Matt was recently appointed to a new role in Baptist Mid-Missions as the Asia-Pacific Field Administrator. However, this ministry will be based out of Taiwan, rather than returning to work from the Home Office in Cleveland, OH. His region of oversight extends geographically from Russia to the southern tip of New Zealand; it includes India, South-East Asia, the Far East, Oceania, and Australia, and it incorporates several Creative Access nations.
The focus of this new ministry is to provide encouragement, spiritual care, and oversight to the BMM missionaries in this region. By remaining geographically close to these missionaries, he will be better able to understand and minister to their needs.
Matt & Marla’s local church planting ministry in Taiwan will continue. While there will be some adjustments to their local responsibilities, they plan to remain vitally involved in the ongoing growth and development of Cornerstone Baptist Church, Kaohsiung Taiwan.
Jesus reminded his disciples that he who would be greatest must be servant of all. In the economy of God’s kingdom, we move up by going down. Greatness is not measured by how many people serve us, but by how many people we serve. Please pray for Matt and Marla as they elevate their level of service to God’s choice missionary servants.
Our June prayer letter is now posted online for your viewing pleasure.
Our daughter, Rose, graduated Friday from Bob Jones University with a degree in Biblical Counselling. Congratulations Rose!
Rose Hanna BJU Grad, May 6, 2016. Click the image for more photos.
A lot of good things are happening in our church and in our family right now, which is to say, A LOT IS HAPPENING! This means that Marla and I are facing extra stress and have greater need of your prayers at this particular time. We have posted a new prayer letter on our Prayer Letter page to keep you informed about the prayer needs for our family and church congregation. At your convenience please read it, print it, and share it.
Cornerstone Baptist Church’s future building location
Cornerstone Baptist Church’s future building location
This morning at about 4 a.m. local time, Marla and I were awakened from sleep by a strong earthquake. Here is the official notice sent out by AIT (the American Institute in Taiwan is the Taiwan equivalent of the US consulate):
On February 6 at around 4:00am, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake and series of aftershocks – centered in the Tainan and Kaohsiung areas – struck Taiwan. In Tainan, some buildings have collapsed, closing adjoining streets and causing local flooding.
There were no reports of damage in the DzwoYing district (where we live) or elsewhere in the greater Kaohsiung area. However, deaths and injuries have been reported in the city of Tainan, which is about 45 minutes north of our area. Here is one news report which was posted this morning:
Strong quake hits Taiwan, killing 3; 221 rescued from rubble
Thank you for praying for us.
Dengue fever is an annual problem in Southern Taiwan, but this year there has been a higher incidence of people affected by this mosquito borne disease than usual. The China Post reports in an article found here, that since May there have been over eighteen thousand confirmed cases and 90 deaths in Kaohsiung alone. In our church, one church member and two family-members of church members have contracted the illness this year. Although it is a painful illness, it is not usually fatal; those who succumb most often have other underlying health conditions that make them more susceptible. Pray for God’s continuing providential care in our lives and in the lives of our church families.
Recap of 2015
Our 2015 Christmas Prayer Letter is now available for viewing, downloading, or printing. Thank you for your prayers, letters, and financial gifts.
Merry Christmas 2015!
We’ve posted a short video report of our 2015 ministry here.
The following article was actually written more than seven years ago, when this topic was a burning issue in my own heart and mind. However, it remained unpublished till now. Since we presently have two new missionary families with us at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Kaohsiung, I feel that the time has come to dust off this article and make it available to others. My only claims to authority for writing such an article are 1) twenty-five years of personal missionary experience 2) informed by Scripture and 3) wide reading in missions literature.
Here is the first paragraph. Follow the link to read the whole article.
What is Culture Shock?
Culture shock can occur when any individual is transplanted into a foreign culture for an extended period of time. It is not only a subjective feeling, but also a real, objective psychological experience. Culture shock is the disorientation that a person experiences when all of the familiar cultural landmarks he uses to navigate social relationships and to function in society are moved or removed. These cultural landmarks are learned at a very young age and are unconsciously held (for the most part). The more different the new (host) culture is from the individual’s birth culture, the more severely culture shock will be felt. For instance, a person from a Western culture (England, Western Europe, the United States, Australia, etc.) will face greater culture shock when entering an Asian or Middle-Eastern nation (and vice-versa) than when entering a nation with a culture similar to his own. A person in the process of adjustment to a new culture will pass through four stages: the honeymoon period, culture shock, cultural adaptation, and bi-cultural facility.
Our fall prayer letter is now posted online and available for viewing, downloading, and printing.
Fall 2015 Prayer Letter