Taiwan Kaohsiung UBF Mission Report by Steve Haga
Part1. 2016 Review
Our ministry key verse for 2016 was Isaiah 56:7. “These I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”
We chose this key verse for last year because we wanted to remember the directive from Isaiah to welcome all nations. There was only one temple, and all people of every nation were allowed to go there and worship. But the religious leaders of Jesus' day had no love for Gentiles. They wouldn't enter their houses nor welcome them into God's house. Gentiles could go to the outer courtyard, but they would found a market place there.
Being bilingual our ministry has always attracted international students. We didn’t want to limit God but to remember that even Paul's first convert in Europe was an immigrant from Turkey. Short-term students are hard to raise up as coworkers for Taiwan mission, but must enlarge our vision for world mission work. Though Taiwan is a small country it holds a strategic importance in evangelizing C nation, Southeast Asia, and beyond. Every year, God sends us new students from all over the world, and he also begins to show signs of sending out our Taiwanese members.
I. God's Work through the 2016 key verse
These I will Bring. In the past year our membership has changed. Hong, Xiao-Mi, Christine, Ginny and Andy returned to their home countries, while Gregory joined Taipei ministry for graduate school. Some of them still study the Bible with us through skype. But many newcomers arrived: Mizuri from Panama, Yowan and Nisha from India, Janita and Rebecca from Hongkong, Hoggie from Mogolia, and Rob from America -as well as new Taiwanese members Maggie, Yaya married to Rob, Andy 2, Jenny 2, Jeff, Wang and David. In addition Jenny returned from Taipei for work in Kaohsiung, and Candace, Jennifer, Suling became regular attendees. Currently, the Sunday worship service has around 25 attendants. In addition Missionary Rebecca and Moses visited our ministry for several weeks, and prayed about the potential of serving Taiwan mission.
Sunday afternoon eating fellowship became a crowded and joyful time. Among the sisters, close bonds were also developed. At our summer conference we declared that we are more than conquerors. When we accepted this we could be joyful. As we shared our thanks giving topics in November, many members could see God's answer to prayer and sovereignty over all situations. We pray to have Jesus' joy continually in the coming year.
Throughout this year Allison's office near the Chinese Language Center served as a secondary morning prayer meeting location for campus students and language teachers. Common life sisters maintain a prayer vessel at the center and work to keep it as a place of worship. Through the serving, the center is a welcoming environment for newcomers. Their sacrifices will be accepted. May we offer the parts of our bodies as living sacrifices! Sacrificially serving numbers have been key to our fellowship. Nisha serves dinner every Saturday before the testimony-sharing meeting. Many other members happily sign up to cook for the group Bible study and the Sunday Worship Service each week. Dr. Allison and other members serve Bible students with a shepherd's heart.
As some international students returned to their home countries Taiwanese members continued to pray for them and to have a larger vision for world mission. Several members have received their PhDs, and are consider mission calling, although it is too early to know what will be God's will.
II. Special Programs.
Our Easter conference was titled, “Christ, the First-fruits of the Resurrection.” Gregory and Stefany became new messengers. Hong Kong UBF blessed our conference by sending the Shepherd family of Tsz-Lung and Winnie to attend. During the conference sister Christy shared her sincere testimony and was baptized. Our summer conference was titled, “More Than Conquerors!”. Dr. Mark visited from Taipei with brother Gaowei, Raju, and Gulu; Shepherd Peter from Hong Kong also served the conference. Second Gen Missionary Rebecca from Canberra, Australia, also attended.
Several members also attended additional conferences: The Hong Kong Summer Bible conference, the Mid-Atlantic summer Bible conference, the Korea World Mission Report, and a conference in a closed country where one of our former short-term student worked and had fellowship with the missionary family. The visit of the sisters was an encouragement to their hard outreach. At the World Mission Report, Dr. Allison shared her encouraging testimony. The sisters also visited Judy and Matthew who also attended and now serve with the Yonhee ministry in Korea.
Several new families attend our ministry. A new Indian family, Yowan and Nisha arrived this year. After Dr. Judy encouraged Yowan to apply for PhD study at our school. Aliya and Madz had arrived just over a year ago, When Aliya began PhD study. Dr. Madz is praying for a faculty position on campus. Recently, Rob and Yaya, who live in Kaohsiung were recently married, have begun to attend faithfully and to grow. We pray for our sisters to also have candidates to establish families by faith.
III.Bible Study Ministry.
This year, we have covered the book of Acts for the worship service messages and John in group Bible study. We also continued daily-bread publication work and Morning Prayer meetings.
At the present our Bible students are:
Steve: Andy, David, Yowan, Rob, Madz, and by Skype: Gregory, Raju, Matthew, Ravi, Hong.
Allison: Yawen, Mandy, Tina, Celine, Jenny, Nisha Naomi, Jimmy, Nicky, Aliya, Maggie, Zoe, Serene, Mena, and by Skype: Janita, Artemis.
Yawen: Candace, Stefani, Qi-yu, Yaya and by Skype: Young Jenny.
Stefany: Hoggi, Mitzuris, Jennifer, and by Skype: Christine.
Mandy: Cristy, Teacher Wang, and Ana.
Celine: Rebecca, Sui-haul Yang, and Petty.
Part IV. 2017 Preview
For 2017 our key verse is Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back: lengthen your codes, strengthen your stakes.” The barren woman of Isaiah 54 is encouraged to sing for joy, because she will be more fruitful than the women with children. In some ways, I can relate to the barren woman. Not only in not having children, but also in having unfruitful research that puts my position on the campus into question. At the same time, however, God opens up fruitfulness in other ways. The ministry grows. Some members pray to establish families and to go out as missionaries. Though Taiwan is a small island and NSYSU is a small school we can stretch our tent curtains wide. We can expect God to do great things through the open-hearted people of Taiwan. May God bless the ministry to expand and to provide continued ways for our family to serve.
Special Prayer Topics
- 30 one to ones each week and 30 faithful Sunday worship attendants
- Steve's Sunday Message and Allison's translation.
- Thursday Group Bible studies.
- Steve's continuous position.
- Allison to receive a permanent position in her department.
- Nicki, Naomi, Candace to have door open to use their PhDs for God's glory.
- Madz to receive funding to stay in Kaohsiung.
- Yawen, Aliya, Stefany, Celine,Yowan's Dissertations / Thesis
- Crist's medical studies and ability to transfer.
- Jeff and Mizuri to be admitted to school in Kaohsiung.
- Mandy's family's salvation.
- To solve the marriage candidates’ problem.