Monday, September 5, 2016

Where I'm At: Joanna

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A year ago I wrote that I was preparing to move back to Taiwan.  This summer 2015 I came back to the States for the summer and will be heading back to Taiwan shortly.  So much has happened since last year and it's hard to take it all in sometimes.  This time I thought perhaps I could share some snapshots of the past year to give you an idea of where I've been and where God currently has me.

~ learning to find my identity in Christ and not in what others say about me.  I think I would've said, "Sure, my identity is in Christ!" but until this past year, that wasn't as real to me as it is now.  I've learned that just because someone may say something about me, doesn't mean it's true.  I've learned to look upward instead and realize that all that matters is who I am in Christ - loved, forgiven, redeemed, beloved.

~ holding the hands of orphans and praying they will know Jesus.  This is one of my most prayed prayers - for my little orphans who don't know the light and love of Jesus yet.  I'm still planting many seeds and praying for God to bring some "rain" along for those seeds.

~ being creative in class when I have bronchitis and completely lost my voice.  Thanks to several friends who came to my rescue and gave me some creative ideas on how to teach small group classes to students when I had absolutely no voice to speak.  What a week that was and how many times I saw God show up!

~ church in another language can be a challenge but is also rewarding.  Joining a church of believers who speak Mandarin has been something that is often tough, not only because of the language barrier but also because of the cultural differences.  I'm learning that easy isn't always good and that sometimes, hard is doubly rewarding.  The fellowship, encouragement and growth I've received from this sweet congregation has been amazing.

~ walking alongside teenage boys and encouraging them.  I still laugh about this one.  Never did I ever imagine myself ministering to teenage boys!  But God plopped this opportunity in my lap and I've loved seeing Him work in these boys' lives.  I'm growing in ways of how to encourage them and be an example and a witness.  Plus, they keep me on my toes and laughing every week with their crazy antics and ridiculous faces.  Gotta love it.

So that's a bit of what life looks like for me now.  God is good and so faithful!

In His love,
Joanna

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