Schindler Update 2015_12_16

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! It’s hard to believe that 2016 is only two short weeks away! As we look back on this year, we remember times of great joy and also times of sadness. Closing out this year, we are more thankful than ever for God’s kindness and faithfulness to us. We are expectant to see what He will do in the coming year, and are so grateful for the privilege of serving Him in Taiwan.

 

Prayer and Praise

  • Thanksgiving outreach. The Lord brought around 25 people to our Thanksgiving outreach, and we had a wonderful time giving thanks together, enjoying delicious food, and building relationships. One Taiwanese girl, Emma (English name), left her phone number and expressed interest in our church community. Kelley met with her afterward, and Emma immediately told Kelley she wants to be baptized! So thankful for hearts that are ready to receive Him. Please pray for Emma as we disciple her.
  • Church. The Lord went above and beyond our expectations by providing us with a wonderful new location for our community church gatherings (pictures below). We held our first service there on December 6, and welcomed 36 adults and 5 kids! We had everyone from taxi drivers, to teachers, to prostitutes, to high-schoolers in attendance. Praise the Lord!
  • Health. Thanks to all of you who were praying for us last week as we were sick. The boys and Kelley all contracted hand, foot, and mouth disease. Praise the Lord it was a relatively mild case and we are all much better now!

 

Psalms 95:2-3 “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.”

Please join us in praying to this end!

For the Glory of God,
Erich, Kelley, Max, and Sam Schindler

 

TPHC at Duckstay 1

The foyer of our church’s new gathering space.

IMG_1460

 

Erich sharing a Christmas message. Very few of our local, non-Christian friends have ever heard the true meaning of Christmas.

 

IMG_1452

It was touching to sing familiar Christmas carols together in Chinese.

 

TPHC at Duckstay 7

Some local artwork depicting the entrance to a local night market. The bottom-right sign says “Papaya Milk” a local delicacy 🙂

 

Cup of coffee on a wooden table; Shutterstock ID 116966062; PO: aol; Job: production; Client: drone
 Thanks to so many of you who are following and funding our Gospel Coffee House project! Stay updated on our progress via our Facebook Page.

 

 

Schindler Update 2015_11_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! As we anticipate celebrating Thanksgiving in a few weeks, we are again reminded of God’s abundant goodness in our lives. We pray that the upcoming holidays will present us with more opportunities to share the Good News with our neighbors and friends, and through giving thanks in all things to Him, point them to Jesus.

 

Prayer and Praise

  • Church. During the past month we have seen God clearly working in the lives of our local friends. A Bao (a Taiwanese guy), in particular has shown a growing interest in knowing Jesus. He’s come to our home to pray with us, and has been faithfully attending church services / activities. Pray that he will make a decision to fully follow Jesus soon!

 

  • Thanksgiving outreach. On Sunday, November 22, our house church community is hosting a Thanksgiving lunch & service at a local coffee shop. Altogether our team has invited about 30 non-believing friends, so please pray for many to attend. Pray for open hearts to receive Jesus. 

     

  • Difficult situations.
    In the past 2 weeks we have come to learn that some of our Taiwanese friends are involved in drug dealing and connected to the Taiwanese mafia. We have been building a relationship with this family for 1 ½ years, and now realize much of our relationship has been built on lies. Please pray for us to have wisdom as to how to best help them, and that they would be willing to open up to us and seek help.

    This Tuesday evening, the young man and his wife who are involved in the domestic violence case we asked prayer for before, are coming to our home for dinner. Please pray for good conversations and boldness to share about Jesus. 

Psalms 95:2-3 “Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.”

Please join us in praying to this end!

For the Glory of God,
Erich, Kelley, Max, and Sam Schindler

 

GBCR3827

Celebrating our friend Wei Qing’s (center) birthday recently. Our friend A Bao (mentioned above) is second from the right.

 

IMG_0965

Erich picking huge guavas with some local friends. 5 of them are joining the Thanksgiving service mentioned in this update! 

 

IMG_0939 1

Max clowning around with his friends 🙂 He’s the life of the party!

 

Cup of coffee on a wooden table; Shutterstock ID 116966062; PO: aol; Job: production; Client: drone
 Thanks to so many of you who are following and funding our Gospel Coffee House project! Stay updated on our progress via our Facebook Page.

 

 

Schindler Update 2015_10_17

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! The past week brought a special treat, with Kel’s mom and aunt visiting us from the US (see pictures below). Connie and Aunt Brenda have been amazingly flexible amidst our crazy Taipei schedule, and a big help with Max & Sam. Since they arrived, we’ve been busy showing them around and introducing them to our neighborhood friends. They are a big attraction in our part of town, and are busy cooking meals as a way to share God’s love with our non-Christian friends. 

 

Prayer and Praise

  • Church. Our October 4 community worship service was probably our best ever in terms of content. The worship and testimony sharing were spot-on, and Erich spoke from the heart, without using his Mandarin notes for parts of the message – a first!

    Several of our local friends who attended last month’s gathering came back, and there were also some new faces. This was encouraging for us. But overall the turnout was lower than expected, with several of our friends canceling at the last minute for different reasons. Please join us in prayer for these dear friends, who face increasing tension as they move towards trusting in Jesus. 

 

  • Neighborhood crisis counseling. Thanks for praying for God to open the (literal) door for Erich to visit a 24-year old, male neighbor, who has been causing his family much trouble. Erich was able to visit for about 1 hour with Zheng Ting and his wife, Fang Fang, and was received very well. Please pray they accept our invitation to have dinner at our home soon, so that we can share the Gospel with them through word and deed! 

     

  • Gospel Coffee Shop. Thanks to the generosity of many of our US supporters, we’ve raised just over 10% of our $65,000 funding goal! This coffee shop will boost our engagement with the local community, and serve as a church planting & missions hub. Please pray that we can raise much of the remaining startup cost through local Taiwanese donations and investment. For more info on this project, please visit our Facebook page.

Acts 2:42-47 really captures our heart for Revival in Taipei.

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

Please join us in praying to this end!

For the Glory of God,
Erich, Kelley, Max, and Sam Schindler

 

2015_10 Connie and Aunt Brenda

Connie and Aunt Brenda cooling off with some Mango shaved ice.

2015_10 Friends dinner

 

Family dinner with our friends Jonny, Bryce, Xiang Ling, Zheng Mei 🙂

 

2015_10 A tasty Taiwanese dessert
A delicious Taiwanese dessert.

 

2015_10 Taroko Gorge
Visiting the beautiful East coast of Taiwan.

 

Cup of coffee on a wooden table; Shutterstock ID 116966062; PO: aol; Job: production; Client: drone
 Thanks to so many of you who are following and funding our Gospel Coffee House project! Stay updated on our progress via our Facebook Page.

 

 

Schindler Update 2015_09_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! This past month we received a huge answer to prayer, when Kelley finally received her permanent Taiwan residency visa! This is an important step as it legally gives us many of the rights of a Taiwanese citizen, and grants us the security that we can never be deported from Taiwan. Erich’s is still in process, but Lord-willing, will be finalized soon. Thanks to all who prayed that these visas would be granted!

 

Prayer and Praise

  • Church. On Sunday, September 6th, we held a public church service in our neighborhood at a local student center. We had 7 first-time, local, non-Christians attend, as well as some others who returned for the second time. Our church service included dinner, worship singing, hearing a testimony, Bible sharing, and prayer. Tonight our co-workers, Dillon and Caty (American couple) begin an 8-week introductory Bible study, for which several of these new friends have signed up. Please pray for open hearts to receive Jesus!

 

  • Neighborhood crisis counseling. There is currently a situation of domestic violence happening in a home right near our apartment. Erich has been asked by another local pastor to ‘take over’ the situation. He has met once with the family (local, non-Christian Taiwanese) and tonight will be trying for the second time to make contact with their 24-year old son, the one who is causing many problems. Please pray for wisdom, protection, and receptivity. 

     

  • A new language. Our Taiwanese language tutor classes are going well. It’s a whole different challenge from learning Mandarin, as it’s only an oral language, not written. We are providing our neighbors with lots of laughs as we practice on them ☺

Thank you for praying, supporting, and loving us so well!

For the Glory of God,
Erich, Kelley, Max, and Sam Schindler

 

House church public worship service

A window into our last public church service. Our good friend Momo (front right) is sharing a powerful testimony of how Jesus saved her from a life of fear. 

Sam the explorer
Our 9-month old little explorer 🙂

 

Max at the park
 Max loves the outdoors, and animals of all kinds!

 

Taipei rainbow
This beautiful rainbow that recently appeared over Taipei reminds us that revival will come to Taiwan!

 

Cup of coffee on a wooden table; Shutterstock ID 116966062; PO: aol; Job: production; Client: drone
 Thanks to so many of you who are following and funding our Gospel Coffee House project! Stay updated on our progress via our Facebook Page.

 

 

Schindler Update 2015_08_16

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! Thank you to all who wrote us last week to see how we were doing as Taiwan was hit with typhoon Soudelor (click for pictures). It was the strongest typhoon we can remember to hit Taipei (in the north of the island). We thank God for His protection over us and our apartment. When we went outside after the storm, there were fallen trees and limbs everywhere, as well as broken signage on the streets. Please continue to pray for those less fortunate, who are now having to rebuild their lives. 

Prayer and Praise

  • Church. On Sunday, August 2nd we held a church service in our neighborhood at a local student center. Our non-Christian friends outnumbered us Christians, and over half of them joined us for the first time. Our church service included dinner, worship singing, hearing a testimony, Bible sharing, and prayer. Three of our new friends signed up on the spot to attend an Introductory Bible Study that our co-workers, Dillon and Caty (Americans) will start in September. Please pray for open hearts!

  • Coffee Shop. Our business plan is currently being translated into Mandarin, after which we can start fundraising. As we share our vision for the Gospel Coffee House with our friends and neighbors, we are encouraged to see their excitement, among Taiwanese Christians and non-believers alike. May God use this new missionary approach for His glory!

  • A New Language. While our local neighbors all speak fluent Mandarin, many still prefer to converse in Taiwanese (language native to Taiwan; not written, only oral). We feel that gaining a basic level of Taiwanese proficiency will open even more doors for evangelism. This week we will meet with a language tutor to begin classes. Please pray for us to pick up this new language quickly, and that it may give us new opportunities to share the good news of Jesus with our local friends! 

 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 

For the Glory of God,
Erich, Kelley, Max, and Sam Schindler

 

Boys after typhoon


A morning walk after the recent typhoon reveals much debris on the roads. Max looks concerned, haha.

 Erich carrying both boys
 We love every minute with our boys!

Boys in shopping carts

 Max & Sam love our local grocery store – a favorite place to beat the summer heat!

 

 

Schindler Update 2015_07_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! June 27 marked 9 years since we first stepped foot in Taiwan. What started off as a strange place with foreign languages and customs has since become our home. Walking in our neighborhood and talking with our local friends, we almost forget that we’re actually foreigners here. We thank God for calling us to build His Kingdom here in Taipei, and for each one of you who have faithfully upheld us in prayer throughout the years! 

Prayer and Praise

  • Visas. Back in May we had asked prayer regarding our long-term Taiwan resident visas. Praise the Lord all the necessary paperwork is being processed, and we should have our visas in hand within a few weeks!
  • Discipling. Kelley has been meeting weekly with 2 unsaved Taiwanese girls for Bible Study. God has clearly been working in their lives, revealing Himself more and more to them. This past Monday when Kelley asked them where they feel they are at in their relationship with Jesus, the one girl said “To me, becoming a Christian is just like getting married. And right now, Jesus is still my boyfriend.” We are thankful they are on the path to fully knowing Jesus, and pray they’ll soon take that step of faith!
  • Evangelism. On July 24, Erich will begin teaching a 6-week Gospel English class in our neighborhood to local high school kids from poor families. Please pray for the kids to encounter Jesus during each week’s class, and for open doors to visit their families at home.
  • Strategy. Our house church community is diligently working towards opening our Gospel coffee shop in Wan Hua (our local neighborhood). In the meantime, there are many details to cover. Please pray with us for God’s continued clear leading, and for wisdom on how to best use this social platform to reach out to many non-believing local Taiwanese people.

 

 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20 

For the Glory of God,
Erich, Kelley, Max, and Sam Schindler

 


Erich and Max on bike

 Max has become a big fan of bike rides, which are a great way to cool off during Taiwan’s hot summers.
 相片 2015-7-12 上午11 13 36
 Kel often takes the boys to nearby playgrounds to meet other local moms. This is a typical scene from a few days ago.

 

 

Schindler Update 2015_06_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

 

Greetings from Taipei! Last month, we shared that our church planting team has been praying about creative new approaches to share God’s love with the broader Taipei society. Here’s how the Lord has been leading us:

The Present

During our past 1-2 years of house-church planting, we have succeeded in creating an inclusive church community, but have also learned that most regular Taiwanese people still feel hesitant about connecting with the Christian church in a private home. This limits our effectiveness in reaching new people beyond our present circle of friends. We need to bring the church even deeper into Taiwanese society. But how?

 

The Plan

Over the past few months, our team has prayerfully weighed different strategies, and determined that the Lord is leading us to start a Gospel coffee shop in our local Taipei neighborhood, providing a friendly space to introduce many of our Taiwanese friends to Jesus through community events, deep relationships, and church life.

Many of our Taiwanese Christian friends from working-class backgrounds are excited about this new church planting approach. Most of their own family and friends refuse to enter a Christian church building for cultural reasons. Our coffee house church plant can finally open a natural pathway for unchurched working-class Taiwanese to encounter Jesus in a neutral setting.

We will begin fundraising for this church planting project in the coming weeks, and would appreciate your prayers as we step out in faith. We will share more details with all of you regarding our fundraising goals, business plan, etc… as they are finalized. In the meantime, please feel free to email us if you have any questions on this project. Thanks!

For the Glory of God,
Erich, Kelley, Max, and Sam Schindler

 


wanhua1

A snapshot of our local area, south Wan Hua.

 

 

Schindler Update 2015_05_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! The past month has been full with running after our boys, weathering earthquakes, discipling friends in the Way of Jesus, applying for long-term Taiwan resident visas, sharing meals with our local neighbors, and working hard on even better ways to reach our Taiwanese working-class friends. 

 

Prayer and Praise:

  • Visas. We have completed the lengthy application for our long-term Taiwan resident visas, and would appreciate your prayers for the government to process everything smoothly. Getting these visas will make our life in Taiwan more stable, and open new doors for ministry.
  • Discipling. In our last prayer update we reported that after focused prayer, some of our local Taiwanese friends accepted our invitation to join us for dinner at our home. These conversations have since resulted in Kelley starting a weekly inductive Bible study with 2 Taiwanese girls who want to know Jesus! Just last night over dinner they told us how praying to Jesus gave them inner peace and let them sleep well at night – a big breakthrough! Please pray for these girls to become true followers of Jesus in the near future.
  • Strategy. During the past month our church-planting team has been assessing the impact of our house-church strategy in making disciples among Taiwan’s working class. One main conclusion is that we are strong in creating inclusive community, but that meeting primarily in homes is limiting broader social exposure. Please pray as we process various creative ideas for a more visible community presence.


May we all say with the Apostle Paul:

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak.

I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
~1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NIV)

For the Glory of God,
Erich, Kelley, Max, and Sam Schindler

 

Kelley-ms-lin


Kelley with our dear neighbor friend, Miss Lin.

taipei-rainy

A typical scene lately – Taipei in the rain.

Sam-with-friend

Sam always enjoys being passed around among our neighbors 🙂

 

 

Schindler Update 2015_04_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! We are thankful to report that we are all in good health! At a recent checkup, the doctor was pleased with how the boys are doing. Once again, many thanks for all the emails, cards, financial gifts, and most importantly all the prayers during our hospital stay and recovery. What a blessing it is to have a family of supporters all around the world lifting you up before the Father!

 

Prayer and Praise:

  • Community Easter Service. On Easter Sunday we held a church outreach at a local community center. It was a great time of painting Easter eggs, sharing a fellowship meal together, and hearing the biblical Easter story. We were most happy that the non-Christians in attendance outnumbered the Christians! We praise the Lord for each person who came, and ask for ongoing prayer for wisdom as we follow up with these friends.
  • Easter Story Sharing. Erich had the opportunity to share the Easter story with over 200 Taiwanese elementary and high school students. It’s amazing that only about 5 out of these 200 kids were Christians! Lord willing, some of these students will filter into a local community center our house church partners with, and we trust God for lasting relationships and more opportunities to share the love of Jesus with these kids and their families.
  • Hospitality. In the past, we have repeatedly invited several of our neighbors, local shop workers, etc. to our home for meals, but they never accepted our invitations. Two weeks ago we committed to pray more fervently for God to work, and within a few days two of these friends invited themselves to our home for meals, and one even brought a friend! How amazing God is! We are thankful for these chances to open our home to them, and pray that they will join our church gathering and meet Jesus!

May this be all of our prayer as we seek to serve the Lord wherever we are: “Above and below me, before and behind me, in every eye that sees me, Christ be all around me.”

For the Glory of God,
Erich, Kelley, Max, and Sam Schindler

 


Kelley with friends at the Easter Outreach

Kelley with friends at the Easter Outreach

Erich at the local school

Erich and some of the Taiwanese high-school students with whom he shared the Easter story.

Max 2nd birthday party at the park

Celebrating Max’s 2nd birthday with friends at the park 🙂

 

 

Schindler Update 2015_03_11

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! As many of you know, our family has experienced some sickness in the beginning months of 2015. Most recently it culminated in a 2-week hospital stay for Max and Sam, where they both received treatments for virus-induced pneumonia. We are back home, but still covet prayers for complete recoveries. With this said, we are unable to adequately express our thanks to all of you who prayed for us during the last two weeks. Your prayers gave us strength through sleepless nights and grace to care for our sick boys. We are blessed to have such a strong network of people caring and praying for us. Thank you!!!

 

Prayer items:

  • Unexpected medical bills. In Taiwan, a foreign child does not become eligible for National Health Care until they are 6 months old. So all of Sam’s medical bills had to be paid out of pocket. Our total bill for the two weeks came to just over 4,000 USD. Over half of that has already been covered by generous giving by friends & family. If you feel led to help cover any of the remaining costs, you can give directly through our mission agency, Shepherd’s Staff. Click here to give via their website. To view offline giving options, click here.
  • Easter Outreach. Please pray for our house church groups as we meet for Easter services. Holidays are always an excellent opportunity to invite non-Christians, so please pray for open hearts. Easter Sunday morning Erich will be going into a local high school to share the Easter story with 150 Taiwanese students. Again, please pray for the hearts of the students to be receptive to the Gospel, and for good follow-up.Baby: 9 days until due date, so baby #2 can come anytime! Please pray for a smooth delivery and good heath for both Kelley and the baby.

“Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow…” this hymn comforted us during our recent hospital stay. Praise the Lord for his unending faithfulness! 

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

 


IMG_0851

The medical staff at our hospital took great care of us!

IMG_5417

Our hospital breakfast: rice porridge with sweet potatoes, steamed green veggies, tofu and green beans, and fried pork. Yum!

IMG_5443

Max the day before being discharged – looking better already!
IMG_5449
Max all better again, while dad is visibly tired, haha.

 

 

Schindler Update 2014_12_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! It’s hard to believe this is our final update of 2014! When we reflect on this past year, it goes without saying that we are overwhelmed with God’s goodness to us in so many ways. We have experienced His blessings in our ministry, in our family, and in relationships with others. As the year comes to a close, let us once again express our thanks to you for your faithful prayers, support, interest, and love showered on us.

 

Prayer and Praise

  • Thanksgiving Community Service: Our house church network held a combined lunch and church service at a local coffee shop on Sunday, November 23rd. We had 25 people in attendance, including 10 non-Christians. Since then, 3 of these non-Christian friends have joined various house church gatherings. Please pray we’ll continue to see fruit for the Kingdom!

    Christmas Outreach: This coming Sunday, the 21st, we have a Christmas brunch planned at the home of co-workers, with the purpose of reaching out to our non-Christian friends. Please pray for new friends to join, and for all to grow in their understanding of Jesus and what His birth means for all people!

    Baby: 9 days until due date, so baby #2 can come anytime! Please pray for a smooth delivery and good heath for both Kelley and the baby.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come!

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

 


367c34a0-68ec-4b22-a367-997e142f3c08

This group of dear friends hosted a baby shower for our baby #2, who should arrive any day now 🙂

7e4a5aec-1d4a-48b5-a514-beea400a7bb5

This dish is called “hot pot,” and Taiwanese people especially enjoy it during the winter months. It’s delicious and warming!

 

 

Schindler Update 2014_11_17

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! Although Thanksgiving is not celebrated here, we will take time to gather with other American friends to celebrate and thank God for His goodness to us. And a big part of that goodness comes through people like you! Each day we are thankful to know that people around the world are lifting us up in prayer, supporting, and encouraging us.

 

Prayer and Praise

  • Thanksgiving Community Service: Our house church network is holding a combined lunch and church service at a local coffee shop on Sunday, the 23rd. Lots of our non-Christian friends have been invited, and we are trusting Him for great things! Pei Pei and Qian Ling (the two moms mentioned in past updates; see attached picture) are both coming with their families. Please pray that their attendance will be just the beginning of them finding new life in Christ!
  • House Church Leaders Training: We have been taking the two other couples who help lead our house church groups through a video training series called “How to equip a missional community,” produced by the SOMA network. Please pray that this training will help us all grow in our vision and wisdom for discipling others.
  • Baby: We are in the home stretch! At most we have about 5 weeks to go before baby #2 arrives! Kelley had a check up today and all is looking great. Please pray for a smooth, uncomplicated delivery, and for a healthy new baby ☺

“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!” ~Psalms 105:1

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

 

Kelley with Pei Pei and Qian Ling

Kelley with Pei Pei (left), and Qian Ling (right) and our boys. Before long us 3 couples will have 6 boys altogether!

Erich and Max on the bus

A common sight these days 🙂 The little guy is sure growing up fast!

 

 

A glimpse into Max’s world- a blond-haired, blue-eyed little boy growing up in Asia

We thought you might enjoy a fun post on what life is like for Max growing up as a missionary kid in Taiwan….

To say Max is quite popular in our neighborhood would be an understatement. For many of our neighbors and people we pass daily on the streets, he is their first glimpse of a ‘white’ child (outside of movies). While pushing him in his stroller we have been repeatedly asked if he is real or a doll. We’ve been asked on numerous occasions if his eyes are the real thing or if he’s wearing contacts, as many have never seen blue eyes before. We have been stopped at intersections for people to come and ‘touch’ his skin or hair, and almost daily have shop owners leave their stores as we pass by in order to get a first-hand look at our ‘doll’, as they call him. We see people trying to ‘secretly’ take his picture on buses, on the streets, at restaurants, and in the park.

While shopping last week for groceries, I heard someone yelling, “Ya Yi!” ,”Ya Yi” (Max’s Chinese name). I didn’t recognize the man, but he said he knew Max from the local breakfast shop. Haha. While we often find it all very humorous, we are also extremely grateful. Because of him, we have opportunities to talk with people that otherwise would probably have no interest in us. We get to invite people over to our apartment so they can play with him. We get invited into street shops and to sit at food vendors while they give him a snack. He is our best little missionary 🙂

Our prayer is that because of standing out in these ways, while people may first be drawn to our family, they will ultimately be drawn to Jesus.

Below are some pictures of Max’s life lately:

 

IMG_4153
Taipei’s pumpkin patch. A bit different than in the USA. The pumpkins were all plastic and flown in from Hong Kong.

 

IMG_3115
The hair salon next door to our apartment recently adopted this dog. Max loves him!

 

IMG_3111
Eating a snack given to him by a lady who lives in our apartment building.

 

IMG_3068
Yes, he fell asleep while riding the scooter coming home the other day. This kid can sleep anywhere!

 

IMG_3060
Max’s fan club!

 

IMG_4300
Max’s favorite seat these days, haha!

 

Schindler Update 2014_10_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! Many thanks to all of you who write us encouraging emails and cards, reminding us that you are praying for what God is doing here in Taiwan! We are so thankful for a strong body of believers around the world with whom we can partner together in ministry. This past month, we saw God at work in different ways: non-Christian friends slowly learning about Jesus, open doors for serving our local community, and growing maturity among our house church members. For all of this and much more, we praise the Lord!

 

Prayer and Praise:

  • Pei Pei and Qian Ling: these are 2 moms in our neighborhood that Kelley sees on a weekly basis. Both come from traditional Buddhist backgrounds. Kelley has had chances to share with them about our house church, why we are in Taiwan, etc. They are both bound by fear in different ways. Pray for them to come to know Jesus – the Prince of Peace!
  • Wan Hua Christian Community Center: Wan Hua (萬華 in Mandarin, click to view in Google maps) is the name of our local neighborhood. Over the past month we have been meeting with the Christians running this community center, seeking opportunities for how our house church can serve there. While we are still working out the details, it looks like our house church will be forming small teams to serve local, underprivileged families at different times through offering various classes: English Bible clubs, sports camps, baking, music, etc.
  • Training future church planters: We host a bi-weekly prayer meeting in our apartment, specifically for the purpose of raising up believers from Truth Church who live in our immediate neighborhood. We are praying for this meeting to birth new house church plants!

The Lord is good all the time! We give Him thanks for allowing us the opportunity to serve Him in these ways. 

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

 

Untitled

A group photo from a recent house church outing to nearby Yilan county. We’re really growing together as a family in Christ!

House Church Group Picture

A group shot from our day outing celebrating the 10/10 holiday – Taiwan’s independence day! You can read more about the holiday here.

 

 

Schindler Update 2014_09_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! Although we are in mid-September the temps are still in the 90s.  We’re having a very hot summer, most likely due to the fact that we haven’t had any typhoons. So, we thank the Lord for the lack of strong storms, but are definitely looking forward to it cooling down a bit (being 6+ months pregnant might add to the anticipation of cooler weather 😉 We have been seeing the Lord answer prayers on behalf of friends and neighbors, personal needs, and He is clearly working in the lives of those around us – praise Him!

 

Prayer and Praise:

  • Maggie (English name; local Taiwanese woman): We have recently asked you to join us in prayer for Maggie, and want to share an update. She did go through with the abortion and then spent time at home recovering. However, two weeks ago she, along with her son, came to our home for a house church gathering. She responded very well after. May the Lord continue to work in her heart!
  • House Church Update: Our Sunday evening house church group is growing, and we are seeing more local Taiwanese friends attend! We have begun using the “Bible Storytelling” method as a way to share the Gospel, since many local people have a hard time reading the Bible (or any book, for that matter). So far we have received very positive feedback, and are looking forward to how God will continue using this approach.
  • Wan Hua Christian Service Center: Thanks to everyone who prayed for the planned Truth Church community center. In the end, this plan was put on hold for 6 months, while we build a stronger team. But here’s some related news that we need prayer for:
    Wan Hua (萬華 in Mandarin) is the name of our local area (click here to open a map). Ever since our house church network started, our team has been praying about opportunities for our house church groups to serve in our local neighborhood. We recently got in touch with a Christian-run center that serves underprivileged local teens through a variety of free classes (music, English, sports, etc…). These students’ parents are all strong Buddhists, and will not allow their children to attend any local church. However, they are open to any activities our house church group might hold inside the Christian center, including simple church services!
    Our house church leadership team is visiting the center together this coming Saturday to discuss possibilities for joint outreach. Please pray for wisdom!

As always, thank you for praying, supporting, and loving us so well!

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

 

Dinner at a local night market with house church co-workers and friends.

At a recent house church outing in northern Taipei.

 

 

Our Summer in Review

Here it is early in September – hard to believe June, July, and August have past and summer is coming to a close! We have had a full, fun, busy summer. We did some traveling, we did some celebrating, we gathered often with house church members for services and events, we barbecued Taiwan style, we met weekly with other believers to pray and to explore new ways to reach out to our local community, and as a close to the summer we took a two day trip to the Eastern part of Taiwan, with our good friends (also serving with Shepherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators), where we swam in the ocean, fed little pigs, and had a blast. We also managed to eat a fair share of ice cream and shaved iced to help fight off the Taiwan heat (most days were upper 90’s and low 100’s with high humidity).Here are some pictures highlighting our summer days~enjoy!

IMG_3748
 IMG_3821
Kelley's birthday get together
P1060010
 2014_07_05 BBQ 7
 2014_07_05 BBQ 40
Visiting with friends
P1060134
P1060125
 P1060101
P1060071
 P1060038
 P1060138
IMG_3835
IMG_2835

Schindler Update 2014_08_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! Thanks to all who prayed for us as we traveled to Cambodia several weeks ago. We had a wonderful weeklong vacation there, and returned feeling rested and re-energized for a busy ministry season. We are currently halfway through Ghost Month here in Taiwan, which means more than usual we are seeing food sacrifices being offered on the streets, local people burning paper money to the gods, and temple worship. May we be faithful in sharing the hope of Jesus with a people desperately in need of Him. If you’d like to read more about the Taiwanese Ghost Month, this post on our friends’ blog has more details.

 

Prayer and Praise:

  • Maggie (English name; local Taiwanese woman): We had asked for prayer for Maggie last month, and would like to ask you keep praying for her. Maggie is currently pregnant but planning an abortion next week, as she feels some choices she made before knowing she was pregnant have perhaps harmed the baby. She also has shared with Kelley that her marriage is not good, and she doesn’t know what to do anymore. Kelley has had the opportunity to share about Jesus and the hope she can have in Him. Maggie has asked Kelley to pray for her. Please pray Jesus will work mightily in her heart.
  • House Church Update: We are having more and more local Taiwanese join our church time and weekend activities. We are praising the Lord that one of the students that attend, Bianca (English name), has said she wants to follow Jesus. Pray for wisdom as we follow up and disciple her.
  • Local Community Center: Praise! A location has been found for the community center in our neighborhood. If negotiations with the rent can be worked out, we will most likely start serving there in September. We are currently praying for more Taiwanese co-workers to join our team. Our prayer is that through the community center, we can start more house churches in our neighborhood.
  • Kelley’s Pregnancy: We are over halfway through this pregnancy, and praise God all is going well. We did find out this past month that baby #2 is a brother for Max!! ☺

As always, thank you for praying, supporting, and loving us so well!

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

 

Erich and Max in Cambodia

Erich and Max in front of the “Central Market” in downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Kelley and girls from our house church

Kel with two girls from our house church. Bianca is the one in the middle 🙂

 

 

Schindler Update 2014_07_15

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! Thank you to everyone who wrote us in early July for our birthdays (yes, we share a birthday =). We had a fun day celebrating, and are thankful for a new year in which to serve the Lord together! Many exciting things have been happening over the last month. Our Sunday night house church group officially started, we had about 10 new non-Christians join in house church weekend gatherings over the last few weeks, and we have been working hard at developing solid discipleship material for new Christians. God is good all the time, and we are so grateful for the work He is doing!

Prayer and Praise:

Please pray for 3 of our friends:

  • Maggie (English name): Maggie is a Taiwanese woman with whom Kelley has begun meeting. The first time they got together, Kelley was able to share about being a Christian, and our house church. She seems very open. Please pray for fruit to come from this relationship.
  • Dr. Lin: Dr. Lin is a friend of a couple in our house church. He has recently encountered some major difficulties in his life, and is deeply struggling. He has fallen into great debt, his wife is on the verge of divorcing him, and he is suicidal. BUT, praise God, he is willing to meet with us and join a house church meeting. Please pray for him to follow through, and for us to be able to share the hope of Jesus with him.
  • Our neighbor, Mrs. Lin: Over the last couple weeks we have been able to spend more time with Mrs. Lin, who also lives on the 9th floor of our apartment building. She is semi-retired and has a lot of free time. Pray for opportunities to share the love of Jesus with her.
  • Kelley’s pregnancy is going very well and she is feeling so much better! Thanks for praying!
  • July 28th we leave for a one-week vacation in Cambodia. Please pray for safety, protection, rest, and refreshment!

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” 

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

 

2014_06_21 Pancakes
Kelley and Max with some members of our house church family =)

 

Shaved ice
A very typical Taiwanese dessert, shaved ice! Our toppings this time: red bean / green bean combo, and peanut / sweet corn combo. A delicious way to cool off!

 

House church growth

Dear Friends,

We wanted to update you on the progress of our Taipei house church these past few months. If you’ve read our earlier post about how we are intentionally reaching out to our Taiwanese friends, you’ll know that we do this through different weekly gatherings.

As of right now, we have 2 house church groups meeting during the week, with about 15-20 regular attenders altogether. Our weekend family times can get bigger, with many non-Christian Taiwanese friends engaging with us over meals, bowling, night market visits, BBQ, walks, etc… By including our non-Christian friends in the life of the church this way, many of them gradually join our weekly house church times after.

We’re working hard at a pre-baptism discipleship framework, that anyone can use to prepare a new believer for baptism. After baptism, our discipling work continues with weekly meetings for prayer, accountability, sharing God’s word, and encouragement.

As always, thanks to all who pray for us regularly – it’s only through consistent prayer that we will see any spiritual fruit!

Below are some recent pictures that will give you a window into our house church life…

2014_07-house-church-life_9 2014_07-house-church-life_8 2014_07-house-church-life_7 2014_07-house-church-life_6 2014_07-house-church-life_5 2014_07-house-church-life_4 2014_07-house-church-life_3 2014_07-house-church-life_2 2014_07-house-church-life_12 2014_07-house-church-life_11 2014_07-house-church-life_10 2014_07-house-church-life_1

Schindler Update 2014_06_16

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! The past month has been no exception in being busy and blessed. During the past month we’ve been able to make significant steps in deepening relationships with the people in our neighborhood.

We’ve…

  • been invited into homes
  • spent time sitting and chatting in local shops and hair salons
  • had a neighborhood girl join our house church meeting for the first time
  • been praying weekly with like-minded Christians for ways to reach out to our local community
  • been a part of a team looking for a location to set up a community center in our neighborhood
  • and had the opportunity to connect with another missionary family living nearby us.

We’re thankful!

Prayer and Praise:

  • We regularly have non-Christians joining our house church meetings. Most have no previous knowledge of Jesus. Pray for insight into what we share and how we share it. Pray for wisdom as we teach and disciple those in our church.
  • Taipei Truth Church (our mother church) has asked us to partner with them in starting a community center in our neighborhood to serve the local people. We are currently praying for the right location to open up that would be suitable for the various services we want to offer. Our hope is to have locked in a location by August.
  • We are thrilled to announce that Max is going to be a big brother! Kelley is 3 months pregnant and due in December. Please pray for a healthy pregnancy, and for Kelley as she has been quite sick with this pregnancy.

As always, many thanks for your prayers, support, interest, and love. We appreciate each and every one of you!

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

 

Kel eating a Taiwanese delicacy





Kelley with a bowl of dry noodles at a shop nearby our house. The noodles have a tasty sauce, but are called “dry” because they’re not swimming in a hot broth.

 Max getting his first haircut

Max getting his first haircut at a salon in the 1st floor of our apartment building. We see these kind ladies several times a week, and are praying how to share Jesus with them.

Article: Reimagining Disciple Making

I (Erich) recently came across an insightful article, which lays out the failure of the Western church to make reproducing disciples. I believe that more than anything in the church (sermons, classes, programs, Bible studies, prayer meetings, etc…), there is a desperate need for men and women of God to invest significant time into the lives of younger / less mature Christians. This idea is fleshed out in the linked article, entitled

 

Reimagining Disciple Making
(click to open in new tab)

 

Here are a few key quotes from the article:

 

[quote]Nondiscipleship is the elephant in the church. It is not the much discussed moral failures, financial abuses, or the amazing general similarity between Christians and non-Christians. These are only effects of the underlying problem. The fundamental negative reality among Christian believers now is their failure to be constantly learning how to live their lives in The Kingdom Among Us.1

~ Dallas Willard[/quote] [quote]Jesus’ words are commissioning his followers not merely to make converts to or to give lectures on a belief system but to do with others what he had done with them, following his pattern and model. There is no substitute for this. [/quote]

 

[quote]C. S. Lewis was on target when he said that the paramount purpose of the church was to create little Christs. He said, “If the Church is not doing this, then all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible, are a waste of time.”2[/quote]

 

The central question every Christian needs to be able to answer is:

 

“Who are you discipling?”

 

If you cannot answer with the name of at least 1 individual, you need to start obeying Jesus.

___

1. Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy (San Francisco: Harper- SanFrancisco, 1997), 301.

2. Will Vaus, Mere Theology: A Guide to the Thought of C. S. Lewis (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 167.

 

Schindler Update 2014_05_18

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! This past month has been busy. Here is a brief summary:

  • We enjoyed a 3 week visit with Erich’s parents and brother.
  • We hosted a birthday party for Max in our apartment, which over 30 people joined! Some of our neighbors we have been building relationships with came to our apartment for the first time to celebrate with Max – an answer to prayer!
  • We were able to clearly share the Gospel during an Easter house church service in our home, with several non-Christians present.
  • We met some new friends living nearby us, several of whom have shown interest in joining our house church.
  • This morning, Erich led a prayer meeting at Truth Church, at which he was able to teach on missional living. 

Each day, we are thankful for the people God is bringing into our lives, for the opportunities to serve others, and for the joy of being a part of His Kingdom work in Taipei!

Prayer and Praise:

  • Our house church has multiplied into two groups this past week! We now have one group that meets Thursday nights, and one on Sunday mornings. Please pray for the new leaders to have wisdom and joy as they shepherd their groups.
  • Please pray for our health – both Erich and Max have been sick with colds and sore throats for the past few days. Max is also wheezing again. Please pray for complete healing soon!
  • Please pray for one member of our house church, who is in the middle of a long battle with drugs. Pray he would find strength in the Lord to overcome these habits, and that we as a community will know best how to support and help him.

The joy of the Lord is our strength – Amen! 

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

IMG_3274

 

Enjoying a Taiwan specialty – the many varieties of teas! The ones we’re drinking in this picture include: green tea powder milk tea with red beans, bubble milk tea, and various fruit teas.

P1050386
















Taken at Max’s 1st birthday party 🙂

2014_04_15 Schindler Update

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Taipei! Much has happened in the last month…

  • We’ve settled into our new apartment
  • We’ve had around 20+ people in said apartment at various times, whether for house church meetings, tea, or meals
  • Erich attended a church planting conference in Scotland for 6 days
  • Kelley’s mom gave us a huge surprise and visited us for 10 days
  • We’ve deepened relationships with neighborhood friends by regularly visiting their shops, going to one of their homes, and eating at their stands
  • And….our little boy celebrated his 1st birthday!!

How can you be praying for us?

  • Easter Sunday we will be having a service in our home, for which we are expecting around 30 people. Please pray for the hearts of the non-Christians that will join us – for some this will be the very first time they hear the Easter story!
  • Kelley will be sharing the Easter story at the women’s shelter on Friday. Recently, due to a death, the environment there has been very down. Pray through her sharing, these women will be moved to know Jesus and the hope He offers!
  • Our house church group is multiplying into 2 groups after Easter (praise the Lord for adding to our numbers!) Please pray for this multiplication, for the leaders of the new group, and for wisdom as we make disciples of Jesus.

Let’s praise the Lord together!

  • Thank you to all who prayed for our health. We have been better this past month, Max’s wheezing seems to be gone, and overall we are all feeling well (we say overall, because always having a slight cold, allergies, etc. is very common living in the city due to pollution, etc.)
  • Tomorrow we welcome Erich’s parents, Diet and Jan Schindler (TEAM missionaries to Germany) to Taiwan for a 2 ½ week visit! We are excited to have them here ☺

“He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.” Praise the Lord we serve a risen Savior!

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

Moms_visit_with_Pearl

On a day trip to Taiwan’s East coast with Connie, and our good friend, Pearl.

Our Taipei House Church Strategy

Dear Friends,

We thought it might be helpful to outline the simple strategy we are using to make disciples among our many unchurched friends in Taipei. This graph makes clear how our house church works:

Taipei House Church Newcomer Flow

 

We have 3 regular gatherings each week. They are:

1. Regular weekend events. Every weekend, our house church family gets together to have fun, and meet each other’s friends. We visit new restaurants or night markets, cook together, go bowling, hang out at the park, etc… This creates a comfortable space for us to get to know new people, and introduce them to our group in a non-threatening way. Once new friends have joined us for several weekend events, it is really easy to invite them to our house church gathering.

2. Thursday night house church. Right now we have one house church group (soon to multiply!), that meets every Thursday night. We share dinner together every week, spend time digging into the Scriptures, and pray for each other. Since there is a mix of Christians and not-yet-Christians attending, we work hard at creating an inclusive atmosphere. This means we avoid “Christian-ese” or theological language, using plain English or Chinese instead. We show respect and listen to people with alternate views, always praying for the Holy Spirit to bring God’s love and truth into their lives.

3. Weekly Life Transformation Groups. Once a new friend is ready to become a true disciple of Jesus, we invite them to join our LTG groups, which meet at various times during the week, usually for 1 hour. These are groups of 2-3 women / men, who commit to meeting for regular peer-discipleship. The format is very simple, in that we only discuss 3 topics together:

  1. What is God speaking to you this week?
  2. What sins do we need to confess to each other?
  3. How are we sharing the Gospel with unsaved friends this week?

Read more about LTGs here.

We thought that sharing our basic house church strategy would be helpful to those blog readers who are currently involved in pioneering new forms of church, or others who have a heart to reach out to their non-Christian friends. If you would like to know more, or have questions, we invite you to leave a comment below. We promise to respond to every comment!

Blessings,
Erich and Kelley

 

 

Erich at the FORGE Scotland Conference

Dear Friends,

Over the past 4 days, I had the great privilege of attending a conference in Glasgow, organized by FORGE Scotland, entitled “Reactivating a Missionary Nation.” For those unfamiliar with FORGE, they are an international missionary training network which exists to “birth and nurture the missional church worldwide.” While the conference was hosted by FORGE Scotland, the topics covered applied to any missionary context. My main reason for joining this conference was to network with the FORGE leaders present, and explore the idea of starting FORGE in Taiwan.

 

What does FORGE do?

FORGE International is an inter-denominational network of leaders who invest their time into encouraging Christians everywhere to see themselves as missionaries who are sent by God to different non-Christian cultural groups. They help accomplish this through:

  • The FORGE Course. This is a 1-year training time to equip and encourage people who are already active in missional church planting. The course is designed for people with regular jobs, and involves extensive reading, regular discussion with other course participants, and 4 weekend intensives. More info here (example from the Dallas Hub; the content of other courses might vary slightly).
  • Hubs. These are networks of missionaries within a certain city. They provide ongoing training and support.
  • Coaching. The FORGE leaders are incredibly generous with their time, and offer regular 1-on-1 coaching in person, or over Skype. Over the past 8 months, I have had several very helpful Skype conversations with FORGE leader Mark Michael.

 

Why FORGE?

Our world is currently undergoing tremendous shifts. One of the major changes is taking place on the level of people’s worldview. Especially in the West, we are moving from a modern way of thinking to a post-modern one. In the modern world, the church had a leading voice in shaping culture. But most would agree that this voice has been lost, and the Christian church moved increasingly to the margins of society. This new cultural environment has been described as Postchristian. FORGE was started by missional church gurus Alan Hirsch and Michael Frost in response to this pressing challenge.

 

People on Mission

If we are serious about fulfilling the Great Commission, we need to change the way we operate, in light of these changes. One major change that we desperate need to make is to start seeing ourselves in a missionary context. Instead of expecting our non-Christian co-workers and neighbors to come to our church buildings, we need to see ourselves as missionaries whom God is sending to them instead.

 

A Missionary God

All throughout the Bible, we see that God is actively on mission to reach humans with His love. He walks with Adam and Eve in the Garden, He seeks out and calls Abraham, Moses, and the prophets. And God’s active engagement with humans culminates in the ultimate missionary act of becoming a human himself in the man Jesus of Nazareth, and living among us. This has been called the Missio Dei, or mission of God.

[quote]If this is the kind of God we follow, how can we not be on active mission ourselves?[/quote]

No longer can we sit in our comfortable churches, and wait for them to show up at the door (which usually doesn’t happen anyway). We need to go to them!

 

But How?

A helpful question to ask yourself is: “If my non-Christian friends never step foot into a church building, how will they ever become disciples of Jesus?” There is really only one answer to this question.

[quote]You must band with other believers to bring the church into their life.[/quote]

The kind of church community which you start will look wildly different depending on who you are sent to. A Jesus community among retirees might gather several times a week at 7am at the local McDonald’s. A missional church among upwardly-mobile urban singles might meet in apartments or trendy cafes. The location, time, and style don’t really matter, because that’s not what defines church. After all, the church is people.

 

Next Steps

If you recognize the need to actively engage with the mission of God to reach your family, friends and co-workers with the Good News of Jesus, I would encourage you along these lines:

  • Pray. All mission should be saturated in prayer. Since we are unable to change anyone’s heart, we desperately need the Holy Spirit to touch those to whom we are sent.
  • Share. Grab some of your friends for coffee, and share your heart with them.
  • Dream. Imagine if God told you: “Whatever mission you choose, I guarantee success.” How would you respond? To whom would you become a missionary?
  • Act. Gather some some like-minded friends, and go for it! Together, start praying regularly for the group you are sent to. Begin spending most of your free time with these non-Christian friends. And watch for ways to partner with whatever the Holy Spirit is already doing among them.
  • Grow. It’s likely you won’t feel up to the task. So start with reading through some of the best missional material out there. Our Resource Page outlines some of the blogs and books we’ve found helpful. If you need more help, get in touch with us, or find out where the next FORGE Course will be held.