As Burning Fire Blog

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thomas was Baptized

We are rejoicing over news from Taiwan. Here is an excerpt from last week's Delaney Missionary Newsletter:

"GOOD NEWS! Rejoice with us! Thomas was baptized on Sunday morning, and his unsaved mother agreed to come and witness this special event. You may recall that Thomas is the young man whom Brother Tad Wychopen and our son befriended while playing basketball one afternoon in early January. That same day Thomas came to church, and he has never stopped coming. Thomas is 17 years old, and he trusted the Lord as his Savior during the special meetings in May, when Stephen Wesco came and conducted his chalk drawings. Thomas is an only child from a single-parent home, and his mother needs the Lord. Please pray for the continued spiritual development of this young man."

Click here to read about the day Thomas trusted Christ >


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Taiwan Missions Report at Fellowship Baptist Church

June 26, 2009

Dear Praying Friends,

This coming Sunday morning (June 28th) we will be sharing details of our ministry in Taiwan with our home church, Fellowship Baptist Church of South Bend, Indiana. Our presentation will be in the morning service which starts at 10:30 AM. If you are able to join us, we would love to see you.

It is a challenge to cram three weeks into one short presentation! Please pray that we would be able to adequately share the burden on our hearts regarding the needs in Taiwan and similar needs that we see here in the United States.

Thank you for your prayers. We are learning to seek the Lord for His will and not our own.

In Christ’s service,
Stephen & Evelyn Wesco

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

eNews: We are Home from Taiwan

May 14, 2009

Dear Praying Friends,

We have arrived safely back! Thank you for your prayers for us over the past three weeks.

The Lord truly blessed our ministry and time in Taiwan—The Republic of China. Stephen had the privilege of preaching eleven times, including seven Chalk Talks. Evelyn ministered in music with piano and harp, shared her salvation testimony and godly heritage, and led a ladies Bible study.

The climax of our time there was seeing two souls come to know the Lord as their personal savior this past weekend! The seed was planted months ago, and watered by God’s faithful servants since. It brought tears of joy to see God give the increase after the Chalk Talk Saturday evening. To God be the glory!

We crisscrossed the island from Taipei to Kaohsiung to Taichung to Taitung, meeting most of the Baptist missionaries there and asking hundreds of questions. As we write, my brain is overwhelmed with the information we gathered. Many long hours were filled with serious questions and answers about Taiwan’s history, culture, land, government, politics, climate, religions, and educational system. The most important questions, however, centered on the great spiritual needs of Taiwan. We learned about the trials, blessings, struggles, and victories involved with ministering in Taiwan as well as the practical aspects of being a missionary.

We are looking forward to reflecting on all that we have learned and experienced as the Lord continues to lead in our lives. We anticipate finding His direction as we pray, meditate on God’s precious Word, and also as we share our impressions and experiences with you, our pastor, our friends, and with our families. Please pray with us that we will be in the center of God’s will.

In Christ’s service and loving it,
Stephen & Evelyn Wesco

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

World's Tallest Building and a Famous Museum

We traveled back up to Taipei and had one day up there before our flight Wednesday morning.

Taipei has the world's tallest building - the Taipei 101 ( It's the tallest completed building for now - a taller building is still under construction in Dubai. They were going to charge $400 Taiwan dollars a person (approximately $13 US) to take the elevator all the way up. So being cheap, we just walked around the base and felt very small. :-)

View of Taipei from the mountainside. Taipei 101 is the only building sticking above the horizon toward the right. The haze is due to pollution and humidity.

We also visited the National Palace Museum. This museum is ranked among the top 10 museums in the world. A large part of the museum display is comprised of the collection from the ancient Chinese emperors. There were some amazing art pieces - like a little boat (with fully functional doors, windows, etc.) carved from an olive pit and stunning ceramics. The sad thing was that no pictures were allowed. :-( The website ( has some good pictures for the curious.
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day in Taiwan

Thank you for your faithful prayers. We had a long and exciting weekend. Stephen preached Saturday evening at Cornerstone Baptist Church. He preached on the burden of sin and of the Christ who sets us free from sin. After the preaching, two young people responded, indicating that they wanted to accept Christ. Others had planted the seed, faithfully watered, and the Lord gave the increase!

The young man who accepted Christ after the chalk talk on Saturday.

On Sunday, Stephen taught during the Sunday School hour and did chalk talks for the morning and evening service. Evelyn was able to minister in music with the harp and piano. It was an exciting Mother's Day!

The day was extra special because it was Evelyn's first Mother's Day as a mommy!
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Friday, May 8, 2009

Please pray for our ministry at Cornerstone Baptist Church

This weekend we will be ministering at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Kaohsiung. Stephen will be preaching three chalk talks and Evelyn will be playing the piano and harp. Please pray that the power of God will be demonstrated through us and that His Word would have free course and be glorified.

This lighted poster hangs by the busy street corner. Many smaller flyers have also been distributed.
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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sharing in a Ladies Meeting

Evelyn was given the opportunity to share in Chinese with the Ladies at Cornerstone Baptist Church, very intimidating since she was the youngest present.

The Lord has blessed Evelyn with a godly, Christian heritage. So she was able to share the testimony of her great-grandmother, grandparents and parents, encouraging the ladies to be faithful in the same way to the Lord and their families. Even with the mosquitos, pouring sweat (it was hot!), and a kicking baby the entire meeting, Evelyn was able to share of the Lord's goodness.

Please pray that this testimony will encourage the ladies of Cornerstone Baptist Church to stay faithful and raise their children for the Lord in a culture that opposes God's standards.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

“Formosa” - The Beautiful Island

Since our arrival in Taiwan, we have wondered why the island was called “Formosa” which means “the beautiful island.” We had spent all of our time in Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung—the three largest cities in Taiwan. There is no natural beauty in concrete and air pollution!

However, this past Monday we drove the four hours down the cost and through the mountains to the eastern city of Taitung to meet the missionaries there. We saw Formosa!

The flowers in the valley.

The rice fields - they say that the best rice in the world is grown here!

Formosa's beautiful Eastern coast


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Night Market and Stinky Tofu

Some of the Delaneys took us to the Night Market last week. The best way to describe it is a combination of a real USA's Chinatown and a 4-H fair. It is crowded and noisy, with food and more food, games and so forth.

The highlight of the evening was trying stinky tofu! It is fermented tofu that has the stench of an animal barn before they deep fry it.

It's not bad until the aftertaste!

Everyone around us was eating it up as if it was the most delicious thing in the world.
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Religions of Taiwan


In every neighborhood there is a Buddhist temple. What grieves our hearts is that these temples are not “tourist” attractions or remnants of the past, but active thriving temples. We have seen young children, youth, adults, and elderly all come and bow to these idols. Satan truly has the people in bondage. The only answer and way to freedom is through Christ!

Ancestor Worship

Many in Taiwan are under the bondage of ancestor worship and tradition. To become a Christian is to break tradition, and many are afraid to anger the spirits of ancestors. Parents and grandparents will not let their children come to church because who will worship at their graves when they are dead? Most grown and married children are still bound to obey their parents. The graveyards are in the side of a hill where the ancestors are worshiped. Thousands of graves are scattered in the hills.

Traditional “worship centers” are in most homes and businesses.


From a very young age, Taiwan’s children enter into a system that will govern almost the rest of their lives. They have school all day, special “cram” classes in the evening, and homework the rest of the time. The family is wrapped around school, with hopes of getting the children into the best highschool, the best college, the best graduate school, and then the best job. To fail would shame the entire family. Second in the class is not good enough. Education is truly worshiped.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

eNews: Wesco's Update from Taiwan

May 3, 2009

Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you so much for your prayers. This last week has been a full week as the Lord has taught us much regarding the needs of Taiwan and the world and how small our human strength is. But at the same time, He has taught us how great His love and power is.

We traveled up to Taichung for two days to see the ministries there. Taichung is located in the middle of the country. Stephen had the opportunity to preach a chalk talk to a children’s program at Lighthouse Baptist Church, along with teachers and parents.

Throughout this week, we have spent many hours talking with the Baptist missionaries from the Kaohsiung and Taichung areas. They have given us great insight regarding the challenges and blessings of working in the Taiwanese field and missions in general.

On Saturday, Stephen preached a chalk talk at Mountaintop Baptist Church’s youth meeting. Even though it was a “youth” meeting, the church invited everyone to attend and made it an outreach ministry. On Sunday, Stephen shared our testimony during the Sunday school hour, and preached again through chalk talks in the morning and evening services. Evelyn also provided music for the services. It is a challenge to preach through a translator since Chinese grammar and syntax is often opposite to English grammar! But the Lord blessed.

During the morning service, the pastor and his wife decided to have the young children attend the main service to hear the chalk talk. These youngsters were wired and had no idea how sit still for more than 5 seconds! Yet, as Stephen started to preach, a quiet fell over them and they paid attention. Praise the Lord!

Thank you so much for your prayers. Physically, we are doing very well. Baby is growing and is apparently very active. The mosquitoes love us dearly (especially Evelyn), but the Lord is very good. Please continue to pray that we would be sensitive to the Lord’s leading and His will for us. We want what He wants, and not our own will.

In Christ’s service,
Stephen & Evelyn Wesco

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Please Pray For Us!

This has been a very full weekend for us. Stephen did a chalk talk this Saturday evening at Mountaintop Baptist Church, which is about 25 minutes away from Kaohsiung.

During Sunday tomorrow, we will spend the entire day with Mountaintop Baptist Church. In addition to sharing during the Sunday school hour, Stephen will preach with chalk during the morning and evening services. Evelyn will also be providing the special music for all three services. Please pray that we would not be ministering in our own strength, but that the Lord would work through us and that He would be glorified.

We especially appreciate your prayers as Stephen preaches through a translator. Having a translator repeat everything word for word means that Stephen has half of the actual time to preach. Thus a 30 minute message would last for 1 hour with a translator. Pray that he would know how to effectively present God's Word. Thank you!


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ministry in Taichung

This last Wednesday, we went up to Taichung to see the ministries there. Taichung is halfway up the island and is also the third largest city in the country. We were also able to do some ministry with the afternoon children's program at Lighthouse Baptist Church. Stephen did a chalk talk on John 3:16.

Pastor Andy Simpson translated for Stephen.

The children, parents, and teachers present for the chalk talk. Notice the continents on the world. :)

Another praise we had was that after we arrived in Taichung, we found out that one of the wheels on Stephen's chalk easel bag had fallen off. We had horrifying visions of dragging his chalk easel (100 lbs.) through the Taipei airport, but, praise the Lord, they found all the parts! Stephen and Pastor Simpson were able to put everything back together and secure it back with super glue. We will still need the Lord to hold the bag together until we get back into the States, but at least it's fixed!
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Gospel in Taiwan's Public Schools

We had the privilege of accompanying a group from Mountaintop Baptist Church to their school ministry. This group of Chinese Christians along with the pastor and his wife ask permission to do presentations in local public schools. Through song, stories, and a skit, they presented a message on the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

Teaching them a song on the miracle of creation and Christ's redeeming work.

All the children and teachers listening attentively.

These children ranged from the ages of six through ten. They were all very energized having just finished their nap time, but they all paid close attention. The schools here are open to the Gospel. It was an amazing opportunity!


Pagan Temples

This morning we visited several pagan temples in Kaohsiung. Even though Taiwan is a "modern" country, the spiritual needs are vast. As we walked through these amazing structures, our hearts were burdened and grieved by the spiritual darkness and blindness of the people.

One of the gods, sitting above his temple.

"Female" (transvestite) Buddha and "her" temple. The temple is in the belly of the dragon. You enter through the mouth and leave through the tail.

A woman worshipping "her" in the temple.

Free pagan literature.

Children visiting on school field trip.

A Buddhist temple

The third floor of the temple, ornately carved and overlaid with gold. There are multiple gods on each floor, and the people just move from one god to the next, making their prayers.

The incense altar.

These are not "tourist" attractions, but true, active temples. The people are in deep bondage and live in fear that they will offend any of the gods or the spirits. Christ is the answer!

In America, we may think that this is silly idolatry, but think about it. What are the gods in the United States? Remember the Bible speaks about idols of the heart. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Jesus Christ is the only true God!


Morning Market

This morning, missionaries Pat and Mary Delaney and their daughter, Elizabeth, took us with them to the Morning Wet Market. It is the Chinese version of a farmer's market, except with more variety. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats are the main fairs. The Delaneys get their produce there, since the farmers bring them in fresh everyday. As you may see from the pictures below, the morning market is an exciting place!

Mrs. Delaney, Elizabeth, and Evelyn

A couple of the regional fruits - NOT apples and grapefruit. Take a closer look.

Potatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes ...

Customers usually just swing up to the stands in their scooters, make their purchase, and scooter away. The vendors aggressively present their products.

Familiar fruits.

More familiar fruits.

Farmer with his vegetables.

People, and more people and scooters!

Lady with her vegetables. After taking her picture, she exclaimed (in Chinese), "You are taking my picture? I must be very beautiful!"

Various fish balls, tempura, and sausages. For those who've never tried it before, they are delicious!

Grains and legumes - cornmeal, red beans, green beans, pinto beans, barley, and more.

Dried shitake mushrooms, wood ear fungus, etc.

It's an experience one will never forget, but the market is also a daily part of life for the people.