As Burning Fire Blog

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ministry in Taichung

This last Wednesday, we went up to Taichung to see the ministries there. Taichung is halfway up the island and is also the third largest city in the country. We were also able to do some ministry with the afternoon children's program at Lighthouse Baptist Church. Stephen did a chalk talk on John 3:16.

Pastor Andy Simpson translated for Stephen.

The children, parents, and teachers present for the chalk talk. Notice the continents on the world. :)

Another praise we had was that after we arrived in Taichung, we found out that one of the wheels on Stephen's chalk easel bag had fallen off. We had horrifying visions of dragging his chalk easel (100 lbs.) through the Taipei airport, but, praise the Lord, they found all the parts! Stephen and Pastor Simpson were able to put everything back together and secure it back with super glue. We will still need the Lord to hold the bag together until we get back into the States, but at least it's fixed!
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Gospel in Taiwan's Public Schools

We had the privilege of accompanying a group from Mountaintop Baptist Church to their school ministry. This group of Chinese Christians along with the pastor and his wife ask permission to do presentations in local public schools. Through song, stories, and a skit, they presented a message on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

Teaching them a song on the miracle of creation and Christ's redeeming work.

All the children and teachers listening attentively.

These children ranged from the ages of six through ten. They were all very energized having just finished their nap time, but they all paid close attention. The schools here are open to the Gospel. It was an amazing opportunity!


Pagan Temples

This morning we visited several pagan temples in Kaohsiung. Even though Taiwan is a "modern" country, the spiritual needs are vast. As we walked through these amazing structures, our hearts were burdened and grieved by the spiritual darkness and blindness of the people.

One of the gods, sitting above his temple.

"Female" (transvestite) Buddha and "her" temple. The temple is in the belly of the dragon. You enter through the mouth and leave through the tail.

A woman worshipping "her" in the temple.

Free pagan literature.

Children visiting on school field trip.

A Buddhist temple

The third floor of the temple, ornately carved and overlaid with gold. There are multiple gods on each floor, and the people just move from one god to the next, making their prayers.

The incense altar.

These are not "tourist" attractions, but true, active temples. The people are in deep bondage and live in fear that they will offend any of the gods or the spirits. Christ is the answer!

In America, we may think that this is silly idolatry, but think about it. What are the gods in the United States? Remember the Bible speaks about idols of the heart. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Jesus Christ is the only true God!


Morning Market

This morning, missionaries Pat and Mary Delaney and their daughter, Elizabeth, took us with them to the Morning Wet Market. It is the Chinese version of a farmer's market, except with more variety. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats are the main fairs. The Delaneys get their produce there, since the farmers bring them in fresh everyday. As you may see from the pictures below, the morning market is an exciting place!

Mrs. Delaney, Elizabeth, and Evelyn

A couple of the regional fruits - NOT apples and grapefruit. Take a closer look.

Potatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes ...

Customers usually just swing up to the stands in their scooters, make their purchase, and scooter away. The vendors aggressively present their products.

Familiar fruits.

More familiar fruits.

Farmer with his vegetables.

People, and more people and scooters!

Lady with her vegetables. After taking her picture, she exclaimed (in Chinese), "You are taking my picture? I must be very beautiful!"

Various fish balls, tempura, and sausages. For those who've never tried it before, they are delicious!

Grains and legumes - cornmeal, red beans, green beans, pinto beans, barley, and more.

Dried shitake mushrooms, wood ear fungus, etc.

It's an experience one will never forget, but the market is also a daily part of life for the people.


Morning Market - Guess What!

Here are some of the unique things we saw in the morning market. Guess what they are. If you know your anatomy, you should do well. :)

Please leave a comment and guess what the following 10 things are. (Click pictures to enlarge.)


Monday, April 27, 2009

Our Home For the Next Two Weeks

For the next two weeks, our home will be in Cornerstone Baptist Church, Kaohsiung. The church has rented five floors in the corner of a building. The lower 3 floors and basement are used by the church. The upper two floors have been turned into an apartment for the pastor and his family. We are staying on the fourth floor in their guest room.

The church mainly reaches out to the Mandarin speaking population in Kaohsiung. Their location is literally on the corner of a intersection. The large sign quotes 1 Peter 2:6, speaking of Christ as the Chief cornerstone.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

eNews: Greetings from Taiwan

April 26, 2009

Dear Praying Friends,

The Lord brought us safely to Taiwan! We arrived in Taipei on Thursday, April 23rd at 9:30 PM. The journey was tiresome with over 24 hours of travel, but we were very grateful to have reached our destination. Everything went very smoothly, including the security and customs. Both of us have traveled internationally before, and we both agree that this was the smoothest international flight we’ve ever had!

We rode the Taiwan High Speed Rail down to Kaohsiung. Initially, we were concerned that our 180 lbs. of luggage might have some problems getting onto the train, but again, praise the Lord, hardly anyone raised an eyebrow at all our luggage.

During the 90 minute train ride down, we were able to get a glimpse of Taiwan outside of busy Taipei. We saw many cities with high-rising buildings and apartments, lush rice paddies getting ready for harvest in a couple weeks, orchards, and gorgeous mountains. Another thing that stood out to us was the number of Buddhist temples, shrines, and sites for ancestor worship. We were told in Taipei that Buddhism and superstition were actually not prevalent, since Taiwan was “modernized.” However, after seeing so many temples and shrines, we can only conclude that the spiritual bondage is still very great!

On Sunday (April 26th), we shared our testimonies during the Sunday School hour. Stephen shared his salvation testimony and our calling, with Pastor Matt Hanna translating. Evelyn also shared her salvation testimony in Chinese. For the evening English service, Stephen preached the message encouraging the believers to walk by faith and not by sight. Evelyn also played the piano.

We greatly appreciate your prayers that the following two weeks would be fruitful. We also thank you for your prayers regarding our health and the baby. Evelyn and Baby have done very well through all the traveling. We have also adjusted well to the time zone change. Keep praying for us and for our fellow laborers and for the field!

In Christ’s service,
Stephen & Evelyn Wesco

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Chinese/English Bibles

Today, we found a Christian Bookstore in Taipei and purchased English/Chinese Bibles for me and Evelyn.


Visit with Evelyn's Great uncle Philip

Today we had the privilege to meet and visit with Evelyn's great-uncle Philip. This was a special time because Granduncle Philip is over 90 years old.

I first heard about this Granduncle of Evelyn's this past January when I was admiring some Chinese Scripture calligraphy he did many years ago when he was a young man. The verse that he wrote was Ephesians 6:2-3. "Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." It is an incredible testimony to God's faithfulness that the man who wrote this in his youth lives still today in his nineties!

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Greetings from Taipei, Taiwan

After 25 hours of travel, we arrived safely and exhausted in Taiwan! We did not get much sleep during our travels, but after a good night's sleep, we are adjusting well to the time difference and jet lag. Taiwan is 12 hours ahead of USA's Eastern Time Zone.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our Church Sending Us Away

By the Lord's amazing working, this Sunday ended up having a missionary focus. It was a great joy to have missionaries Vince and Renee Bolles present (preparing to go to the Philippines). We also "happened" to have missionaries headed for Japan visiting the church.

Brother Bolles' message was very special to us. He preached on how we must have the Holy Spirit's enabling power in our life and ministry. Whether on a foreign mission field or at home, all of us need to rest solely in the Lord and in His unchanging faithfulness.

After the morning service, the church had a special time of prayer and sending. The leaders of our church prayed for us and sent us as the rest of the congregation stood around.

Thank you Fellowship Baptist Church for your love, support, and prayers!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

All Packed - 182 lbs. Total!

All of our checked luggage is packed and ready to go. Here are some of the things we packed:
  1. Complete Chalk Easel and paper (aprox. 100 lbs.)
  2. 38 lbs. of American food for the Missionaries in Taiwan
  3. Kitchen utensils not available in Taiwan
  4. Music
  5. Clothes
Our total weight is 182 lbs. (still 18 lbs. under the limit, but with no more room). Now, we need to get our carry-on packed.

God's provision:

My old easel bag (golf bag) has been in awful shape the last year. It has survived two trips to South Africa and all across the USA. It was filled with holes and rips. There was no way it was going to survive a trans-Pacific flight to Taiwan.

I did not replace it because a new travel golf bag costs nearly $100, and they do not make them like my old bag anymore. We had been praying that I could find one just like the one I had.

This last week, Evelyn went shopping with her mother. They decided to comb all the Goodwill and Salvation Army thrift stores in the area for a replacement golf bag. The Lord answered our prayers at one of the Goodwill stores. This store had two travel golf bags - one exactly like the old one, except in relatively new condition. We ended up getting both golf bags for the total price of $10! Praise the Lord!


eNews: Stephen & Evelyn Wesco Going to Taiwan

April 19, 2009

Dear Praying Friends,

The Lord has given us the opportunity to minister for three weeks in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. However, this is not just a short-term mission trip. We are seeking the Lord's will regarding His direction for us in long-term missions.

During our single years, the Lord laid a burden on both of us individually regarding missions. We are now seeking His will for us as a married couple and for our family. An opportunity opened up for us this year to spend several weeks with missionaries already established in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

The missionaries will be involving us in their ministry, giving Stephen opportunities to teach and minister in chalk art, and for Evelyn to assist in music. We will also be helping in practical needs within the church, such as cleaning and building maintenance. In addition to their local ministry, the missionaries will introduce us to other ministries and needs in Taiwan.

Even though Taiwan has received heavy western influence, the needs are great, especially with 93% of the population believing in Buddhism and Taoism. In addition to idolatry and superstition, materialism and worship of education have permeated the society. Kaohsiung is located on the southern portion of the island and has a population of about 1.5 million. It is the second-largest city in the country, after Taipei. The field is wide open for harvest!

"Brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified!"Specific prayer requests:

  1. Safety in travel (20 hours travel time one way)
  2. Safe transportation of equipment and supplies
  3. Health - pray for us as we adjust to the tropical climate and new time zone. Pray also for Evelyn and Baby's health.
  4. Cornerstone Baptist Church and the missionaries with whom we will be ministering
  5. Effective ministry - that the Word of God would have free course and be glorified
  6. Pray for Stephen as he is scheduled to preach and teach several times
  7. Pray that God will give us His love for each soul that we meet
  8. Lord's leading as we seek His will regarding the possibility of long-term missions in Taiwan

In Christ’s service and loving it,
Stephen & Evelyn Wesco

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Friday, April 17, 2009

New Prayer Card Published!

Our new prayer card is now published. Click the picture to enlarge. Please keep us in your prayers.


Welcome to the As Burning Fire Blog

Welcome to our blog! We hope to update you on special events, needs, prayer requests. Please feel free to comment.

We hope that this will help each of you to better know how to pray for us.

Stephen and Evelyn Wesco