Thursday, March 29, 2012

God is... Comfort


Comfort

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, 
that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, 
by the  comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” 
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

The touch of the wind, the kiss of the moonlight, the warmth of the sun, the coolness of grass…. These things remind me that God is a God of comfort. At the same time though, sometimes, I just need a hug, because it feels that the whisper of God’s promise is “not enough.” What about times like that? Where is His comfort when I can’t “feel” it?

God’s comfort comes in who He is. He is the Judge who will vindicate any wrong doing against His children. He is the Guide who has every detail of life planned. He is the Broken One who understands my sorrow.  I can trust Him. What’s more- He’s always there. Yes, it is tempting to doubt God’s comfort when I can’t physically feel Him, but to do that, would be to put my own thoughts and feelings above God’s Word. David said:

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; 
thy rod  (judgment) and thy staff, (guidance) they comfort me.” 
 Psalm 23:4
*emphasis and parenthesis added

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Week 26 Update


Thursday, March 29, 2012
Dear Prayer Partners,

Last weekend, I went to church with Jo. I got to meet her friends, watch English class, and sleep on the floor at the dorm. The day was long, but it didn’t make me tired, because it was so refreshing. The visiting pastor is originally from America, so I could understand a little of his Chinese. (Foreigners use simpler words.)  Though, once the service started, they provided a translator who reminded me of David Waller at IBLP HQ. -He was EXTREEMLY enthusiastic and a lot of fun to listen to, on top of having very good English.

The children arrived this week, shy and quiet. At first, they didn’t want to get out of the bus. That took a day? to overcome- then they made up for lost time.  I loved taking pictures this week, because the kids were so cute!!! You can see for yourself…


 



 

Some kids just attach themselves to you. Denny always made me laugh. We played jump rope, arm wrestled, and played hide-and-seek behind a pillar by the dining hall. He would come to the office at break time and say “Hello Teacher, how are you?” Then, with a grin, he would start babbling undiscernibly just to make conversation, which made me giggle.

Though we had several naughty boys this week, most of the time they were obedient. But, by the end of the week, they were tired of listening. My last class, after attempting several times to get and KEEP their attention, I gave up and had them draw pictures in their books. After that though, they were better, and we went through the alphabet naming animals. They were very good at that! They knew so many animals- some of which surprised me.

God has shown me His strength this week. Somehow, even though I was in pain, sick, tired, and weak, God gave me the strength to make it through class. One of my team-mates mentioned that I looked like I felt worse. That makes me even more grateful for God’s faithfulness. He is not limited by my weakness, but rather, designs weakness to manifest His power. What an awesome God!

Unto the God of grace and glory,
Barbara J. Sutton

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

God is... the Broken One who Heals


Broken

“…Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you…”
1 Corinthians 11:24


My God, the Creator of the Universe, the Ruler of the World, Lord of all, the ALMIGHTY One, allowed Himself to be broken for me. The Bible says that not a bone of His would be broken, yet, Jesus Himself likens His body to bread that is broken. Crucifixion makes it quite possible to break someone’s body without breaking a bone. Taking MY sin upon His perfect body, Jesus willingly humbled himself to die in despisement. Naked, bleeding, pierced, exposed. I am ashamed to think that my great God would do this for me, when I find it hard just to LIVE for Him. However, brokenness did not mean powerless. He is the Broken One who Heals. He is the Rejected One who Accepts. The Betrayed One who Redeems. THIS is the God who calls me to serve Him. Today, He stands waiting, with His pierced hands out-stretched, to welcome me into His love. Thank you Jesus, for being Broken!

 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, 
He was bruised for our iniquities: 
the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; 
and with His stripes we are healed.”
Isaiah 53:5

Saturday, March 24, 2012

God is... Almighty


Almighty
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, 
which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” 
Revelation 1:8

Ever heard the question “Can God build a rock so big He can’t lift it?”

My human mind cannot comprehend it. A God, bigger and more powerful than earth itself. He’s been around forever; He created the earth; He can pretty much do anything He wants. Nothing escapes Him or leaves His realm of influence. -But He always rules His creation. If He built a rock He couldn’t rule, that would make the rock more powerful than God. Whoops! He wouldn’t be God anymore! His almighty power gives reason to many unbelievers to fear Him or deny His exsistance. In the Old Testament, many nations feared God because they saw His power. He deserves respect.

I find great relief knowing that I serve an Almighty God. He’s not concerned with my mistakes or my problems because He is not limited to me. He is able to do whatever is necessary to bring glory to Himself. Praise the Lord! The pressure is off. Yes, I want to do my best for God, but when I mess up, I don’t have to panic. He is bigger than that. He’s not groping for Plan B. He will work all things out for good because I love Him, and He called me according to His purpose.

“Touching the Almighty, we cannot find Him out: 
He is excellent in power, and in judgement, and in plenty of justice: 
He will not afflict. Men do therefore fear Him...” 
Job 37:23-24a

Thursday, March 22, 2012

LOST! In a Foreign Country


Dear Friends and Family,

I had the privilege of experiencing both the kindness of Taiwanese for foreigners and the goodness of God last night in a special way. God is so… so… GOD.  Let me tell you about it.

~~~~~~~~~~

Thursday evening, after classes were over, though I was tired from camp, I decided to go to violin lesson anyway. I asked Jenny to call a taxi for me. Soon, I will be able to call on my own, but not yet. The taxi arrived and whisked me away to the train station. I picked up a ticket to take the usual route to Chiayi on the local train. Since I take this route quite frequently for weekly violin lessons and for visiting friends, I know exactly how long it takes, what the stops are in between, and where to get off. From the train station to the music studio is only about a seven minute walk. The route is almost like an old, familiar friend.

Upon finishing my violin lesson, I decided to go to McDonalds, which is a block back toward the train station. It is 7:00, and I’m starving! McDonalds is very courteous to me, practicing their best English, and delivering my food to me as soon as possible. I stopped to pray for a few minutes before biting into a delicious Big Mac. The sandwich disappeared so quickly, that one would think I had help. J 

By now, it is more than time to head home for a good night’s rest. Checking the schedule board, I purchased one local train ticket home to Douliou. Trains can be tricky, especially since it’s all in a foreign language, so I checked which train I needed to board three times, and from which deck it would be departing. (We’ve boarded the wrong train before.) Then, when I got out to 2A, I checked one last time. Sure enough, this IS the right train.

God graciously gave me thirty minutes in an empty train depot, before the train arrived, to talk to Him. How wonderful to enjoy His presence uninterrupted. He has been teaching me so much about Himself, His holiness, and my sinfulness.

The train arrived, and I grabbed a seat and pulled out a book, The God Who Is, by Sproul. -Might as well use the thirty minute train ride to learn. After about twenty-five minutes, I put away my book and started paying attention to the stops, in case the train arrived early.

Much to my surprise (and maybe horror), the stop was NOT Dounan. It was not Ershuei. It was not a name I recognized. Had I gone too far? No, I think I would have noticed. I know the route pretty well now. Besides, if I went too far, I would still recognize the stops on the way to Taijhong, the next major city north of Douliou.

With a prayer for guidance, I decided to call my team leader, who has been in Taiwan longer and knows more Chinese, to see what to do. She asked which stop I had passed- Nanke. Then, Jo asked to speak to someone -anyone- on the train who would know where exactly I was. As it turns out, this is NOT the right train! And now, I was fifty minutes south of where I had left, and an hour and a half south of home. I wanted to cry because I just wanted to go home; but I got off the train and looked around for a uniformed personnel to help me.

A few moments later, I spotted the agent taking the tickets. I had landed in a small town, where there were no machines to take your ticket upon exiting the station. Handing the man my ticket, I smiled weakly and said, “How do I get to Douliou?” The agent looked at my ticket, looked at me, and looked at my ticket again, then shook his head. Another gentleman in line and him discussed which train I should take, and then told me where to go. “2A” he said. Then repeated himself just to make sure I got it, “2A!” The gentleman made himself responsible to make sure I got to the right place, and then entertained me until the train came with pretend drums.

The next train that arrived was not a local train, for which I had a ticket; but my self-appointed gentleman guide told me to get on anyway. (At this time of night, they just want a foreign, single girl home- no matter the train.) He took me on the train, found an empty seat, and then asked “You are sure you know when to get off?!” “Shi-a” I answered. Yes, I did know where to get off. It’s the getting on that I have trouble with apparently.

“Thank You Jesus, for Your help, and for Your angels in disguise.” What a relief to know I was for SURE going home this time. I settled down for the very long ride home and opened my book once again. Ironically enough, the chapter was about God’s predestination in the events of life. What a privilege to know a God that is not hampered by my mistakes. His wisdom is complete and His love is vast.

I called Jo to let her know I was on my way home, but I might be a while.

About half an hour past before the conductor came through. I knew he would charge me extra for being on the wrong train, but I didn’t “technically” have a ticket for where I ended up in the first place. He took a look at my ticket, now re-marked from my previous “destination,” shook his head, and said “Why don’t I just charge you like you are going from Chiayi to Douliou on a special train. Does that sound good to you?” I was in disbelief and relief. “Hao-a. Xiexie! Xiexie ni!” The extra charge: 25NT. That’s less than a dollar in the US. The receipt was marked that the charge was 145NT, but I only paid 25. God is so kind! That was definitely an unexpected blessing.

I finally arrived at the station in Douliou, relieved and oh-so-grateful to be home! I reached in my pocket for my phone to call Jo, and, mei-you. It wasn’t there! Hmm. I had thought for sure I put it in my pocket after talking to Jo last time. Searching futilely, I decided it had disappeared for good. What a night.

By this time at night, feeling very disoriented, irresponsible, and frustrated, I did not want to walk home. The taxi delivered me home, where I told my team leader I had finally made it home, took a shower, and went to bed. “Thank You God for home, and for Your protection and care tonight!”

Getting lost in a foreign country is not one of those things on my list of desired experiences. It’s not like I said, “When I get to Taiwan, I want to eat squid-ink noodles, learn Chinese, and get lost.” However, I am grateful for the experience because it gave me a chance to experience the protection, care, and direction of my Almighty Father. Language may be a problem for me, but God knows every language. Direction may be difficult, but He is the Ultimate Guide. He WILL take care of His precious daughter.

Thank You Jesus, indeed! I love You!

~Barbara

"And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, 'This is the way, walk ye in it,' when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left." Isaiah 30:21

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Disney Princesses and the Bible


Before I start, I just want to say, I am not endorsing or condemning the Disney movies, nor writing a review sufficient for deciding to watch them or not. Girls, please ask your parents before watching any movie. Your parents are the only ones who really can make knowledgeable guidelines for you and your home.

In the last few weeks, I’ve been watching a few of the old Disney princess Classics,- most of them for the first time. I don’t think it is always wrong to watch movies, I just haven’t had time up until this point. Movies are just not high on my priorities. Anyway, when I watch movies, I try to watch them actively. As in, I try to think about what is going on; what character quality is present or lacking, what Scriptural principals are exemplified or ignored, and in general, sorting the fact from fiction.

A few things in the Princess stories got me excited, and I just had to share them with you all.

Y  Being princess stories, a common thread is of course, a prince, and discovering “true love.” Usually the prince rescues the damsel from slavery/servitude or death.  Jesus Christ, heaven’s prince, wants to rescue all people from the slavery of sin and eternal death. He offers His Truth and Love to all who accept it.
Y  Another similarity is the character of the “star” players. Not only are they outwardly pretty, but their good character makes them beautiful from within. This gave them favor among [most] people. “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that fears the Lord shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Y  In the story Sleeping Beauty, the prince has to overcome evil to rescue the girl. The three good fairies (coincidence? God has 3 parts?) give him a “shield of faith” to ward off the darts of death and a “sword of truth” to prevail over dark lies. “Put on the whole armor of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. …taking the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit…” Ephesians 6:11-17
Y  A few of the princess stories tell of a girl who is asleep and can only be awakened by “true love’s kiss.” Not only is this a neat picture of Christ awakening our spirits through His True Love on the cross, but it also reminds me, as a girl to wait. Don’t let any man steal your love. Wait for the selfless love of a true prince. “I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.” Song of Solomon 8:4
Y  Cinderella goes to the ball, and on her hurried way home, she drops her shoe. The prince says he will only marry the girl whose foot fits the shoe. Though the kingdom was searched far and wide, no such girl was found, until Cinderella. She is saved because she fit the “standard.” God requires all of us to be absolutely perfect to be in heaven, but “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 The only way we can be saved is through “putting on” the righteousness of the Perfect Son of God, Jesus.
Y  Snow White disobeys the dwarfs’ command not to entertain strangers, and dies from the poison of apple which she eats because she thought it would grant her wish. Even though Eve knew the command not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree, “when the woman say that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat…”
Y  Each story has a wicked person, some of which also had “power” to appear in disguise. (Satan too, has this ability.) However, in every story, good prevails over the evil and all live “happily ever after.” Just as, in the end of time. Christ will prevail, Satan will be crushed, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth. There, Believers can truly live “happily ever after” in the joy of Christ’s full presence.
Y  Then, there is the element of time in Beauty and the Beast. The Beast only had until “the last petal falls” to find true love, or he would be doomed forever. The girl did not know how much time he had; quite frankly, the Beast didn’t either. He could just see as the petals fell. He didn’t know the exact time. Each person on earth today only has a certain amount of time to find the true love in Christ before they will die and spend eternity in hell. God alone knows the timing. I must urgently share the gospel -the true love- with others, praying they will see it and accept it before it’s too late.

There is so much more, but I can’t remember them. Perhaps, if you have seen these films, you can think of some to add. (I would LOVE to hear your comments!)  If you have not seen these movies, please do not watch them unless you have parental permission.

God’s Princess,
Barbara

Friday, March 16, 2012

Week 24 Update


Friday, March 16, 2012

Dear Prayer Partners,

Ah! Freedom!

This week, we found out that the Chinese teachers don’t even use all of their pages in the book, so we are not expected to use all the pages in the book, though it is nice to do as many as possible. It is so nice to have the freedom to cater the classes to the specific needs of the children.

Watching the other teachers and interacting with the kids at break time, I noticed their English is sporadic, at best. Several of them didn’t know their colors or their numbers. At first, I felt very pressured to teach this group my assigned classes- Weather and Seasons. However, after a little bit, okay, a LOT of prayer, God showed me it didn’t have to be as hard as I was making it. (I love God’s lesson plans. They’re always the best!)

I concentrated one class on colors, with a powerpoint, a fishing game, and a color-by-number. The boys especially loved catching the fish, and it’s definitely a plus to get them involved. Another class I concentrated on weather; hot, cold, sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy, etc.  At the end, I added the seasons, so they could fill out their book, but I decided it was better to teach them little stuff that they would remember than for them to understand everything in the book. The last class, I covered feelings. Usually, when we ask a class, “How are you?” they will answer, “I am fine, thank you, and you?”  However, this class gave me blank looks. Okay, so back to square one.  -Lots of stickman faces. (Believe me, my art is better from behind a camera.) The kids followed though, and with a little help, did well with the review game.

At break time, I tried to teach the children how to play Jacks. Jacks is not a Taiwanese game and is a totally new concept to them. It is well worth getting over the translation barrier to watch them play. Awkward moments, crazy balls, and lots of laughs make it a very enjoyable and memorable time. Later, as I worked on my computer through one of the breaks, I saw a child “sneak” around the corner to grab the jacks and practice. How fun to watch them practice character in something so simple as a game of coordination and strategy!

This class was especially homesick. Several evenings the girls’ dorm would be full of crying girls wanting to go home, and one of them actually did. Therefore, it was quite a surprise on Friday to see some tears. Yes, most of them were excited to go home, but a few of them were very sad, looking for all the teachers to say goodbye and receive hugs. Children are so precious, and it is an honor to be a part of their lives for five days.

Thank you all for your prayers for my health. God has blessed us with a few answers, and we are looking forward to all He will do. Through it all, He is being glorified. The teachers see Him, and His strength and peace lived out. Praise the Lord! May He continue to draw people and glory to Himself.

To God all praise and glory!
Barbara J. Sutton

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Number One

How many times have I heard the question "Who is number one in your life?" Often, this question is followed by, "You're just a piece of the puzzle. God is what the picture is about. You may be the only Bible someone reads. Live so they see Christ." 


Sadly, this thinking is very flawed. 


It's not a question of who is number one. Rather, the point is, do I acknowledge and embrace God as Number One? The whole universe revolves around God. He alone is truly Awesome. I'm not a puzzle piece, that, if the puzzle piece is missing, the picture is incomplete. God doesn't need me! I'm more like a grain of sand in the great expanse of the universe. If I turn away from God, it's not going to mess up who God is. It's not going to spoil His plan. He won't sit there thinking "Well, so much for plan A; guess I'll have to try plan B." Seriously! 


No, the whole point is God's glory. He gives grace to mankind so that He gains glory for Himself. This theme runs all throughout the Bible. He loves me, yes, but He doesn't NEED me.  All my life, I've heard, "Jesus loves you because He wants a relationship with you. You serve Him to please Him."  But, as I have read the Bible, this is not what I have found. 


I don't pretend to be God, or to even comprehend Who He is. That's the last thing I would want to do. What I do want to do is see the picture of Himself that He portrays in Scripture. I did a search through the Bible looking for the phrase "that they may know that I am the Lord God." Of course, this comes in various forms, but it is ALL OVER the Old Testament. 


It made me consider, why is in in the Old Testament and not the New Testament? Partly, I think the answer is in Jesus. The Old Testament points to Christ, the New Testament puts Christ Himself on the scene. The theme however, though more subtle, is still present; just differently. In the New Testament, you see Jesus giving glory to His Father numerous times. Also, what is the purpose He gives for us to live according to the Word? -So that people see and glorify God.  Are you with me?


God is a Jealous God. He desires praise and glory. How does He get it? He redeems, He loves, He grants grace and forgiveness. He does miracles, shows His power, and answers prayer. I'm not supposed to become like Christ in the sense that people see Christ in me. That's not the focus! The focus should be rather, that I thank, praise, and spotlight God, the Number One. Christ being seen in me is a by-product, not the root. 


Whenever Jesus healed the sick and opened the eyes of the blind, people saw and glorified God. When Paul shared of His conversion, the disciples saw and glorified God.  At Pentecost, when the Christians spoke in tongues, people saw and glorified God. In Revelation, everything on earth is put into perspective before God's throne so that all see and glorify God. 


Do you see the common thread here? 


It has made me reconsider how I view God and His actions toward mankind. He is a God of love, yes, a God of justice, yes. A holy God definitely. -But above all, He is GOD. He wants credit for that. 


Lord, thank You for Your mercy and grace toward me. May You receive all glory and honor!


~Barbara


(If you have any comments on this post, or something you would like me to consider, please feel free to comment. Sensitive information will not be published. Thank you!)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Day at CEI: Friday


Dearest Prayer Partners,

Thank you so much for your prayers; and for your encouraging emails as well! They are SO appreciated. Your prayers give me strength every day, knowing that there are people behind me in the battle. The notes put a smile on my face; for, as Proverbs states: good news from afar is like a drink of cold water in the heat of a summer day.  Thank you all so much for your support!

A Day at CEI: Friday

I convince myself to crawl out of bed at 7:45. Today is the only day when English class is not the first morning class. Yes! So, I quickly get ready for the day and run upstairs to the office at two minutes to 8:00.

Today is a special treat, as, it just so worked out that this week, I don’t have any (teaching) responsibilities. It is such a blessing every once in a while. I pulled my Bible out of my desk drawer to continue my study on Matthew 25. I am very much enjoying the study. There is so much I can learn from the Master and His description of His kingdom. It saddens me to know that most of the time, I am focused more on earthly things than I am on eternal things. Oh to live completely and totally for Jesus!

The only break time of the day comes right before English class. I play a tune to the kids game chant “Quack diddley oh so, quai, quai, quai;” to the children’s delight. (It’s like playing music to a musical chairs game, only more predictable.) I think the group this week liked to get out just so they could run in the circle around the players, chanting the little sing-song. They are so cute to watch. With the blow of a whistle, they all run off to class, laughing and giggling.

Today, I get to watch as the other teachers teach the final class. Technically, we really don’t teach much, it is just a good-bye class. The main material we teach them is “I love you” in American sign language, a skit the teachers perform, and a slide show of the week.

The skit is called “This little light of mine.” Four teachers carry a candle into the (darkened) classroom singing “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”  Once they get to the front, the Accuser comes, usually dressed in black, to discourage and destroy our light. However, the last teacher with a candle refutes the Accuser by acknowledging her mistakes, but then standing in the good character she has learned and claiming a second chance to do right. She then helps her friends, telling them they have a second chance as she re-lights the candles. The Accuser gets frustrated and leaves. This skit is a good visual for the kids, as they will be discouraged to do right, but can be encouraged to just keep trying.

(The skit, as you can see, is also a Spiritual picture, and even though we can’t talk about the grace of Jesus, we hope that someday the teachers will see the real truth of this skit. Kids often know that the Accuser is Satan; and some put together that the lights are people who follow Jesus. We cannot come out and say it, but if they bring it up, we will talk to them personally.)

After English class, the children file down to the cafeteria for the closing ceremony. The teacher in charge will review the lessons the children have learned throughout the week, and then the children sign a ‘resolution’ of sorts, saying they will work on the character they have learned. Then the all of us teachers line up at the front and “give our love” to the students, and we sing the “Special” song.  At long last, they invite the student’s home teacher to come up and present the children’s certificates to them. Certificates are HUGE in Taiwan, and for some of the kids, it is their first time to receive a reward. It is a joy to watch their faces light up, knowing they have achieved something notable (finishing character camp). As they come off stage, we give them high fives and atta-boys.

Lunch time! Sometimes, we get to sit with the children, but this week there is not enough time before the bus comes, so we are not able to. I am disappointed, because this group had amazing English, so I had actually been able to get to know all of them quite well. Usually Wei Wen or I take a group picture on Thursday, but that hadn’t happened this week; so we took it today. It is always amazing to me how many original poses the Taiwanese people can come up with. 

The children run up to 4th floor to retrieve their luggage, and then slowly make their way down to ground level. As they line up outside, all of us teachers line up to give hugs. One girl who had attached herself to me on day one just clung to me, and then managed later to get a few more squeezes in. It is so hard to say goodbye!  They load up into the bus, and we wave and run along the side of the bus as it takes off.

Ching Fang is the first to turn around with a big smile to say “Good job hug!” Then it just gets crazy as everyone is trying to give a hug to everyone else. When I’ve finally gotten everyone, I stand waiting next to Wei Wen and Jo to give a group hug and “jaio” cheer for the next week.

I have about 15 minutes to get a snack or a drink, and then we have a meeting about next week’s kids. The last one to meeting usually has to do something (embarrassing), so it’s good to be on time, if not early.

As soon as the meeting is over, I race out the door to go to my violin lesson. Usually, it is on Thursday nights, but I needed to move it this week. I know enough Chinese now to maneuver the train station and taxi’s on my own. (Freedom!!!) However, I missed the first train out, so I was a little late to my lesson, but I called my teacher and let him know I would be late, and actually ended up arriving before he did. I really have been enjoying my lessons. They are a bonus, and it is SO NICE to have a teacher! However, the level I’m playing now, I have to get a smaller violin in order to play them correctly, because my fingers are too short. That kind is difficult to find, so pray that I can find what I need at an affordable price.

With camp finished for the week, and my violin lesson out of the way, I gladly met up with a Taiwanese friend to hang out. 

Getting back to the apartment at 9:30, I changed, jumped into bed, and fell asleep quoting Psalms.  God is so good. It’s been a great day.

Happy in the Service of the King,
Barbara J. Sutton

Friday, March 2, 2012

Command With Promise


"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." 
Matthew 28:19-20

The Refreshment of Fellowship


Relaxing- an old public bath house.

Dearly Appreciated Praying Friends,

Thank you all so much for your prayers! This work could not continue without strong prayer support. I would not survive. Your faithfulness in bringing Taiwan, CEI, and me before the throne greatly enhances and extends our ministry. I appreciate you all so very much!

The newsletter this week has a different tone to it, because this week was so different. HTC Foundation held a conference for all their CEI teams. What a blessing to get to know co-workers in the larger spectrum, swap ideas, and gain refreshment of purpose!

Attentively listening to the speaker.
- The speaker, Jeremy M. moved to Taiwan from America 40 years ago, and spoke in English (and then translated to Mandarin as needed). It was so nice to hear an English speaker!

- The theme of the week was “Joyful Service.” Over and over again, I thought to myself, If this is what unbelievers think, why is it so hard for Christians to live? They addressed issues such as burn-out, team tension, communication, and attitude.

- We watched a video called the “FISH” story. This video highlighted the importance of an enthusiastic workplace, and made 4 points: have fun, make their day, be there, and choose your attitude. It really encouraged us to think about the ripple effects of what we do every day. We are impacting lives, and we have a short 5 days to do it. Also, how can we keep our work more enjoyable?

- One area God showed to me this week involved my responses. I need to “choose” my responses before I need them, so I have a battle plan and know how to answer in the moment. I am excited to see how God will change me in this area.

Teamwork!
- We enjoyed several activities which cultivated and strengthened our team work. I would share more specifics, but I’m saving these for when I come home. Though all the teams had different dynamics and strengths, I couldn’t help but be grateful for my amazing team. Our leader is selfless and encouraging. -Really, the only thing that she could improve would be to know Christ as her Saviour.

All in all, I felt greatly encouraged by the support of the HTC Foundation Leadership team, and I felt refreshed as a teacher. I am so grateful!

A Fellow Laborer and Bondservant,
Barbara J. Sutton