“Church planting is easy!” proclaimed a Taiwanese church planting co-worker, “You just open your heart; open your door; and open your refrigerator!”
This co-worker is now a key leader in the Hengchun Bible Church, a house church started in 2002.
OMF missionaries are at present involved in nine church planting efforts around the island. Each team has amazing stories of God leading them to a “Lydia” (Acts 16:14) or what some call “a person of peace” (Lk 10:6). These key Taiwanese friends have hearts open to the gospel and become partners in the church planting effort, leading family and friends to faith in Christ and even becoming leaders in the new church.
Here is a story of a “Lydia” from the Wanhua Bible Church which began our home in 2012.
We met Lucy at the Wanhua hospital in 2009 where Randy served as a Family Practice physician and Lucy as a secretary. Lucy had attended church off and on, but had never been baptized. She began meeting with us to study the Bible during lunch breaks at the hospital. At that time we had just begun meeting with a small group of people to sing and tell Bible stories in a government housing community called Fumin. We discovered that Lucy lived near Fumin and wanted to join the group. Later that year, Lucy was baptized under the trees at Fumin.
As Lucy grew spiritually she began to be concerned for her non-Christian friends and began to pray for opportunities to introduce them to Christ. In 2011, we began an English Bible study in our home hoping that this would be the start of a house church. Lucy invited her friend Mei to join. The group started with about 10 people and slowly dwindled to just Lucy and Mei.
One discouraging day, Lucy could not come and we almost called Mei to cancel the meeting. But we didn’t make that call and Mei appeared at the door with another friend, Carol. Carol and her husband, Felix, were going through difficult times and the small group prayed for them.
One morning Felix came to the meeting with Carol to see what was going on. He was persuaded to come in and sing Taiwanese songs. He ended up staying until 2 pm and began to come every week to the house church. Within four months, he and Carol decided to get rid of their idol shelf and be baptized.
The Wanhua Bible church has seen slow, steady growth over these three years. Mei, Felix and Carol’s two children and a local community leader, Mr. Li, were baptized in the church. From eight to 15 people meet for Sunday morning meetings which end with lunch and fellowship around the table. Each meeting begins with singing and prayer. Bible lessons using a series of questions are led by baptized believers who rotate leading the study. The meetings ends with prayer for each other.
Church planting teams in Taiwan need prayer for God’s leading to “Lydias”, Taiwanese co-workers who can partner with them to lead people to Christ and help start churches. Wisdom is needed in how to disciple and train up Taiwanese new believers and co-workers to become leaders in the church. Please pray that each OMF church plant will be enabled to raise up more workers who will be equipped to start new churches all over Taiwan.
Randy & Janet Adams – Wanhua