.

What happens after we leave?
We work closely with our church here and others that share a Bible believing evangelical passion for reaching students. We have a system for follow-up that connects students to local believers and does not only attach them to us, so if something happens to us, there is no disconnect. You will be able to participate in our church (although it is a completely Chinese speaking environment), as well as meet people from other churches we work with. We also have an English fellowship that is part of our Taiwanese church where you can experience worship with our expatriate friends and Taiwanese brothers and sisters.

Who should come to Taichung?
Pretty much anyone who has a heart for evangelism, loves people and an adventurous stomach!

So what are you waiting for? Contact us now and let’s start planning your mission to Taichung!

Two Years Ago Today

 

 Two years ago today we arrived in Taiwan. Our overnight flight landed and our new life began. Crista had been here on a mission trip and then for a week while we looked for an apartment and bought some mattresses and a refrigerator. Our two youngest kids had never set foot outside the United States. Katelyn had also been here on a mission trip. For all five of us – it was, a step of faith.

We had sold all of our possessions. House, cars, beds – it was all gone except for the clothes we brought with us and some things we were keeping in storage.

What we did know for sure was that God had called us, prepared us and would walk with us through whatever was before us. So today, two years later, here are some of my thoughts.

Two years ago today, we thought we might miss our things more, but we don’t.

Two years ago today, we said goodbye to our friends and family, it turns out, their presence in our lives was a greater loss than any possession.

Two years ago today, we put our trust in God to take care of us financially, physically and emotionally. He has, used people, circumstances and resources that we weren’t even aware of at the time to provide and care for us in the most unexpected and providential ways.

Two years ago today, I didn’t speak even one word of Chinese and didn’t really know if I could learn it at 45 years old. Today, by God’s grace, I can fairly easily communicate in this very difficult language.

Two years ago today, I didn’t really understand what the impact would be on my family. Today, I still don’t know how it will affect my children in the long run. I believe it will be for good.

Two years ago today, my wife and I were close. Today, we are unbreakable.

Two years ago today, I thought I knew my kids. Today, we are inseparable.

Two years ago today, I had no idea the trials and tests we would experience. It’s a good thing. We might not have boarded the plane.

Today, I know we are in the place we are supposed to be doing exactly what we are supposed to be doing.

Thank you so much for those that have walked with, prayed for, supported and cared from two years ago today.

Now, tomorrow awaits!

Another Milestone in Mandarin

This past week, I received both my latest report card and my certificate for the TOCFL test. Both of these were good reminders of how far I have come. I remember very vividly the first couple of months in Chinese class when I felt like I was drowning in a flood of new sounds and experiences. Now, those words and phrases roll effortlessly through my mind and off my tongue.

Of course there is still so much to learn, but thanks to God, He has helped me get this far and He will help me make it through each challenge that awaits. Thank you for praying and remembering us.

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Short Term Missions Are Absolutely Worth the Cost

Lately, there have been several articles circulated around the internet that have called into question the value of short term mission trips. I would like to add another voice and different perspective to the discussion.

Over the past ten years, I have led or participated in 15 international mission trips and almost as many trips within the continental United States. Internationally, I’ve been to Africa, Peru, Honduras and Taiwan. The majority of my trips have been to Taiwan, which ultimately resulted in a call from God to move our family here two years ago and serve full time. You can read more about our story here.


Should you go on a Short Term Mission Trip?

I can’t answer that question for you personally, but, when the purpose is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and serve local partners who can follow up and provide support for the work you do, the value is immense. I’d like to point out what I believe are some of the many benefits.

ALIENS – The Bible says that we are aliens and strangers in the world. (1 Peter 2:11) For most of us, we live in our own culture and look no different from those around us. A unique thing happens when we visit another culture, we become an alien. It gives us a chance to experience that “alien” life that Paul speaks of. So the benefit is two fold. First, because of our “outsider status”, we are often given a unique voice in the culture we visit to speak the Gospel.  Second, we return to our home culture and carry that outsider experience with us where hopefully we begin to live more like aliens and strangers rather than citizens.


INCARNATION
– When we visit a foreign culture, we often go with a group. In cultures where the Gospel has little traction or exposure like the one where we serve, when a group of 10-20 Christians arrive, it is like a small church shows up. The Bible says, the world will know that we are Jesus disciples by our love. (John 13:35) Many times, I have heard unbelievers talk about the community they see our groups share, the love they experience and how different it is from anything they have ever seen in their own culture. They are seeing a real example of Christ “in the flesh”.  For those who come on the short term trip, this experience also intensifies the bonds they share when they return to their home culture. The group shares an intense common experience together and much like the early church experienced a unique closeness, they have some of that same unique experience upon a return from being in a foreign culture.


URGENCY
– Short Term Gospel Missions create a sense of urgency. When you visit a culture that is largely unreached, especially for the first time, you are reminded of the lostness in the world. The short term nature of this type of trip forces you to quickly forge relationships and because you will quickly have to leave. This intense experience gives the participants a fresh sense of that same urgency for their own culture. We are reminded that time is limited for all of us. Tomorrow is not guaranteed in any relationship.


CONTINUITY
– How do we keep the flow of money and people moving into missions? People need to be exposed first hand to the lostness of the world. Once people go on missions, they end up supporting missions in the future. They give to missionaries, they support other people going on short term missions and they pray for lost people to know Christ. And upon return to their home culture, they are able to share their stories and experiences with their friends and family. The more people who go, the more people who come closer to the mission field.


CALL
– It is often on short term mission trips when people experience the call of the Holy Spirit to reorient their lives and spend some portion of time in service on the mission field. Some people end up in career ministry, others in short term service.


BENEFITS TO THE LOCAL CHURCH

There are also many benefits for the churches that support and send teams on short term trips.


GIVING
– At the particular church where I served for ten years, in addition to some financial support from the church budget, we encouraged people to raise part of their support from church members and friends. Some people thought this would be detrimental to the overall missions giving, but actually we found that more money was given to support missions through the church each year.  The more people who went on mission trips, the more money was given to missions!


MINISTRY
– We found that our church as a whole had a greater heart for the nations and lost people. People were set free to go and serve in all kinds of ministry opportunities locally, nationally and globally. Even more, we began to see young and old people experience calls to full-time christian service in both church related and mission work.

Most often the criticisms I would hear involved money. “Why don’t we take all that money and just give it to missions?”

Of course it costs money. But the last time I checked, God has plenty of money in his bank account, or should I say, in His people’s bank account. I’ve found that people just need to be given a compelling and God honoring picture of something worth giving their money towards. I believe that sharing the Gospel with lost people fits that quite well.

So, for those of you reading this article – I hope you will find a short term mission trip and go. Support someone going on a short term mission trip. And maybe you’ll take a little time to check out our story and join our support team. We would love to have you come and join one of our short term trips here in Taichung.

NTCU 2015 English Camp 

Our first year is in the books! Fourteen American friends from three of our supporting churches came to Taichung this past week. We spent time at the National Taichung University of Education, National Taichung University of Sports and Providence University. Trips like this make a profound impact in the lives of Taiwanese young people, and in the lives of those who come.

So what do we do?

First, we look for ways to serve. Using Jesus as our example, we walk into every situation and say, what is the need? Here, in the University setting, English is the need. So we are able to provide Taiwanese students a much needed opportunity to practice speaking with a native English speaker.

In addition, we give the students and professors alike our friendship. Not only an exchange of culture,but a real relationship that often lasts beyond the actual trip.

Most importantly, we share the Gospel. Outside of the classroom, we have lots of opportunities to talk about life and faith. Maybe you would consider coming over to join or lead a trip here in Taichung. The opportunities are waiting, we just need people to say yes.

NTCU 2015 English Camp 

Our first year is in the books! Fourteen American friends from three of our supporting churches came to Taichung this past week. We spent time at the National Taichung University of Education, National Taichung University of Sports and Providence University. Trips like this make a profound impact in the lives of Taiwanese young people, and in the lives of those who come.

So what do we do?

First, we look for ways to serve. Using Jesus as our example, we walk into every situation and say, what is the need? Here, in the University setting, English is the need. So we are able to provide Taiwanese students a much needed opportunity to practice speaking with a native English speaker.

In addition, we give the students and professors alike our friendship. Not only an exchange of culture,but a real relationship that often lasts beyond the actual trip.

Most importantly, we share the Gospel. Outside of the classroom, we have lots of opportunities to talk about life and faith. Maybe you would consider coming over to join or lead a trip here in Taichung. The opportunities are waiting, we just need people to say yes.