St. Stephen’s Church in wet and rainy Keelung is always buzzing with life and activity ~ and Saturday was no different, YES! It may have been yet another wet and horrible day outside, but oh, so warm and inviting inside! Yep, Keelung is famous for its rain, so on Saturday, while the sun shone over Taipei and all places south, sadly there was no sun for us. In fact it was foggy, drizzly and damp all day long – although this was the romantic scene at Keelung Harbour as I passed by…..
So on a rainy day ~ what better place to go, than St. Stephen’s Church?
I’d been invited there to meet their youth group for an hour on Saturday afternoon. They have a youth group meeting midweek for fun and games. Saturday afternoons are for those who have already made a commitment to follow Christ and are serious about their faith. They may not yet be baptized, since such a decision is huge and best done with the blessing of their parents, but they are committed, and some of them were able to take part in a church mission trip last summer to Sabah, E. Malaysia. The group is run by the vicar, Rev. Julia Lin Shu-Hua 林淑華牧師 and their staff member, Ms. Huang Min 黃敏 and other church members and friends.
The last time I went to St. Stephen’s was with Raj Patel, Regional Manager for Asia at Church Mission Society (CMS) HQ in Oxford, when he came to visit last September – his visit coinciding with a typhoon. So we visited St. Stephen’s on a day when all the schools were officially closed for the typhoon, but as the typhoon had already gone and the weather vastly improved, all the children could come and meet us. (A report of that visit is included in my blog post here). This time, my visit was to share with the group about CMS, mission and missionaries…. ah, yes, what fun we had!
For your info, I showed them this 7-minute video about CMS – it’s good, check it out!
It introduces CMS ministry in Tanzania, Argentina, UK and Nepal ~ and we found them on a map. Faith, a Bible and a map are some of the essentials of mission life. Then we looked at some photos of Tanzania and life there….
And then we had great fun making a group photo!
So please pray for these young people, their families, their faith and commitment. After I left, they had another hour of an ‘Evangelism Explosion’ Course. And then preparing for the Sunday service. They are full of enthusiasm and serious about their faith. May God bless them and all at St. Stephen’s Church!
A final thought – faith, Bible and a map may be important for mission, but in Keelung there’s another necessity required too – definitely don’t go there without an umbrella!