May 2023 RCMI Newsletter
Carpenter's House in Kaohsiung and RCMI Join Hands
Carpenter's House Is Overcoming Obstacles
Pastor Matthew and Esther with Carpenter's House
God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land. Psalm 68:6 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; Isaiah 61:1 Carpenter's House is a society established 2005, that takes in the disadvantaged. It does not receive government assistance but was set up as an independent association. Its goal is that all who receive help will become contributing members or helpers of Carpenter's House. Listen to a "Love Story" About Anna Carpenter's House wasn't able to pay salaries for many full-time workers; but a sister named Anna, a teacher who had heard about our work helping the disadvantaged, was moved by God to come every Tuesday to teach a 'story book class' to children at the House. Without a doubt, Anna is a woman beautiful inside and out -- we give her 100% for her loving heart! When she heard that our marathon fund-raiser was still short of the goal, she arranged to teach special classes (outside Carpenter's House) and donated all the proceeds!
Sister Anna -- "Another Story" Pastor Matthew Leung of Revival Christian Church, Hong Kong, recently visited Carpenter's House – Revival Christian Church, Fengshan, Gangshan, and Nanzi Branch Churches
Carpenter's House -- Revival Christian Church, Fengshan, Gangshan, and Nanzi Branch Churches
Dear Friends of RCMI, May God's peace be on you all! On our six-day visit to Carpenter's House in Kaohsiung, we noticed there had been big changes! The site they rent belongs to the Education Bureau. They've been renting it for more than ten years, but this year they were notified that because the construction of the original buildings was done without licenses, they would not be allowed to use the buildings any longer. Now the House can no longer provide on-site living accommodation for disadvantaged House members. This ruling greatly affects many sick and infirm brothers or sisters. Now they have to pool resources to rent living accommodation outside, and both the finances and the quality of life of House members have become very problematic, including their daytime work at Carpenter's House, their evening meals and baths, and their travel every day to their rented accommodations. For some members who have difficulty getting around, The (Carpenter's) House needs to provide transportation, meals, etc; or even for some, provide for nursing home stay. So whether it's the finances or all the arrangements and work, it's a huge overload! Should We Always Remain the Same, Or Should We Adjust to the Times? Permanently disabled House members rent this house together. It is so cramped and crowded, and the air circulation so bad, that for the elderly, weak, women, children, and others who can't get around very well, it is indeed a very difficult situation. Coworkers pick them up and take them home every day, take them for medical treatment, and many other things. Some come to the House every morning for work and also need to be taken home every evening. Another consideration is that coworkers need to take care of their own families. In 24 hours, they can hardly get any chance to rest! May God give them strength, and also give Carpenter's House a definite place of its own! So the question remains: Should we always remain the same, or adjust to the times? For the "new wine" of this new age, we need to use new wineskins! In the overall environment of the global pandemic, with the ensuing shakeups and breakdowns in many relationships, task distribution and cooperation among coworkers are now extremely important. Also, coworkers have to make individual changes appropriate for the new times. Those who pastor the church need to support the work in Carpenter's House; those who work in the House also need to improve their ability to pastor and care for people. Carpenter's House coworkers who responded to God's call as a family all need to be involved together in the work. Besides the work of the House, the Gospel work of the church must also continue to be done faithfully, pastoring the flock under the Holy Spirit's leading. In all we do from beginning to end, one thing we must keep in mind is that we are serving the cause of the Gospel. And something specific the church needs to remember is that, especially in the last few years, many Hong Kong people have emigrated to Taiwan. All these things, we the church must pay attention to.
The Carpenter's House is a society that takes in the disadvantaged,
not aided by government assistance, but set up as an independent association.
Carpenter's House Barbershop
Carpenter's House － A Bountiful Harvest
Revival Christian Church -- Visits to Fengshan, Gangshan, and Nanzi Branch Churches/Meetings
Most coworkers and members of Carpenter's House meet for worship here; and all the branch churches and Carpenter's House coworkers meet here for joint worship and communion. In this particular meeting, some new friends attended, and the Holy Spirit worked wonderfully and blessed every brother and sister with renewed strength.
It has been five years since I witnessed the dedication of the building for Fengshan RCC in 2018. Here they've seen many brothers and sisters raised up, in particular two brothers who believed in Jesus here and now have become group leaders. Their families are in the church, all growing and serving together, thanks be to God! Also, more older people have come into the church, so the church needs to pay attention to the needs of the older generation as well as the needs of wives and mothers as the church grows into the future. But having witnessed the growth they've already had makes me truly grateful!
They started having meetings here in 2022. The group that the church was especially targeting were immigrants from Hong Kong, some who had come as investors and some as professionals. And although some of these people had already invested much money and time in Taiwan, they were feeling very frustrated, still not knowing if they could stay long-term or would have to leave. This was happening because the Taiwanese government kept changing its immigration policy for immigrants from Hong Kong. In fact, they were beyond frustrated -- they'd been totally worn out by this matter!
This first meeting, attended by Brother (ZSS)'s family, was held in the restaurant opened by them. Their family was an example of the situation just described -- when they'd arrived two years before, they were completely unfamiliar with life in Taiwan. They found schooling for their girls only with extreme difficulty, and they had begun to have a great deal of marital conflict. Now they'd had the restaurant open for a year, but at first, business had not been what they'd hoped. So they had decided at the beginning of this year that if business continued to be so poor, they would go back to Hong Kong. But then in the recent few months, the business had suddenly taken off, and their revenue had multiplied several times. So now they were reevaluating their plans.
Another immigrant family was that of a professional expert from Hong Kong. At first, Taiwan had seemed to welcome such professionals, but then they told them that they would have to retake the tests qualifying them for their professional degrees, saying Taiwan did not recognize foreign diplomas! So it seemed they were being put through an endless examination process, and their will to succeed became exhausted, discouragement prevailed, and they decided the only thing they could do was to leave and find another direction.
Thank God, RCC's work in Taiwan has at least given such people the opportunity to meet together for worship, to be in God's presence, and to hear His Word. (And in fact, many immigrants from Hong Kong there have experienced the same thing.) That day after that meeting was over, I prayed for the two families, who were either returning to Hong Kong or proceeding on to England, and in my heart I could feel their uncertainty at all the unknowns ahead of them. Nanzi RCC
is a spiritual oasis -- a good place where they can recharge and experience God's grace.
Pastor Matthew's teaching and music ministry
Renewing Spiritual Vision Through Difficulty
Jesus said, "Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields. They are ripe for harvest!" (John 4:35)
The harvest and the needs are so great, while the workers and resources are so limited ... so how can we get God's work done? Some from the new generation, born of the Spirit in Carpenter's House, must build a long-term spiritual home -- and how can all these needs be dealt with? May the Lord give wisdom and send workers!
Now that there are already a few places where pastoral and other ministry is going on, the church must persevere in building up one generation and then the next -- it is extremely important we come to the place where we have control over our own lives. Regarding Carpenter's House present situation, one thing is that the church needs to be built up, and at time same time the care of House members, their jobs, their ministry product (kiln-oven pizza), family members' clothing, meals, housing, and travel -- all these things need to be taken care of and problems solved.
If they can obtain a long-term site where the housing, ministry, and church are all situated together -- whether now or for the long term -- then both the personal growth of the coworkers and their ministry to the disadvantaged can be carried on effectively, simply because they are all in one place.
Carpenter's House coworkers take House members to and from their accommodations.
Elderly, weak, women, children, and others who don't get around well can no longer use the old dormitories.
Lord, please give us faith to inherit the land! Fengshan City roadside property -- 1000 sq.meters -- industrial property with building(s)
Taliao Township -- 1600 sq.meters -- farm/industrial property with building(s)
Nanzi District 500-700 sq.meters -- industrial property (empty)
The Carpenter's House was opened in 2005 by a young couple without any resources, Pastor Scott Kong and his wife Maggie, at the leading of the Lord.
I asked them if they would continue to follow God's call and do God's work if they had no buildings and no resources. Without any hesitation at all they replied, "Certainly! We could never abandon any of our Carpenter's House family!"
Carpenter's House was begun in the midst of lack and difficulty. Now they can't use the old dormitories, but they believe God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His grace and His provision will not stop -- He will certainly protect and lead -- His love for every one of the Carpenter's House family is firm and faithful!
Let us witness together the Lord's faithfulness and power! We will continue to witness the fact that ... Carpenter's House Is Overcoming Obstacles!
RCMI & Pastor Matthew Leung of
Revival Christian Church, Hong Kong