Greetings from Taiwan! May 2020

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26





(a.k.a. – Come, Holy Spirit)

It’s been my privilege to instruct a special group of students at CMS the past three years. I meet with the International Bilingual Music Program students five times each week to instruct English classes. One of our class periods is Bible. I’ve watched these kids gain knowledge, understanding, and form connections from the Old Testament to the New Testament. Recently, we’ve been studying Saul’s conversion, how God opened his eyes to the Gospel. As we studied this story, I saw some eye-opening in my classroom as well. 
The lesson introduces before and after pictures of buildings, people, and the like. We discuss dramatic transformations, and apply this idea as we study Saul. Saul’s “before” picture certainly isn’t pretty. A man filled with hate, and unaware of the true nature of Jesus, Saul sought to persecute Christians. Convinced Jesus was a dangerous liar, Saul’s intention was to end the growth of the early church. Yet, God changed Saul’s heart on the road to Damascus – changing hate to love, creating a beautiful “after” picture of Paul, a missionary taking the good news of Christ to faraway lands. 
The lesson ends by asking students to create “before” and “after” pictures of themselves, reflecting upon their experiences with God’s Word. The results were revealing, especially for Miya. Miya began Bible class three years ago purely as an academic subject. She was distant, avoided discussion, and was obviously relieved when the class period concluded. However, this year Miya began to engage, asking questions. Gracie, a Christian and good friend of Miya’s, began answering Miya’s questions and discussing the content further. Gracie was an ambassador of the faith. As a result, Miya’s “after” picture was far different than I could imagine.  

In her “before” picture, Miya describes herself as an infant, brand new in her journey with Jesus. She had very little knowledge of the Bible, finding it strange, confusing, and even absurd. However, after three years of study, she expressed her growth into a girl. Her “after” picture shows a change, an openness to hear more. Miya acknowledges there is room for future growth, and it’s my prayer that her willingness to study the Gospel continues. Come, Holy Spirit, fill Miya. Teach her all things, and help her remember all that she has learned. 


Google Translate



Dear Google Translate
(a.k.a. – Love Letter or Hate Mail?)

Culture shock often makes routine tasks wildly frustrating. Upon entering the mission field, the office copy machine was a source of particular frustration. All of the operations were in Chinese. Like most school copiers, it’s older than the hills and a user’s manual – let alone one that’s in English – was long gone. I eventually understood the basics, but almost four years later, I still couldn’t use advanced functions without assistance. It had to stop.
I’ve been slowly working on a pet project to translate the copier features. I don’t have much free time for it, but the issue has nagged me. All of the current and future American teachers at CMS would benefit from a document explaining the copier in detail. An English user’s guide would offer one less frustration as new American teachers transition to the school. I recently began this job in earnest. Hello, Google Translate, let’s be best friends! You may be familiar with the popular Google Translate app. It can do some amazing things, but I have mixed feelings about it. I’d call it a love/hate relationship. 
Success with Google Translate can be hit or miss. Chinese emails from the school offer a little insight. I can click a button to translate the message, but the result is a confused tangled mess of words that are generally very different from the original message. At times, I gather enough information to grasp the basic idea, other times I’m still in the dark. Clearly, paragraphs of information aren’t ideal for the app; however, Google Translate is great for converting short words and phrases. It was the perfect choice for my copy machine project. Through trial and error, I eventually gathered enough information to complete the task. I’m ready! Bring on the copies! 
You’re probably not using Google Translate daily, but you’ve likely experienced something similar. Think back to your early attempts to read and understand scripture. Were you reluctant to use it? Was it a confused tangled mess? Did you grasp the basic idea? Like Google Translate, the Bible can seem overwhelming at times. Thankfully, we have a “translator” far superior to the Google version, the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” John 14:26. God the Father gives us His Word, and the Holy Spirit helps us understand it. Ready? Bring on the scripture!  



I visited with “The Coffee Hour” on KFUO radio in St. Louis. We discussed a typical school day and the impact of the global pandemic. If you’ve got 15 minutes to spare, take a listen! You can also find other missionary interviews with “The Coffee Hour” at




Please Pray For:

  • God to provide and protect all people impacted by the COVID-19 virus
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to continue working saving faith in Miya’s heart. 

Give Thanks For: 

  • God opening new doors to share the Gospel in the midst of the virus
  • God’s protection as our school remains open during the global pandemic



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Make checks payable to: 
PO Box 66861 
St. Louis, MO 63166-6861
Mission Central 
40718 Highway E 16
Mapleton, IA 51034
On the memo line, include:  Thews/Taiwan 





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Missionary · 5135 Coventry Ct · Davenport, IA 52807-3858 · USA

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