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December 2014

A Father's Blessing

Last Sunday was Carmen's baptism Sunday. It is hard for me to express the joy I have to witness my 13-year old daughter's decision for Christian baptism. I am so glad we did this together with the brothers and sisters of Fong Shan Free Methodist Church. This is just another affirmation of God's guidance in our lives here in Taiwan. An added blessing was the attendance of our dear friends, the Brandt family, Jason, Cindy, Lizzie, and Hayden. They are our friends from our small group. 

Oh, and did I mention that I was the one who baptized Carmen? (I was overflowing with joy. This is the kind of joy that a father-pastor feels for his teenaged daughter.) The picture below is a frame-grab from someone's video of the event. It is not a good one. But, you get the idea, right?

Carmen's Baptism

Going Blue in Kenting (Blue as in BLUE NATION)

We are all wearing blue shirts, with big "Kentucky Wildcats" all over our bodies. Well, not all blue. I am wearing white, but I still have the words "2012 Champions!" right in the center of my chest. This refers to the NCAA University of Kentucky Men's Basketball Wildcats. We are all crazy rooting for the UK team. You can tell from our picture, below.

All around us is green. We are taking our December break here in Kenting and have opted for a small cabin-like accommodations with farm animals around us. Close to nature and relaxing. We will be spending Christmas in Kenting, just like last year. This has become one of our family's special get-aways. Carmen and Jacob are enjoying this place. We all love it.

Clemente Family - 2014 Dec - GO BLUE

For now, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for the coming 2015! And while you are on it, watch the upcoming Kentucky Wildcats and Louisville Cardinal game this December 27. Go Blue!

Ordinary Conversations

We were talking about the Chinese people from the Mainland. Wendy mentioned stories that her parents told her. Jane recounted some movies describing the beautiful northwest regions of the country. Jenny quoted one of her missionary friends who recently visited this place. I just listened and marveled at the vibrant appreciation these Taiwanese students have for their culture. And out of the blue, Wendy asked me a question: “Teacher why did you come to Taiwan?”

Last week, I was dining with three ladies, all third year students of Holy Light Theological Seminary. It was not a special meal nor was it an extra ordinary occasion. We were just eating supper at the school cafeteria, enjoying an informal time at the dinner table. That is when Wendy asked me the question. As I was giving my answer, I could not help but think of the many times I have shared to students about God’s calling in my life as a missionary in many instances, inside the classroom and outside in informal settings. Maybe, Wendy was not present at those instances. At any rate, I freely shared God’s calling in my life.

God called me to be a missionary. I prayed that He would send me to a frontier missionary work. I prayed for the northwest region of the Mainland, the places and cities populated by various Muslim tribal groups. (This is what I shared to the three ladies at the dinner table.) I prayed for about five years or so, but God closed the doors. When an opportunity came for me to come to Taiwan and teach in a seminary, I thought maybe I can be in Taiwan for a few years and then later move to the northwest regions of the Mainland. But, again, God closed all the doors.

Now, I am realizing that I am here in Taiwan because God wants me to train leaders for missions work and help them to take on missionary work. This is already my fifth year of teaching, and a few of our graduates have already move on to missionary work in Indonesia, Korea, in the eastern parts of China, Papua New Guinea, Turkey, and here in Taiwan doing local missions. However, I am still waiting for God to show me a seminary student who has a heart and passion for the Muslim people of the northwest regions of the Mainland. (I told the three ladies about this quest.) I still have not found this student. Someday, God will call a Taiwanese person to come to seminary to prepare for a work among the Chinese Muslims of that country. Meanwhile, I will wait by teaching missions here at Holy Light Theological Seminary.