Tales from Taiwan #16

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Dear sisters,

I'm calling this update "Extreme temps, giant spiders and reunions" with good reason:

First is extreme temps: I've learned how it feels to literally sweat the entire day in the office with no AC...hot!  It's only early June but we have been having unusually hot and humid temps, with the feels like temp at 106F and humidity at 85%.  One way to beat the heat is to go swimming with my kids in the river, which was nice and refreshing! (If only I could do that every day!)

Along with the extreme temps, we have had a sudden influx of creepy, crawly creatures which have resulted in sleepless nights, screams and lots of shoe-whacking.  For the record, I'm not usually scared of bugs but when it comes to Taiwan's version, I get a little more nervous since they are so huge!  I'm not the only one...a spider bigger than my hand visited my classroom the other day and caused an outbreak of hysterics from my students.  Thank God for the brave boy who grabbed the broom and saved us all!

The best for last: reunions!  This weekend I traveled by train with my friend to visit my village kids further away at their sports day.  These are fourth graders I taught last semester and sixth graders I taught two years ago.  

My heart has been especially anxious to see my 6th graders since it's been two years since I've caught up with them.  This particular village is a rougher area and I wasn't sure how my kids would react when they saw me after such an absence.  I was especially looking for two boys in particular.  One of them used to have an awful temper and was well-known in school for throwing chairs and desks at other students.  He really changed during his time at our school and I was wondering if he still was changed.

When the sixth graders caught sight of us, they yelled our names, started into a sprint and threw themselves into my arms and my friend's arms.  What a reunion!  I'm happy to report that it looks like they are still changed for the better two years later.  God is faithful.

It's hard to believe that this school year is almost over.  Just a few weeks left and I'll be returning to the States for the summer.  God has been showing me so much and it's with joy that I will be returning to Taiwan for the fall semester to serve another year.  I also just started working on my degree so I can stay longer-term in Taiwan in the future.  Can't wait to continue this journey He has me on here but in the meantime, I'm trying to treasure these last few weeks and live to the hilt, as missionary Jim Elliot put it. 

For Him in Taiwan,


  1. Joanna, you are such an inspiration. God Bless you for all you do for those children.

    1. Hi Marilyn, thanks for your encouragement! If I am an inspiration, it's only because of Jesus and His work in and through me. I'm so blessed!


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