The past few weeks have been filled with traveling here and there and everywhere– crazy moments and God moments and laugh-out-loud-in-the-street moments. I’ll attempt to tell all the moments that matter, some prayer requests, and some mentoring advice: First read a lot, then read a little.
The remodeling of Aroma is finished now, and we have had two great services in the newly refurbished “sanctuary” (so, okay, usually it is a coffee shop). Pastor Chris O’Dell has been really into pressing into the layout of the tabernacle in the Old Testament. Therefore, we have moved the worship leaders and podium from being on the stage and faced by all the congregation to the center of the room, with the congregation on either side. That way we all sing together, and when we have communion (which we have been having weekly), we come to the center and pour each other a glass and get the bread. It has been a powerful image of unity for us. Thanks to my old host parent from last year, Justin Seimens for the great photos.
- Change is always challenging! Please pray for us to love each other well as new ways of doing things have to be made, and old ways may have to go.
- Please pray for all loose ends to be tied up for the renovations.
- Please pray that not only the remodeling, but also the Holy Spirit’s presence will attract people to Aroma to smell the Aroma of Christ!
When someone wants to know Jesus more, my heart beats a little faster. The past two weeks, God has given me a glimpse of what lies ahead discipleship-wise. For Valentine’s Day, the women’s ministry at Aroma Church held an event for the ladies where we went out to eat, and then afterwards handed out roses to ladies in the red-light district. Each flower also had a letter from God with it, telling the ladies how God loves the ladies and has created each of them really beautiful, inside and out, no matter how the world sees them.
During the dinner beforehand, I got to know a newcomer to Aroma (Taiwanese), whose English name is Helen. She and I were talking and I sensed from the Lord that she would be a missionary someday. We had a good time talking and we will begin a Bible study soon. Later when we were handing out the flowers, I watched with joy as she went straight up to first one lady and then another, offering the rose and the Light of Christ in sweet, innocent confidence. Praise Jesus for this new light! She has been a Christian two years, and got baptized just last year. In Taiwan, getting baptized is a point of no return. Many families will ostracize a Christian or argue with them often about their faith.
I have also begun a Bible study with two other ladies from Aroma, friends named Sandra and Apple, and I look forward to the fruit of the Spirit! Thank the Lord that he helped me persist through last year! “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up,” (Galatians 6:9).
On Friday I met with the Taiwanese church leader, Cloud, to discuss my role at Aroma and what the structure of the discipleship track options are going to be.
- Please pray for humble, well-thought-out, well-communicated ideas between the head leaders of Aroma Church.
- Please pray for Helen, Sandra, Apple, and the many others who attend Aroma Church to get to know Jesus very well. Pray that they open their hearts to God’s new direction for their lives, to be witnesses to those they know.
- Please pray for me to always keep my eyes on Christ and never to assume God’s role in thinking that it is me that is making people want to know Christ. Let all the glory be to You, God.
Another opportunity to share Christ in a mentor-like relationship is the tutoring that I have started with one of my former students and his sister. J and C are boy and girl, respectively, and 8 and 10 respectively. I tutor each of them for an hour in their home, and the parents always invite me to stay for supper. Praise God because this is an awesome opportunity to be a living witness and share my faith! I have already been able to share my songs that are on YouTube with them, which may speak to them since both parents speak good English.
Lastly, I have started up my language exchange with Alexa once again, and it is one of the joys of my week. I love talking about Jesus, learning Chinese, and laughing with her. Please pray for her throat to heal. She has damaged her voice some from singing with the wrong technique and must rest for a while from leading worship at Aroma… As she is the Worship Director of the church, it is hard to see her not able to sing. 😦 But praise the Lord, she is on the mend!
And, sorry, but I tricked you haha. I am not going to share the story of my passport yet… you will have to wait for next time!! (This is getting rather long, so I will split up the packed last two weeks and write more another day. 🙂 )
But, Read a lot, then read a little. When discipling a new Christian, encourage them to read a lot of the Bible, as much as they can handle. They need to get to know it inside and out. But as a Christian grows, encourage the one you are discipling to read only a small passage at a time. Let them feed on it. Let them study it, let them learn the Greek or Hebrew, let them find out what God can say in just a few sentences. This of course assumes that you are, in fact, discipling. Are you? Do you need to be discipled yourself?
Remember Matthew 28: 19-20,
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Keep the Faith, Expectantly! Your Savior is willing to show you more!