Why are we in the mission field? What is the purpose of our time of missionary work? These questions really ask about the big picture scenario. What is our goal in our stay in Taiwan?
The goal is that from Taiwan there will be a steady stream of cross cultural workers, pastors, and church leaders going out to many different regions of Asia under the leadership of the Free Methodist Church. I share this to our many friends and supporters who take the time to listen to our stories. I tell them that whenever you pray for David and Sarah, you are also praying for the many students who participate in the life of Holy Light Theological Seminary (HLTS). You are also praying for the many Free Methodist pastors who come to our seminary to be better prepared for the harvest that is already in Asia.
These past two weeks, we went to five different local churches, visited with four missionaries on four different occasions, and had dinner with two families on separate times. We had a busy week. During our visits to Greenville FMC and Decatur FMC, I saw thriving local churches that are in the cutting edge of cross cultural missions work here in the USA. Both congregations have an existing ministry among Chinese people in their communities. During our visits to Ferges FMC, Rushville FMC, and Bethany FMC, we witnessed a growing desire to actively join God's harvest that is spreading around the world among our Free Methodist connections. Gene from Rushville told me: "We here in Illinois need to be more involved in missions." I concurred with him. I also said once local churches are more involved in cross cultural ministry around the world, then they will also grow in numbers, increase in financial growth, and widen their vision for Christian ministry. My goal is that these local churches here in the USA will see God's work in the world and be more motivated to pray for, give to, and participate with our missions work by going to these different regions overseas and around their respective localities.
What is the big picture? The big picture is theological education. Not just the traditional education, but a robust dynamic cross cultural and missiological training of leaders who have a desire to go and participate in the missionary work of the Free Methodist Church around Asia.
Last Monday, I went to a Global Chinese Ministries (GCM) consultation. We heard Pastor J share about the on-going ministry in Creative Access Country C and the growing need for a seminary that equips the leaders of the many Free Methodist connections and affiliates from that country. I was encouraged. I am encouraged. I am committed to help this small but vibrant seminary. In the near future, I will set aside a week or two to leave Taiwan and go to Country C for a time of ministry. This visit will be significant not only because I will see in person what God is doing in that country, but also because this time of going is a part of the big picture. Pray for me. Pray with us. Pray that David, Sarah, Carmen, and Jacob will always see the big picture, God's picture.