Food for Thought

This past week a missionary couple from Uganda visited our church. They run Watoto Children’s Ministries in the capital city of Uganda, and hearing them speak was a mix of being inspiried, challenged, and moved deep within the heart. They told numerous stories of the journey God had taken them on over the past 30 years of ministry, and as well shared personal stories of the people they live among and serve. What struck me most was the emphasis they place on “holistic ministry,” believing the spiritual and physical needs of a person cannot be separated. You cannot try to minister to the spiritual needs of a person while ignoring their physical needs. They emphasized that none of us have a ‘job’ per se, but rather as Christians we all have ‘callings’. Whether that ‘calling’ finds us in an office behind a desk, in a classroom in front of students, or in an orphanage holding babies, we are the Church called to reach out to the people right around us.

As we are praying and seeking God’s will for planting a non-traditional church among Taiwanese working class, these truths were excellent reminders for us. Our primary focus shouldn’t be on bringing these people into the walls of a church building, but rather intentionally bringing the Church to them every single day. It was good food for thought for us, and we hope challenging for you as well. I think the Christmas season is a perfect time to look around our communities and in our neighborhoods to find someone that we can be Jesus to. 🙂

And, to end this little post here is Baby Schindler at 20 weeks. Half-way there!!

20 Weeks


The Garden of Hope

The Garden of Hope is an organization offering help, care, and hope for women and girls who are under-privileged, who are victims of abuse, who have been trafficked, and/or who have been abandoned. It’s here where God has opened up many doors for me (Kelley) to serve through Bible studies, shelter ministry, teaching, and translation. Our church, Taipei Truth Church, has had a relationship with the Garden of Hope for some time, as others from the congregation have served there before, or are currently serving there. I feel extremely blessed to have been led here, and can already see myself growing as I get to serve, minister to, and love these needing people. Last week as I was visiting one of the shelters set up for teens coming from domestic violence, abuse, and abandoned backgrounds, I had the chance to talk one-on-one with a 17 year old girl, and share with her about the gift of prayer. I shared how God is listening to her too, and wants to be her help. At the end, I got to pray for her as well. It was a sweet time, and I trust the Lord is going to keep working not only in her heart, but the others as well.

Thanks be to God, for He is our Hope and ever present help in times of trouble! May these precious ones know that truth as well!

The Garden of Hope


Life in Taiwan

Rest. A much needed activity for everyone, but one that so often is neglected. Our lives are busy. Every day we have appointments, classes, and people to care for. On top of that the city we live in has a population of 7 million people who all speak a different language than our mother tongue, so most days it is hard to “feel” completely relaxed or rested. But, this past week we escaped from our normal lives and responsibilities and headed to the most southern part of Taiwan. Why? To rest. Yes, for 5 days we saw new sights of Taiwan, smelled new smells, some good and some not so nice, heard the waves crashing against the rocks, and tasted the sweet flavor of pure rest and relaxation, just the two of us. It has been wonderful, and greatly needed. Our bodies and spirits have been re-charged and re-energized and are now ready for the busyness of the next few months that will lead into our home assignment this Winter.

We often get asked from people back in the States just what it’s like being a foreigner in a country where your skin and features are profoundly different from the vast majority of the people and where every day you hear people saying in your direction “Wai guo ren!”, which translates “Foreign person!”. What’s it like to not be able to get around using English, and where the food, leisure activities, and way of life are so different from what we were used to. A few words that come to mind to describe what it’s like are: challenging, frustrating, humorous, nerve-wracking, adventurous, and unpredictable. Each day is uniquely its own and provides us with numerous situations that make us laugh and keep us humble. But, to put it in basic terms: it is something we wouldn’t trade for the world.

Two days ago, as we were riding a bus from one city back to the place of our place of lodging several little boys got on and immediately began staring at us. They smiled and whispered among themselves, seemingly very excited that two “Wai guo ren” were on their bus. We waved and then began speaking with them in Chinese. They immediately left their seats and came and sat next to us. Erich chatted with the little men for a while before they had to get off. They asked many questions about what America is like and soaked up every minute to chat with us. As they left, we both looked at each other and smiled, both knowing how precious times like that are and both so thankful to God for giving us the chance to serve Him here!Peaceful OceanErich and Kel