Yates Prayer Memo
Saturday, September 5, 2015
(last prayer memo May 29, 2015)
Val & Jeff traveled back to the US just for the summer to see his family in PA. We saw them in NY at my parent’s home and in PA at the Felak’s home, as well as in in Santa Rosa, California for the weekend of Jonathan & Kaitlyn’s wedding. Jeff continues to take Drexel online classes to complete his high school history teaching certification, and will need to complete his classroom observation this fall and his student teaching in the spring. After their return to Taiwan, Val started working at an English pre-school for Chinese kids, while Jeff watches the kids during the day. They also announced they were expecting a girl at the end of January 2016. In light of this expected newborn arrival and the additional student teaching that Jeff will need to complete (Jan-April 2016) while Val is continuing to work, we are putting out a requests for a nanny to come help them for about 3 months during the days (February-April) and live at our home nearby. If you know of someone who might be interested in this ministry opportunity, please forward the attached form to her and have email us.
We were able to travel to Chicago over the summer to visit Natalie and Doug since they moved to another apartment. Janine is also living with them since mid-April. Nat will leave her job as a paralegal to work for an Illinois state representative’s office. Doug continues in his 2nd year of PhD classes at U. of Chicago Divinity School this fall.
On July 29 all our kids, one grandchild (Blake) and spouses flew to California from different locations in the US to get oriented for the wedding. Jonathan and Kaitlyn had a wonderful wedding day on August 1 (also great weather) with the ceremony in Kaitlyn’s parents’ front yard (I was co-officiant with Kaitlyn’s Dad, I preached & prayed and introduced the vows & rings—they had written their own vows which they read to each other), followed by a reception in their back yard (surrounded by vineyards in Sonoma County wine country). If you want to see the video summary of the day, click on this YouTube link J hearts K . Since they were in transition from working full time to their fall semester as graduate students in USC Davis International Agriculture Development program, they have been honeymooning in East Asia, concluding with 5 days with us in Taipei starting next Saturday Sept 12-17 before they return to Sacramento CA to start their studies.
Janine left her job working at a health food snack & drink bar inside an LA Fitness center (walking distance from Nat & Doug’s home) and is considering a new job at a Japanese shipping company about 10 miles away. She will need to get a driver’s license and a car to make that job work (lots of big steps ahead for that and most other available jobs). If anyone has a low budget or free decent car for sale (or knows of one), let us know.
Karen enjoyed her summer work at Space Camp in Huntsville LA until July 15, when she joined us for our family week in Ephrata at the Felaks. In addition to joining us for the wedding activities in CA, and a few days of rest at a beach home on the CA coast (owned by Kaitlyn’s grandparents), she had some time with Kaitlyn’s parents, especially joining her Mom to help out with international students for a day, and also visited with one of her high school friends in CA who also recently married. She started classes last week as a Wheaton sophomore.
Trisha and Nathan had a more unusual summer traveling to churches and visiting family and friends without their siblings (except for the two weeks we shared together at the Felaks and in CA for the wedding). They had to keep themselves more occupied during our road trips or long meetings. They started 5th and 3rd grades respectively on August 10 at Morrison Academy, Taipei campus.
Barbara enjoyed catching up with US family and friends this summer. We visited with her side of the family in June in Pittsburgh area, then saw them again July 19-20 when many of them came out to Ephrata for a “welcome-reception” for Jonathan & Kaitlyn for those who could not travel to CA, along with many of our local friends. Her father seems to have failing health, sleeping a lot and not eating much. Her mom has to take care of everything for him and stays busy around the garden and in the kitchen. Barbara started back up tutoring last week here in Taiwan. Her Bible Study Fellowship group will resume this month.
We saw my family in early July in Vestal NY. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer last January and was having his rounds of chemo while we visited them. He has transitioned to a second experimental type of chemo treatment, since the first one didn’t seem to do much. Other than coughing and needing to sleep in a recliner, he can still get around with a walker and is in abiding in the Faith.
We both had a hard time saying goodbye to our fathers this time . . . we never know how God will number our days on this earth, but the realities of limited time for our fathers are more present burdens.
We arrived back in Taipei August 7 just before a super typhoon hit the island—one of the worst we’ve had hit Taipei in a long time. We only had some porch drain clogging due to shredded leaves blowing around, so I had to stand out in the rain in my swimsuit and keep clearing the drain for a while to prevent water from overflowing the porch door jams and leaking into our apartment. There was a lot of flooding and many trees and signs blown down and some landslides in the mountain areas. Several people lost their lives.
As noted in our last prayer memo detailing our summer plans, we visited all the churches as scheduled, and I usually preached (preaching in English was a wonderful and rare privilege) and/or gave a Sunday school type of presentation about our work in leadership training among the Chinese in East Asia. I also gave a parenting seminar in Butler PA at the Westminster Pres. Church. We enjoyed visiting personally with many of you!
Since returning to Taiwan, I’ve been busy catching up on CRTS administrative work and preparing for the fall semester. I started a difficult marriage counseling case this week with one of our married student couples, but progress is going better than I expected.
I have invited faculty to preach from Isaiah during our fall semester chapel services, in addition to preaching 2xs myself.
I travel to central-eastern coast region of China to teach the same class I taught last spring Biblical Theology and Counseling starting tomorrow until next Saturday—please pray for me as these are very long 8 hour days of teaching every day and interacting with students, some from different regions with different accents, making some communication difficult. I have a fully translated set of notes since I gave my notes to a translator in May, so that should help student understanding levels as their English reading abilities are not usually as good as students here. I return Saturday evening around the same time as Jonie & Kaitlyn arrive here.
Next week CRTS work picks up with meetings (FCC, faculty), retreat, opening worship, and classes starting Monday, September 21. I have Pastoral Counseling on Monday afternoons, Counseling Case Studies Discussion on Tuesday afternoons and Marriage Counseling on Thursday afternoons.
We have five Saturday morning seminars for the Family Counseling Center coming up mid-October-early November so I’ll have to prepare a one hour talk for each of those meetings.
I started teaching Trisha’s Jr. Sunday School class this month at Friendship Pres. Church, and she enjoys having me there with the handful of other kids.
Pray for all these events, for security issues and strength for this week’s teaching, for Barbara and Trisha & Nathan here without me this week, God’s grace, Spirit’s wisdom to select and prepare valuable content for students, power, discipline and anointing on all my various teaching and counseling ministries this week and this fall semester, wisdom in academic administration, and for the family in their various stages of life, especially the needed nanny help for Val & Jeff next February-April.