Most of the pictures are mine, but I've included a few that Joyce took. See even more pictures of this trip on her blog.
Friday 13 November - Joyce and I on a bus, leaving Kaohsiung for Taichung
Joyce is a new sister in Christ and she couldn't wait to meet more of her brothers and sisters.
We stayed with the preacher's family, the Yo's -- Joyce is a shutterbug like me -- Everybody loves your home, Michelle.
Joyce was discussing "divorce and remarriage" with Brother William Chen. A few days before this, Joyce had run into a denominational person on the net who had divorced his wife because her extreme Buddhist superstition had her checking with the omens before every action. When Joyce told this denominational person that according to Jesus, fornication was the only reason allowed for divorce in the Bible, he claimed 1 Corinthians 7:15 as an additional exception:
12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband ; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave ; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. (1 Corinthians 7:12-15)
"Bond" and "bondage" sounding so much alike is what often throws people off. However, the marriage tie, though it is a bond, is never described in the Bible as bondage, however we may joke about it that way in our present culture. So "not under bondage" does not mean "not under the marriage tie," but it does mean "not enslaved" (as bondage has been translated elsewhere in the Bible). In other words, you are not so enslaved as to have to give up your christianity to save your marriage. But this does not dissolve the marriage tie, and neither is free to remarry. Only fornication can do that, for the innocent party.
Ben Yo, the preacher's son. He was reading A Wrinkle in Time!
Ben stayed with us for one year when the only available openings at his school were at the Kaohsiung branch, and went home on the weekends.
Coco treated all of us out to dinner! (Thank you Coco!)
Last year, Coco brought some small children to the Hualien church camp, and was so sweet taking care of them.
Ben is still reading A Wrinkle in Time!
Left to right: Joyce Yang, Michelle Yo (the preacher's wife), Ben Yo, Coco, William Chen, and Wang Yung Hsiung (preacher for the church in Hualian). John Yo (the preacher) didn't get there till later.
Brother William came all the way from America to support the lectureships. (He gave an excellent slideshow on creation and evolution the first time we ever met him.) His wife Yolanda was unable to accompany him. Hi, Yolanda!
Brother Wang and his wife take care of a lot of kids in their home. His wife couldn't come to the lectureships because their daughter Amy was not yet finished with the traditional one month lie-in after the birth of her first child.
A few year ago, Amy stayed with us for two weeks to improve her English (which we did by reading Wesley Simons Denominational Doctrines transcripts!) before going off to the Four Seas Bible College in Singapore where she met her husband.
After the class that evening...
John Yo (preaches in Taichung) and Sheila Zao (wife of Brother Zao who preaches in Taipei)
Brother Zao (who preaches in Taipei), Brother Wang, Brother William
Learning new songs.
The next day, Saturday 14 November ...
Hsiu-Lien came all the way from Kenting on the southern tip of Taiwan!
Kenting, on the southern tip of Taiwan, is 3 hours further south than us, which means she had a 5-6 hour round trip to come to worship with us in Kaohsiung every Sunday.
There are no New Testament churches further south of us. We need missionaries, people! Especially in Hengchuen, the main town beside the resort village of Kenting. National parks, no pollution, great air, hiking. And Hsiu-Lien will have a place to worship.
Don't think you know how to be a missionary? It's simple. Make friends with everybody you run into. If they're interested in English, say, "I'll listen to you read the Bible in English" and take them through the Bible. If their English isn't that good, only teach them a few words from the story put into everyday sentences, and have them read the whole story in Chinese to you. And then of course, hold services on Sunday. Here's what I do, more or less.
She told us she always prints out the Taichung church bulletins and puts them on the main counter beside the name cards at the hotel where she is the manager.
Joyce (single!), me, Tracy (single!), Hsiu-Lian (single!), Michelle (married!)
Right now, off the top of my head, I can only think of 5 other *christian single men in the entire nation of Taiwan. (Sorry, if I'm forgetting anybody!) And of these five, one is engaged, one already has a girlfriend, and one was just immersed. These lovely christian ladies, who were brave enough to be immersed into Christ, shouldn't be doomed to a life of celibacy just because the men who would love to meet them don't know where they are.
Joyce, a new sister in Christ, has a degree in law and is studying for the bar (I think) but she really wants to be a homemaker and she wants to homeschool. She is always asking Bible questions and trying to rescue denominational people on the net.
Tracy loves to have open-Bible studies and discuss God's truth with people. She is a real nature girl who enjoys the outdoors. She was previously a driving instructor, but is now a (ladies) masseuse.
Hsiu Lian was already introduced above.
And there are others, these are just the three in the photo.
*By christian, I mean they care enough to do Bible things in Bible ways and not invent a whole bunch of extra rules not found in the Bible, or leave out any of the rules that are in the Bible and that make you christian. In other words, a simple church and not a denomination.
For more info on the man-made rules that have built up in "Christianity", take a look at Wesley Simons' 36-lesson Denominational Doctrines series which you can watch online. My brothers and I had a great time watching this series because Wesley Simons is always breaking into stories of how somebody called in to his radio show and said this, and he answered that, etc.
My brother and dad arrive ...
My brother Jared talking with William.
Michelle and my dad.
Brother Zao and my brother Jared.
Michelle treated us out to dinner! (Thanks, Michelle!)
Joyce's version of our trip has a lot more photos.