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December 2019 Newsletter

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

In the midst of the busyness, Christmas has arrived and gone. In Taiwan, we didn’t have any Christmas atmosphere, except for commercial purpes and for business people. It’s right! Christmas is not just a holiday, yet it’s about going back to the meaning of First Noel. He came to save us, the unworthy sinners. Because of Him, we are who we are today! At the beginning of this letter, we want to thank Him for His protection, care and His abundant provision. In the end of the year, if we want to count His blessings, His blessings are uncountable. It reminds me from the Psalm 65, “You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.”(v.11)

Ministry Work for Toon and Pam

This summer Toon and Pam were invited by their mother church (Grace Christian Church) for church’s 20th anniversary, and they have seen many of old friends and recalled many good memories. Toon and Pam took this opportunity to visit their kids in the States.

Basically, Toon’s main ministry is in China Theological Seminary (CRTS), yet he invested many hours day and night in the church planting, especially when the church was relocated in new location (Banqiao, Xinpu Station). Due to the doubled or tripled increase of church rent, Toon’s pressure has increased as well. The good news is that his previous church planting experience has helped him seeing God’s faithfulness. Recently, persecutions toward Christians and churches has increased, and Toon reduced to one trip to China for mission this year. Please remember Christians and churches in China in your prayers. Regarding Banqiao church planting progress, we want to praise the Lord for recent member’s mobilization due to Evangelism Exploration (EE III) and the impact of Short-term Mission Team from Australia. The result is positive and very encouraging for many local families came to our activities, and we got to know them. Please pray for our following up works. Toon will put his time and energy at Banqiao Church planting work next year, yet he still teaches one course/ semester. Due to Toon’s stepping-down of his full-time position at CRTS to part-time, he will not receive the housing allowance from the seminary, which is very reasonable. Actually, most of our incomes rely on fundraising project, and we are so grateful for your faithful support in prayers and financially. 

In order to reduce financial pressure, Pam started taking a full-time teaching position at China Evangelical Theological Seminary as assistant professor of Pastoral Counseling. The seminary is 75 minutes from home, and mostly Pam travels to work and sometimes stays at the dorm. She is very busy for the school requires her to teach 3 courses/semester, and all are new courses. In addition to that she has to help Toon’s church planting work. Indeed, she is super busy, yet she enjoys the job and her ministry.
 

The update on our children

Zephy came back to Taiwan for exactly a year; the original plan was to teach English and to reshape his faith. Due to Taiwan immigration law, he couldn’t work here. Later he registered to an Online Coding Course. However, he prefers to go to graduate school. Please pray for his future direction.

Anna still works in Boston, and she loves her job as a graphic designer. Recently she shared to us that she is thinking to move to work at a warmer place for Boston’s winter is too cold for her.

Praisye is still in Gordon College (MA). If everything goes well, she will be graduating next semester (May of 2020). She plans to go to study at seminary to serve God full-time in the future. However, Toon encouraged her to come back to Taiwan to help at Banqiao church in order to test her call. Toon and Pam are so happy to hear that. Also, she plans to come to improve her Chinese.

How are you anywhere after my long report and greetings? We hope you and your family had a great and meaningful Christmas. May God continue to bless you and
your family in this coming New Year.

Your Partners in Mission,
Toon and Pam

 

親愛的弟兄姊妹, 聖誕快樂!

忙碌中, 聖誕節已經到了, 又溜走了! 特別在台灣不注重聖誕節的環境下, 更會叫我們覺得它在忙亂中來了, 也走了。沒錯, 聖誕節不是過節, 而是回到

第一個聖誕節 耶穌基督的道成肉身), 祂來乃是為了拯救我們這些不配的罪人。因為祂, 才有今天的我們。我們先要感謝主這一年的保守及看顧,並祂豐盛的供應。在年終時若要數算神的恩典, 真的數不完, 這叫我們想到聖經詩人所說的, “你(上帝)以恩典為年歲的冠冕,你(上帝)的路徑都滴下脂油“ (詩65:11) 。

敦興及如品的事工

今年敦興和如品有機會被邀請回到以前牧養的教會參加他們的20週年紀念,見到不少老朋友。同時我們也趁機看看小孩。敦興的事奉還是以神學院(CRTS)為主, 但是他也投入很多的時間在植堂的事上。 特別教會搬到新的地點, 教會租金增加了兩三倍, 壓力也增加了(哈哈)! 當然, 這不是他第一次植堂, 過去信心的操練對他來說幫助很大。因為中國政府對教會的逼迫加劇, 為了安全,今年只去了中國一趟。關於植堂, 我們感謝主, 最近推動三元福音(傳福音訓練)及澳洲短宣隊在本地圖書館的外展, 也動員一些同工起來, 福音果效也相當不錯, 接觸到一些當地的人。請為我們的跟進工作禱告。明年敦興將以教會植堂及協助植堂事工為主, 但仍會在CRTS兼課; 因為敦興不再是CRTS的專任
老師, 學校也沒任務提供宿舍補助。我們的生活費用都要靠我們的籌款,也謝謝你們過去的支持。

為了減輕經濟的壓力, 如品今年秋季開始在中華福音神學院全職任教。因為學校距離我們住的地方約75分鐘, 所以她有時要住在宿舍。她非常忙碌, 神學院要求她每學期開三門課, 都是新的課程, 加上周末在植堂教會的服事,因此她忙的焦頭爛額,可是喜樂在其間。

小孩的近況

敬一(Zephy) 回來台灣正好一年。我們要他回來台灣本來是想他教英文及重建他的信仰生活, 可是因身分的緣故, 無法進行。後來他註冊網上的電腦程式課程(Coding course), 但他還是對上研究所較有興趣。請為他的前面的方向禱告。

老二(祈一Anna) 仍然在波士頓(Boston)上班, 她非常喜歡自己的工作。最近她分享希望搬到較暖和的地方, 因為波斯頓的冬天實在太長太冷了。

老三 (頌一Praisye) 在Gordon College, 若順利的話, 將在明年五月畢業。她希望到神學院進修, 走全時間事奉的路。敦興、如品非常高興,但是希望她可以先回來台灣一年協助他們的事工,目的是要考驗她的呼召。她很開心這個決定,也希望回台灣時能同時進修中文。你們還好嗎? 我們希望你們有一個有意義的聖誕節, 也願上帝祝福你及你家人。

你們宣教的夥伴,
敦興, 如品