October Heartbeat

Always a Friend for Jesus!

 

There are over 700,000 migrant workers in Taiwan, with Indonesians being the largest group, numbering around 260,000. Eighty percent of the Indonesian migrant workers are women, serving as caregivers in the homes of elderly Taiwanese. They work long hours, almost 24/7, and have very little time off. The children of the elderly usually don’t live with them, so it is hard to find a substitute for their day off.

I retired from FMWM in 2015 but remained in Kaohsiung under a VISA assignment. My friend, Dr. Wei Shin Tsay, and I, together with a couple who were former students at Holy Light Seminary, started a ministry to the Indonesian migrant workers, primarily in Kaohsiung. The ministry began in parks where the migrant workers would take their elderly employers for a breather every afternoon.

After seven years, God has honored us with many partner churches in Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and even the U.S. Five Indonesian churches from different denominations have sent eight missionaries to minister with us. We reach out to these caregivers in the parks and communities by being their friends and family away from home. Out of necessity, the migrant workers must speak Chinese, but their heart language is still Indonesian. When Indonesian missionaries and volunteers from our partner churches gather with them in the parks, they can speak their heart language. Friendship, fun and classes all take place in the parks. We give thanks that several have become followers of Jesus and been baptized. Still, we keep a low profile since most are of a Muslim background. We want them to remain safe, both in Taiwan and when they return home after their contract is fulfilled.

The ministry has expanded to include other groups – international students, migrants working in factories, fishermen, new immigrants married to Taiwanese, and their children, second-generation Taiwanese-Indonesians. Our work with students now includes a partnership with six universities offering migrant services to students. In addition, we have also started ministering to Vietnamese and Filipino migrant workers. We praise the Lord for these opportunities!

FMWM-Asia is grateful for Susan, Wei-Shin and the Kaohsiung Indonesian ministry team. How about you? Could you be a friend to Indonesians? To Vietnamese, Filipinos or Taiwanese? Would you pray or consider serving with Kaohsiung Friends of Indonesia for a few weeks, a month, or maybe long-term service as an FMWM-Asia missionary?

By Susan Yu

Turning Lunch into Life

 

By Eric, Asia Area Director

As part of our gatherings in Creative Access-VN, we prioritize testimonies of church planters and people who have made commitments to Jesus. This year, a testimony of thanks came from a woman named Trang.

Pastor “H” shared Trang’s story:

Trang used to have brain cancer and had radiation therapy several years ago while living in Saigon. Because of her sickness, she came back to live in Huế, her hometown, while her husband stayed to work in Saigon. One day she came to have her hair done in Ngoc’s hair salon. Ngoc is a believer. She did Trang’s hair and shared about Jesus.

 Trang experienced the friendliness of Ngoc and saw the joy she had. Trang decided to believe and follow the Jesus Ngoc followed. Then Ngoc invited her to attend our Friday worship and Sunday service. Trang’s faith began to grow deeper and stronger, but at the same time, she was facing persecution from her family.

Her dad, her brothers and sisters, even her son kicked her out of the family. They also took her motorbike, her only means of transportation for work and church.

Members of the church prayed with her, and we gave her a tiny “seed” – a small amount of money. She decided to buy another motorbike so she could go to church and to work.

One week, Trang volunteered to buy the lunch for our meeting. She ordered food from a woman named Nhan. After we had begun worship, Nhan arrived with the food. We invited Nhan to join us to worship our Lord Jesus. During the time of worship, Nhan felt peace and release after each song. When it came time for me to share the Word of God, Nhan decided to stay. After my closing prayer, we began to talk with Nhan and encourage her to continue seeking the truth. She joyfully responded to my invitation to believe in Jesus. We all prayed a prayer of blessing for her.

I praise God and thank Him for His work!

Because of a partnership with the Oregon Conference and generous gifts from many others, our leaders in Creative Access-VN are strengthened, encouraged and positioned to share the good news about Jesus. $150 a month makes it possible for a new church planter to share faith in Jesus with someone like Trang or Nhan – fmchr.ch/FMWM-VN.

Building It Together

 

By Dr. Darin Land, Associate Asia Area Director

The fire started in a tightly packed neighborhood down the block. The fire brigade managed to control the fire keeping the home from being a total loss. No one realized it, but one ember had lodged in the rafters of the corner bakery. Soon the bakery was fully engulfed, a total loss. Two doors away, residents of the Kamuning Free Methodist Church (KFMC) building/parsonage were rousted out of their sleep.

This incident lit a fire under us (pun intended) to renew fundraising efforts for rebuilding this important anchor church in the heart of Manila, Philippines.

The KFMC was founded in 1976, the first FM congregation in Manila as the church expanded into the northern Philippines. In addition to birthing numerous daughter churches, this building has housed the John Wesley Theological Institute for pastoral training, served as the conference office for the Northern Philippine Conference, and is the center for a church-sponsored ICCM project serving underprivileged children from the nearby wet market.

While the congregation continues to thrive, the building – a converted house  ̶  has deteriorated and is inadequate to meet their vision for expanded ministries. It has also become evident the building does not meet earthquake codes (not something to ignore for a country right on the infamous Ring of Fire).

The dream has been to rebuild from the ground up. However, construction costs in a 20-million-person megalopolis pushed the price tag far beyond the congregation’s reach. Initial fundraising efforts, like selling recyclables and collecting spare change, made only a tiny dent in the 18 million peso ($360,000) price tag. Yes, the building was unsafe, but what could be done?

We belong to a network within the body of Christ that rejoices in interdependency!

The church is working together with FMWM in a way that celebrates our “Better Together” ethos. Every peso the church raises, FMWM is trying to match with a dollar raised in the U.S. But that’s only part of the story! For every peso the church raises, it also raises an additional peso for a “pay it forward” account that will fund future church property or building projects elsewhere in the Philippines.

While fundraising is ongoing in both the U.S. and the Philippines, the first fruits of the “pay it forward” account have already helped purchase property for its newest daughter church. This project is truly interdependency in action!

To participate in this joint effort, please visit give.fmcusa.org/donation/df-epphkamuning.

World Missions Prayer Calendar: October

01† Friday | Burundi

Hope Hospital of Kibuye is highly respected throughout the country. Pray for the church and the hospital as they minister to the whole person through various medical ministries.

02†Saturday | Romania

Philip More and our ministry partners in Arad regularly feed impoverished and homeless families and reach out to those with addictions. Pray those being served will find food for their body and soul.

03†Sunday | 360 Mission District

The annual meeting will be this month. Pray the logistics of meeting together will go smoothly and leaders will find refreshment and a renewed energy to serve.

04† Monday | Russia/Latin America

Russia: Many children and teens in the crisis center come from abusive and destructive families. Pray God will reveal His love, healing minds and hearts.

Birthday: Tanya Mendakoff (International Missionary)

Latin America: Ask the Father to guide John Jairo Leal as he coordinates community church planting efforts in the region.

Birthday: John Jairo Leal (International Missionary)

05†Tuesday | Middle East

In recent months, one group of women launched a postnatal home visit program in a refugee camp. Pray the women being cared for will find physical, emotional and spiritual wholeness.

06† Wednesday | Senegal

Pray God will provide and embolden pastors and their families as they continue to take the gospel to unreached places.

07† Thursday | Sweden

Praise the Lord for a new Free Methodist church in Sweden! Initiated by refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, this group envisions reaching immigrants in other Scandinavian countries.

08†Friday | Ecuador

Pray for continued church-planting efforts, training of new leaders and effective discipleship of new believers.

09† Saturday | Asia Missionary Care

Mark and Judi Morrison serve as the missionary care couple for Asia. They live in the Seattle area and also minister to students at the University of Washington/ Bothell. Pray for them as they re-establish an on-campus presence after 18 months of Zoom-only meetings. Birthday: Mark Morrison

10† Sunday | Middle East

Ask the Father to make our leaders messengers of God’s peace helping bring relational peace and spiritual peace.

11† Monday | Asia

Pray for new workers to be called to serve boldly in new countries where there are increased connections and opportunities for the gospel.

Birthday: Tammy

12† Tuesday | Liberia

Liberia became a provisional annual conference in 2020. Pray for the continued formation of a healthy, strong church and committed leaders.

13† Wednesday | Serbia

The nine church plants in Serbia are part of the Balkans Provisional Annual Conference. Pray for pastors as they serve and share the gospel within impoverished communities.

14† Thursday | SEED

The Mujeres Jireh group, “women for whom God provides,” is a network of women in churches throughout Peru creating earrings, alpaca scarves and hand-dyed purses. Pray the Lord will continue to affirm their abilities and provide for their livelihood.

15† Friday | Uganda

Pray for the development of healthy leadership structures and programs to holistically reach out to Ugandans with the gospel message.

16† Saturday | Creative Access Asia

Pray creative access workers will have discernment in establishing relationships and be protected from the enemy’s spiritual attacks.

Birthday: Rebecca

17† Sunday | Dominican Republic

Pray for the transformation of young lives through the ministry of FM-sponsored elementary and secondary schools.

18† Monday | ICCM

ICCM work in the Philippines began in 1978. There are now seven study centers with successful holistic child development approaches to ensure all aspects of the child’s growth receive attention. Pray for the ongoing ministry of these seven centers.

19† Tuesday | Middle East

Praise the Lord for a new discipleship group started among Yazidi-background believers. Pray these believers will develop spiritual maturity and deepening love for Jesus.

20† Wednesday | Taiwan

Students at Holy Light Theological Seminary are about halfway through the first semester. Pray for wisdom and perseverance for teachers and students. Some students are still attending online; this is a challenge to everyone. Pray for God’s continued grace.

Birthday: Becca

21† Thursday | Southeast Asia

Pray for full recovery to health and strength for several key leaders and pastors in this region who have suffered from COVID-19 in recent months.

Birthday: Ellen Haskins

 

22†Friday | Creative Access Asia-CA

Pray for Jessica as she leads small groups and disciples individuals, leading them into a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Birthday: Jessica

23†Saturday | Puerto Rico

During the pandemic, many church members experienced sickness and death in their families. Pray the Holy Spirit will comfort, encourage and provide for these brothers and sisters.

24†Sunday | Set Free Movement

Pray for Set Free leaders in Bulgaria who seek to provide safe shelter, spiritual nurturing, and access to education, health care and job training for at-risk Roma girls.

25† Monday | Europe Missionary Team

The Europe missionary retreat was rescheduled twice due to the pandemic. They gather October 24-31. Pray for an encouraging time of relational and spiritual connection.

26† Tuesday | Middle East

Thinking of the words of Psalm 23, pray the Lord will lead our leaders to times and places of beauty and quietness to find rest and renewal for their minds and bodies.

27† Wednesday | Paraguay

There are now 21 “Houses of Peace.” Pray for those people of peace who have opened their homes. Ask the Lord to help these homes bear witness to Christ in their circles of influence.

28†Thursday | Africa

Pray for God’s leadership and wisdom in Sherry Cahill’s life as she seeks to share Christ’s love and compassion with others daily. Pray she will be able to discern clearly the voice of the Lord.

Birthday: Sherry Cahill

29† Friday | Belgium

Pray for the development of ministries among immigrants and in university towns where God is moving.

Birthday: Eric Casteel (Affiliate Missionary)

30†Saturday | Mexico

Because of the pandemic, the meeting of this general conference in 2020 was postponed. Pray for wisdom as leaders plan for meeting in 2022.

31† Sunday | Asia

Please pray for continued healing and rehabilitation for Judi Morrison following her recent back surgery.

Birthday: Judi Morrison