YATES PRAYER MEMO
Sunday, Oct 16, 2011
Last Prayer memo Aug 9, 2011
With sadness I write to ask for you all to pray for Barbara and her immediate family, due to sudden and completely unexpected death of her unmarried youngest brother, Luke, last Thursday at age 32. He was living with Barbara's brother Mark and family in Hilton Head, SC and died during the night in his bed. Autopsy report showed no obvious medical problems or conditions as cause of death, so we are still waiting for a blood test result/toxicology report. His body has been released to a South Carolina funeral home with connections to the Saxonburg, PA funeral home and arrangements will be made to transport his body back to PA on Monday. The family is scheduling a viewing and funeral for later in the coming week in Saxonburg, PA at Fox Funeral Home, possibly Wednesday and Thursday.
As a result Barbara will be flying home to Pittsburgh PA, arriving on Tuesday evening Oct 18, (departing Pittsburgh Oct 25 for return to Taiwan Oct 26 evening) to be with family at this tragic time. Please pray for her and for the family as they respond to this tragedy. Barbara's sister, Becca, will also return from the Philippines to be with the family. Please pray for all of us in Taiwan as we make schedule adjustments while Barbara is away for 8 days.
In other more positive news of the family,
Val & Jeff are expecting again in February 2012 (doctor says its a boy from sonogram results), and plan to deliver here in Taiwan. Jeff will have enough credits from his online studies to get his Associates degree in one more week, which will allow him to get a work permit in Taiwan to teach English. Grand daughter Savannah has started attending 1/2 day Chinese pre-school, which she seems to enjoy.
Natalie and her husband, Doug, have returned to the Wheaton area where Doug continues in his MA in Biblical Exegesis (2nd year). Natalie is hoping to get an office coordinator's job working in the Dennis Hastert Center on Wheaton Campus. She made it through the 2nd stage of interviews and is hoping for final word about the job soon.
Jonathan continues to enjoy things of adventure, combined with a real concern for evangelism and missions. He recently went skydiving and lake kayaking, and bought some lead rock climbing gear, harness and shoes he hopes to use outdoors soon, in addition to his regular climbing at the Wheaton College climbing wall. He is discussing plans to take a one month Europe tour with his roomate after they graduate next May, then do two months of mission work somewhere, then possibly come here to Taiwan for a year of English teaching. He is considering graduate studies in Agriculture after that, mentioning University of Califorrnia, Davis, as a well-know school for that kind of study.
Janine went through a rough period adjusting to Covenant College in the first few weeks (homesick, not yet establishing friendships), but seems to have found her niche with some good dorm friends and finding a good balance of study, campus work, exercise. She got a ride to Wheaton with a classmate for her fall break this weekend and will be visiting Nat, Doug and Jonie for a few days and seeing sights around Chicago. Interestingly, last week we were able to host one of her teachers, Jim Drexler, for two days here in Taipei before he returned to Covenant. He had been in Taichung, Taiwan for two days to do teacher training for Morrison Academy over their fall break. I was able to arrange a preaching opportunity for him at New Hope Church, so he agreed to stay two more days and visit us. In addition to some tourist sites, I also took him to see CRTS and Christ's College to meet president, Quentin Nantz, to see if more cooperative relations can be developed between Covenant College and CRTS and/or Christ's College.
Karen is enjoying her junior year, with a good dorm life and steady efforts in her studies. She is looking good in volleyball this year with a young, but very capable team that looks like they will do well at Far East Tournament in Korea in the first full week in November. She'e writing her 10 page junior research paper on the Roaring Twenties (1920s) and the Flappers, a faddish women's dress & lifestyle that become very popular then.
Trisha is doing quite well in 1/2 day Chinese 1st grade, in large part due to Barbara's daily interactions with the teacher about the assignments and Trisha's growing comprehension of Chinese, and ability to speak it and read the phonetic symbols for pronunciation. She reads her English books in the afternoons.
Nathan has not adjusted so well to 1/2 day Chinese kindergarten. In part due to his boredom when he cannot understand the Chinese his teacher is speaking, or just a general spirit of disobedience in not doing what he understands he should do, He has been generally disruptive to classmates and irritating to the teachers who aren't sure how to handle him. As a result, Barbara has been staying in his class for a couple hours each day and taking the paddle along with her to enforce discipline (taking him out to the bathroom for a swat when he disobeys what he was told to do). He seems to be making some improvements since Barbara has used this method, and Nathan is gaining more Chinese comprehension and getting more used to the rules and routines of the class. He turns five on Nov 4, so he's experiencing cross-cultural and disciplinary growing pains I guess!
Barbara has done her usual Wednesday morning Bible Study Fellowship (this year in the book of Acts), and Thursdays she continued to sell baked items at Bethany to raise funds for Karen's Far East sports trips. One of our good friends from Ephrata PA, Steph Hubach, will be visiting in early November for about 10 days, so she is looking forward to that time.
With the completion of the CRTS second floor Student Center-Library remodeling project in mid-August, I had to oversee the final stage of furniture acquisition and wall decorating. That means I had to do some planning, get budgets approved by the Admin. Committee, do furniture shopping and select some of my Taiwan scenic photographs and frames from Ikea. As of last week, that work is completed. We had an opening dedication on Sept 26, inviting supporters and friends to join us in recognizing God's goodness and provision of all the funds we needed for the project! We were also able to do some modest improvements to the third floor (new drop ceiling & lights, repainting, new glass doors, air conditioning) where the Family Counseling Center and the Reformed Publishing Co. are located. Now we have more room in the basement for a second classroom or a meeting room. Student morale is high and all are enjoying the new facility on the second floor.
I returned to the Christian Drug Rehab. co-workers training for 4 two-hour classes on the topic of Youth Counseling earlier in September. I focused on a different chapter in Proverbs each week: 9, 4, 6-7 and 1. We now have two graduates from their dssicpleship training program enrolled in in CRTS's Bachelor of Theology program.
We had our opening fall retreat just north of Taipei at a hotel. We spent 1/2 a day touring Tanshui to see the historic sites of George MacKay, one of the first missionaries (and a conservative Reformed one at that :>) to northern Taiwan from 1872-1901. One of our BTh graduates led the tour as she is something of an expert on MacKay and frequently leads such tours. She also wrote her graduation thesis on MacKay. I spoke the next morning from Psalm 111:4: "The Lord caused his wonderful works to be remembered." This Psalm has been a key text I used in writing a fund-raising article for the 2nd floor library, and has also been the continuing weekly focus of my devotional talk at our all-school Tuesday Prayer meetings.
In September, I prepared a new English brochure and powerpoint for CRTS general fund raising at English speaking churches in Taipei and spoke on Sept 26 for about 15 minutes at Friendship.
Also my classes this fall (Critiquing Psychological Theories, Luke-Acts, Counseling Case Studies) have been a challenge to prepare for, since I have been working on major revisions to the Critiq. Psych. class content (starting with some integration of new material from Vern Poythress' Redeeming Sociology and starting from scratch on a new class in Luke-Acts. I'm making headway on Luke-Acts now, with a thematic preaching outline of the combined books developed in the last two weeks, then using that as a suggested outline for how to preach from both books. Most of class time is now spent on showing how to go from the thematic preaching outline, to selected texts, to sermonic outline format. Most of their written homework is designed to get them doing the same process to develop sermon outlines. I'm thankful for some good books to consult in preparations, and a decent book translated into Chinese for the students to read: Luke Historian and Theologian by I. Howard Marshall. There are not too many books that combine the study of both Luke & Acts as this one does, though his work is somewhat dated in constantly rebutting Conzelman in nearly every chapter. I've enjoyed seeing both books more as a single unit with a consistent message about the unstoppable growth of God's kingdom, and connecting individual texts to that larger theme. If you would like to see some of my handouts for either of these classes, check out www.friendsofcrts.org under missionaries, Tim Yates, ministry, counseling & ministry Articles. I had also scheduled to teach a Parenting class in English at Bethany, but only one student registered for that, so I cancelled it.
With second floor finishing taking priority, some other projects got shelved, so some of my distance learning program management got delayed even more. I still have several DVD syllabi to revise and some distance learning homework long overdue in grading. Asian Theological Association accreditation application needs attention and revision since I wrote that last year but we did not have a procedure for approving the final documents prior to sending. The Board approved a procedure, and that needs to be put in motion.
I'm speaking at a church retreat for married couples at the end of this month, then preaching on Sunday for SuangLian Presbyterian Church English Ministry. This will be a new opportunity to minister in English for two days.
Pray for continued wisdom and grace to teach and administrate the ministry of CRTS. With expected changes in faculty in 2012 (one OT faculty probably leaving, one hopefully coming, another in systematics hopefully coming by 2013) we will need to shift teaching loads around to satisfy the planned schedule of Old Testament classes.
May God's glory in the face of Christ Jesus shine on and through you by the power of the Holy Spirit (Num 6:24-26; 2 Cor 3:18)