HELP A STUDENT, GIVE THEM
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Athletes In Actions mission at the University of Minnesota and athletic departments across the Twin Cities is making disciples who make disciples. Our hope is that every student athlete involved in our ministry would encounter Jesus Christ, grow as a follower of Christ in community with others, and be equipped to make more disciples of Christ. Each night of the week these are discipleship groups made up of 3-8 students meeting all over campus. In these groups students are taught about the gospel, how to read their Bible, and how to grow in their relationship with Jesus. In time we equip these students to launch and lead their our discipleship group and multiply their lice into others. By God's grace, we are making disciples who make disciples.
One of the most exciting parts of overseeing the Navigators collegiate work in the Twin Cities is watching how God is building our city team by bringing people with specific gifts and vision to expand our reach into more communities of students with the precious message of Jesus Christ!
Partnering to make Jesus known, multiPly the ChurCh and serve the City
How are you and family doing? Really, it’s a serious question we have for you. If you have prayer requests or special needs, please contact Lezlee and me. We would love to pray for you and the needs you have. These past four months have been difficult for all of us. At first, I (Mark) was just trying to “hang in there” in life and ministry. Where do we find toilet paper and disinfectant wipes seemed to be among life’s biggest questions…. Now, months into the pandemic, we are finding new ways to do ministry; connecting to the lost and building disciples. Of course, I get overwhelmed with Zoom calls, but the Lord is giving some clarity in new and creative ministry opportunities. Please pray that the Lord would continue to give us creativity in ministry and show us how to engage people well.
New ministry opportunities
A few months ago, Mark and the National Leadership of Church Movements hosted an online discipleship training called “Sent 6:7”. (We have done several of these recently). The big idea is to help the Church build disciples who know how to build other multiplying disciples. A big part of this training is equipping the growing disciples to learn to connect with lost people in their relationship network. (You can find the Sent 6:7 curriculum on the Church Movements website; churchmovements.com).
Dave and Todd were two participants in one of these trainings. Each of them were challenged by the trainings and believed they could use it in their own ministry context. Dave’s ministry context is youth ministry. He has a vision to build youth leaders who love students and to equip these youth leaders with the tools necessary to be successful in reaching kids. He has used Sent 6:7 material to train several of these youth leaders. Already several of these leaders have used it in kids lives and are sharing the Gospel more boldly.
Todd works for a large church denomination in the central part of the States. He is responsible to help Church Planters in several States. He is using the Sent 6:7 material to help Church Planters launch their new Church plants. Can you imagine a better foundation for the launch team of new church plant than to be trained how to communicate their faith and build disciples? Please pray for Dave
and Todd as they continue to trust God for their audiences. Mark connects with Dave and Todd on regular basis to mentor and encourage them.
Our newest granddaughter
Charlotte Taylor Sanders was born last April. She is quite the miracle story. Her mom, our daughter in law Selana went into labor at 25 weeks. Selana was admitted to the hospital in St. Louis at 26 weeks and stayed in the hospital until Charlotte was born at 34 weeks. She was in the NICU for several weeks after that. Though she was a premi, she was a fighter and is doing great today.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
None of us could have imagined what our Lord had planned for us! But we continue to look for and see the good in all that He is doing in Taiwan.
When we last wrote to you in early April, we had hoped that COVID-19 would be a thing of the past by the end of June. How wrong we were! For those of us living in Taiwan, in order to respect the safety guidelines set by the government and by society in general, we continue to wear masks when out in public or in larger gatherings of people. Hand washing is still stressed, and when people enter our home for the Bible study, they are directed to do so before joining the rest of the people. While social distancing is still recommended, when the Taiwanese gather with people they know well, they are more relaxed in keeping their distance. To date only 447 people have been confirmed to have the virus in all of Taiwan, and 435 of those have recovered. Community spreading has been completely controlled since early May, but some overseas Taiwanese who have the virus are returning home to Taiwan and so the numbers slowly grow, but at most one to two a week. All of these people are quarantined upon arrival.
As we mentioned above, the Bible Study for families with children who are uniquely-abled has resumed meeting in our home. It is great to be back together. We are also planning some social activities in the coming months that will encourage other families to join the fellowship.
Beth and Shi Yun are hoping that in July they can begin the discipleship class for the two mothers that have made
commitments to Christ. Please Beth teaching the hand signs for the Scripture memory verse. pray that both women will be able
Two weeks before the end of the school year, the Taiwan government relaxed some social distancing restrictions, so schools were able to hold graduation ceremonies. We were able to attend the Central Taiwan Theological Seminary (CTTS) graduation ceremony on June 13 and celebrated with the seven graduates. Next year we are anticipating 28 graduates. The big jump in the number of expected graduates for next year is due largely to the efforts of the new seminary president, David Chao, who began leading the seminary four years ago.
Graduates, Faculty and Board Trustees. President David Chao is front center.
Twelve years ago, CTTS purchased 18 acres of farm land in northeast Taichung. Two years ago, we began a four-year process of rezoning the land so that it could be used for religious purposes (i.e. training pastors). Nine of the fourteen needed approvals have already been received. One of the toughest approvals remaining will come from the Environmental Impact Committee. We had one meeting with the committee last month and received several recommendations which we are in the process of completing. Once completed, we will have a second meeting with the committee. Please pray that they will give their approval.
Environmental Impact Committee at the site of the new seminary campus being briefed about the seminary plans to use the land
One area in which COVID-19 has been impacting many people living in the U.S. is now impacting us personally. The limitations on entering Assisted Living Homes and Nursing Homes, and residents being allowed to leave, is impacting Beth’s parents. They have been living in an Assisted Living Home for a while, but now those friends who have graciously been driving them to doctor’s appointments and to buy basic necessities are no longer able to do so. In addition, Beth’s father was hospitalized in May, and is now in a rehabilitation unit. All of his medical and financial decisions have been made by us, from Taiwan. It is amazing what can now be done by the internet! However, her father now needs to live in a skilled nurse facility, and this, along, with the limitations of her mother’s memory, is making it necessary for them to be moved out of their apartment and into a care facility that will provide more in-depth care. Beth will need to travel to the U.S. to coordinate this move. Please pray as we look at transportation availability for her, as well as any travel and safety restrictions limiting what she can do.
We praise the Lord that this Spring Rod’s parents were able to move into an in-law suite in Rod’s sister, Renae’s, home. They are being lovingly cared for during this challenging time.
Please pray for these requests:
1) Beth and Shr-Yun will be able to disciple two mothers who recently accepted Christ. 2) The Environmental Impact Committee would approve the seminary plans.
3) Recruitment of seminary students for the next school year.
4) Beth’s trip to the US to help her parents move into a nursing home.
Please let us know how you are doing and how we can be praying for you.
Rod and Beth