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華語宣教事工 – Mandarin Speaking Ministry in Dubuque
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Faith as a “Journey”
— the faith of Abraham, Sarah, Jesus)
Faith is a “journey” with God
Faith involves movement and change: mind, body, spirit. Common words heard or felt as the journey begins are “Go…”, “Come…”, “Follow me…” It’s never about remaining static. It’s a “relationship” with God. It’s described as a “call.”
It’s about following a path or a “way” or “centering” in God. It ALWAYS leads to transformation — both personal and societal. Christian community is not a gathering of saints who already have a ticket to heaven; it is a gathering of people seeking encouragement for the journey.
For the first Christ-followers Baptism signified dying to Roman cultural values (peace through violent victory, male social/cultural dominance) and being born into God’s values (peace through non-violent justice, compassion as a core value)
Faith is an invitation to collaborate with God to make this world a better place, a place where everyone has enough, and no one lives in fear. “Heaven’s in great shape; earth is where the problems are.” Jesus’ “shorthand” for this was the Kingdom of God
The journey always involves leaving, setting out, but why….?
Why did Abraham leave his home at 75? Maybe…
He was bored…
His life stunk…
He felt trapped…
He had unfinished business…a bucket list?
He was open to God’s call
In Scripture the “journey” always has direction…
From bondage to liberation
From exile to homecoming
From feeling like a nobody to realizing you matter to God
From blindness to sight
From living in the darkness to living in the light
From “conventional” values to God’s values: compassion and justice
Faith = Trust; the opposite of faith is anxiety
Faith = Fidelity/Faithfulness; the opposite of faith is infidelity/unfaithfulness; adultery and idolatry
Faith = Seeing God as gracious, supportive, nourishing. Opposite of faith is seeing God as threatening, hostile, indifferent
Faith is about looking for God; expecting to see God and finding God nearby everyday in neighbor and nature. “God isn’t far away from any of us. For in God we live, move, and exist.” (Acts 17:27,28)
Faith as “Believing
(The MODERN View)
• Majority view among USA Protestant Christians… It is the most prevalent view of faith portrayed in the media
• Faith = believing in the “right” things. It’s really important to get it right! Having correct beliefs is a pre-requisite for personal salvation/getting to heaven. That’s a big motivator for coming to church! The opposite of faith is doubt or disbelief
• This leads to occasional “litmus” tests/loyalty oaths about beliefs. It’s important to be clear about who is “in” and who is “out”
• Foundational for this view are particular beliefs about the Bible — it is the infallible, “inerrant” Word of God — therefore it is free from errors
• The Bible is literally true and is factual in all matters
• This view of Scripture is the foundation of the generations-old evolution vs. creation controversy that is so prominent in the history of American education.
• The majority of American Protestant Christians think that science must be denied whenever it conflicts with a literal understanding of something in the Bible
• More than half of American Protestant Christians belong to churches that teach that the Genesis stories of creation are literally true, thus they believe that the universe and the earth are less than ten thousand years old. The most commonly cited date is 4004 B.C.
• Literal reading of certain Biblical texts has at times been cited as the basis for both restricting church leadership opportunities as well as opposition to the expansion of cultural/civil rights to: people of color, women, anyone who has been divorced, homosexuals, persons with disabilities
• These are “MODERN” views. “Fundamentalism,” the movement which emphasizes these views began in the USA around 1910
Moses & Tina
Samuel, Grace, Joshua
Rev. Moses Wu & Tina Lee
牧會十年後的2001年，有感於進修的必要性，便在我太太的鼓勵下來到美國，並在University of Dubuque Theological Seminary取得宗教文學碩士的學位，然後回台灣繼續牧養上帝的教會和子民。我們都認為這就是上帝要我們所做的。然而，在2013年，祂再次帶領我們回到Dubuque，不僅讓我太太取得宣教學碩士的學位，也讓我們看見祂的呼召及此地華人的需要，並在我們難以抉擇時讓我們看見祂豐盛的預備，這些預備促使我們留在德必克城，開啟此地華人宣教事工。
Wu’s Faith Journey
Taiwan, Formosa - the beautiful island, is my country and it shaped my faith. My ancestors believed in Jesus because the medical missionaries evangelized while healing their people. I am the fifth generation of Christians. I believe that God's grace has carried our faith in Jesus. When I was a little boy, I grew up attending every church event I could along with my brother. This had a powerful impact on both our decisions to serve as pastors.
When I graduated from seminary in 1991, I went to serve a church in central Taiwan, where I met my wife. We married in 1998 and my wife became a great companion for my ministry. She came to know the Lord while studying at Christ College and was baptized soon after. At the time, her family did not know the Lord and she prayed for them. On Easter 2009, her mother and two younger brothers were baptized.
After I served a church for ten years, in the year 2001, I felt a call to study more so my wife encouraged me to come to the United States. I earned my Master of Arts in Religion at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Following my graduation, we returned to Taiwan to serve a church. We felt that was God's call but in 2013, he brought us back to Dubuque again. My wife earned her Master of Arts in Missional Christianity at UDTS and soon, God led us to see a need among the Chinese-speaking people of Dubuque. We struggled greatly to decide whether we would return to Taiwan, but we believe that God was opening doors for us to serve here. This was the genesis of the Chinese-speaking ministry.
Joshua 24:15 "As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." This verse was printed in our wedding bulletin, in order to remind and encourage us to serve the Lord together. Now, even though we are serving in the midst of a different place and people, we continue to serve the Lord together. We are glad that our children (Samuel, 17 years old, Joshua, 14 years old, and Grace, 12 years old) are serving the Lord along with us. May the Lord bless the Chinese-speaking ministry in Dubuque. Amen.