Posted by: pastorjohannes | November 6, 2008

finishing 2009 – starting 2010

2009 is coming to an end and 2010 is beginning. Much happened this year: my 4 months sabbatical with trips to Germany and Israel, growth at Dayspring Church and the beginning of a major restructure. Finally I visited Vancouver for a Chinese Conference and preached at Riverlife Church in Singapore. Katharina made big progress with her violin play and Andreas is becoming a skilled basketball player. December 27th we will have one more baptism in the church, which adds up to 22 people having been baptist in our church this year – praise the Lord! What will the next year bring? On my heart are the following things: for family: kids progress in their German language. Family life: a healthy balance between work/ministry and rest. Ministry: continue restructuring of the church, so that we can move into the next phase of church growth with strength, joy and knowing that God is building His Church!

DSC03321November 2009. This month I will preach in the North of Taiwan (Zhong Li), and then in Singapore at Riverlife Church. Katharina is getting ready for her first major violin performance of a Vivaldi Sonata with Mom on the piano. It is a student concert in one of the best music halls in town. With the church we are getting ready for Christmas. It is always a chance to invite new friends. We will have Christmas events for kids, youth and adults. Last Sunday we had 7 people getting baptized. So, church is still continuing to grow.

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 Canada: Chinese Gathering in Vancouver. I met old friends and made new friends. Meeting with my spiritual father, Pastor Gideon Chiu and Pastor David Demian (see pictures) was a great joy. I joined the worship team, playing saxophone, and witnessed how God spoke to a large Chinese crowd of Christians from all over the world. The message came quite clear, namely that Chinese Christians are called to rise up in unity and play their part in such a time as this as the gospel is moving towards Muslim and Arab countries. I felt a confirmation of why God led me to Taiwan and kept me here since then. These 10 days I also reconnected with friends from the time when I studied in Canada, now more than 13 years ago.

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August 2009:  The new virus hit us finally as a family and as a church. Andreas and Katharina are both at home with fever and need to spend 7 days isolated. Same for us as parents. I am working from home and even on SUnday I will share a message via video and will speak to the church on Skype, using the internet.

Recently, a big Taifun swept over Taiwan with many people dead or missing, villages buried in mud and no tab-water for several days, due to dirty ground water. Our church sent 65 people to help villages in the south clean up houses and schools. A reminder of the fragility of life! We were protected and experienced “only” the inconvenience of having no water for 5 days – a good lesson for us all on the importance of clean water! 

MINISTRY.  I am looking ahead to some major challenges in our ministry. Since we moved to our new facilities, we learned to deal with a wider range of tasks, like facility management and restructuring of ministries due to our growth. We still run one youth service on Saturday evening and 2 adult services on Sunday morning. 

A new challenge ahead is that our children Pastor (Ps. Christine) is taking a one year break. In addition, our youth leader Annette gave birth to her 2nd child and will be taking a break from active ministry soon. Recently, I decided to coach our Praise and Worship team since there are big needs especially in the area of piano and group dynamic. Having said that, it means that I will be involved in almost every ministry at least for the next few months. It is a chance to unify children, youth and adult vision at Dayspring Church. It is also a challenge to improve my leadership skills and focus on my gifts, while getting my coworkers involved in those areas where I need support. 

FAMILY. This summer, Katharina and Andreas used our time in Tainan to take swimming lessons and to study every day German with me. We used the early morning hours before I go to the office.  Katharina just bought a bigger size violin and has a new violin teacher. Her old teacher moved to Canada and so we decided to send her to one of the top teachers in town. I hope with this investment to open the door for her to go towards a more professional vision with her music. Wei-Chao is also preparing for some recording with a violinist in September. As for me, I started again to play soccer on Wednesday night with a team of foreigners. With this kind of exercise, my body feels much better, and I am not getting tired as easy. We love our kids, but honestly, it is a tuff time and there are many days where I feel exhausted and could use a bit more encouragement and help. On the other hand, I know that this is a crucial time to invest into the character and future of our children. This is why one of my great desires is to bring them back to Germany during their holidays. This is the only way to grow up with not just a Taiwanese background, but also to benefit of their identity of being German. Growing up with 2 cultures and learning the best from both, could be a very powerful foundation for their whole life.

Balancing family and ministry will be the key for our lives. Please pray for us. We need every help and encouragement that is possible! Thank you,  Johannes!

Posted by: pastorjohannes | November 11, 2008

Prayer Requests

Please pray for:

  • healthy and godly family life: setting an example in our marriage and the upbringing and education of our children.
  • our leadership of Dayspring Church: leading the church towards her next level; serving my staff to grow in their ministries; …
  • God using us as a family, so that ministry will go in harmony with our family relationships.
  • Our children’s language progress, especially their German!
  • Our vision to build a base for our family in Germany

Thank you all for your prayers. It will make a difference in my life and the Kingdom of God!

Posted by: pastorjohannes | November 9, 2008

Our story: 13 years in Taiwan

Wei Chao and Johannes met in Germany. They both studied music in Munich. After graduating with a degree in music education, Johannes moved to Vancouver, Canada. He studied at Regent College and finished his Master of Divinity in 1996. Meanwhile, Wei-Chao concluded her music studies in Germany. 1994 we got married at Church of Zion in Vancouver. After Johannes’ ordination by Rev. Dr. Gideon Chiu, we  both moved to Taiwan and started our ministry.

Johannes served as a youth pastor and praise and worship coordinator at a local Presbyterian Church. Wei Chao started teaching piano at the theological seminary and 2 other universities. 1999 our first daughter, Katharina, was born in the midst of a major transition. February 2000 we started a new church with 8 young people in our living room. The church didn’t have a name yet, but it grew fast. Johannes worked part time at the National Cheng Kung University as a teacher for German language. He also taught piano lessons, since there was no cover or support for our church plant. However, God blessed our naiveté and soon we had to rent a small shop to hold worship services with about 30 people. Finally the name of the church was revealed through special circumstances: Tainan Dayspring Church.

End of 2000 the church grew to 60 people and we rented another facility. Children Sunday School and youth groups were established. We employed our first coworker, and Johannes gave up all other work to concentrate on church ministry. In December 2001 our son, Andreas, was born and at the same time we had to move again. This time the church grew from 80 to 250 people as we used bigger facilities for about 6 years. More staff was added and our structure matured with cell groups and a Saturday night youth service. 2008 was the year of another big project. We are now located in a large newly designed semi basement, with worship hall, library, children playground, coffee bar, etc. Our vision was to build a place where families feel comfortable and can enjoy fellowship, teaching and inner growth. God connected us with many other pastors and churches from all over the world, like Singapore, Canada, USA, Malaysia, Israel, etc. 

Our children are currently attending a Taiwanese primary school. However, learning German and practicing musical instruments is part of their weekly schedule as well. We try to balance family life with ministry and with fostering the relationships with our parents, relatives and friends. May God write many more chapters in our life, for His glory’s sake.

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