Happy WednesdaysBy Thaddaeus Ristow Published: Sep 30, 2018
[Note: this article and images are taken from the OMS Outreach, the official publication of the One Mission Society, Sept.-Dec.,, 2018. Please note that there is also a link to a video at the end of the article.]
Happy Wednesday•Ministry in Taiwan
©2018 One Mission Society
An OMS missionary couple, with more than 25 years of missionary experience, is witnessing God work in the hearts of bicyclists through their fellowship ministry called “Happy Wednesday.”
It all started three years ago when Don and Marla Bettinger were walking their beagle, Buttercup, by the Hualien Harbor. The couple noticed the bicyclists sitting outside the gate of the restaurant where they often meet for breakfast. Don and Marla asked the bicyclists if they could bring them coffee the following week. They agreed to this, and the couple has been meeting with the bikers ever since. The Bettingers’ motivation for doing this was to get to know them and have the opportunity to share Christ through their fellowship over coffee.
Every Wednesday morning, Don and Marla make a large thermos of coffee and prepare a small breakfast snack to take to this bicycle club. The Taiwanese bikers have named this day Happy Wednesday because they enjoy fellowship with the couple and learn more about Jesus Christ.
“We continue to meet them at an outside location near the Hualien Harbor,” Don said. “Around 6:30 a.m., when the weather cooperates, we pack our car with coffee and homemade snacks, as well as a folding table, a few stools and my guitar to meet these mostly older bikers, ranging in age from 55 to 86 years old, for a time of good fellowship.”
In Taiwan, approximately 35-40 percent of the population practice ancestor worship. Many families believe that surviving children have the responsibility of caring for deceased ancestors, in particular the parents. When a child becomes a Christian, the parents fear no one will take care of the in the afterlife. This fear is one of the biggest obstacles in their ministry.
Even though none of the bikers have accepted Christ as their Savior yet, the Bettingers are confident that God is working in their hearts. Their hope and prayer is that their friends see this simple act of kindness as a glimpse of the Savior’s love for them.
When they first started, the bikers showed no interest in faith or knowing Christ. Now, they are the ones to initiate a prayer of thanks before the coffee and snack time. Each week, they also look forward to singing Christian songs that the Bettingers have taught them. They also periodically attend the Bettingers’ Sunday night home worship service, as well as other special events.
“All these things have helped our friendship grow, and we have faith that God will soon move them to give their hearts to him,” Do said. “The potential for what these folks could do with a heart full of his Spirit and love is limitless. We are anxious to see how God will continue to work.”
To watch a video fo this ministry, go to vimeo.com/onemissionsociety/happywednesday.