Welcome!

The Hanna family (Matt, Marla, Luke, Rose, and Beth) have served with Baptist Mid-Missions as missionaries to the island nation of Taiwan since 1987. Explore the links at the top of this page to learn about our family, field, and ministry.

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Did You Know?

  1. ...that Kaohsiung Harbor is the third largest container shipping port in the world?
  2. ...that Kaohsiung's Tuntex Sky Tower is ranked 15th tallest building in the world?
  3. ...that Taiwan is the 2nd most densely populated country in the world after Bangladesh?
  4. ...that Taipei 101 was the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 2004 and is currently ranked 2nd tallest?

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Profile Photos
Cornerstone BC 10th Anniversary Service
Summer Camp July 2014
VBS August 2014
July 20, 2013 Super Saturday Youth Activity
Summer Camp 2013
Summer Travels
Beths Senior Pictures
Cornerstone Activities
Christmas Activities 2011

Dec 15

Dengue Fever outbreak

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.

Dec 5

Christmas Prayer Letter

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.

Dec 4

Missionary Video Report

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas 2015!

Merry Christmas!

We’ve posted a short video report of our 2015 ministry here.

Sep 25

Culture Shock and Missionary Failure

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 However, it remained unpublished till now.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.

read more…

Sep 8

Fall Prayer Letter

Our fall prayer letter is now posted online and available for viewing, downloading, and printing.

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Fall 2015 Prayer Letter

Aug 9

Typhoons and Other Trifles

We haven’t blown away. Typhoon Soudelor made international headlines when it struck Taiwan on Saturday. It was a powerful storm with strong winds and torrential rain that passed directly through the middle of the island. The weather channel reported that one location in the mountains NE of Taipei received 52 inches of rain. Another report declared that Taiwan experienced winds of 142 mph. One of the more interesting things that I read was that six huge wind turbines in Taichung were toppled by the storm. Here are some headlines from around the web:

Typhoon Soudelor Kills 6 in Taiwan and Leaves Millions Without Power

Typhoon Soudelor Impacts: At Least 6 Killed, 4 Missing In Taiwan; Record-Breaking Power Outages Recorded

Typhoon Soudelor hits China after sweeping across Taiwan

In our neighborhood of Kaohsiung many trees, fences, and signs are down or blown away. The roads are littered with trash. However, for us personally the storm passed uneventfully. We held church services as usual on Sunday morning and none of our people were injured or suffered serious loss. The major problems were leaky homes from the heavy rain and a few air conditioner window coverings that were blown out by the force of the wind. Marla and I read yesterday during our Bible reading: “Praise the Lord from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word:” (Ps. 148:7-8). We have an awesome God!

Beth’s Final Cambodia Report

On an unrelated note, here is a copy of our daughter’s final report about her ministry in Cambodia this summer. Read and enjoy.

Beth's Cambodia Update

Beth’s Cambodia Update

Jun 30

Beth’s Mission Report

Beth has just returned to us in Taiwan after spending 6 weeks with Mary and Hubert Broeckert in Cambodia, learning the ropes of medical missions. Here is her Cambodia Update letter, which she sent out before her return to Taiwan. THANK YOU to each church and individual who helped support her ministry with your gifts and prayers.

Beth's Cambodia Update

Beth’s Cambodia Update

Jun 10

A Little Lower Than the Angels

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Psalm 8: God, Man, Messiah. Preached at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Kaohsiung Taiwan on June 7, 2015 by Matt Hanna.

Last Sunday I preached on Psalm 8, a passage I have never before dealt with in any detail. I was taken off guard by the theological breadth and depth of its contents. I’ve read this passage dozens of times in my personal Bible reading over the years, but never got past a mere surface appreciation for its meaning and significance.That has now changed.

This Psalm is only 9 verses long, but it is surprisingly full. Although it is not technically identified as a “Messianic Psalm”, it is quoted four times in the NT and each time it is directly applied to Christ. Many other NT passages allude to its themes indirectly as well. Additionally, the psalmist himself quotes from and alludes to the Creation account of Genesis in multiple places.

It has been such a blessing to me personally to prepare and preach this message that I have decided to post my sermon notes here for anyone else who might be interested in reading them.

May 22

May 2015 Prayer Letter

Cornerstone Baptist Church 10th Anniversary

Cornerstone Baptist Church 10th Anniversary

Our newest prayer letter is now available for viewing and printing here (or go to STAYING IN TOUCH >> OUR PRAYER LETTERS on the drop-down menu for this and previous letters).

Please pray for us and for the growth of Christ’s Church in Taiwan.

Apr 23

Tenth Anniversary of Cornerstone Baptist Church

CBC 10th Anniversary

CBC 10th Anniversary

On Sunday April 19, 2015 we celebrated our tenth anniversary as a church.

History of Cornerstone Baptist Church

In July 2002, American missionaries Matt and Marla Hanna moved their family to the DzwoYing District of Kaohsiung with the goal of planting a new Baptist Church. With God’s help and leading, and with assistance from Emily Luo and other members of Freedom Baptist Church (Feng Shan), they began holding weekly children’s Bible clubs in neighborhood parks and in the first floor of their home. Their rented house at BoAi 4th Road #150 was a five story storefront building right in the heart of Kaohsiung’s most-rapidly developing district.

After making friendships in the community and distributing thousands of invitations and gospel tracts, they held the very first worship service of Cornerstone Chapel on September 9, 2002. Nine people attended that first service. Worship services were conducted every Sunday morning on the first floor, while the pastor and his family lived upstairs during the week. On Sunday evenings, Pastor Hanna held an English worship service followed by an English conversation and Bible class to give the gospel and develop new contacts. Grace Yen was one of the first people to attend our English worship service. Children’s Bible club was held every Friday afternoon.

By July 2003, the first floor storefront could no longer contain the growing number of people attending our Sunday worship services. In order to accommodate more seating, the auditorium was moved upstairs to the building’s second floor. First floor was converted to a church nursery and office space for the pastor.

Through the clear preaching of the word of God, the people grew in their understanding of the Bible’s teaching about the local church. On April 17, 2005 the congregation held an organizational meeting to establish itself as an independent Baptist Church. Twenty-two individuals voted to receive the Church Constitution and Doctrinal Statement. Then, each person signed his or her name to the Church Covenant as a founding member of the church. Finally, the church voted to receive Pastor Hanna as their first pastor and voted for the first deacons and other church officers.

During this period of time, DzwoYing District was growing up around the church. The Number 10 Freeway was completed in 2005. New apartment buildings began springing up everywhere throughout the neighborhood. Then, in 2007 the new Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) and Kaoshiung subway system (KMRT) also began operation in a new station just a few blocks from the church. Because of the church’s high profile location, visitors frequently appeared in our worship services and other meetings. The church continued to experience God’s blessings as individuals trusted Christ, received baptism, and joined the church.

In 2007 the church reached a weekly average attendance of 70 people. By this time, the church was using three floors of our building and the pastor’s family had moved to an apartment nearby. We began praying for God to provide a larger meeting location for our church congregation. God answered our prayers in an amazing way. At just the right time, the building directly adjacent became available for rent. It was a corner property with five floors and a large basement. Furthermore, it was more than double the size of our previous building and could seat over 100 people in the second floor auditorium. The whole church mobilized to help clean and prepare the building for use, and on March 29, 2009 we held the first worship service in our present location at BoAi 4th Road #152.

Since the church’s inception, its ministries have slowly expanded in every area. These ministries include children’s and adult Sunday School, Children’s Church, weekly youth fellowship meetings, mid-week prayer meetings, ladies’ bi-weekly Bible Study, and choir. Special evangelistic outreach ministries are conducted at Christmas and on other occasions. Summer and winter youth camp and children’s VBS are also annual events on our church calendar. The church now supports seven foreign and domestic missionaries and gospel organizations that extend our ministry around the world.

As Cornerstone Baptist Church has grown, God has given us many godly pastors, missionaries, and co-workers to help minister to the spiritual needs of our congregation. In 2006, Singaporean missionary Dolly Wong began attending Cornerstone. She provided training and leadership to many different ministries, including children’s ministries, ladies’ Bible study and choir, until her return to Singapore in 2015. From 2006 to 2008 Tad and Hannah Wychopen came to work with our youth group, which grew tremendously under their leadership. At the same time, missionaries Pat and Mary Delaney also came and spent two years working with our congregation. Others who have contributed to our church ministry include Yoh Shirato, David and Shirley Marsteller, Sam Hung, Keith and Jeanette Cullers, Hsu YiShin, Mark Lehman, and Grace and Henry Tsuei. God has truly blessed us with godly leaders and co-workers.

As we celebrate our tenth anniversary, Cornerstone Baptist Church stands at a crossroads. It is becoming plain that we cannot remain in our present location much longer. We are praying that God will provide a suitable building in the DzwoYing area for us to rent or purchase, so that our ministry to one another and to the lost might continue to increase. As God has blessed and led us in the past, we believe and expect him to lead us in the next steps of our journey. May God help us to be faithful in fulfilling his purposes for us as a church: to glorify God, to build up Christ’s body, the church, and to testify to the world of God’s salvation in Christ!

 

Sunday, April 19, 2015