To my brothers and sisters in Christ in China Lutheran Church
Greetings in Jesus Name. First of alii praise and thank God with you for His mercies to all of us that He has brought us to this milestone of the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of China Lutheran Church in Taiwan.
Surely He has blessed with many souls coming to Christ during these past 50 years and we look to Him to continue to bless and bring many more souls to Himself until He returns again. We pray that those who have put their trust in Him will grow day by day in grace and knowledge of Him and be faithful in their witness in living for Him each day.
I praise and thank God that my husband Charles and I and our children had the privilege of serving Him in Taiwan. We arrived by ship into Keelung Harbor in August of 1963. We were met by our missionary colleagues and several sisters in Christ from New Life Lutheran Church in Taipei. when the Sisters presented us with a beautiful bouquet of flowers I wanted to thank them and asked our colleagues how to say thank you in Chinese.
They told me and when I repeated it to the sisters they were amused at my first attempt at speaking Chinese. So my first Chinese words after arriving in Taiwan were "Hsieh Hsieh!" We enrolled in the Chinese Language Institute in Taipei where we studied Mandarin Chinese. This was a year of transition for our family and we were thankful to God for all those who helped us to adjust to living in another country and culture. Our next 13 years were spent in the town of Miaoli and Miaoli County. Those were very precious years serving the churches of Miaoli County located in Lung Kang,
TungHsiao, Chunan and Miaoli. Each Sunday my husband would be in a different church sharing God's Word and Holy Communion. I remember the beginning of the China Lutheran Seminary. The first year our student body consisted of the evangelists from each of our churches in our Synod and those from our co-operating Finnish Lutheran, and two Norwegian Lutheran Missions.
My personal experience of doing visitation in Chinese homes in Miaoli with Pastor and Mrs. Su and also with Mrs. Geng from our Miaoli Church and also with Ruth Tai were a great blessing to me. Each Friday afternoon we would have a Women's Bible Study at Miaoli Church (which had been started years earlier by Missionary Ruth Nyhus) and I would attend. Teacher Ruth Tai would lead these meetings. She faithfully taught God's Word to us and it helped and encouraged us to grow closer to God. I also met many wonderful students through my English conversation classes in later years. The next 14 years were spent in Taoyuan where we continued a work which had been started by Rev. and Mrs. Chang from Everlasting Life Lutheran Church in another part of Taoyuan and also Missionary and Mrs.
Otto Valder who worked in TaNan, Taoyuan County This led to the beginning of Ren Ai Chapel which later became Ren Ai Church. We had students from China Lutheran Seminary who would come on the weekends and help with Children's meetings. In later years we also had help from ShengTe Christian College in ChungLi. All these student helpers would come on Saturday and stay overnight at our home, and help with Sunday School and Church on Sunday morning. They would also eat with us. We had many good times together. In addition to this in later years we also began a Support Group for parents who had a child in their family that had a disability. We saw this as a need to encourage these families. It was also an outreach in Jesus Name to let them know that God loved them and wanted them to turn to Him and love Him too. These meetings were held once a month on a Sunday afternoon in our home. Our student helpers would also help with this.
We invited someone each time to come and speak to the group sharing information and encouragement in the care of their child. Sometimes we had a Christian person with a disability be the speaker. We also learned to know many of the people in our community and still have contact with several of them. As I look back on those years I'm so thankful that God gave us the opportunity to spend that time serving Him in Taiwan. God has put a love in my heart for the Chinese people. My husband Charles went to be with the Lord in November of 1998. I now live in Roseville, Minnesota with my daughter Ruth and her two sons ShangWen and WuNian.
We attend a Chinese Church so I continue to have the opportunity to fellowship and worship with Chinese people. Your Sister in Christ, Orvella M. Batchelder Bai ShrMu
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