We just wanted to remind everyone that we’re constantly adding to a growing list of Missional Resources on this website. Whether you’re a pastor wanting to take your church cell group to the next level, or a regular Christian wanting to impact your community, we’d encourage you to check out the articles and videos we’ve posted.
We especially wanted to highlight the most recent article we’ve added, entitled “Small Groups that have the DNA of a Gospel Planting Movement.” It’s a very practical case study of how church planters Paul and David Watson used the Discovery Bible Study (i.e. group inductive Bible study) method to catalyze church planting movements around the world. The harvest has been incredible, with over 80,000 churches started in North India, with over 2 million new believers in 18 years. Over 8000 churches have been started in Africa, with over 200,000 new believers, in the last 5 years.
When it comes to our mission of transforming Taipei city, the old additional model of church planting simply won’t do the job. Even if the combined number of new Christians grew at the same rate as Taipei’s overall population growth, the overall Gospel impact would still remain a low 7%. To really infiltrate the culture and bring about systemic change, we need exponential approaches like the ones described in Paul and David’s article above.
We just wanted to update you on the progress of our Missional Community (MC for short). Here are some quick figures:
MC started: February, 2013
Focus: our un-churched friends, which includes foreigners, and virtually all of the Taiwanese working class
Starter Team members: Erich & Kelley, Dillon & Caty (US couple), Joe & Momo (Joe is an American, married to Momo, a Taiwanese), Isaac (single Taiwanese guy), and Beatrice (single Taiwanese girl) – 8 total
Unchurched friends attending our gatherings: 3 Taiwanese, and 2 Western; 5 total
Gatherings: twice a week; we meet every Thursday night for church in various team members’ homes, and gather every weekend for different events, such as group dinners, karaoke, outings, etc…
Method: Our MC tries to follow Jesus’ example of spending lots of time with our unreached friends, which is why we place such an emphasis on gathering weekly for ‘fun’ times. This allows us to meet each other’s non-Christian friends in a neutral setting (restaurants or homes). Once our new friends feel comfortable with the group, it’s easy to invite them to our Thursday night cell group time. This gathering is also in homes, and always involves dinner. We try hard to lead this time in a way that even people with no Christian background can participate. We also try to avoid ‘insider’ language and spiritual vocabulary, instead expressing our walk with Christ in plain Chinese / English.
Vision: To infect our Taiwanese church (Taipei Truth Church) and other Taipei churches with the ‘missional virus’ and help them flip their existing cell groups into Missional Communities. Please pray that we succeed in releasing a network of MCs around Taipei city, and bring God’s love into every community!
For more information on our vision to reach out to our unchurched Taiwanese friends, please visit our Church Planting page – thanks!Read More
We apologize for the silence on the blogging during the recent weeks. Most of our time has been occupied by a precious baby boy, whom we are enjoying very, very much. But, as he is currently taking an afternoon nap on Grandma’s lap, we thought we’d use this time to write a post. It’s been awhile since we’ve done one on ‘Thankfulness”, so here it goes:
#41. Friends. With our little guy having arrived two weeks early, our friends here have come together to provide meals and help on quite short notice. They go above and beyond in wanting to serve us. They are truly gifts from God.
#42. Answers to prayer. Just this week the Lord has provided financially towards our Home Assignment travel expenses later this year, as well as a car to use while we are Stateside. Praise God for His provision.
#43. Neighbors. Since moving into this neighborhood a little over half a year ago, we’ve been getting to know the people that live around us. It’s been fun introducing them to our little guy and deepening relationships with them.
#44. Family. We are so thankful that Connie, Kelley’s mom, is able to be here with us for 3 weeks. She’s been a tremendous help around the apartment cooking and cleaning, and it’s been fun watching her interact with her newest grandson. We are just as thankful for all our family scattered around the globe who have sent cards, gifts, and taken time to Skype with Max. We are blessed.
#45. Great medical care. We had a terrific experience giving birth at a local hospital here in Taipei. The nurses were all very helpful and friendly, the environment was clean and calming, and our doctor was fantastic. And, due to being covered by National Health Care, it was all very affordable.
#46. Exciting ministry. Our house church plant project is going very well. We’ve been meeting regularly for over a month now, and have one stable non-Christian, Joanne, that meets with us.
#47. Vegetable market. Not too far away from our apartment is a great vegetable market. We frequent it weekly, buying a wide assortment of fresh veggies each time. The ladies that work there are very friendly and are always able to talk us into buying something else we “need.” Haha.
#48. Parks. Three bus stops away from our apartment is a big park called Youth Park. We enjoyed an outing there last week and, with the weather getting nicer, we look forward to spending more time there in the days to come.
#49. New opportunities. Last Saturday morning Erich had the opportunity to hand out over 100 lunch boxes to homeless men and women around the largest temple in Taipei, not far from our home. It was exciting for him to be able and bless them this way, and we hope to have similar chances in the future.Read More
We’re so pleased to announce the birth of our first son, Max Thomas Schindler! Max was born on April 7, 2013, weighing in at 5.6 lbs, and 18 inches long. Although he’s just a few days old, he’s a real joy, especially because he already sleeps for regular 3+ hour stretches, usually breastfeeds for over 1/2 hour, and hardly ever cries! Mommy and daddy have been getting enough sleep, despite feeding Max 2-3 times during the night.
Here are some more pictures of Max – enjoy!
We wanted to share some more details on the life of our new Missional Community. Basically we follow the model laid out by missional leader Hugh Halter in his excellent book, The Tangible Kingdom. Here’s what our group’s missional rhythm looks like each month:
Week 1: Communion – Cell group, focused on the needs of our not-yet-Christian friends)
Week 2: Community – A party, such as cooking together, going bowling, singing Karaoke, etc… This is an excellent environment to get to know each other’s unchurched friends)
Week 3: Communion – Every month has 2 cell group style meetings. They’re always in a home or public place, and should definitely involve eating together! That’s a tradition passed on straight from the Master Himself!)
Week 4: Service – The group serves the local community through practical ways. This might mean de-trashing a park, cleaning an orphanage, or visiting a shut-in.
Last Saturday was our “Community” day, on which we want bowling together. It was a great time for our team to form deeper relationships with each other, and welcome some some unchurched friends. Check out the happy crowd belowRead More
We thought it would be fun to share some easy recipes for some Taiwanese dishes with you. We made sure each recipe is easy to prepare. If your local grocery store doesn’t have some of the ingredients, you can check an Asian / international foods market. Enjoy!
Now that you can cook some simple Taiwanese dishes, you might wondering about Taiwanese eating customs. Here are a few:
My sweet friends here threw me a wonderful baby shower this past weekend. I felt so blessed to be in a room full of people that already love our little guy! It was a fun time of playing ‘baby-related’ games, eating, talking, opening gifts, sharing words of advice/encouragement, and being prayed for. Thank you, Lord, for our family here in Taiwan!
Our dear friends and fellow co-workers here in Taipei, Kalan and Kaytlin Spencer, have written a great post that really encapsulates life here in Taiwan. The post title is “Taiwan Might Be Home If…” and you can check it out here.
Many thanks for your care and prayer for us, and many other global workers!
Erich and Kelley
Hi everyone, here are a few pictures of our trip to Ping Xi’s annual Lantern Festival last night. This small town is located deep within the heart of Taiwan’s northern mountains, and it was quite a windy drive to get there! But as you can see from the pictures, it was well worth the trip
Tip: to advance the pictures, just click on the large image below, or on any of the smaller thumbnails.
Thanks for dropping by If you’ve visited our website before you’ll notice the new look. We are currently upgrading our website to a new blogging platform (WordPress), in hopes of making our content more interesting and engaging to our users. Some website features still have small issues, but we should have everything up and running soon.
Erich and Kelley
It’s been a long time since we’ve written a blog post listing out things we are thankful for recently. We started making lists awhile back, and had good intentions to make it a regular blog practice, but somewhere in the busyness of life we seemed to have forgotten about it. But, today we are back at it!
#31. Our apartment. We moved, again, last October and are now living in a much more local neighborhood. We live on the 3rd floor of a 12 story apartment buiiding and our apartment is a loft style (meaning our bed is upstairs and everything else is downstairs). It’s basically just one room, with a small bathroom attached, but it’s been a blessing and great fit for us!
#32. Great co-workers. We are involved in different ministries, both directly related to our church and also with a local NGO, and at both places have been blessed with co-workers who love the Lord and desire to see the Kingdom of God come to Taiwan. It’s a wonderful thing to have people who are not only co-workers in ministry, but dear friends as well.
#33. Breakfast Stands. At least once or twice a week we try and frequent little breakfast shops near our apartment. The people that run these shops are typical Taiwanese blue-collar people, and their shops are usually full of people starting off their day with a traditional Taiwanese breakfast of dan-bing (an egg tortilla filled with various goodies) and a bowl of soy milk. We have 3 of these little stands within a 2 minute walk of our apartment.
#34. The Friendliness of the Taiwanese People. No matter where we go one fact remains- we stick out like a sore thumb. But, we are thankful that unlike in some countries where forgeiners aren’t always welcome, the Taiwanese love foreigners and are eager to help us in any way they can.
#35. Our local tailor. Just a minute away from our apartment is a little lady who can repair or mend just about anything. She’s helped us by mending pants that had ripped, curtains that were too long, and other clothes that needed hemmed. And all for $3. She’s wonderful.
#36. A borrowed motorcycle. For the past 5 months Erich’s been given a friend’s motorcycle to use indefinitely. Let’s just say he loves the convenience of having a bike he can jump on and take off to wherever he’s going rather than having to wait for the bus (our waits have gotten significantly longer now that we moved farther out of the city center).
#37. Our Kindle. The selection of English books available is quite limited in Taiwan. So, we are very thankful for our Kindle, with which our reading options are limitless!
#38. Skype. Being separted from family and friends by thousands of miles is hard. But, we are very gratfeful for tools like Skype, which allow us to ‘join in’ for family birthday celebrations and get to ‘see’ loved ones who are so far away.
#39. Quality and Affordable Healthcare. Being pregnant, doctor visits, different tests, etc. have become quite routine lately. But, we are thankful, not only a wonderful, Christian doctor, but also for the fact that each visit only costs us $4.
#40. Our healthy, active, growing baby boy! We are almost at the 30 week mark and are daily thankful for God’s protection over this little one and for the way he is growing and preparing to make his grand entrance into this world!Read More
Every year our church encourages its members to give a name to their year. The name should be something, through prayer, you’ve determined God has given you. In a way, like a New Year Resolution. So, around this time every year it’s quite common to have lots of people asking what name you’ve chosen. Last year the name God gave me was, “The Year of Expansion”. I felt very strongly Him telling me that 2012 would be a year of expanding my horizons in many different ways. I felt Him say He would be leading me into new ministries (which He did through the Garden of Hope) and that He would be expanding our family (which, again, He did!). Erich’s name for 2012 was, “The Year of Breakthrough in Prayer”. And, looking back over 2012 God very clearly did just that! Not only did He deepen a love in Erich’s heart for prayer on an individual level, but He also brought several unexpected prayer partners into Erich’s life that he weekly prays with.
So, as 2013 approached, we both began asking God what name we should give to the year. Erich received an answer first with God saying that 2013 would be “The Year of Mission Outreach”, specifically in terms of doing more local outreach in our community and among working class people. I, on the other hand, prayed for a couple weeks without really hearing God say much of all. Then all of a sudden, as clear as day, I heard 3 words, “Day by Day”. Immediately I knew what these words meant and that this was to be the name I claimed in 2013. I was convicted throughout 2012 that I too easily worry about the future and worry about things that haven’t even happened. I spend too much time thinking about all of the “what if’s?” and in turn too often miss out on what God is wanting to do in and through me right now. So, with naming 2013 “The Day-by-Day Year”, my goal and desire is to live each day fully to the extent God has intended me to, and not worry or be anxious about what will come later.
We entered 2013 with much joy in our hearts at what God is doing in Taiwan and in our personal lives. This year will be an adventure for sure as we welcome our son into the world, and we couldn’t be more excited about it!