My super short summer is coming to a close, with less than five days before I move in. I’m still hungry and tired at weird times because of jetlag (12-hour time difference), so I haven’t made much progress on the whole packing-my-life-away thing. Actually, I haven’t even fully unpacked from Taiwan… and I really should take advantage of having a real kitchen while I’m home. So much to do, so little time!
July was one of the best months of my life, hands down. I spent three weeks in Taiwan, two of which were at Yuan Ze University on a mission trip. What our team did there was teach the kids (ages 9-15ish) English through Bible stories, skits, songs, activities, and conversation. Words can’t really describe what an amazing experience it was, and I certainly couldn’t cover it all in pictures. But by the end of our two weeks there, it was evident that God had touched the lives of not only the kids, but also our Taiwanese coworkers and that has made all the difference.
This was my small group from Week 1 – it was funny to see how 13-year-olds, even halfway around the world, are still 13-year-olds who are “too cool for camp” with their cliques and cooties!
The little ones in the front row here are my kids from the second week – they were younger and much more playful. But don’t underestimate their ability to pose deep theological questions and expect me to answer them… in Chinese. Also don’t underestimate their curiosity about your personal life, including full-page questionnaires about the existence of your husband and/or kids (do I look like I’m 32…?).
During English class, we had them write sentences using their new vocabulary, played games like Scattergories and Bingo, and drew a lot of pictures to help illustrate the Bible stories. The first three days were toughest – we had to pretend like we didn’t understand Chinese, otherwise the kids wouldn’t even try to practice English with us.
Our skits each day were based on the “High Seas Expedition” VBS theme – the storyline involved a retiring Captain looking for a brave sailor with good character to replace him. Having the fruit of the spirit helped our protagonist, ‘Flynn Rider’, to complete the Captain’s missions ahead of his competitors, and eventually become the new Captain.
We played. A lot. And the kids loved it.
The first week, we had a camp-wide water balloon fight. When the balloons ran out, people resorted to filling plastic containers with water and dumping them on people’s heads. (#WWJD right? haha)
One of the biggest things I learned on this trip was that when things don’t go the way they’re supposed to, God is working in the situation. God shows me time and again that He has a reason for doing things His way, regardless of whether I want it or am prepared for it. So even though the typhoon that whirled in cancelled half of the first week of camp, it gave us time we wouldn’t have had to bond and build lasting relationships with our Taiwanese coworkers.
I had an amazing two weeks serving in Taiwan and I’m so glad I met all these incredible people! (Stay tuned for the food…)