The Lintons, Taipei, TAIWAN
Dear praying friends,
We have a lot to share with you, but we'll try to make it short. Our family is doing well, and our new baby, Ashlyn, born in December is a bit more peaceful than her sisters were at that age. Her Chinese name sounds like the Chinese word for "sweet heart," and she really is. That is a blessing from God, because we have never been so exhausted in our lives as we have been this Spring with all our work. We have two other babies that demand our time (not Faith and Charis, they are already become beautiful little girls).
Baby #1: The church plant in Taipei, New Hope Christian Fellowship, that we helped to start last year. It is growing strong now and ready to be "particularized." (If your not familiar with that word, it means that it grows up and becomes independent and completely responsible for itself. It will be governed by a group of teaching and ruling elders.) I've helped with all kinds of things this past year: planning, preparing, preaching, teaching, counseling, training, leading music, starting home fellowship groups, doing outreaches, making bulletins, learning and setting up the sound system.
SOMETHING every Christian should be aware of: In starting a church, a few people do everything. But it will not be a healthy church if it stays that way. Happily, now we have many willing hands who have gladly taken from us some of the tasks. I'll have to write more later. One area of service in the church I want to mention: Hospitality. Judy has been an essential help, especially Judy and I have had some good chances to counsel younger couples in marriage and family. Many of these opportunities came through hospitality, us having people over and serving them led to them opening up and sharing and asking questions and seeking help spiritually. Hospitality is a real ministry and leads to other ministries. (1 Peter 4:9)
Baby #2: Judy's CD and evangelistic outreaches connected to it. (And the release of Judy's autobiography connected with it...) As I write this today, we are preparing for a big outreach concert tonight. Like the others we have had in Kaoshiung City, Hsin Chu City and many places in Taipei, Judy sings and shares her testimony, and I preach a short Gospel message. Many opportunities have come about because of the release of Judy's album, "You Are My Most Beloved." I think some of you at church have it. If not, you can hear a sample on the website, www.judylinton.com (another little project of mine).
I am especially
proud of my wife because I saw the whole process and it was a long, and
very hard road to get here. And the most exciting news is that here in
Taiwan, Judy has won a Golden Melody Award for her album, (equivalent
to a Grammy in Chinese language music). It has led to so many more
opportunities, including radio and television interviews. The great
thing, is that a lot of times even on secular programs in addition to
talking about her music, they ask about her faith. Almost two weeks
ago, Judy went on the Tao-dze's talk show. Who is Tao-dze? She's the
Joan Rivers/Opra Winfrey of Taiwan. She was also the host of the
Golden Melody Awards ceremony in Taipei. Before the radio progam, this
lady had already actually read Judy's whole, book, and then the tone of
her questioning was about Judy's faith in God! What a wonderful
One of the greatest things is that through the concerts, books and CD's we are able to aid Christians in their personal evangelism of their friends. They are buying CD's and books to give to non-Christian family members and friends. One professor of 19th Century English Literature at a university in Taipei has started buying Judy's books to give out to every one of her students when they graduate. We're so thankful to be able to be a tool in the hands of Christians.
And by the way, we are starting to see the beginnings of some kind of change in family attitudes in our circles in Taiwan from Judy's book and Biblical perspective on family and children. Taiwanese couples who stopped at one child because kids are considered troublesome and expensive, are now rethinking. One couple told us they were going to try to have another baby because of Judy's influence. May the Biblical worldview take hold in this land.
For Judy's agenda in the next few months, besides trying to rest, she'll be finishing up the English version of her autobiography and then perhaps begin work on a book on family and raising children.
Anyway, we feel tired and overwhelmed but are trying to make the most of every opportunity.
We'll stop with that for now.
God bless you all and thank you for your partnership.
Joel, Judy, Faith, Charis and Ashlyn
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|----update added 6/1/04: The Saturday concert was well attended by several hundred people including our neighborhood seal carver, his daughter and two of her friends (who are not Christians). Please pray for their salvation. On Sunday I preached and Judy sang and Nankang Grace Church. In my sermon I preached from Matthew 6:31-33 and Romans 3:20-25, and spent some time explaining sin. One lady said she was going to use how I explained sin to speak to one of her relatives she would be visiting in the hospital later that day. He is very sick, but thinks he is a good man and not a sinners, so Jesus will accept him. (Please pray that he will see his need for the Savior.) In the afternoon, Judy performed at a benefit concert in Taipei for Taiwan Aboriginal Children Christian orphanage in Kaoshiung. This week we're getting ready for the short-term mission team coming from the USA on June 4th.------|