As previously stated five times, I am doing a short blog series this week called Everyday Life: School Edition, about my adventures in the land of Oz. Oh, I mean Taiwan. Taipei, Taiwan. Ximen-ding, Taipei City, Taiwan, World, to be exact. I am an intern with a missionary org called Envision, an offshoot of the Christian Missionary Alliance (CMA). Do not call me a missionary, excepting if you are not a Christian. If you are a Christian, you should call me your fellow soldier, because Guess what? You are a missionary too.
The past few days have been insanely busy. Today I have some really, really cool praises from teaching. Here is what my Saturday looked like:
I woke up at 8 am because I was supposed to have a Chinese lesson with my teacher, Alexa, and my roommate and host, Brittany (I live in her and her husband’s house right now). But, we did not end up starting class til 9:20 because Alexa accidentally missed her alarms.
Brittany and I learned how to write 山 “shan” (mountain), 月 “yue” (month), and 日 “ri” (day), and some conversations about night markets and eating a lot of food. Yum.
Then at 10, Alexa and I met our friend named Sandra at the Aroma Cafe to do “harp and bowl” worship (meaning we just play music and sing whatever song we come up with, read the Bible together, and pray). Someone was using the prayer room today to interview the new business as missions (BAM) interns, so we went to Japanese park, which is a block from the Aroma, and played guitar and cajon there. We prayed for the leaders of Aroma because it is a pretty stressful time for them right now with thinking about moving, hiring new people, and all the new interns coming and going this summer. God led us to pray against false teaching and for discernment for all Christians in Taiwan as well. Some tourists pulled up in a bus to come look at the monument we were sitting on (Japanese park is thus named because it is a historical landmark for the Japanese rule in the 19oos), and they got to hear us singing too, so it was a cool witness for us. Probably annoying for them, but who cares?
We three went back to the Aroma at 11 and parted ways. I bought tuna dan bing, which is like an egg crepe with tuna and corn inside with sauce. Pretty good. I went to sit with Chen Jie while she worked. She was super busy today, so mainly I just sat there and ate my food and rested my eyes. She gave me her water and told me to go take a nap, which I did.
I slept until two-ish and then took down my laundry from the lines on our balcony. Then I prepared to go to the doctor again for another round of acupuncture and adjusting for my ankle and knee. It went well and the doctor showed me some things I can do to help strengthen my leg. (Don’t worry, I’m not in a ton of pain or anything.)
It was raining when I went there, but it had stopped by the time I came out again an hour later, and I ate a weird Taiwanese
beef pizza, chatted with the worker of the restaurant for a little, and practiced drawing MoMo’s logo (I am creating one for her) before walking the 15 minutes to the MRT station and riding that for 10ish minutes back to Ximen. By the time I was back I felt like taking another nap!
But that was not to be, because everyone in Envision had been invited to go to a night market with the short-term missions team from a church in MN called Riverside (my roommate Michael is from there; his parents are on this trip and will fly home with him next week as he leaves for the States) and the BAM team. Altogether we had about 28 people! I tried this amazing naan bread form an Indian guy’s restaurant, and enjoyed walking about with Alisha, one of the interns that has been here since Januaryish.
A night market is basically a street set aside only for a market, and people set up shops all alongside both sides of the street and in the middle as well, selling anything from hairbrushes made of animal horns to BBQ squid to dresses and cellphone cases. Most of it is pretty cheap too, so if you want something cool and flashy, go to a night market. Also if you want to see amusingly jarbled English slapped on a shirt, that is another reason to go. A lot of the English shirts are Chinese messages that get lost in translation…
After the night market I went to the prayer room and
rested for a little by myself. I thought about my life and what I am doing, and the thought came to me, “I am doing exactly what I want to do with my life.”
Eddie is Chen Jie’s son, and I have been tutoring him for probably a good 8- 9 months. I made him tell me what he did today like I usually do, but this time he had to do it in one minute. Then we did the same thing with what he plans on doing tomorrow, and what he did yesterday (each with only 1 minute to tell me). He needs practice talking with people the most, so we just talked today. God really moved the conversation towards him.
One thing that came up in conversation was that yesterday at Aroma at the 10am prayer time, we
prayed about the Father’s Heart of God, and Eddie was really curious about that. Then later during a question time, he asked me why I came to Taiwan, why I am called Skye, and why I like “that book”–that book being my Bible (the cover does not look like a traditional Bible cover). I got to tell him that it is because the Bible gives me all the answers I need for my life. He also got to hear about Jesus and what he did for us, and my favorite verse (Galatians 2:20).
Before I left, Howard and I (Howard came to hang out with us too) prayed for Chen Jie because she said she has been unlucky lately–she has cut her hands a lot. She needs those hands to fix the shoes that people bring her. 🙂 Another friend of Chen Jie’s was there, and was very curious about how Christians pray. Howard and I offered to pray for her too. She was very wary of our prayer, but she watched very attentively as we prayed for Chen Jie. Today was a cool day.
Yesterday I had a really fun time leading Coffee Talk (CT). Coffee Talk goes from 8:30-10 pm on Friday nights at the Aroma, and it is a time to learn and practice conversational English. Leading means that I came up with a topic, vocabulary, found a video to go with it, wrote discussion questions, and made some activities for the tables to do. We usually have 7 groups or tables, and each table has a table leader who is a foreigner and a Christian. Mostly that means interns or missions teams. A table leader facilitates discussion and guides the conversations to help people join in and learn.
My topic was social media, emoticons, emoji, and stickers, and if you want to, you can look at my 6-17-16CoffeeTalk hand out to see the fun questions and activities we did. The night was a hit! The last activity we did was to make up a set of “stickers” that went with certain emotions. My table picked an eggplant for a character for some reason haha. So now I have pictures of a joyful eggplant, a loved eggplant, an excited eggplant, and even a very angry eggplant. Who knew vegetables could be so expressive?
Before CT though, I taught school, and I had a really cool conversation with my 6th graders. During the vocab, we had the word “abundant,” and I told them how my God gives us abundantly what we need. I asked them if their gods promise them this, and one student who is usually very put off by my talking about Jesus said, “No they don’t. Actually, our gods don’t really answer our prayers like your God does. If you want to get your answer to your prayers, you have to think your own answer in your head.” I let that ring in the air before continuing to teach.
I am returning to the US in just over two weeks.
I have not began packing. I do not really know what to pack or where to put my stuff. I will be in America one month. That time seems very long and too short at the same time.
America doesn’t feel real… as I look at pictures of Minnesota and other places, I have the same feeling I used to feel about somewhere like Taiwan–that those places exist, but they do not exist in my world. It is so weird! It will be cool to go and visit the people and places in the pictures and remember the feeling and the smell and the conversations that they carry. 🙂
- Please pray for Chen Jie and Eddie, and the lady that wouldn’t let us pray for her. Pray that they see the light of Jesus and run to it.
- Please pray for my students. One question on a debriefing questionnaire that I am doing asked, “What do you want to do before you leave?” I want to tell my testimony to my 6th graders before I leave.
- Please pray for me to finish well and help the students learn to love Jesus, to speak English well, and to have fun.
- Please pray for me to get some rest in the next few weeks. I am tired as we all know, and I need to healthily process stuff.
- Please pray that I don’t see everything as being so challenging. God is with me and he will be with me in every future thing too!
- Please pray for the worship service tomorrow evening (your Sunday morning if you’re in America). Pray for healing and for the gospel to be told.
Keep the Faith!
More Pictures from today: