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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Little Kids. Ya Gotta Love Them.

Amidst all the chaos of teaching VBS and adjusting to the new schedule, we are blessed to see how children DO reflect a little slice of Heaven.
 
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Large Blessings In Small Children

Today is day 2 of VBS, but day 17 of our time in Taiwan. It is crazy how time has flown by. With this new VBS curriculum, and a new California STM team to work with, it takes a special kind of person to be able to function at 5:20 a.m. in the morning, and stay alive through 10 p.m. To say the least, we are all pretty exhausted.

However, it is a blessing that the kids we are working with are so polite, even if they are little rascals sometimes. They are the ones asking us questions, and going out of their way to explain jokes we can’t understand because they’re in Chinese. They’ve even told some of our team how beautiful we are out of the blue. There was even a nine-year-old that gave Siena a massage, and then volunteered to massage all the other adults.

Seeing God Working

We’re thankful to God for a growing spirit of cooperation and understanding between the two STM groups. As Debbie Dodd said it is a “meshing of talents.” And, that’s a truth I see in this group from CFBC. It’s a total cliche on mission trips when people return to say, “We saw so much growth ‘here,’ or ‘there,'” but we’re starting to get it now. Not only are we changing the lives of the people here by introducing them to The Grace Place and adding them on Facebook, these people are also changing our lives.

The amazing network of creative energy, utter kindness, and flexibility to numerous changes, has personally showed me what Jesus is like on an earthly level. Especially when pretty much the entirety of our group does not speak the local language here. It is so amazing to see with my own eyes the ways of communication God has supplemented us with through this past week. God works through anyone and recognizing that when the time comes, is one of the most exciting parts of being on this journey with Christ.

Prayer Requests

We ask that you pray for one of the kids from the summer camp, Wingo. Pray that someone–perhaps Pastor James from The Grace Place–is able to work with and mentor him as he grows in his relationship with Christ. Also please pray that a youth group can be made at this church so there can be a place for many of these ‘unchurched’ kids to come together in fellowship. Also, thank God that we have leaders that are observant and caring, and understand the power of rest and restoration; we’re taking the afternoon off tomorrow to swim and sleep!!

First Day Again

Today was the first official day we worked with the VBS team from California. Most of our team woke up around 5:00 am to prepare breakfast at the Grace Place for everybody. We know the day will be rush because we have two VBS in one day.  Morning VBS in the elementary school, afternoon VBS at the Grace Place.  It will be a hectic schedule, but we learned how to accommodate with the California VBS team as we went along.

The students at the elementary school were shy and some sat alone in classrooms during the breaks.  I notice one of the student was not very enthusiastic or motivated to participate in our activities. However, through the power of God I was able to speak to him in Chinese, and we quickly grew attached to each other. The most comforting prize for me today was when the same little boy brought his sister to the after school program, and he immediately recognized me and gave me a hug. I saw my reflection as I became a better Christian through the connections I made with others, just like Jesus promised his disciples to make them fishers of men.

Before we came on this trip, we knew there will be difficulties ahead with language barriers and connection with others.  We also knew that things will be more hectic when another team is involved.  It was much easier when we were in control with our own lesson plans. We have to adjust to the leadership of the other team.

Please continue to pray for our energy levels, that we will not be deteriorated but rather more focused on helping the students. Throughout the first week in Puzih, we made many great connections with students and peers. I was so surprised to see some of students who were willing to skip class for church, and others who was willing to spend their free time to help us prepare lessons for the next day. We thank God for opening the heart of these students to allow for connections. Please pray for their spiritual relationship with God as they grow.  Please pray for our two team to work smoothly to glorify His name.