A young person: Yin’s story
I got baptised in January 2018 after seeing God’s power to change my family.
Up until two years ago, life at home was filled with the sound of my parents arguing and fighting. I would take my younger brother into the bedroom each time the shouting began. I often wondered if my parents would stay together or separate. And then what would happen to my brother and I?
But then my dad, Ah Du, joined a Bible study at the wine shop he supplies glasses for. He didn’t believe in God before. But soon he believed in Jesus and asked my mum to come to the Bible study too. She reluctantly went and then started following Jesus too.
My parents’ lives began to change significantly.
Soon they took us to church. It wasn’t like I’d expected: all stained-glass windows and stiff, formal worship. The Shopworkers Church met in someone’s ordinary apartment. People wore normal clothes and didn’t use special religious language. We found we fitted in, could make friends and be part of the community. The church pastor, Kevin, and his wife met my parents each week to help them understand the Bible. Their faith grew and they got baptised. As their lives changed and the situation at home improved, I was amazed to see the power of God to change things in my family.
A pastor: Jordan & Bella’s story
As a fifth-generation Christian, I, Jordan, have always been involved in church and ministry. After serving in a church for a while, I decided to go to theological seminary, where I met my wife, Bella. As the only Christian in her family, Bella encountered a lot of resistance for wanting to study at seminary. It was not easy for her.
As a seminary student, I interned with an OMF ministry to youth in a village called Xinghuabu in Zhong-pu Chiayi, where I learned how to tell Bible stories, organise activities, and generally love and serve at-risk youth.
A year later, Bella and I got married and she joined me in interning with the same ministry. We began to minister not only to the youth, but also to their families and others we met in the small village where we lived at the weekends.
Although this work was incredibly challenging, we knew it was exactly the kind of ministry we wanted to be involved in upon graduating seminary. After all, how will these folks hear the gospel otherwise?
Many of our classmates did not understand why we did not pursue being full-time pastors or evangelists in an established church. Our families, especially Bella’s, were concerned whether we could support our young family. Nevertheless, we felt that this was the Lord’s leading, to remain in Zhong-pu and continue to minister alongside our OMF co-workers.
Recently, we were invited to serve as pastor of a church planted in our area by other OMF co-workers. At the same time, we were exploring another organisation that ministers to rural areas. Although the other organisation offered a lot more stability, we felt the Lord calling us to continue ministering in Zhongpu in partnership with OMF. There is much work yet to be done before leadership of the church is wholly turned over to us. Additionally the new church plant is not yet financially independent, but we are trusting the Lord for his provision.
A working-class university student: Tom’s story
Over the summer, I stayed in the uni dorms instead of going back to the countryside. It didn’t feel like home there. My mum left the family when I was in middle school and my dad had to raise my brothers and I on his own. I get on okay with my dad now, but there’s pain from the past I haven’t really dealt with.
This past year I’ve been discipled by an OMF worker in my university city. When we meet up we often spend the whole morning together. For the first hour, we read the Bible and pray together and then we spend the rest of the time exploring hiking trails. Some of our best chats have actually been when we’re out hiking! Often, we’ll talk about how the Bible passages we’ve looked at impact our lives. I’ve been learning that the gospel not only brings forgiveness of sins, but also healing. While I am growing in my relationship with my heavenly Father, I still feel like it would take a miracle for my relationship with my dad to improve.voices-from-taiwan