Monday, June 14, 2010
The Gospel comes to a local cafe in Taipei
Across a small park from our apartment in Taipei is a beloved little cafe called, Park Cafe. It is a Taiwanese family-owned restaurant run by two sisters. We walk by it all the time on our way to the subway rapid transit station. Last year we got to know these owners. Also, because of their excellent home-cooked Taiwanese-style food, some of the New Hope church members began to frequent their cafe.
As they observed their most frequent customers, the family of one of New Hope's elders, Aaron Heidel, they became curious about how these young children were so well-behaved. They got into many discussions with this elder and his wife about child training and that led to opportunities to share the Gospel.
(This elder's wife, Jean Heidel, is the one who translated Judy's infant care book. She also heads the translation team for New Hope's bilingual service. Jean is writing her own book this year about her experience trying to implement the methods of Judy's book. She also has a special chapter on adoption since the Heidels have adopted four children so far. We are especially praying that the adoption chapter will have an impact on Taiwanese culture since traditionally adoption is frowned upon.)
As several of us from New Hope began to visit their cafe, we all were able to gradually, more and more, share with them the love of Christ. We all became friends and the Park Cafe even hosted an outreach event where Judy met some of her infant care book readers. Last November, one of the sisters, Amanda, began visiting our church regularly; her whole family came with her. Joel spent a lot of time talking with her and her husband about the Christianity.
This spring, Amanda, professed her faith in Jesus Christ, received baptism, and joined the church. Please pray for her family: her husband and two sons attend New Hope regularly but have not yet come to faith.
Click on this link to see a video of her baptism. We were very sad to miss it, but we had already come to the United States for a year of furlough.
You can listen here to the testimony with translation into English:
You'll notice that Joel's coworker Rev. Daniel Cohee is now serving New Hope as pastor. After seminary and some internships in the U.S., and a two-year mission in Romania, he had come to Taiwan to serve under Joel as a missionary intern. Then he went back to the U.S. to take his ordination exams, and raise support; now he has moved to the field as a long-term missionary. Please also pray for Daniel as he studies Mandarin and pastors New Hope. We praise God that because he was able to come for an internship for over a year, he already was able to adjust to Taiwan and so this time was ready to start right into his labors. Daniel plans to continue as interim pastor while this church looks for a long-term full-time pastor. Please pray for New Hope's pastor search. As Daniel's language improves and he transitions out of serving as the full-time pastor, he plans to expand his work in training Taiwanese men for church planting.