Monday, March 24, 2014

Dr. Ulf Eckmans Decision even in Taiwan can not be understood

When the news broke about Dr. Ulf Eckmans conversion to Catholic faith many in Taiwan did not understand his decision. His coming to Taiwan stirred up a lot of questions. More about it under: Conversion of Sweden's Most Influential Pastor Causes 'Pain and Disillusion'
       While discussions and inquiring notes filled the facebooks and Christian magazines it became apparent what moved Eckman: the lacking knowledge about the theology of this large group in the Latin Rite Church tradition. -  In Taiwan the Christian media had a hard time to explain his conversion from positive perspective.               Unfortunately, the missing historic background of the growth of Christianity had its toll. Although he led his church in Sweden during its growth to the size of 3,200 members he apparently never spent enough time to study the Roman Catholics Church teaching background. - The more he found out about the outside commonalities in a friendship with Catholics between Protestant Faith and Catholic Faith the more he got interested. He looked for a way to somehow "harmonize" both theologies, yet failed. - He should have been given some help on this road. It is a pity, that he saw no other way to find answers to his questions but to leave his church. - He himself felt he was theologically "ill equipped" to face the questions of Roman Catholics (There are many non Roman Catholic churches too, which are not part of this discussion). How to know what is right? How can one know without studying for years what is different? - 
How to advise? While really exploring the details always needs time, the following website of Richard Bennet, a former Catholic priest, could make it easier for the start to see "behind the curtain" and especially punish the idea of organized "fragmentalization" of Christ's body  by the Protestant church camp, with its several denominations as contrary to Reformed Theology.  http://www.bereanbeacon.org/en/ 
The website of course shares his views, as a contribution from a former insider they show how old characteristic Roman Catholic Convictions and beliefs are applied in the RCC's in the modern day context. Bennet has a list of interesting topics published on the web to just serve this type of need.http://www.bereanbeacon.org/articles/ 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Crisis in Ukraine is driving people to Christ: Requesting urgent Prayer

Ukraine map
SEND has teams in four major areas of Ukraine and is developing church planting teams to work among some of  Ukraine’s unreached people groups. The missionaries work with Ukrainians to assist young churches and plant new ones as well as train church leaders and Ukrainian missionaries through Bible colleges and theological seminaries.
[Update from SEND Ukraine: d 3/10/14] – Please continue to pray for peace in Ukraine, especially concerning the situation in Crimea. The Crimean parliament voted on Thursday to join Russia and announced a public referendum next Sunday (March 16) to allow the people to decide whether or not to seek Russian annexation or simply increase the region’s autonomous status as part of Ukraine.  This is a critical week in the country’s history.
All of our workers are back in Ukraine, with the exception of those who serve in the south (and those who were already out of the country for other reasons).  Our people are experiencing no local threats, and ministry continues.  However, they are remaining at a high alert level, given the situation in Crimea and tensions in some eastern cities (where we have no workers).
Additional Information:
The 1990’s saw tremendous growth in the churches of Ukraine through mass evangelistic events. Today’s Ukraine needs missionaries prepared to share the gospel and disciple new believers through personal relationships. Major ministries include theological education, church planting, Bible studies, camping, children’s ministry, women’s ministry and teaching English (TESOL)The radio program “Faith, Hope, and Love” draws listeners from Ukraine, Russia, and other countries in the former Soviet Union.
Slavic Radchuk: Burning for the LORD: In the few days where he
was in Taiwan in 2013 he wanted to start a Ukrainian Church. 
Ukraine is a powder keg ready to explode. Russia is keeping a tight grip on Crimea, and pro-Russia protests are spreading throughout Ukraine’s eastern and southern cities. But there’s good news: the crisis in Ukraine is driving people to Christ.
“During this difficult time, my radio program [is] going on, non stop. And people are very, very hungry, especially now,” says Slavik Radchuk. “People [are] still coming to Christ like never before, [in] all churches.” 
“From Crimea, we have reports that former Muslims are coming to our churches and saying, ‘Can we pray together to God?’” says Radchuk. They don’t want to die without hope, he adds. “This is a very difficult time for us, and all people stay together now and pray to God for peace.” Over the weekend, thousands of people gathered at a church in Crimea and prayed through Monday morning. “ Missionaries said attendance was 1806 in one church, but over 2,000 people came and stayed,” Radchuk shares. “All night they prayed because it was a very difficult time in Crimea.” ). 
In Taiwan we pray for our brethren in Ukraine. Also pray for the Chinese in Ukraine. Nothing has ever happened that did not pass God's throne first. May this become a time where Gods glory prevails  and the evil has to withdraw. SEND Ukraine reports "All of our workers are back in Ukraine, with the exception of those who serve in the south (and those who were already out of the country for other reasons).  Our people are experiencing no local threats, and ministry continues. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Feb. 14 Valentines Day - How did he become the day for LOVE?

There is a historical mystery surrounding Valentine’s Day, also known the Feast of Saint Valentine, which causes people every year to wonder about the origins of the holiday which is celebrated on February 14 each year. It is observed in most countries all over the world, and remains a working day in most countries.[1]
Was There a Real Valentine?
The historical origin of Valentine’s Day is surrounded by mystery, but one legend behind this celebrated holiday is centered around Valentinus, a Christian Saint, who was imprisoned for not giving up his Christian faith. The saint lived in the 4rd century in Italy. Three hundred years after the death of Jesus Christ, the Roman emperors still demanded that everyone believe in the Roman gods.  Valentine was well known for his habit to give

Against the Emperors will who forbade young soldiers  to marryValentine 
loved to marry couples and gave  them flowers from his own garden. 
couples flowers from his own garden.
Especially as a priest he married couples according to Christian tradition, which by that time was a crime against the Roman Emperor. [2] The Emperor insisted that unmarried men were better soldiers than those who were married, he also strictly forbade marriage for younger men. Valentine disagreed with this statute, defied Claudius, the emperor and performed weddings for young soldiers who were forbidden to marry, whenever they looked for him. Yet, this did not go unnoticed. After a while Valentine, a Christian priest, was thrown in prison for his teachings. He was also accused for the crime of preaching to Christians. During the Roman Empire, this act was considered treason, and when Emperor Claudius discovered this actions, Valentine had no hope to escape the death penalty. However, when on February 14, Valentine was beheaded, not only because he was a Christian, he also had to leave the world of the living because he had performed a miracle that seemed impossible to perform for an "evil" person, thus even further weakening the Emperors authority. He apparently cured the jailer's daughter from her blindness. On the morning of his execution, Saint Valentine sent his last card to his jailer’s daughter, with the scrawled words “forever in life and death, your Valentine.” Another legend tells us that this same Valentine, well-loved by all, received notes to his jail cell from children and friends who missed him.

Archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb; an ancient 
church dedicated to Saint Valentine.  
Archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb; an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine. During 496 AD,  Pope Gelasius I. in honor of his martyrdom declared February 14 from now on to be the  "Valentine's Day" .

Bishop Valentine?
Another Valentine was an Italian bishop who lived at about the same time, AD 200. He was imprisoned because he secretly married couples, contrary to the laws of the Roman emperor. Some legends say he was burned at the stake.[3]

Saint Valentine would cut out heart shapes from a sheet of parchment and give them to soldiers, and the persecuted Christians, to remind them of their vows and God’s love. It is believed that Saint Valentine wore an amethyst ring with an image of Cupid engraved in it. This was recognized as a symbol associated with love, and usually worn by bishops. The soldiers would recognize his ring and ask Saint Valentine to perform marriage ceremonies for them.
During his imprisonment, he befriended his captor’s daughter, and they struck up a friendship. The visits by the woman were brief, and they did not have much time to talk to one another. He would, during his free time, write loving messages on small cards and hand these over to her when she visited.
Saint Valentine’s Day is a ceremonial feast day on the calendar of saints who were martyrs in the Anglican Communion and in the Lutheran Church. Other Christian denominations also celebrate this day during July. Throughout the world, February 14 is celebrated and specially marked as a date for love and is often symbolized by the color red. Red roses, red hearts, and loving messages on cards are traditionally exchanged between friends and lovers.
Feast of Lupercalia
The ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, a spring festival, on the 15th of February, held in honor of a goddess. Young men randomly chose the name of a young girl to escort to the festivities. With the introduction of Christianity, the holiday moved to the 14th of February. The Christians had come to celebrate February 14 as the saint day that celebrated the several early Christian martyrs named Valentine.

During 1840, Ester A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in America. Howland is known as the “mother of Valentine.” Decorative creations using lace, ribbons and colorful pictures were produced as the tradition was birthed. Today the Greeting Card Association estimates that over a billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year. This makes Valentine’s Day the second largest card-selling holiday of the year.
February is historically a month celebrated by romance and love and the mystery surrounding the saints and St. Valentine’s Day remains a tradition continued each year.

Choosing a Sweetheart on Valentine's Day in the Angelsaxon World
The custom of choosing a sweetheart on this date spread through Europe in the Middle Ages, and then to the early American colonies. Throughout the ages, people also believed that birds picked their mates on February 14!

Especially among British and US- American friends this tradition is strong. In United Kingdom it is customary on that to send out anonymous love-letters. In U.S. teenies secretly send each-other greetings-cards with love messages. Whoever gets most messages counts as the most "wanted" - a questionable game indeed, but maybe on the way to more maturity still much fun as the old saying goes : It is all about the one prince or princess who loves you!  

The Valentines Day on Continental Europe

"Does he-she loves me or does he/she not" , this is oneof the games often played for fun on this day, often with a flower in one hand and with the other ripping out one of its leaves, whenever the question changes... The Valentines Days is an occasion to share to somebody its own feelings about him or her. 
 Continental Europeans only from 1950 on began celebrate this day Couples and lovers are encourged to enjoy each other by sharing flowers, very much like Valentine did himself to express joy about their love. Some fine tasting chocolate or another small presents are also o.k. For some it is a day of much fun, for gardeners a day of much business, yet still it is not everybodies prefered day to show feelings, as many are convinced love is too special to form certain traditions for it. 
Whatever you think about it now, it is a day where you under the shadow of a "tradition" you may express some of your deepest feelings to somebody you think should know about it now and to do a first step! Or maybe it is just another great day where you would like to tell your adored partner once more: "I love you"

About all because love is so special even King Solomon when he was surprised by love searched for human words to express it:  You are altogether beautiful, my darling, And there is no blemish in you. (Songs of Solomon 4:7)

[1] http://guardianlv.com/2014/02/valentines-day-saints-mystery-and-history/
[2] http://www.helles-koepfchen.de/artikel/929.html
[3] http://inventors.about.com/od/articlesandresources/a/Valentine_Day.htm

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Because of an Indonesian - the whole family received Christ

There is an amazing story to praise the LORD, which almost accidentally happened in our neighborhood and is linked with the TECC ministry support among Indonesians in Taipei. 
         Since October a church in Beitou has opened its doors for bi-weekly Indonesian meetings on a Sunday afternoon. I regularly go there, bring Indonesian material, pray and sing with them and take the chance to learn some Indonesian. Ira, one of the four pretty regular attending old people nurses from Indonesia, last week experienced  how her 91 years old Agung passed away. Before he did something happened that gave the whole sad moment a complete different direction: 
Suddenly both Agung and Ira saw a tall grown man at the bedsite, clothed in a white-shining outfit. Pastor Huang who himself was there told me at that moment Agung said to his Indonesian caretaker: "I see a part of heaven open right now. It is beautiful, I can not describe it. But if you change your faith we will meet there again." Soon afterwards he passed away. Ira really liked him but also understood, this was real, no matter how her background this was what she wanted. From our times she knew a bit about Jesus. At the spot she wanted become a Christian. When I saw her last Sunday she already had prayed publicaly to the living God for the sad family. I was told through her testimony she had convinced the rest of the still unbelieving family about the need to really turn to the living God and accept Jesus. She was too shy to tell me, but I just heard it from a TECC (Taiwan Expatriate Caring Committe)  brother who was attending the funeral. -
Ira was too sad to be so happy about this. She had lost the base of her staying in Taiwan. But the LORD within hours provided her with a new caring work in Taoyuan, also to an elderly man. Guess what, he is a Christian too! - A befriended pastor from TECC will take care of her until she is settled there. The LORD loves the small the neglected people and uses them to build HIS glory and HIS church. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


 (in part edited by Cary Perdue)

"The savage hugs his god of stone and fears descent of night;
The city dweller cringes alone amid the garnish of light;
Lord Jesus Christ, arouse Thy church to see their mute distress!
Lord Jesus Christ, equip Thy church with love and tenderness."
--from "Macedonia" by Anne Ortlund who went to heaven in November

     The Christmas season affords special opportunities to reach out and to communicate the Good News of the Gospel.  The Taiwan personnel sense this and so they ask us, "To  pray that they might be able to tell the Christmas story to many more people" and they ask us, "To pray that we [the pastors, Christian workers, and missionaries] will be transformed by the Christmas story and that Christ will preach through us as we tell the story."

Among the Unreached: Serving in the Miaoli Indonesian Church
Here are some of these outreaches.

  • Dec. 10-Beitou Covenant Church - Chinese teaching Ministry among Muslim background Indonesians (a SEND sponsored TECC initiated ministry)
  • Dec.16-17 Days of three big evangelistic events at the Shepai Hsinyo Church, North Taipei 
  • Dec. 17-Good Neighbor Church will have a morning outreach to San He elementary students.
  • Dec. 17-Good Neighbor Church will have an outreach in the evening to teachers and administrators of San He Elementary School.
  • Dec. 20-Living Water Baptist Church will host a party for students at Tian Wei Middle School.
  • Dec. 21-Tanzi Church will host a coffee outreach and then on Sunday, the 22nd, continue an outreach through a Christmas service.
  • Dec. 22-Good Neighbor Church, a growing church plant, will have a special Christmas service.

SEND Taiwan Team with the China Lutheran Seminary Faculty members
at Naomi|s Commissioning Service Dec.8th
Here are some praises.

  •      Camp Leung is being commissioned on, Dec. 8, in Xinchu, NW Taiwan, to join the SEND Taiwan field as their next missionary. Pray for the LORDs leading in the details of her assignment!
  •      Jou and Tammy Chen from New Jersey will be in Taiwan from Dec. 9-31 seeking God's will for future ministry in Taiwan.
  • These are two great reasons to praise  and incentives to pray even more fervently for the Lord Who is greatly concerned about the harvest to send out many [yes, many, many] more workers.
  • The LORD established a small praying team to send out more workers from Taiwan. On November 26th Liao Chia-hei was send out for 809th month short term ministry to East Asia

Needs to pray for:

  • Two more families and one single missionary to strengthen the teamwork in Chiayi and the Hakka ministry. 
  • The LORD's call to three local prepared and mature Christians for mission service with SEND overseas until the end of 2014. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Perspectives on the Christian Movement" (4th edition)

 "Perspectives on the Christian Movement" (4th edition) is a excellent volume of carefully selected scripts written by Great Commission concerned writers/theologicans with the intent to regard this topic as a Christians journey when he follows the LORD. The course sees God's Glory among all nations and people groups (ethne) as the center piece of His mission which he executes through his global church. After many years of trying it out on U.S. soil this course has been translated into simplified Chinese. The first Chinese Perspective Class (4th edition) met in Hongkong from Nov. 6.-12 2013 already. For details about the simplified teaching course get in touch with International Perspective Asia Coordinator Dr. Rudolf Mak: ramak@psmail.net for the details about the availability of the course in 2015 in traditional Chinese writing please connect with UMOT (United Mission of Taiwan) chairman Peng Su Ray pray.go@gmail.com. In Taiwan for the English version of Perspectives Mrs. LeAnn Eyermann laeyer@seed.net.tw is the course experienced and certified person. Her office is at the China Lutheran Seminary in Xinchu.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

SEND-Phillippines Typhoon Relief Help!

Yes, you can help! Typhoon Haiyan has left devastation in its wake—10,000 are confirmed dead, hundreds of thousands are homeless, buildings are leveled, and survivors are desperate for food, water and medicine. Our brothers and sisters in the Philippines need our help. - 

Philippines Typhoon

Philippines Typhoon Relief

On Friday, November 08, Super Typhoon Haiyan slammed Central Philippines, forcing over 630,000 people from their homes. It was potentially the strongest tropical cyclone to ever make landfall with sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts up to 380 kph (235 mph). The death toll is not yet known, although some officials estimate it will be over 10,000.
In the path of the storm was the central island of Bohol which was hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake just one month earlier. Many victims were still living in tents when this typhoon struck.
SEND has partner churches in the typhoon-hit area which will be helped with disaster relief. Please consider giving to help them minister to storm victims.

Do you want to help them and consider giving for them? Your funds will go to our SEND partner churches in the disaster area as they professionally help storm victims.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vision 119- Prayer - Pray for a Spiritual Breakthrough!

Reformation Day Prayer Bulletin #39

"Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the Lord our God."

      Taiwan is a prosperous country of twenty-three million people.  But it is steeped in idolatry and deep spiritual darkness.  For this reason SEND Taiwan is asking God to call 119 workers to plant churches in sixty cities along old Route 1 and Route 19 in western, central Taiwan.  Only God can penetrate the darkness; only God can regenerate dead, darkened hearts.  That is why we must trust in the Name of Yahweh our God.
     Praise God for Sandy who this past October 19 during a Bible study made a decision to trust Christ alone.  Pray for her growth, her willingness to identify with the Lord and His people through baptism, and her ability to be a witness to her family and friends.
     Praise God the Holy Spirit is working in the lives of students in grades 1-9 in Daxicuo.  Pray that many of them will respond to the Spirit's promptings to trust Christ alone.  Pray that God will spread revival throughout the various schools in this area.
     Miaoli is a needy area. Ask God to give clear direction where to begin outreach in this area.
     Pray for relationships to be built through the teaching of English at Tian Wei Middle School on Saturdays.  Pray also for Living Water Church for wisdom in their planning and grace to follow through with Saturday afternoon teaching seminars and activities to reach out to adults in Tian Wei.
     Praise God for the good relationship the Dalin team has with the school principal and staff of San He Elementary School. English classes are being held for students in Grades 3-4 and Grades 5-6. Pray that God would honor this endeavor and through this teaching bring spiritual fruit.
     A Sunday morning Sunday school is being held for the students who wish to come. Pray that God would sovereignly cause many students to come, that they would be attentive to the teaching of the Word, that through the Holy Spirit they would understand the Gospel, and that they would respond to the Gospel invitation.
     Pray that Good Neighbor Church would continue to reach out to the people of Dalin.  The church has been meeting in rented facilities but the lease will expire in January.  Ask God to provide an even more suitable place for service gatherings.
     About twenty years ago SEND I. recognized that God was greatly at work in Russia and Ukraine. It was Harvest Time! It was time to call forth workers.  It was time to gather the harvest and to establish vibrant churches.  Please, please ask God for a Harvest Time in Taiwan.
May we also ask you to go to the Throne of Grace and in the Name of the Lord our God to ask Him to do a spiritual work in Taiwan beyond our wildest imagination?

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Introduction of Chinese version of Ralph Winters Course "Perspectives"

香港    2013116 - 12
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a course about God - what He has done, what He is doing, and what still remains to be done. As we are struggling to integrate all that information in one place at one time it is vital to have the new just finished translated 4th edition introduced in the hearts of our church & mission leaders in the Chinese world too. More than 100,000 students have benefited from it for their ministry and be able to translate biblical into into the realities of our globalised world we a much higher degree of efficiency. Pray for the time in November to introduce its content to a new generation of teachers, pastors, workers and other called people to serve in the finishing of the Great Commission. It also helps us in Taiwan to see the urgency of reaching out to the unreached AND the necessity of training capable workers for cross-cultural ministries in the right perspective and to understand its utmost urgency better. >>>  Orders

Friday, September 20, 2013

Over 5,000 images of the Matzu goddess flown in to Taiwan!

You may know the gravity and urgency for special prayers for Taiwan this month. Over 5,000 images of the Matzu goddess were flown in from all over the world. It is expected that more than 10,000 images will be displayed in Beigang Town which is quite close to Chiayi City, where SEND's churchplanting teams are placed.  This is unprecedented and the show of strength of the popular religion of Taiwan is revived and have also spread far and wide. One small but important view we may deduce from this event is that the preaching of the gospel in Taiwan has brought this religion on the defensive. Our contention is not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. We need spiritual sensitivity, unity and true holiness in the Church and protection among the church planters who are in the forefront of this spiritual warfare.

Matsu EasyCards available
Taipei EasyCard Corp has cooperated with Taipei’s Songshan Ciyou Temple to issue 5,000 EasyCards that were “blessed” by Matsu, the goddess of sea worshiped in the temple, as an effort to extend the card’s popularity. The “Matsu Blessing EasyCard” is a third of the size of a regular EasyCard, and comes with a talisman. The NT$390 EasyCard sets will be available for presale at FamilyMart convenience stores starting today. Corporation director Chang Chia-sheng (張家生) said the Matsu EasyCards are printed with the goddess’ icon, and were placed above the incense burner as a ritual to receive blessing from the deity. According to the temple’s chairman, Chen Yu-feng (陳玉峰), the temple ordered special-edition EasyCards with Matsu’s icon on the cover and has given them to volunteers and students as gifts, and the company later decided to work with the temple in issuing Matsu EasyCards because of the popularity of such cards.