Happy New Year 2012 – A new year brings new things... What a year 2011 was for us, our family and our ministry! Some highlights of our past year include many chances to share the Gospel with the Taiwanese, Joel's brothers wedding, Grace's sister, Mary, having a baby, teaching, and our trip to the States! We feel blessed and rich in love from God and all of our family and friends all throughout the world! Although we had a happy and healthy 2011, we are excited for 2012. We believe that it will be a great year for our family, full of new exciting adventures and transitions!
Joel transitioning from School of Biblical Studies staff to full-time leadership! For four years, Joel has had a heavy influence in the Biblical Studies School we help run and he has played a big role to helping the school become what it is today! However, Joel has now finished his time with SBS and is transitioning into full time leadership! SBS hasn't been Joel's only “job”. In August 2009, Joel was asked to join base leadership. Since then, he has been getting more and more involved with being a part of leading of our base as it grows with new ministry and people! Over the past year, Joel has had a growing passion and interest in leadership, to see the ministries that we run here run as efficiently and fruitfully as possible. Joel has a few different roles on base leadership. One of them being on a team of three people who help operate the base and everything that goes on in it. This deals with many different dynamics of YWAM Taiwan's function! Another thing that he does is that he oversees our ministry leaders and leads our ministry leaders team. What does that mean?There is a team of 8 people who oversee all the different ministries that are run here, from surf team, to Biblical Studies department, to church planting, to language learning, etc. Joels is the leader of that team of 8 people, making sure all ministries and schools are running well and that the Taiwanese are hearing the Gospel through each ministry. What this doesn't mean? This does NOT mean that Joel will no longer be doing ministry with the locals. He will still do his night time ministry with the students at the local medical university and on the basketball courts! It also doesn't mean that he will not teach. In fact, this might give him more opportunity to teach and in fact, might open doors for him to go to hard-to-reach places for a weeks time to teach there. He will have more of a presence in all ministries and schools here, overseeing them and the staff! We are excited about this transition and where God will lead us in the future as Joel is being built up as a strong, Godly leader! (Pictures above: Joel getting honored for 4 years of SBS staff. He was given a notebook full of affirmation from students over the past 4 years. Also, he got his dream Bible. The ESV Study Bible with calfskin leather! The other picture is of Joels small group of guys he has been mentoring for 2011. )
Another transition... Faith is starting school! On January 30th, Faith will begin preschool. She is very excited although we donâ€™t think she realizes quite yet that it isn't all play, no work. She always wants to know how many more days there are until she starts going to school. The preschools here are quite pricey but we are trusting God that He will provide... HE ALWAYS DOES! It is an extra $300 a month to our already tight finances. The school that she will attend will be both Chinese and English with more of a focus on English than Chinese. This is rare but we are blessed to have this in our town!
SBS students now going on Outreach! For the past 9 months, as you already know, Joel has been staffing the Biblical Schools Department. The purpose of the school isn't only to train the students by giving them a great understanding and knowledge of the Bible but also to show them how valuable the Bible is and give them the desire to take what they have learned and to share it with the world... literally! Over the next couple of months, about 30 of our students will start their short training process and a 2-month outreach phase to go teach the Bible in areas that lack or have non-existent Bible training. They will be going to Central Asia, India, China/Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Please keep them in your prayers
(2011 SBS class)
Our Amazing Christmas We had an amazing Christmas. It wasn't a normal Christmas on December 25 th, as one of our Taiwanese friends got married that day. Yes, you read that right. A wedding on Christmas day! Joel had to go to the wedding while Grace and the kids stayed home and napped and played with all the new toys. We celebrated it on December 26 th from morning until late at night with Joels family. We had a great time and we certainly felt beyond spoiled and loved! A special thank you to ourfamily in California who made our Christmas extra special!
Our other new gift... our niece, Avery Drew Gaer, born on November 15th Grace's sister, Mary and her husband Andrews little princess! We can't wait to meet her in person!
With ending one year and starting another, we just really want to say THANK YOU! For all of your love, prayers, friendship and support, we are daily filled with Joy knowing that as we are walking in obedience to what God has called us to do, we have a great community of people all around the world who love us! I know we say it often, but it is because we mean it. We couldn't do this without you guys. So thank you for another great year of friendship and support. We pray that this next year, you will all grow closer to God and be blessed for how you have blessed us!
(We had a “harvest party” at our house in November. Not the best photo but the last family picture of us!)
As the new year rolls in, we would appreciate your prayers! We know God hears them, answers them and uses them! Here are our prayer requests for the start of 2012... • That we will continue to be growing in own walks with the Lord • That we will have many opportunities to share the Gospel AND to see many Taiwanese come to know Jesus! • New visions and passions to be revealed to us as we enter this transition phase! • That we will stay healthy this year! Thank you for taking the time to read our updates! For information on how to become a monthly supporter of our ministry or to give a one-time gift, email us at email@example.com We love you all... Happy 2012! We are excited for what this year will bring for you! Joel, Grace, Faith and Liam Gillman