As the name of our website suggests, we are Simone and Joe and we are working on the island of Taiwan and have, therefore, to report “News from the Island.”
I grew up in the small village of Oberiflingen at the edge of the Black Forest. In children’s group at church I realized early on that there is a God and that I can know Him through Jesus Christ. I then realized that Jesus is a friend for life and also gives me hope beyond this life. I would also like to share this hope in my life. After high school I had to do my community service (at that time either military service or community service was mandatory for all men) and I wanted to do it in missions abroad, but God had other plans for my life. I ended up doing my community service in the Christian Social Service Institution in Bad Wildbad, which was a very challenging and formative time for me. After my community service, I studied computer science at the University of Cooperative Education in Karlsruhe. For over 10 years, I worked at Berthold Technologies and developed measurement instruments for the steel industry. During that time I also studied theology at the Academy for World Missions in Korntal and was doing youth ministry in the Evangelical Church of Neuenbuerg.
I grew up in a pastor’s family in Wittendorf in the Black Forest. In my early years, I grew into the Christian faith. I gradually realized the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for my life. I saw that He is always with me and that I can trust Him. At the age of fourteen, I moved with my family to Neuenbuerg. After high school I did voluntary social service in Zambia at Amano School and an internship in child and youth work in the protestant parachurch organization, APIs, near Schwäbisch Hall. Then I studied to become a primary and lower secondary school teacher at the Pedagoical University in Karlsruhe. I then made my traineeship for one and a half years in the primary and secondary school in Conweiler.
Our journey together
We first met in the Student Bible Study Group in the Keplergymnasium in Freudenstadt. Later we met again in Neuenbuerg. We got married there in June 2007. We lived in Neuenbuerg for the last few years and we are also members of the Evangelical Church there.
We have long prayed that God would show us what he wants us to do in life. Finally in the spring of 2010, the Marburger Mission Foundation came to us and asked if we could imagine going to Taiwan. We prayed and gradually got the confirmation from God that this is the right way for us. For further training we studied for another year and a half at Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina, USA. Our oldest daughter was born in Columbia and we also found a home in Church of the Apostles.
Our ministry in Taiwan
Since March 1, 2013, we have been official members of the Marburger Mission Foundation. Since November 2013 we live as missionaries in Taiwan, where our other two children were born. Missionary simply means “messenger.” A missionary is a person that is sent to another country to pass on the Christian message in word and deed. Every person should have the opportunity to choose faith in Jesus Christ for his or her own life if he or she wants it.
Taiwan is a modern country. Many people, however, live in fear and bondages of their traditional religions – a mixture of ancestor worship, belief in spirits, Buddhism and Taoism. Approximately 5% of the people in Taiwan belong to a Christian church. The churches in Taiwan are often small and therefore still rely on help from the outside. We want, therefore, to strengthen the Taiwanese Christians and churches to help them pass on the Christian message in their country. Our main task is to teach church pastors, other staff, and voluntary workers at the China Lutheran Seminary, a small Christian University.
We do not want to walk this path to and in Taiwan alone. It is very important to us that people stand behind us and pray for us. Without a support team, it is not possible for us to do our work in Taiwan. We appreciate every individual who walks the path with us, supports us, especially in prayer, and who would like to stay in touch with us. On our site here you can always read what is currently going on in our lives or you can also get the latest news from us by email or mail.