Since our last journal, many friends have asked us, “Where do you live now? What are you doing? When will you, Emerson, retire? Why are you going to Macau and what is a MPT?”
Praise the Lord! He sent a buyer for our house so that we could sell it within a short time and pay the debt. The first time we went to look at a 700 square foot apartment we were shocked by the size of the space because our minds were not ready to downsize from a four bedroom house to a two bedroom apartment, but right now a two-bed room apartment is where we live. Although we have given away many things, we still have boxes of books and Bibles that occupy much of our space. Though space is very limited, we are learning to live within it. When we go to Macau, the living space there will be much smaller than we have now.
Emerson is employed as an IT manager; he volunteers for Bridges International (an Ohio State campus ministry) and teaches youth Sunday School at the Taiwanese church. Ivy also volunteers for Bridges International as a Bible study teacher and pastors the Taiwanese church. As endorsed missionaries, we are presently in the process of fundraising. We need to raise commitments for about 70% of our personalized support goal (PSG) to move to the next step as appointed missionaries. The committed gift (contribution) for PSG means a regular and ongoing gift (monthly, quarterly or annually). One time contributions will be used for start up expenses but do not count as committed contribution for the PSG because they do not provide for our support need on an ongoing basis. Friends asked me when I will be retired. It will be God’s timing. When the Lord provides the resources for 70% of our PSG I will retire to move on as an appointed missionary. When we are appointed, we will start security training, culture training, and prepare to go to Macau. When commitments of support for the PSG reach 100%, we will be commissioned and sent out to Macau.
Why Macau? “The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”” (Genesis 12:1) This same God has prepared and equipped us to go through education and serving, especially in the past 5 years. Last summer, He surprisingly helped us to sell the house quickly. And now, He is leading us to a place we have never been. Macau is three small islands located west of Hong Kong, one-hour's distance by ferry. The population density is at the top of the list for the world. The living cost is very comparable to that of San Francisco. Macau is called “Las Vegas in Asia”. Since it is connected to Mainland China, hundreds of thousands of visitors from China flood in for its world-famous gambling casinos every year. Addictions to drugs, alcohol and gambling along with crime and prostitution are rampant. In this small, congested region less than 0.8% of the population is Christian (4,000 of 0.5 million), and the visitors who come to Macau are looking for money, lust and leisure... Most of the people live in darkness and without hope. God calls us to present His light to the people in Macau. We will partner with the ECF (Evangelize China Fellowship) organization. This organization has a church called Grace Chapel and an orphanage. Our main ministries will involve church ministries, such as preaching on Saturday and Sunday, outreach to youth and college students and the orphanage’s after-school program. Your participation for this mission support will allow you to extend your ministry to Macau.
On January 7, 2012, Mrs. Ruthie Stevenson from International Ministries came to our church, Karl Road Baptist church, to conduct the Mission Partnership Team (MPT) orientation. In His grace, the Lord has called seven people to walk by our sides to assist us in not only our preparation to go, but also in continuing to support our ministry in prayer, communication, fundraising, pastoral care, and building a network of additional friends in the US after we go to Macau.Please pray for the Lord to lead us and prepare our hearts for the coming vision trip to Macau on 2/27/2012 to 3/5/2012. Also please pray that the Lord would raise up a strong team of prayer and financial partners for us.