Taiwan Church Planters

May Prayer Update

July 18, 2016

Taiwan Church Planters

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:19-23)

「弟兄們,我們既因耶穌的血得以坦然進入至聖所,是藉著他給我們開了一條又新又活的路,從幔子經過,這幔子就是他的身體;又有一位大祭司治理神的家,並我們心中天良的虧欠已經灑去,身體用清水洗淨了,就當存著誠心和充足的信心來到神面前。也要堅守我們所承認的指望,不致搖動,因為那應許我們的是信實的。」 (希伯來書 10:19-23)

Annie with family in New York for her Sister’s Wedding

Tomorrow (May 5th) is Ascension Day — a day to celebrate and remember when Christ was taken up into Heaven to rule at the Father’s right hand. Jesus told His disciples that it was to their advantage that He depart, in order that He could send the Holy Spirit and so that the Spirit would enable them to boldly bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Not only this, but Jesus’ ascension also means that He is faithfully serving as our great high priest who always lives to make intercession for us, allowing us to draw near to God’s throne of grace with confidence.

John Calvin wrote this about the importance of Christ’s Ascension: “For as soon as God’s dread majesty comes to mind, we cannot but tremble and be driven far away by the recognition of our own unworthiness, until Christ comes forward as intermediary, to change the throne of dreadful glory into the throne of grace.”

We are so thankful that Christ has passed through the heavens and is day and night serving as our compassionate and gracious mediator. We are thankful that the Holy Spirit is working in Taiwan to bring conviction concerning sin and righteousness and judgment, and that Christ is building His Church through the power of the Spirit who blesses the going forth of His Word. We are thankful that we are privileged to be Christ’s ambassadors here, and that God is calling men and women to be reconciled to Himself and to be freed from their sins through the blood of Jesus. And we are so very thankful for all of you who support us through your prayers, your words of encouragement, and your financial gifts. These things sustain us and give us strength to fulfill the calling to make Christ and His Gospel known and cherished in Taiwan.

Holy Grace

As most of you all know, since July of last year Annie and I have been serving in Taichung City with a small mission Church called Holy Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church. When we first arrived, the Church had just relocated to a much larger location and they were praying and planning for more stable growth in terms of numbers and giving. During the past 10 months we’ve been trying to help out in any way we could, and have focused on Evangelistic Bible studies, reaching out to those in the community, and encouraging the Church members to share the Gospel with their friends, family, and neighbors. The Church has reached about 50 members and is in the process of electing elders — this is great news for the first and only Reformed Church in Taichung City.

During the past weeks at Holy Grace I’ve been leading a class in Chinese on Evangelism and Outreach from a Reformed perspective as well as an English Bible study on the Book of James. The James Bible study has about 10 people attending regularly, with a few of them not being connected to any Church but showing an interest in learning more about the Bible. One man, named Jacky, has never read the Bible before but has been faithfully attending. Please pray that Jacky would see his need for Christ’s atoning work through our English Bible study and that he would place his trust in Jesus.

This summer (July 4 – July 10) we are welcoming a short term team from the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA) to help lead a week long English Vacation Bible School / Summer Camp aimed at reaching those who live near our Church. We’re quite excited about this opportunity to serve and bless our neighbors in Taichung, and we are praying that God would use it to draw several new families in the community to Holy Grace.

Please continue to pray for Holy Grace, that God would establish and set apart those who are called, equipped, and gifted to serve as elders, for the congregation to grow both numerically and in their love of Christ, and for God to bless their efforts to be a bright light for the Gospel in Taichung City. 

San Xia

Because Holy Grace is quickly on its way to becoming an established Church with its own elders, Annie and I have been praying about where we can best serve Christ’s Church here in the future. Recently I’ve been talking with another Presbyterian (PCA) Missionary in Taiwan about partnering together to plant a new Church in an under-served area called San Xia. And this has always been our goal — to see more Gospel-driven Churches established throughout the Island, especially in areas where there are no other Reformed Churches.

San Xia has countless new high rise apartment buildings being built every year due to the extreme cost of building in other parts of Northern Taiwan. And this relatively more reasonable cost of living is attracting many younger married couples with small children who we believe we can most readily connect with in terms of Evangelism and Gospel Outreach. These young families are not just moving to San Xia for a year or two, but are buying apartments and will be in the community for the long term. The population there is only going to continue to grow over the years to come as mass transportation is improved and the city becomes even more connected to the adjacent cities.

Please pray for this opportunity, that God would make it clear to us that this is the direction we should be heading, and that we would be able to collaborate well with our future co-workers.

For Christ and His Church,

Eric & Annie Pilson

To become a monthly partner or to contribute a one time gift to help bring the Gospel to Taiwan, please visit our website for more information.

 

 

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March Prayer Update

July 18, 2016

Taiwan Church Planters

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)

「 我們既有這許多的見證人,如同雲彩圍著我們,就當放下各樣的重擔,脫去容易纏累我們的罪,存心忍耐,奔那擺在我們前頭的路程,仰望為我們信心創始成終的耶穌。他因那擺在前面的喜樂,就輕看羞辱,忍受了十字架的苦難,便坐在神寶座的右邊。」 (希伯來書 12:1-2)

Holy Grace Men’s Prayer Group

Thank all of you for your continued prayers, support, and love in Christ. We are so thankful for the perfect work of Christ on our behalf and the message of reconciliation we are privileged to be entrusted with as servants of Christ. As we seek to see existing Churches strengthened as well as the establishment of new Reformed and Christ exalting congregations, we rely on your prayers for God to open hearts and minds to the wonders of His Word.

Time in Taipei

Since our last update, Annie and I have made several trips to Taipei. One was for the purpose of auditing a Greek refresher course at the Chinese Reformed Seminary in Taipei. The class was a tremendous blessing because I was able to review many of the Greek paradigms I had long forgotten, learn lots of new Chinese vocabulary, and to connect with some of the young men at the Seminary who are considering God’s calling in their lives. We are still praying for a suitable Taiwanese co-worker who shares our philosophy of ministry and desires to seek out the lost in the context of a new Church plant. Visiting the Seminary, I was able to meet with several students and have a better sense of how God is working in their hearts to stir up a desire for church planting in Taiwan.

Spring in Taichung City

Over the next few months we have several new opportunities to serve the believers at Holy Grace Reformed Presbyterian in Taichung and draw in those from the community who have not yet heard the Law and the Gospel.

In the beginning of April we are going to resume our English ministry with a new 10 week inductive Bible study on the Book of James. Please pray that many local non-Christians would continue to attend and to learn more about the truths of the Gospel through our English Bible study. Previously, we had about 50% unchurched folks attending the study, and I hope that this percentage will continue on into the Spring. Please pray for our outreach efforts in the neighborhood around Holy Grace, including three nearby Universities. 

In addition to the English Bible Study, I am excited to have the opportunity to teach a 4 week Sunday school class on Evangelism from a Reformed/Presbyterian perspective. Often in Taiwan, Reformed churches are too weak on outreach to non-Christians and rely on other Churches to reach the lost. We absolutely agree that our Churches need to be strong on faithfully teaching the Word of God, but this cannot and should not exclude loving our neighbors by sharing with them the most beautifully wonderful news. The Gospel is such good news that to not share it with those around us is to fail to obey the second of the two greatest commandments. Please pray for me to teach this class (in Chinese) with clarity and cultural intelligence, that it would be a blessing to the brothers and sisters at Holy Grace.

Annie:

親愛的主內的弟兄姊妹,

謝謝你們常在禱告裡紀念我們,感謝主帶領我和約立來到台中,四月份會在恩約教會開中、英語各兩門基督教義、如何傳福音的課程,請禱告神會使用,帶領更多沒有聽過福音的台灣同胞進祂的國。

台中的家租約將於七月到期,請幫我們下一步的計畫禱告,能繼續跟隨神的帶領,以及找房子、搬家的事宜順利進行。今天是女兒恩心一歲生日,感謝主讓她健康、快樂地成長,她最近感冒咳嗽、流鼻水,禱告神能賜她平安的心、早日康復。

Grace and Love in Christ,

The Pilsons

To become a monthly partner or to contribute a one time gift to help bring the Gospel to Taiwan, please visit our website for more information.

 

 

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December Prayer Update

July 18, 2016

 

Taiwan Church Planters

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:29-32)

「主啊,如今可以照你的話,釋放僕人安然去世!因為我的眼睛已經看見你的救恩,就是你在萬民面前所預備的,是照亮外邦人的光,又是你民以色列的榮耀。」路加福音 (2:29-32)

Family reunion in Taipei

Christmas in Taichung

As Christmas and the New Year are quickly approaching, we want to take this time to thank all of you for your faithful support and prayers for us over the past year. We rely on your prayers, monthly support, and one time gifts to help us thrive and effectively communicate the Gospel of Grace here in Taiwan.

Although Christmas is celebrated in a very commercial way in Taiwan, very few have heard the true message of Christmas and how that relates to our redemption found in the Lord Jesus. The divine mystery of Christmas is that the Second Person of the Trinity, God of God, Light of Light, assumed a human nature. To quote from David Mathis: “Jesus took a human body to save our bodies. And he took a human mind to save our minds. Without becoming man in his emotions, he could not have saved our emotions. And without taking a human will, he could not save our will. In the words of Gregory of Nazianzus, ‘That which he has not assumed he has not healed.‘”

This Saturday night (12/19) we hope to share the true message of Christmas with the people of Taichung through Holy Grace’s first annual Christmas event which includes a light meal, English Christmas songs, and sharing about the real meaning of Christmas. The Church has spent a lot of time preparing for this event, so please pray for those we have invited to attend and respond to the Good News of God giving us His one and only Son Jesus.

This Saturday morning is also going to be our final English Bible discussion group of the year — we are thankful that we have had many visitors and that so many of them have heard the Gospel for the first time. We praise God that several people have been attending regularly who are not members of any Church but who are interested in exploring Christianity.

Speaking of exploring Christianity, our 7-week Christianity Explored course is also wrapping up this week as we consider this Friday evening what it means to be a Christian. We have had several non-believers attend this course and three in particular that have been the most faithful. Please pray that after hearing the message of Jesus that the Holy Spirit would draw them to Christ and allow them to place their trust in Him.

God continues to give us many opportunities to talk about Jesus with those who have never been to Church or who have never heard the basic message of the Christian Gospel. Please pray in particular for a man named Wu who has been reading through the Gospel of Mark for the first time and has begun attending our Church on Sundays. He is drawn to Christianity and has shown a great interest in learning more about Jesus and why He came to live and die for us.

We thank you for your prayers and how God has been answering them by giving us so many open doors to talk about the Lord and show care for those who do not yet know Christ as Lord and Savior. Annie and I are often meeting new people in the community and having Evelyn with us only makes it easier to break the ice as so many Taiwanese are curiously drawn to her.

Annie’s Sharing in Chinese:

感謝主帶領新朋友們參與我們的課程,其中多為當地的非基督徒家庭,感謝主使用我們的女兒恩心,讓約立和我有更多機會認識其他的爸爸媽媽。

請幫我們禱告對福音分享的事工得力,對所有的朋友們能一昧款待,用從主得來的愛去愛每一個人。

台中的空氣品質屢創新低,適逢季節交替,請為恩心的健康代禱,讓她的感冒痊癒、保持健康。

最後,謝謝你們的支持和愛,讓我們得以在台灣這塊土地上,為神的國盡一份心力,請為我們接下來的工作,及求神供應未來的同工代禱,謝謝大家!

How you can be praying for us:

1. Please pray for direction for us as we plan how to best share the Good News in the upcoming new year in Taichung. I may start another English Bible study in the Spring targeting those investigating Christianity, but I also want to continue to focus on using Mandarin to share the Gospel with our neighbors and those who live close to the Church.

2. Praise God for how he blessed our Thanksgiving outreach event. We had close to 100 people attend our Thanksgiving feast and time of sharing, including very many unbelievers and unchurched visitors. Annie and others sang some traditional Thanksgiving songs and I shared in Chinese about the real meaning of Thanksgiving. I am thankful for these kinds of opportunities to share the Gospel in Chinese, and please pray for my Chinese to continue to improve so that I will be more effective in boldly proclaiming the Word of God with local people.  

3. Please pray for a man named Stephen who attended Holy Grace a couple weeks ago. This was his first time to attend a Christian Worship service of any kind and he is genuinely interested in learning more about Jesus. I shared with him for about an hour after the service about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and how we can find eternal hope in Him. His work schedule is quite busy on the weekends, but he said that he definitely looks forward to coming back to our Church and I am praying that he can attend the Christmas outreach event this Saturday.

4. Please pray for a new Taiwanese friend of mine named Sam who I met recently through a friend at Church. Like Stephen, his work schedule is very unpredictable, but he also has shown some interest in learning more about Christianity. He was given a Bible for the first time and has been listening to some sermons and reading the Bible after he gets off work. Please pray that God through the Spirit would bless His Word and draw Sam to Himself to receive new life in Christ.  

Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year,

The Pilsons

To become a monthly partner or to contribute an end of year gift to help bring the Gospel to Taiwan, visit our website for more information.

 

 

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November Prayer Update

July 18, 2016

 

 

Taiwan Church Planters

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

我觀看你指頭所造的天,並你所陳設的月亮星宿,便說:「人算什麼,你竟顧念他?世人算什麼,你竟眷顧他?」 (詩篇 8:3-4)

Chinese Flyer for Christianity Explored

New Christianity Explored Course Starting this Friday

This Friday evening (11/6) is going to be the first week of our Church’s Christianity Explored outreach: a 7 week course designed to facilitate conversations about the reality of Jesus Christ, His Death, Resurrection, and Ascension.The creators of this course describe it this way: Christianity Explored “gives you time and space to think about the big questions of life and to explore the life of the person at the heart of the Christian faith – Jesus Christ.”

This will be the first time I’ve led a Bible Study or faith based discussion group in Chinese only, so please pray that I would be able to communicate the Gospel clearly and boldly in Mandarin. Thankfully I have a Taiwanese co-worker who will help back me up when there is something I cannot effectively communicate in Chinese or if there is a more nuanced question during our conversation time. The course is meant to be a place where skeptics and seekers can raise their questions about Christianity and hear the Gospel in the clearest of terms without too much “in house” Christian terminology.

Please pray that the friends and neighbors that have been personally invited during the past several weeks would attend the course and that the Holy Spirit would give them ears open to hear the truths of Christianity through the Gospel of Mark. 

Other Prayer Requests:

1. Please continue to pray for our English Bible Discussion Group which takes place every Saturday morning at Holy Grace Church. We have seen quite a few unbelievers attending over the past few weeks — all with various levels of English ability, but all of them have heard the Gospel clearly either in English or through our small group discussion groups where Church members have explained things in Chinese.

2. Please pray for Annie to balance her responsibilities as a mother and homemaker and her desire to reach out to others in our community which requires much time and effort to build relationships and trust.

3. Pray for other Church planters and missionaries in Taiwan who are laboring in the Gospel. Last week I attended a fellowship of Church planters in Taipei who are all connected with City to City Asia (a church planting movement established by Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC). There were reports of the existing church plants as well as plans for more church plants in the greater Taipei region. We’d love to see more works being established outside of Taipei, and continue to pray for a suitable Taiwanese co-worker to partner with us to plant in Southern Taiwan (especially Tainan City which has no Reformed Churches).

4. Pray also for our Thanksgiving outreach at Holy Gracethat God would use the Church’s hospitality to help us be a blessing and share the love of Christ with our neighbors. Many people in Taiwan are curious about this American tradition and of course having a chance to feast on turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie is a great way to meet our neighbors and share about the source of our thanksgiving in Christ.

For Christ and The Gospel,

The Pilsons

To Partner with us in Bringing the Gospel to Taiwan, visit our website for more information.

 

 

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September Prayer Update

July 18, 2016

 

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)

那能保守你們不失腳,叫你們無瑕無疵、歡歡喜喜站在他榮耀之前的我們的救主獨一的神, 25 願榮耀、威嚴、能力、權柄因我們的主耶穌基督歸於他,從萬古以前並現今,直到永永遠遠!阿們。 (猶大書 1:24-25)

 Luke & Acts Class with Prof. Andrew Stewart at China Reformed Theological Seminary (CRTS) in Taipei

This past weekend was the Mid-Autumn Festival in Taiwan — the Festival is a traditional Chinese celebration of the Fall Harvest and a time for family and friends to barbecue while gazing at the full moon and eating copious amounts of moon cakes. If you’ve never had a moon cake you’re probably not missing out on much (although I do like some of them…. they often have strange flavors like salty pork and sweet red bean). I’ve heard some people compare moon cakes in Taiwan to the fruit cakes that get gifted in America during the Holidays — no one really likes them (although I’m sure many do), but they are passed around and given as gifts and then re-gifted because they are actually quite expensive and also incredibly calorie dense.

This year the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations were cut short due to a large Typhoon which hit Taiwan on Monday. Compared to how mild they often are in Taichung, this Typhoon was relatively strong with some very high wind gusts. This was the second major Typhoon to hit us this season, and the last one was even worse than this one. Thankfully most people stayed indoors and out of harms way…. and by the next day everything was pretty much back to normal again after a hasty cleanup effort by the City Government.

Because of the time off work and the large outdoor barbecues, Mid-Autumn festival can be a time of great fun and respite after a long and humid summer, but for many it can also be a time of melancholy and searching for something deeper and more meaningful in life. This ancient Chinese poem shows how the Festival can bring out many people’s sense of sentimentality and longing: 

The moon should know no sadness
Why, then, is she always full when dear ones are parted?
As men’s grief and joy, parting and union
So the moon is bright or dim, waxes and wanes
Always some flaw, and so it has been since of old
My one wish for you is long life
And to share in this loveliness far, far away

不应有恨
何事长向别时圆
人有悲欢离合
月有阴晴圆缺
此事古难全
但愿人长久
千里共婵娟

Since moving to Taichung Annie and I have been praying for God to use us a means of communicating a message of hope to those who are far off, and a message of true and lasting identity in Christ for those who are alienated from God. Next month (starting October 17th) I am going to begin an Evangelistic Bible Study in English which aims to explain in the clearest of terms from Holy Scripture how God’s unmerited favor and love is freely offered to sinners in the Gospel. This will be a ten week study every Saturday morning at Holy Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church where we are currently serving. Would you please pray for our efforts to reach people in and around Holy Grace through our English outreach ministry?

In addition to the English outreach, starting in November I am going to be co-leading a course called Christianity Explored which features a 10-12 minute video (with Chinese subtitles) and a 45-50 minute conversation with unbelievers about the basics of Christianity such as the meaning of the Cross and the Resurrection. This will all be done in Chinese without English so please pray for me as I prepare and for my ability to clearly communicate the materials in Mandarin.

Apart from these two classes, we have been trying to meet our neighbors and those in our community in order to build relationships and share the hope of Christ. There are lots of ways to meet people here — including going for walks in our neighborhood with Evelyn, hiking in the nearby mountains, visiting nearby coffee shops, and playing sports like tennis or badminton, but please pray for us to be wise in how we use this time and for God to open doors for more meaningful conversations about faith and life

Now, Annie is going to share a little bit about her efforts to meet other young mothers in Taichung and more about our English outreach in Chinese:

搬來台中兩個多月了,感謝主已適應了這裡的生活,和恩約教會的弟兄姐妹們也逐漸熟識。我常帶著恩心散步認識鄰居,婆婆媽媽們很喜歡她,透過我們的女兒,也認識了同樣有小寶寶的媽媽們。

約立在十月和十一月份,會在恩約教會開課,十月份的課程為英文查經班,十一月份的是基督教義探索(課程名為生命歷奇),請為我們禱告,讓有興趣的朋友們來共襄盛舉,生命歷奇是約立第一次使用中文授課,請禱告神會裝備他,將福音傳進台灣朋友們的心裡,感謝主給我們機會,能為祂的國盡心力。

Prayer Points:

1. Please pray for boldness and wisdom in how we reach out and share the Gospel with the people of Taichung City.  
2. Please continue to pray for the leaders and members of Holy Grace, that they would be united together in purpose to make Christ known and to bring Glory to God in Taichung and throughout Taiwan. 
3. Pray for our 10-week English Outreach starting on Saturday October 17th and the times we will spend reaching out to students at China Medical University and other schools near Holy Grace Church.  

4. Pray that the members of Holy Grace would prayerfully invite one or two close unchurched friends to our Christianity Explored course launching November 6th. 

By His Grace,

The Pilsons

We thank all of you for your support and prayers for what God is doing in Asia. To partner with us in Bringing the Gospel to Taiwan, please visit our website at taiwanchurchplanters.com

 

 

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Eric & Annie Pilson — July Prayer Update

August 6, 2015

 

 

“By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas;” (Psalm 65:5)拯救我們的神啊,你必以威嚴秉公義應允我們,你本是一切地極和海上遠處的人所倚靠的 (詩篇 65:5)

Lunch with the leaders of Holy Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church

Eric:

Thank you for your prayers and wise counsel concerning our next step in Taiwan. After meeting with the leaders of Holy Grace last month, talking through things with our team, and praying about the decision — we decided to make the move to Central Taiwan and begin partnering with their church planting ministry in downtown Taichung.

Finding a new place to live in our new city proved to be a challenge because the area around the Church’s new location has very little on the market to rent. After checking out quite a few places and traveling to Taichung a couple times we found a suitable apartment but the landlord cancelled our lease last minute after deciding to sell the property to an interested buyer. This left us scrambling with only a week to find a new place before our lease was up in our Kaohsiung apartment. But after another trip to Taichung we found our current home and are thankful to God for providing a wonderful place to live not far from the Church’s new location. 

As you all know, moving can be very stressful, so the past several weeks we have been trying to manage having a newborn, searching for apartments in a different city, and packing/unpacking all of our belongings. By God’s grace, the move has gone relatively well and the church has even given us some furniture for our new place (since this time we are renting an unfurnished place). As of today we are almost completely unpacked and ready for what God has planned for us here in Taichung.

Annie has done amazingly well with driving from Kaohsiung to Taichung on several occasions and I am so thankful for our friend Howard from California for teaching her to drive back in 2011. Hopefully I will be able to get my car driver’s license next month — but from everything I’ve seen, it may not be very easy at all. The obstacle course you need to pass to get a car driver’s license in Taiwan is way more difficult than the scooter road test which I failed the first time. The car road test basically involves memorizing a series of complicated moves that would never be replicated in the real world, so please pray for me to be able to pass the road test (especially a narrow and tricky S-curve with sensors on both sides). 

We’re not the only ones who have moved recently — this week Holy Grace is moving from it’s old location which sat around 45 people to a much bigger location which is newly renovated (almost) and includes an office and classroom that we can use for English Ministry.

This Sunday will be the first Worship service at the new location, and we can’t wait to begin reaching out to the community that God has placed us in here in Taichung. The Church’s new site is very visible and located near a popular science museum, botanical garden, as well as dozens of large residential buildings. It is in a beautiful part of the city and doesn’t appear to have many other churches nearby.

Annie:

感謝主的供應,讓我們高雄租約到期前,在台中找到合適的住所,希望主能讓我們有更多機會認識鄰居,進而分享福音、邀請他們來台中的恩約教會。女兒恩心一天天成長茁壯,感謝主的保守與看顧,這份感動提醒了我天父對我們的愛與犧牲。在台灣偶像崇拜根深蒂固、廟宇林立,時而感受到屬靈上的征戰,需要時刻警醒、仰賴主,請為我們禱告,有足夠的體力與智慧,將福音在台中傳開,努力的為主發光發熱。我想念美國的朋友們和教會,感謝主有你們的支持和關心,也會繼續在禱告當中紀念你們。

How you can be praying for us:

1. Please pray that God would use Holy Grace to be a bright light for the Gospel in Taichung City, and that the tens of thousands of people who live nearby would hear and receive the Gospel through the Ministry of the Word and the witness of God’s people. We desire that Holy Grace and our work there would not only be a beacon for strong Biblical teaching in Taichung, but that it would also reach the lost and communicate the Gospel effectively to those who have never heard.

2. Please pray for the other leaders of Holy Grace. They and their families have been under a lot of stress during the Church’s relocation and we want to help them not only with outreach and evangelism but also to provide support and encouragement for their budding church plant.

3. We thank God for our daughter Evelyn Grace who is a joy to be around. She loves to smile and laugh and we are blessed that (for now) she hasn’t been very fussy at all. Last month Rev. Daniel Cohee (my good friend and Pastor of New Hope in Taipei) baptized her which was a tremendous blessing to witness God’s visible sign and pledge of His covenant grace. Please pray for Evelyn to come to know and trust in the Lord from an early age and for us as her parents to raise her with love and wisdom — with God’s Word on our lips and in our hearts.

In Him,

Eric, Annie, and Evelyn

P.S.

To see some recent family photos and some before and after photos of Holy Grace, check out this link on dropbox.

 

To partner with us in Bringing the Gospel to Taiwan, please visit our website at taiwanchurchplanters.com

 

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Eric & Annie Pilson — May Prayer Update

August 6, 2015

 

 

“Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save. Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the Lord? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.’ (Isaiah 45:20-23)

“列國逃脫的人哪!你們要來集合,一同近前來。那些抬著木頭做的偶像,向不能拯救人的神祈求的,真是無知。你們述說吧!提出理由吧!讓他們彼此商議吧!誰從古時使人聽見這事呢?誰從上古把這事述說出來呢?不是我耶和華嗎?除了我以外,再沒有 神,我是公義的 神,又是拯救者;除了我以外,並沒有別的 神。全地的人哪!你們都要歸向我,都要得救。因為我是 神,再沒有別的 神。我指著自己起誓,我的口憑著公義說出的話,決不改變:‘萬膝都必向我跪拜,萬口都要指著我起誓。’” (以賽亞書 45:20-23)

 

Meeting for the first time

We want to thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement for our growing family during the past two months. Being new parents has been a tremendous blessing and our daughter Evelyn is healthy and growing up quickly before our eyes.

The first 40 days after giving birth Annie was able to rest thoroughly according to a traditional Chinese postpartum program called zuo yue zi (坐月子) which includes many nourishing Taiwanese foods specially prepared for new mothers. Almost every mother here follows this regime which also excludes any cold foods and strictly forbids being exposed to wind or cold water. It was fascinating to learn more about just how much Taiwanese culture emphasizes on postnatal recovery and I think it has truly helped Annie to recover speedily from her Cesarean. We are so thankful for the excellent medical care we have received here in Taiwan and for the many tangible ways in which our local friends cared for our family.

Earlier this month we hosted our first guests who stayed more than one or two nights. Eric’s parents flew all the way from the States to spend 10 days with us here in Kaohsiung, and we had a wonderful time together. They not only were able to meet their granddaughter Evelyn, but they also had a chance to meet Annie’s mother for the first time as well. We loved having the chance to introduce them to our everyday life here in Taiwan, but one of the highlights of their visit was a two night venture we took to a peaceful B&B at Taiwan’s beautiful Alishan Mountain. This was the first time we left Kaohsiung with Evelyn and it was a refreshing opportunity to get away from the city and enjoy Taiwan’s natural beauty.

During my parents visit we also traveled for the day to Taichung, a city north of Kaohsiung, for a seminar on Jonathan Edwards led by a Professor at the Reformed Seminary. The seminar was held at a new Church plant called Holy Grace (基督教改革宗長老會恩約教會). Holy Grace is a Mission Church and is the only Reformed Church in Central Taiwan. They have grown beyond their current facility which seats around 40 people and are moving into a much larger space this Summer that seats more than 200.

Having been at Kaohsiung Normal University for more than a year now, it feels like the right time to partner with a local Taiwanese Church and use Mandarin in the context of Ministry in order to take my Chinese language abilities to the next level. But as you may already know, it has been a challenge to find a group of believers in Kaohsiung who share a similar philosophy of Ministry and are committed to a Gospel DNA. Holy Grace Church seems to share our convictions and they have a sincere desire to plant many more Churches in Taiwan — they have even already begun another Mission work in a nearby mountainous area called Nantou. Our goal is still to plant a Gospel Centered Church in Southern Taiwan, but so far we have not been able to find the right co-worker and hope that over the next 2 years we will be able to find the right person who shares our theology and vision for Church planting.

I’ve spoken with members of our team here in Taiwan and they all agree that this is an excellent opportunity for us to help serve in a local Church and prepare for our own Church plant in Southern Taiwan. Many veteran missionaries here have told me that 2 years of formal language studies provides a good foundation for then partnering with a local Taiwanese Church to begin really using the language (Taiwanese or Mandarin) to share your faith and teach the Word of God in less formal settings. With languages of high difficulty, it is not until you have many of those real life teaching opportunities over a significant period of time that you can become fluent enough to truly express yourself in order to preach and teach God’s Word effectively. That has always been my goal here in Taiwan and I thank God that I have been making slow but steady progress towards that end. 

Please pray for us about this important decision, that God would lead and guide us so that we could most effectively be a blessing to the people of Taiwan. Our English outreach at my University will come to a conclusion early next month as the semester finishes up, and the lease on our apartment in Kaohsiung will also be up in less than 2 months, so now is the perfect time for us to move if we are going to relocate to Taichung and begin working with Holy Grace Church. 

Prayer Points:

1. Please pray for wisdom for us regarding the next step in our Ministry here in Taiwan as my language studies and our commitments in Kaohsiung are all finishing up this month or the next. 

2. Please continue to pray for our English Learning Corner at Kaohsiung Normal University. I’m very happy that local student leaders and professors have been willing to lead many of the sessions this Semester and I hope that they will continue this outreach in the Fall Semester and well into the future as well. On 5/26 I will be teaching about faith and science by introducing some of the ideas from Dr. Francis Collins’ book “The Language of God.” Please pray that many students would attend and hear more compelling reasons for belief in God.

3. At the end of this month I will be preaching again at Westminster Church in Northern Kaohsiung. This is a congregation we want to continue to serve over the years regardless of whether we move to Taichung or not. The Pastor is extremely busy because he is bi-vocational, working on a PhD, and lives in Taipei 4 days out of 7 — so he can really use your prayersPlease pray for their congregation as they desire to grow, reach unbelievers with the Gospel, and eventually join the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Taiwan — but over the past year they have struggled to effectively reach their community and have lost a few key families which has impacted their ability to be self-sustaining.

In Christ,

Eric, Annie, and Evelyn

P.S. 

To see some of our recent photos including ones from our trip to Alishan, please click on this link:

Spring 2015 Photos

To partner with us in Bringing the Gospel to Taiwan, please visit our website at taiwanchurchplanters.com

 

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Eric & Annie Pilson — February Prayer Update

August 6, 2015

 

Taiwan Church Planters

English Outreach

Our Saturday morning English outreach at Faith Love Church in Kaohsiung. We have been meeting for two months now and have met several new friends and introduced them to the claims of Christianity through leading this discussion group. 

Chinese Class

This month my class at the Mandarin Language Center has come to a close as we finished the full standard curriculum, so this upcoming semester I will be starting to study either Taiwanese or supplementing my language classes with a review of the Christian vocabulary and a Gospel reader in Mandarin.   

Chinese New Year’s Eve

In Taiwan, many families make dumplings by hand on the Eve of Chinese New Year to symbolize blessing. This was the first time in 4 years that Annie has been back in Taiwan during the Lunar New Year, and she truly enjoyed this precious time with her family. Please pray for them as most of her family members do not yet know the Lord. 

Missing TJ

We received our first care package from the States — it’s great to have some healthy and yummy snacks from back home — we really miss Trader Joe’s here! 🙂 

More Photos

For more of our recent photos or for larger sized versions of these, click here to view our photo stream on Flickr.

“And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:39-40)

那差我來者的旨意就是:他所賜給我的人,我連一個也不失落,並且在末日我要使他們復活。因為我父的旨意,是要使所有看見了子而信的人有永生,並且在末日我要使他們復活。”  (約翰福音 6:39-40)

Chinese New Year in Taipei — Year of the Sheep

 

We have just returned to Kaohsiung this week after spending 9 days in Taipei (Northern Taiwan) with Annie’s family during the Lunar New Year. This is also known as the Spring Festival and marks the beginning of Spring in Taiwan according to the Lunar calender. But Kaohsiung’s winters are very mild and we are already having days with temperatures in the mid 80s, so it’s actually beginning to feel a lot more like Summer than Spring here in Southern Taiwan.

This January we began a Saturday English class at Faith Love Church in Kaohsiung with the goal of attracting unbelievers to both practice their English and to have conversations about faith and life which may be a catalyst for coming to know Jesus and for gaining an interest in studying His Word. There have been several visitors who have never attended Church and we are thankful for the opportunities we have to share our faith in the context of this class.

That being said, we do hope that more Taiwanese believers would invite their unchurched friends to come and hear the Gospel of Jesus. I believe it is a genuine weakness of many Churches that many if not most of the committed disciples have very few close relationships outside of Church which means they probably are very rarely going to be involved in any type of personal Evangelism. The result of this is that they rely too much on the staff of the Church to reach unbelievers and expect perceived professionals like Pastors or Missionaries to do most of the outreach.

While I do believe that Pastors and Church leaders should be very active in Evangelism, the members of the Church also have unique opportunities to share their faith with those whom God has put in their lives whether it be their co-workers, their family members, or their classmates. In Kaohsiung only 2 or 3 out of every 100 people would say they are an Evangelical Christian, so with the vast majority of people here being unchurched, this leaves a lot of room for those who are already committed to Christ and the Church to share with others their faith story and the story of God’s Redemption found in His Son. 

In addition to our Saturday morning outreach, our weekly English conversation club at the Normal University is going to resume this March as the students have all returned from their Winter vacation. We are praying for a couple of Graduate students to help take over the leadership of the club so that the outreach can continue after my language classes are over at the University and after we move to another part of Kaohsiung City this Summer. The goal is to have mature, Christian student leaders take over the responsibilities of  reaching their younger classmates with the love of Christ and using English to achieve that purpose. 

How to be praying for us:

1. Please pray for the Graduate students at the Normal University to take leadership of the English outreach this Spring as I transition from language study to full-time ministry using Mandarin this Summer. We really hope that God will use the foundation we have laid to continue to reach students at National Kaohsiung Normal University with the Gospel. The Director of the Language Center desires to continue the English Learning Corner and needs the assistance of some of her Graduate students to help prepare lessons and lead discussion groups about faith and life. 

2. During our visit to Taipei during Chinese New Year we visited a new Reformed Church plant called Ren Ai Reformed Fellowship. They have been meeting for public Lord’s Day worship for about 1 year now and are slowly growing. Please pray for God to use Wesley the Church planter to reach more unbelievers with the Gospel and to train up leaders in the Church who can help shepherd his growing flock

3. We ask that you pray for the next phase of our life and ministry here in Kaohsiung now that my initial time of focused language study is beginning to come to a conclusion. This doesn’t mean I am fluent in Mandarin yet, but it does mean I now have a sufficient foundation to begin using Mandarin in the the context of ministry. We are praying and seeking wisdom about the next stage of our ministry, specifically how we can best be used by God here to make Christ known and how we can most effectively facilitate the establishment of Gospel-centered Churches throughout Southern Taiwan. 

Blessings to all and Happy Year of the Sheep,

Eric & Annie

We thank you for your faithful and generous support, to partner with us in Bringing the Gospel to Southern Taiwan, please visit our website at taiwanchurchplanters.com

 

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Christmas Prayer Update

December 21, 2014

 

 

Taiwan Church Planters

Christmas Outreach

Many students from Kaohsiung Normal University attended the Studio Classroom Christmas Concert this year. 

Thanksgiving Celebration

Last month the Director of the language center bought Turkey and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie to celebrate Thanksgiving with the students from NKNU. I shared about the meaning of Thanksgiving and how finding forgiveness in Christ leads to true and eternal Thanksgiving to God.  

Christmas in Kaohsiung

For a while in December it was very warm here, but finally it’s starting to feel a little bit more like Christmas with some chilly temperatures in Kaohsiung. 

Time in Taipei

I had a short break from Chinese classes, so Annie and I went back to Taipei to visit her family and friends. It was a beautiful week of weather in Taiwan’s capital and great to spend time with and be encouraged by other Missionaries in Taiwan. 

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.” (Isaiah 9:2)

行在黑暗中的人民,看見了大光;住在死蔭之地的人,有光照耀他們。 (以賽亞書 9:2)

 

 

Christmas time at Yanchao Campus of NKNU

 

As we approach the end of another year, Annie and I want to express our sincere gratitude to all of you who have cared for us with your prayers and support this year. We are blessed to have such a loving and faithful team of supporters behind us as we endeavor to make Christ known in Southern Taiwan.

Although Christmas day here is just another day to go to work and attend classes, a culture of celebrating the Christmas season has developed in Taiwan, and this provides many Churches with open doors to share the Gospel throughout the month of December. Last Saturday we invited many students from our English Learning Corner to attend an English Christmas outreach at a nearby University. More than a dozen students attended the Christmas concert which included a very clear Gospel presentation with Chinese translation.

 

Prayer points:

1. Please continue to pray for the health of Annie and our baby as she gets closer to the third trimester of her pregnancy. We are thankful for getting to know a very kind and experienced doctor, the chairwomen of the maternity department at a large hospital in Kaohsiung, and we hope that despite her travel schedule she will be available in the Spring to help deliver our baby.

 

2. We thank you for your prayers for our English outreach at the two campuses of National Kaohsiung Normal University. Every week we have about 20 people attending the downtown campus event and 15 at the Yanchao campus. Last week I spoke about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the following week I am going to share the Christmas story. At the end of the academic semester our English Learning Corner will take a break, but we have plans to continue our outreach during the Spring. I am also planning on leading a new English club at Truth Love Church on Saturday mornings with the goal of reaching non-Christians. Please pray for the members of Faith Love Church who speak English to invite their friends who do not yet attend Church to come and hear the Good News through our English club

 

3. During our visit to Taipei last month we visited New Hope Church, a bilingual congregation where I interned with Rev. Joel Linton in 2007-2008. They are still looking for a qualified and gifted Taiwanese Pastor who can take over for Rev. Daniel Cohee. Please pray for God to raise up the right man to shepherd this flock and for God to continue to bless the Ministry of New Hope in Taipei City. 

 

Merry Christmas,

Eric & Annie

 

 

 

We thank you for your support this year, to partner with us in Bringing the Gospel to Taiwan, please visit our website at taiwanchurchplanters.com

 

 

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November Prayer Update

November 2, 2014

 

 


Taiwan Church Planters

English Outreach

Every Tuesday evening at the downtown campus where Eric is studying Chinese and every Friday afternoon at the Yanchao campus, we share with students the faith journey and story of an influential Christian. 

He Huan Mountain

Last month Eric went camping with some local friends in Taroko National Park and hiked one of Taiwan’s highest peaks. The peaks are incredibly beautiful and during the martial law period the park was used by the military elite as a ski resort. 

Meeting Professors

While we were promoting our English club at the Yanchao campus we met with two professors from the Math Department who have expressed interest in helping us spread the word about this new opportunity for students to know more about God. 

Spending Time with Students

Annie has been getting to know more of the students who attend our classes and sharing with them more about her faith and the Gospel. Usually they feel very comfortable talking with her because almost all of them initially think she is a student too. 

Visit from Friends

We’ve had a few visitors from the States recently and it is always a joy to see our friends and family and show them around Kaohsiung City. 

 

“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” (Psalm 145:8-9)

耶和華有恩典有憐憫,不輕易發怒,大有慈愛。耶和華善待萬有,他的憐憫臨到他一切所造的 (詩篇 145:8-9)

Annie:

初為人母,甚是喜悅,下個星期懐孕滿四個月,我和約立都引頸期盼寳寳的誕生。懷孕實則非易事,對於自己的媽媽又多了一份尊敬,尤其感念主恩賜予我們腹中的小生命!

I am overwhelmed with joy to be a first-time-mom. Next week I will be four months pregnant and Eric and I are both eager to see our child soon in April. Now I can say out of my own experience that pregnancy is not an easy task, therefore I have all the more respect towards my own mother. I especially am grateful for our Lord for this little life growing inside of me.

感謝主,在高師大和平以及燕巢校區,每星期的美語課程得到同學們不錯的回響。再過兩個星期我們會擧辦大型的感恩節活動,約立會闡述感恩節的由來與意義,請為我們禱告會有更多的學生來共襄盛舉。

Thank God that the English Corner in both He-Ping and Yan-Chao campuses are both going smoothly. In two weeks, we’ll hold a Thanksgiving event and Eric will talk about the origin and the meaning of Thanksgiving. Please pray for us that more students will attend this annual holiday event.

我和三位太太們有定期的聚會,彼此分享生活經歷也互相鼓勵,因而成爲不錯的朋友 — 一位是年近五十的家庭主婦;一位是孩子在讀幼稚園的音樂老師;還有一位是在師大教過約立的華語老師,她也懷有身孕,和我只差一個月。感謝神將這些真誠的朋友們放在我的生命裏,使我有機會將最寶貴的福音訊息和她們分享,請代禱有更多的機會,和她們深入的探討聖經,謝謝!

I’ve been getting together with three ladies regularly. We’ve shared our lives together, encouraged each other and developed good friendships. One of the ladies is a homemaker in her late 40s, one is a music teacher with a son in kindergarten, and another one is Eric’s former Chinese teacher who is also pregnant — we are only a month apart. Praise God that I was able to share the most precious Gospel message with them and please pray for more opportunities to share the Bible at a deeper level as well, thank you!

How you can be praying for us:

1. Aside from morning sickness and fatigue we are thankful that Annie has been feeling well overall but we ask that you would pray for her health and the health of our baby during the remaining months of the pregnancy. Taiwan has excellent medical care and the doctors and hospitals here seem to really care for expecting mothers which is a blessing.

2. Please continue to pray for our English outreach at the downtown campus as well as the Yanchao campus. The Yanchao campus is much larger in size but actually there are far fewer students enrolled because it is not accessible by public transportation. So far the students have been very thankful for the opportunity to improve their English listening and speaking skills and the group discussions about matters of faith have gone well. Please pray that God would work through this course to bring students face to face with the reality of His presence and their need to be reconciled to Him through faith in our Savior.

3. We praise God for the other opportunities Eric has had this Fall to share with students in our community such as a nearby High School as well as to the First and Second year Software Engineering students at the Normal University. Please pray that these opportunities would allow us to bless the community and to build bridges to share the Gospel more personally and powerfully with the people of Kaohsiung. 

Grace be with you all,

Eric & Annie

 

To Partner with us in Bringing the Gospel to Taiwan, visit our website at taiwanchurchplanters.com


 

 

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