Our Last Day

Our last full day in Taiwan. We took advantage of the metro transit (we’re getting pretty good at it)and venture out to the underground shopping mall. Our mission was to eat at the famous Ding Tie Fung restaurant in the Maokong Gondola.
 
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We couldn’t think of a more prefect way to end our trip, than with the best sunset ever! The bright red sunset liked the Chinese salty egg yoke.

Taichung Exploration

Today was our first real day by ourselves. We took a 1 hour and 15 minute train ride from Chaiyi to Taichung. The air conditioned train cars were a great escape from the heat.


We found a delicious Korean restaurant for lunch.

Then off to the mall! It was so big and so fancy.
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We ended our day with some ice cream from a popular ice cream shop.
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A Great Ending

First, we would like to thank everyone for the opportunity you all have given us to go onto this mission trip

Today was our final day teaching at the VBS. It is sad that this will be the last time we are going to see these adorable children. We will greatly miss playing and dancing with them as our daily routine. Even though we couldn’t talk to some of them directly, we still created such strong bonds.


It was a very eye opening experience to see a different culture through these kids. Usually when you learn a second language growing up, you forget most of what you learn when you get older and rarely use it. But during our camps, these kids focused on their second language (English) and some of them even remember enough to talk to us. We were amazed with one child, who really wanted to learn English and took the initiative to talk to us. We had many types of conversations with him that we never could have imaged. This really allowed us to bond with the kids at a different level. Rather than a formal teacher – student relationship, we formed helper – student relationships. We formed friendships.
 
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All of us had a chance to see how God was working through, and in us. With Him, we could go beyond our limitations for the last day. Even though many of us were tired, we were able to push on and finish with a bang. The church even gave us a grand farewell dinner with lots of delicious food. We are so thankful for all that they have provided for us and could not be more grateful for them.
 

As tomorrow comes around the corner, we will also be saying goodbye to the other mission team, so we pray for good health for everyone. As a new week begins, please also pray for a safe journey and that we will not forget what we’ve done during these two weeks. Many of the kids were also not Christian so please pray that the legacy left behind from us can begin a new path towards God for them.

Reflection As We Near The End

Memorial Stones

This morning we had a devotion about memorial stones. It is important that we remember God’s faith yesterday, so that we can continue to have faith in Him tomorrow. Sometimes, we might not see God answer our prayers immediately. We should remember how He answered our previous prayers and have faith that He will do the same again. Tomorrow is the last day with the kids and the other mission team. All of us from CFBC are reflecting on the past two weeks and finding our own “memorial stone” to bring back home.

All About the Kids

At the elementary school, all of us have been getting closer to the students as well as each other. There are no words that describe how happy we feel when a person who was a complete stranger a week ago, comes up to us and greets us first! As the days progress, we have been getting more involved, leading crafts, telling stories, and making friends. The last day is quickly approaching, so we have to make the most of the time we have left. It has been a great experience helping out another mission team and learning about their teaching styles as well as their lessons.


Michelle really loves her mango’s, and Sammi really loves her food

Meeting the Host’s Family

We are so grateful for our wonderful host. Today we were especially lucky to be able to meet Ting Ma Ma’s daughter. She was very kind to us and even invited us to dinner. Everyone was so happy that a couple kids from last week were able to join us. The food was delicious and it was quite fun blowing tissues at each other.

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Farewell’s & Hello’s

Relaxing At The Beach

Our day began with a quick trip to the beach in Taiwan, where we played in the fountains and took a well needed rest. Auntie May was very curious about the seafood in the cost, so Pastor James was kind enough to take us to a local Oyster farm that is owned by one of the Grace Place Church members. While there, we saw the in’s and out’s of their shucking operation and got to learn a little bit about their family business.

After our short day trip, we traveled back to Puzi for lunch and greeted the mission team from California. Their team had already spent a week in Taiwan teaching their program to more than 70 students.

Bye Aaron and Candace!

While we exchanged greetings, our team said our farewells to Aaron and Candace. They left for Taipei and will be returning to the States soon! We miss them very much and we pray that God gives them safe travels.


…Aaron and Candace’s Day In Taipei

Aaron and Candace kidnapped Sarah (our translator from the summer camp) and took her on an adventure around Taipei for the day. They started at the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial.


They were able to fit in a little bit of exercise at the memorial 😉

After the memorial, they took the subway to the Shilling Night Market. (Praise that they didn’t get lost!)

Aaron and Candace tried all kids of foods and fruits at the night market, and even got to try the famous shaved ice.


Thank You Sarah for all your hard work this week and for showing Aaron and Candace around Taipei. They both are very thankful for the STM team and are proud of their hard work (they miss the team already). They will be praying for them as the the STM team continues their mission in Taiwan.


…Back To The Action: Settling In

We then helped the California team settle down and prep for this weeks upcoming lessons. Later in the afternoon, our team visited the Joy House. The Joy House is located in a low income area that is open to children every Saturday. Usually, the children in the neighborhood (in elementary and middle school) come for games, sewing lessons, a biblical story and snacks. Since the neighborhood is relatively older and more traditional, they speak Taiwanese. Their stories were told in Taiwanese and our team was intrigued by the language. We saw the difference in their living styles because the neighborhood had less financial access to modern-day necessities. Although our visit was short, we were able to connect with the children and we were reluctant to leave.

Night Market!

We ended our night at the Chaiyi night market and standing in line for marinated duck, fried dough, oyster omelets and papaya milk.


Keep us in your prayers as we will lead the Sunday worship at the Grace Place! Please also pray for our energy and cooperation with the other team.

What A Day!

Train Station Evangelism

Wednesday: What a day! Today we went to the High Speed Rail Train Station in the morning and it went extremely well. We combined with some of the youth from the Grace Place Church and even though we did some Chinese songs, we still sung them to our fullest abilities. For many of us it was just the first time we’ve sang in public and we were surprised at what we were doing in that moment. But as the time moved on, we started to get comfortable and crowds started to form. While playing the Cajon, I could see the people record us and see people who were interested in what we were doing. It felt that what we were doing had an influence on the people who were at the train station. This task couldn’t have been accomplished if it wasn’t for the support from the Grace Place Church and setting up the opportunity. Passing out the bracelets and tracts were a bit difficult with the language barrier but we had to put that aside and place our faith in God that the people at the station would read it.
 

Rec Day

After the Train Station we headed back to the Grace Place and started our Rec. day. We played a bunch of games which helped us bond with the kids. They were also able to loosen up and play with each other more. Overall we were able to hang out, know the kids better, and take a break from all the teaching.
 
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Hot Pot In Hot Weather

Dinner was AMAZING. We had hotpot buffet and there were so many options. It filled all of us to the max and we were so satisfied by the meal. Many things went well but prayer is still needed.
 
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Prayers Needed

We are using so much energy and getting drained means that our health also gets damaged so please pray for our health. There are also many kids at the Grace Place that are still shy and pray that we can have stronger relationships with them. Many kids aren’t believers yet but are very close to becoming one so we wish that we can help them build a relationship with God. There are three kids in particular (Maggie, Wingo, and Tina) who are non-believers or who have never been to church before. However, all three stayed with us throughout the station and summer camp and have been very eager to connect with us and even learn more about our purpose here. Please keep us, and these three youths, in your prayers as we attempt to introduce Christ into their lives.

First Day of Cram School & Summer Camp!

Although we’re not all used to early mornings, it’s become part of our daily schedule here. Thank the Lord that our jet-lag is pretty non-existent, everyone is healthy, and no one has gotten lost yet. It’s easy to get lost in the newness of each day, and to forget that God had already known about all these things—like the mishap with our missing luggage—but the simple things, like a ‘thank you’ from the new kids that we met today, bring things back into perspective.

Update: The MIA luggage arrived!

However, because it was plastic the bag broke, but all of our supplies are still intact. (Auntie May was especially glad to see the anti-itch cream—she’s the only reason why the rest of us aren’t getting bitten. 🙂

Teaching & Learning Opportunity

We really didn’t know what to expect going into the cram school to teach this morning. (Actually, to be honest, we’re probably learning more than the Taiwan kids!). The program is called Cram School for good reason—the Taiwanese kids were saying that they do it because it helps them with their subject-based tests during the normal school season. Plus, their parents make them do it. We learned a lot about the differences between the American and Taiwan school systems. Like schools in Europe, it’s the teachers that move around classrooms, not the students. And, most actually attend and all-girls or all-boys school, so it’s interesting when they ask us, “Do you have a boyfriend?!” It’s a lot of learning for both sides; for us it’s slowing down our fast-paced English and understanding cultural differences in classroom environments.
 


We want to give thanks to the Grace Place Church family for treating us to such a variety of scrumptious foods: dragon fruit, fresh mangos, bagged seaweed soup, shaved ice, etc. Most of all we are thankful for your uplifting support. The spiritual intimacy of our 11-member STM group seems to be stretching in sooo many different ways. We ask that you continue to pray for us, because we feel the strength of your prayers.

A Day of Bonding & Food

Today started off with the a short devotional on John 13:1-5. We discussed how Jesus knew where He and His authority came from. By knowing this, Jesus can take up the lowest job as a servant. We should follow in His footsteps and serve in ways that might not be as glamorous but will glorify Him in Heaven. As believers we do not need to worry about judgement from others because our identity is secure in Christ.

Devotionals was followed by breakfast which was prepared by Auntie Elaine, Ariane, and Siena. After breakfast we walked over to the Grace Place for service. Thankfully service was graciously translated into English for us. We had lunch with the congregation. During this time we got to bond with Grace Place church members. They were all very welcoming and considerate about the language barrier.


We continued to bond with the youth of the Grace Place on our outing to the Pineapple Hill, Kumquat tea farm, and the local university. At Pineapple Hill we got to try the famous pineapple upside down cake and enjoy the view of the pineapple fields. And at the Kumquat tea farm we indulged in the many samples of kumquat and different ways it could be prepared. Fortunately it did not rain during our time at the university, where we played soccer, ultimate frisbee, and monkey in the middle.

The team is adjusting to the time change. Which is great because we need to have lots of energy tomorrow for our first day of presentations!Please pray that we will continue to stay in good health and keep safe. Also pray that our presentations will run smoothly.
 

Taiwanese Braised Pork with Rice…Yumm

Last Sunday we hosted one of our mission trip fundraising efforts in true CFBC fashion, with a luncheon! My mother always said, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…hasn’t helped me yet but it certainly helped with our church congregation.

We wanted to bring a little cultural awareness to our Hong Kong based community, as well as prepare our stomachs for their own upcoming adventure, so we chose to cook and serve a traditional Taiwanese Braised Pork over Rice dish (Lu Rou Fan). It certainly was popular among our congregation, since we saw people going back for seconds and thirds.

Auntie Bev getting two bowls of braised pork

Overall the event was a success! With a turnout of over 60 people, we were able to raise around $870. It was a team and family effort with the parents of our team lending their wonderful cooking skills, and the youth fellowship contributing their superb pan frying and cleaning abilities. It certainly was a sight to behold.