Schindler Update 2013_11_15

Dear Faithful Friends and Supporters,

 

Greetings from Taipei! It is good to be back ‘home,’ and we thank you all for praying for us as we traveled. We had a wonderful home assignment in the USA, and came back refreshed and ready for ministry.

As many of you know, in February we began our first missional community group (house church). Since returning to Taiwan and meeting with our Taiwanese pastor and his wife, we have been given the official green light to use this missional community as a beginning for what, Lord willing, will grow into a house-church movement across Taipei city. Our vision is to use a “scattered and gathered” style of church. This means groups are meeting in homes during the week for church, and once every month come together in the community for corporate worship as the larger body. We are thankful to have their blessing, allowing us to invest our time into this church plant among the un-churched in Taipei.

How can you being praying for us?

  • Please pray for our co-worker team (6 in total) to have unity and wisdom, as we desire to effectively reach the un-churched around us.
  • We are planning to have our first gathered church service in the community on Christmas Eve. Pray for the preparations, and for openness as we invite people.

Let’s praise the Lord together!

  • Our landlord graciously agreed to let us sign a short 6-month contract, allowing us the chance to move to a bigger place next Spring.
  • Through Max, we have had opportunities to interact with numerous people on the street, neighbors, bus drivers, etc. We are thankful for doors God is opening through our little guy!

Thank you for faithfully standing behind us in prayer and support. We are blessed to serve together with you.

 

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

 

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Max loves meeting new people every day, and is opening many doors for us into our local neighborhood. Please continue to pray for ways to share God’s love with our Taiwanese friends!

Taipei Missional Community Gathering on Nov 14, 2013

Hi Friends,

To give you a practical idea of what goes on in our Taipei Missional Community (house church), we wanted to share with you tonight’s MC schedule. As you read over the outline below, try taking some mental notes on the following points:

  • inclusiveness of non-Christians in our gathering, especially our working-class friends
  • living as a family on mission together
  • how easy / difficult it would be to reproduce such a gathering in other homes

Some possible answers at the end of this post.

 

Taipei Missional Community Gathering on Nov 14, 2013

7:00pm Shared potluck-style dinner

8:00pm Sharing about God and Life

Testimonies: How have we experienced God recently? What are we thankful for?

Introduction to tonight’s Bible text:

  • We are a community of people wanting to become (better) disciples of Jesus.
  • Jesus was a Jewish teacher who lived 2000 years ago in what is now Israel (Middle East).
  • Jesus was a wandering teacher, gathering disciples much like Confucius and other ancient Chinese teachers.
  • Several of Jesus’ disciples later wrote Jesus’ teachings down in what we now call the 4 Gospels. The teachings we want to look at today were written by a disciple called Matthew.
  • Jesus’ mission was setting up an alternate community that lives according to different values than the surrounding society. Listen especially for qualities of this new society that run counter to common values in our society.

Listen to the mp3 versions of Matthew 5:1-12 in English / Chinese / Taiwanese

Listen again, pausing for 10 secs. after each beatitude.

Discussion questions:

  • What social qualities mentioned by Jesus run counter to social values in our society today? Why do you think that? Can you share any examples?
  • If you wanted to try to follow Jesus’ teachings, which quality would you have to work on most?
  • Which quality should we work on as a family? How?

9:00pm Prayer:
How can we pray for each other? (Pray silently for persons next to you; 1 person closes)

 

Possible answers to the question: “How is our Missional Community designed to be inclusive / reproducible?”

  • We allow ample time to be together as family, and get to know newcomers.
  • Sharing regular meals together creates community.
  • The Bible discussion questions are practical and applicable. They are open-ended, with room for anyone to share.
  • We never opened a Bible tonight, as this would intimidate some of our working-class friends with lower reading levels; listening to the audio is more appropriate in an oral culture.
  • Not everyone is called on to pray; this shows sensitivity to our not-yet-Christian friends who might not know how to pray / aren’t comfortable praying in front of a group.
  • The gathering is purposefully kept simple, and thus easy to reproduce by future leaders.

Hopefully this post gave you more insight into what it looks like to live as a family on mission. If you are interested in using the missional community model to begin discipling your non-Christian friends, we invite you to browse the Resources section of this blog. May our Lord give us all much lasting fruit!

 

Back Home and Very Thankful

After many long hours in airplanes and airports we arrived safely at our apartment in Taipei on Saturday. After leaving the States on Monday the 28th, we spent 3 days in Germany with Erich’s parents and then returned to Taiwan from there. We are so thankful for the time we were able to have over the last few months with family, friends, supporters, and churches. We felt loved, cared for, and appreciated by so many of you! We returned to Taiwan refreshed and excited for what God is going to do.

Since we moved to this apartment a little over a year ago, one of our desires has been to reach out to our neighbours and get to know the people living around us. We have gotten to know the boss of a tea shop across the street, a family that owns a small breakfast shop, and another family that owns a noodle shop. But, one neighbour that we had not been able to connect with was the lady who owns a small hair cutting place just 30 seconds down the street. I (Kelley) had felt burdened to get to know her ever since moving here. I would often pass her shop and smile, but she never had any reaction. Twice before leaving for the States I went to her shop to get a hair wash (a common practice for women in Taiwan), but both times she wasn’t in her shop. I continued to pray that God would give me an opportunity to meet her. Well, not 2 days after being back in Taiwan did God answer that prayer. I was out walking with Max and we passed her shop. Upon seeing us (namely a caucasian baby!) she immediately came out of her shop to see Max. I started to talk with her and she surprisingly said, “You have good Chinese!” So, it seems that all along she was just assuming that due to language barriers we couldn’t be friends, hence never giving me any response when I smiled. Since then we have had two more encounters on the street, and each time my heart is happy and thankful to God that, through Max, I finally have gotten to meet my neighbour! 🙂

We have only been back 5 days and already Max is helping us connect with more and more people in our neighborhood. Just another reason we are so thankful for our sweet baby boy!