February March 2012 Newsletter

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Dear Brothers/ Sisters,
Greetings from Taipei.
Although February and March should be springtime in Taiwan, Taipei is raining most of the time and hardly has any sunshine. Our family went to visit Pam’s parents in Kaohsiung during the Chinese New Year holiday. In addition to enjoying the love of the Pam’s family, we also enjoyed the warm sunshine of the Southern part of Taiwan. We also had the opportunity to visit Rev. Andy McCafferty and his wife Priscilla in Panton, which is the home of Priscilla’s parents. We received their warm welcome and were taken to see the beautiful sunset of the famous Dapeng Bay and the only drawbridge in Taiwan. We were also treated to delicious seafood by the family. Although we had to face the cloudy and rainy weather of Taipei again after we came back from the south, we were filled with the heartwarming love of our family and friends. How is the weather in your place now? Is it spring yet? We wish you will enjoy the beauty and splendor of our Heavenly Father’s creation in the spring season.
After celebrating the two big holidays of the West and the East, Christmas and the Chinese New Year, our life went back to normal again. Toon’s seminary began their spring classes in the middle of February. For this semester, he teaches only one class, Gospel and Acts. However, he still needs to travel to China sometimes. He is also going back to teach a class for CRTS-DC Extension at Grace Christian Church in April and was invited to teach two Christian education classes in Malaysia in June with Pam. In addition, he and Pam are teaching an extended class once a week for the China Evangelical Seminary starting this February. It looks like Toon is getting busier and busier. Nevertheless, he will still focus his ministry on the China Reformed Theological Seminary, and he will carefully plan his time of travelling.
Through your many prayers, Toon was requested to complete an interview for his citizenship in February, and he passed the exam in March. We thought it would be the end of his citizenship battle. Yet the immigration officer thought that his stay within the US had not been long enough to prove his citizenship even though he had applied for a missionary status. The immigration office requested from Toon some legal documents in order to prove the intention of being a citizen. Toon has handed in those documents and is now waiting for the response from the immigration office. Although the process of applying for his citizenship has been a tough one, Toon was able to see the good will of God throughout. We believe the whole thing is in God’s hand regardless of the results. His will is the best and may His will be done. We only pray that if Toon is granted with the citizenship, the date to make the vow will not be far from the date of his theological class at Grace Christian Church so that he can complete them both in one trip.
Pam finished the Taiwanese therapist license exam in February. The results will not be known until the middle of April. Pam felt exhausted in preparing for this exam, probably due to the large amount of information she needed to memorize (she is not young anymore!). After the exam, she told Toon that she hoped that this would be her last exam and that Toon would not push her into another degree or exam. Of course, Pam knows that this path has been under God’s guidance according to His will, not Toon’s will. Although God used Toon to push her in some ways, she got the answer through her own prayer and the seeking of God’s will. Therefore she tried to accomplish all these things with all her might and without regret. Regarding the results of her exam and her future direction, she does not really care because she believes they are all in God’s hands. All she cares about is that she does her best to complete the mission God handed to her. Currently Pam is leading or helping to lead several meetings four days a week, working as a counselor for the students in Taiwan Theological Seminary, and teaching in the China Evangelical Seminary with Toon. She also serves in a planning committee for a church in establishing a counseling center. She is still seeking God’s guidance as to whether she will work in the counseling center in the future as their staff.
By the support of your prayers, Zephy was able to arrive safely from the US to Malaysia through a series of several international flights during the Christmas holiday. After a period of time of prayer and thinking, and after analyzing and discussing with Zephy, we decided that we would not let Zephy go back to the US. Rather, we would have him go to a college in Taiwan. There are several reasons for this decision, including concerns for his spirituality, school work (grades), and health/life habits. In summary, we found him not ready to live independently in the States, and he handled all the aspects we mentioned above poorly. Thank God that Zephy listened to our advice, although he missed his old school and friends there. After the first semester there, he understood that his problems were out of his ability and control. Now he is studying in Christ’s College in Guan-Du and majoring in English, and he is also taking an online class from a State college from the United States. Although Christ’s College is only a one-hour drive from our house, we let him stay in the dorm to help him be more independent. He is adjusting well in the new school, and is making some new friends also. Since not many students there can speak fluent English, we regard this as an excellent opportunity for Zephy to practice his Chinese. We believe this arrangement and result are out of God’s good will. It helps Zephy to grow spiritually and personally. If the Lord is willing, we plan to transfer Zephy back to the States after one year and half, but not to his old school.
Besides her school work, Anna is now busy with the preparation of the short-term mission to the Philippines with her mission team. The love from the brothers and sisters of Grace Christian Church is beyond our expectation. Anna quickly obtained the amount of mission fund she needed from GCC. We are really touched by the love and support that all of you showed to us. We hope this mission trip will help Anna experience more of God’s power and also exercise her own serving ability, so that she can become a faithful servant of God in the future.
Anna recently began taking the SAT and thinking about her future direction, especially the major she is going to study. She is still not clear about the answer. Maybe she needs more time and prayer in search of the answer. She is in eleventh grade now, and she will go back the US for college after one year and half. We believe that God
will give her more clear guidance when the time is near.
Praisye is getting busier with more and more school work and activities. In addition to being the team leader and pianist of the worship team in the student fellowship/youth group, and the leader of a fifth-grade girl Bible study group, she is also participating in the school play and a Scholar’s Cup competition. She is in her seventh grade and the school work load is getting heavier. With the above activities, school work, and her own hobbies, she is so busy that she does not get enough sleep during the weekdays. This really worries us. Although she loves sleeping, she is also interested in many things. She even plans to make some money by tutoring or babysitting in order to save money for things she likes. She is quite ambitious. We sometimes really want to limit her participation of activities so that she could get more sleep. However, she can always find good justifications for these activities (and we agree). Therefore, we can only constantly remind her to manage her time well and take care of herself. When we think of her leaving home for the dorm two years later, we feel we need to treasure every moment we spend with her now.
This is the current condition of our family. The following is our prayer requests:
1. Please pray for Toon’s ministry in the seminary, including his teaching job and his mentoring of the students.
2. Please pray for Toon’s application for citizenship. May the Lord’s will be done.
3. Please pray for Toon’s teaching at the GCC in April and in Malaysia in June.
4. Please pray for Pam’s future ministry that God will give her clear guidance.
5. Please pray for the children’s relationships with God and their future direction, especially for Zephy’s adjustment in his new school, his development of life skills, and his future schooling.
Thank you so much for your support and prayers for our family. Because we have your support and God’s love, we can now do things that God wants us to do here. We believe that in God’s eyes your support behind us is as important as our battle in the front. May the Lord remember everything you do for Him, and may He bless your family abundantly.
In Christ,
Toon & Pam

親愛的弟兄姊妹,平安:
二、三月的台灣應已是春季,但台北仍是整日陰雨綿綿,難得見到太陽公公露臉。今年過農曆新年回高雄的時候,在一週的假期中除了沉浸在家人愛的溫暖中外,也足足享受了南台灣的陽光。特別是有機會到屏東東港大鵬灣麥安迪牧師和趙采蓉師母的娘家做客,受到彩蓉師母家人熱情的招待,不但欣賞到了美麗的大鵬灣日落,看到了台灣唯一的開啟式橋樑從中打開,也品嚐到了美味的海產。雖然回來台北後又要重新面對台北的陰霾天氣,但南台灣的陽光和家人朋友的愛仍暖在心頭。不知你們所在地是否萬物回春了呢?希望大家在今年的開春都能享受到天父創造的美麗。
過完了兩個中、西大節日,聖誕節和農曆新年,我們生活開始回歸正軌,上班的上班,上學的上學,服事的服事。敦興的學校已於二月中開學,這學期他除了教一門福音書和使徒行傳外,仍會例行的到中國教書。另外他將於四月到美國華盛頓延伸部(主恩教會教),並受邀於六月與如品一起到馬來西亞帶領兩個有關基督教教育的講座。此外,敦興這個學期多加的一個事奉,是每週一次在中華福音神學院與如品一起配搭教授一門延伸制的課程。看來敦興是越來越忙了。不過他的事奉仍是以改革宗神學院為主,他也會謹慎酌量自己外出的時間。
感謝主,敦興的身分在經過眾弟兄姊妹不斷的代禱,以及一番折騰後,終於於二月接獲了移民局的公民面試通知,並於三月初在美國通過了公民的考試。本以為應該不會再有甚麼問題了,結果移民官認為敦興中間一度離開美國太久,雖然當時申請了宣教師的特別准證,但移民官仍要敦興提出相關證明,才能給予公民身分。敦興於面試當天下午就將相關證件交出,現在就等移民局通知結果並去宣誓了。看來這個公民身分還真是好事多磨,不過敦興仍是從當中看到神的美意。我們也相信不論結果如何,一切都在神手中,祂的意思是最好的,願祂按祂的意旨而行。只希望若是通過,宣誓的時間能與四月去主恩教會教神學班的時間配合,不用再多跑一趟。
至於如品的台灣心裡師執照的考試也於二月下旬完成,不過結果要等到四月中才會揭曉。這次考試讓如品覺得準備的很辛苦,大概因為要看的書太多,自己年紀也不輕了。所以考完就鄭重的跟敦興申明: 希望這是她此生最後一個考試,讓敦興不要再推她去念甚麼學位或考試了。不過如品自己心裡也清楚,她走這條路是神的心意,而不主要是老公的意思,雖然是神透過老公推了一把,但也是自己經過禱告尋求的,所以當然義不容詞、無怨無悔。至於如品考試的結果和前面的道路,她相信都在神的手中,所以並不很在意,只求自己盡力而為把神交代的事做好就是了。如品目前除了固定一週裡有四天在幾個地方帶領或協助一些聚會,在台灣神學院替學生輔導,跟敦興一起在華神的教導工作外,並在一間教會參與籌備成立輔導中心的事。至於以後是否會更多參與那個教會的輔導中心的事工,甚至成為其同工,則看上帝的帶領。
藉著大家的代禱,敬一(Zephy) 在聖誕節時期經過幾番轉車與轉機,終於平安到達馬來西亞與家人團聚。假期結束回到台灣後,經過爸媽一段時間的禱告,並跟敬一分析討論後,決定不再讓他回去美國原來的大學就學,而留在台灣念書。這個決定的理由有幾項,主要包括考慮兒子的靈命、課業、和健康/生活作息等。總之,就是發現兒子還沒準備好自己在美國獨立生活,在以上各方面都表現得非常不理想。感謝主,兒子聽了我們的意見,雖對原來的學校有所不捨,但經過一學期的嘗試,理解自己的問題是超過他能力所
及,因此同意我們的決定。目前他進入關渡基督書院(現稱基督學院)就讀英文系,並在美國一所州立大學修一門網路課程。雖基督書院離家車程只有一小時,我們還是決定讓他住校,每週末回家,訓練他的獨立能力。目前他在新學校一切都算適應,也交到了一些朋友,雖然同學中英文流利的人不多,但他正好可藉此機會練習他的中文。我們相信這樣的安排和結果是出於神的美意,會對兒子的屬靈和生命成長都有幫助。如果上帝允許,我們打算一年半後再將敬一轉回美國的大學,不過不會回原來的學校。
祈一 (Anna)現在除了忙於學校的課業外,也開始跟短宣隊一起緊鑼密鼓地為春假去菲律賓宣教做準備。主恩教會弟兄姊妹的愛心真是超過我們所求所想,她很快就籌到了她所需的宣教費用。大家對我們一家的愛護及支持,我們真是十分感動。希望Anna藉著這次的宣教經驗,能更多的經歷神的工作,同時操練自己的服事能力,使她將來能成為神忠心的使女。
Anna現在也開始準備考申請大學的SAT,並思考自己將來要走的方向,特別是大學要念的科系。她目前還不是很清楚,可能還要經過一段時間的思考和尋求。她目前就讀十一年級,一年多後就會回美國念大學,我們相信神到時會帶領她的腳步。
頌一(Praisye)學校功課和活動都越來越多。她目前除了繼續在學生團契的敬拜團擔任團長和司琴外,並帶領一個五年級女生的查經班外,也開始參與學校的話劇演出和一個稱為"學者杯"的團體競賽。她現在是七年級,功課變得更繁重,加上以上的活動和自己的嗜好,每天忙得不可開交,週間睡眠明顯不足,讓老爸老媽很擔心。她雖也愛睡覺,但又對甚麼都有興趣。甚至還想要去兼家教或看小孩賺外快(為了存錢買東西),真是-人小心不小。我們有時很想限制她,讓她少參加一點課外活動,多照顧一點自己的健康,但她每個活動都"名正言順",我們只好心疼地不斷叮嚀她好好規劃自己的時間,注意身體就是了。想到兩年後她也要離家去台中住校了,心中就十分不捨,真要趕快把握跟她相處的每分每秒。
以上是我們一家最近的近況,下面則是我們具體的代禱事項:
1. 為敦興在神學院的服事,不論是教導或帶領學生,都求神賜下能力。
2. 為敦興公民身分的申請,願神的旨意成就。
3. 為敦興四月去主恩教會,以及六月去馬來西亞的教導工作。
4. 為如品前面服事的道路,求神清楚的引領。
5. 為孩子們跟神的關係以及前面的道路。特別為敬一在新學校的適應、生活能力的培養、和以後學校的方向禱告。
謝謝你們在各方面對我們全家的支持與代禱。因為有你們與神的愛,我們今天才能在這裡沒有後顧之憂的做神要我們做的事。我們相信在神眼中,你們在後方對我們的支持,跟我們在前方打仗是一樣的重要。願神記念你們所做的,也願神厚厚賜福恩待你們一家。
主內
敦興、如品敬上
Email:tyeo@juno.com