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.
Toon & Pam