Monday, October 20, 2014

Tales from Taiwan: #final


Dear sisters,

How can one process a year and a half of life overseas into one post?  It isn't possible.  Nor is it possible for me to completely understand and express what God has done in my life in Taiwan.  Since that's not possible, I've chosen to share brief snippets throughout the year and a half as my final Tales from Taiwan post.  It's been a joy to share with you, readers around the world, what our King has been doing on one small island that's very near to my heart.  Thank you so much for the prayers, for the support, and kindness.  I'm one blessed girl!

So, here's glimpses of my time in Taiwan:

I learned that...

~ worshipping with fellow believers in another language is challenging and rewarding.  Sometimes the language barrier gets in the way, and yet, sometimes God breaks through that barrier and the fellowship you experience doesn't depend on words anymore.

~ chicken bowels don't taste good and they don't taste bad.  They're just kind of plain.  And slightly gross if I let myself think about it.  But I tried not to.

~ living abroad changes you, inside and out.  God uses it to mold you and conform you more like His Son and it's a terrifying and thrilling experience.  You're pushed out of your comfort zone (sometimes thrown out!) and suddenly you're experiencing things you never thought you'd ever know about.

~ hugs from village kids and orphans are simply the best kind of hugs around.

~  cultural differences really are...different.  I grew up learning about them, but wow, living in the midst of them is a totally different story!  I realized that it doesn't mean they are bad, but simply different and I must respect them.

~ getting lost on your first Sunday in a new city in a new country is nerve-wracking and good and crazy.  And totally used by God to remind you of your dependence on Him.

~ being a white foreign girl in a Taiwanese hospital is quite an experience (and I had many of those, unfortunately!).  Hearing your name called out - your Chinese name - and then raising your hand to indicate it's you is also quite an experience.  Especially when the guy tries to convince you it's not you he's calling, since he's expecting a Taiwanese girl.

~ teaching an English class during the time the Buddhists practice their temple drums is hard and a good reminder to pray for the lost.  Plus, it gets your voice some extra practice speaking as you strive to get your students to hear you over the loudness of the drums!

~ God is good.  All the time.  I saw that over and over again in Taiwan.  And I know without a doubt it's totally true.  He's good when a friend comes to know Him and He's good when I lay in a bed in the emergency room.  He's good when I struggle through the four tones of Mandarin and He's good when I have ten village boys listening intently to the Bible story.

He's good all the time, sisters!

謝 謝 你 (thank you) for your support!  I feel so privileged to have spent 1.5 years on this beautiful tropical island where the kids play hard and hug hard and ask questions like "Teacher, how do I pray?".  I love that I have 3,000+ kids across the ocean that I know and that I shared Christ with, in small ways or in big ways.  Now as I'm back in the States, I miss Taiwan and yes, I'm homesick, but I know this small island will never leave my heart, nor God's.  So I pray and trust and hope for a future trip...because you never know what He might be planning next!

For His work continuing in Taiwan,
Joanna

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