After years of going back and forth to the Warwick Hotel during the school year and Fellowship Hall during the summer, Tenth International Fellowship (TIF) has stayed in Fellowship Hall this whole year. This has been a blessing for TIF because more of the congregation has had the opportunity to visit our worship service on Sundays, and TIF members feel more connected with the larger congregation. Many of our TIF members attend the 9:00 service and then go upstairs to continue worshiping with us. Please join us any Sunday!
More than a year ago, TIF started a new outreach in University City at Woodland Presbyterian Church. The first week we had a Bible study and dinner with two students who were part of a former Chinese church that met at the same place. We invited the leaders to help us in this new effort and we had a Bible study with about fourteen leaders and only one student that day. Little by little, these leaders started to leave us because they had their own responsibilities, but God started to send more and more students every week. We realized that God wanted to raise leaders for this outreach from the students, so in addition to the seeker Bible study, we started a discipleship group to train potential leaders to serve other internationals. Today about 25 attend regularly—and more when we have special events. During the Lunar New Year, we celebrated twice with 150 people at Tenth and 50 at the Woodland venue. We meet every week and those who were trained through the discipleship group are passionate about sharing the good news of salvation with other internationals. We also formed a new music team that leads us as we sing on Saturdays.
Tony is a lawyer who came from Asia a couple of years ago. He was living in a Buddhist temple in Chinatown where he was given several Buddhist books to read. He came to our Friday night ESL class where he was given a Bible and was invited to our worship service on Sunday. Later he brought his friend Hao, another visiting scholar from Asia, to the ESL class. Both came to Christ here and were baptized at Tenth; you might remember them. Now Tony is back in his country, but he has applied to come to Westminster Theological Seminary because he has felt God’s calling on his life. He also faithfully attends a Bible study in Philadelphia House via Skype.
Fausto, from Mexico, also attended TIF a few years ago and accepted Christ through our ministry. He married an American woman, and they went to Honduras as missionaries. Fausto is studying theology there while he serves with a mission team. He often writes emails asking theological questions.
Leo, another member of TIF, was also baptized here at Tenth. Today he is back in Asia, where he works in a publishing company and shares the gospel with coworkers, friends, and family members. He married a Christian woman he met in church there and both are planning to move to Spain for a year for a study program. They will surely be sharing the gospel with people there. These are just a few examples of how God has been using TIF to bring the gospel to internationals who are sent to us and then sent out into the world to bring the good news of salvation to others.
TIF hosted our annual retreat from April 11 to 13. About 55 people came from Philadelphia and joined the Hispanic ministry and some youth from the ministry at Ocean City Baptist Church. The theme of the retreat was “Created to Worship.” We answered the question “Why were we created?” Enrique Leal, Jinan Zhang, Bruce McDowell, Jamie Anderson, and Kevin O’Brien led different teaching sessions; and we had discussion groups in English, Spanish, and Chinese. Charlie Hammell, a Tenth member and TIF leader, led our worship team comprised of volunteers from Korea, China, Singapore, Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States. They were also asked to lead the congregation of Ocean City Baptist in worship on Sunday. This was a wonderful experience. Congregation members were surprised to see so many people from all over the world. But this is the blessing we have every Sunday here at Tenth: the nations have come to join us in worshiping the living God and thereby have given us a little taste of heaven.