Update: I am raising funds for serving in Taipei, Taiwan with Envision from the CMA, and I am seriously thinking of going into long-term ministry either Stateside or overseas. I am now much closer to my goal. My goal of $2,800 for special gifts has been met, and exceeded, spilling over to my monthly gifts needed. I need $987 pledged per month by ministry team members, and I need only about $300 more to meet that goal. If you would like to be a part of my team, please go to How To Support Skye.
I am very excited to announce to you that God has really done something awesome, although it may not be what you are expecting. 🙂
Last night I and the Envision leaders agreed with each other that the timing just is not right for me to go back to Taiwan just yet. Chris O’Dell, the pastor of Aroma Church, and Jesse Wagner, a site associate with Envision:Taipei, and Sarah Bourns from the head office have been discussing the idea of me going for a short visit to make use of the ticket I had bought, but I know it is not as cost-efficient as I would wish for to make that possible.
So what is this “great thing” that happened?
Well, let me tell you. Delta agreed to suspend my ticket, at full price, for as long as almost a full year. Now that is cool. So, whenever it is the Lord’s timing for me to return to Taiwan, I can just go, without having to worry about trying to buy a cheap ticket ahead of time in the hopes of reserving just the right date. No worries about needing to fundraise more than I have already set my goal at. Thank you Lord.
I thought it was going to be tough going with the airline since I have already extended the date once (and got the fee waived). But my dad encouraged me, “Just give it a try!” So, praise God, another fee was waived today, and my ticket is ready to go when God is. Speaking of that, …
“Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise”
This saying has been in my family for a long time, I am guessing, since my second cousin has been known to use it. The phrase is usually used when one family member or another is talking about going to some family get together or when my mom is being funny. It conjures up the meaning of a passage in James that talks about making plans. Read it. Don’t just skim through it. Maybe God needs to touch your heart in this area too:
13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. (James 5:13-16)
As it is, this passage hits me square in the eyes right now. I mean, look! I think James was actually writing to Skye Bonati, not some church in _______. (Yes, you’ve been lied to your whole life. Sorry.) But seriously, I get it. For the first time maybe, I realize the importance of qualifying every plan we make with the phrase, “if God wills,” and those of you around me may have heard me saying that recently.
The thing is, no matter how much we want something, no matter how hard we try to make something happen, it, in the end, is still very much in the hands of the Master of Time. I am talking about a God who knows how to direct his children in the wisest way possible to do the “good works he has created us to do in Christ” (Ephesians 2:10); not the God who uses his children’s idea of good timing to do those works.
How do you plan your days?
As I look at my next week, here are some things that may fill it:
- Visiting my dad’s house before my grandmother leaves to stay with my aunt for a few months (God willing)
- Looking for a job and getting applications sent out (God willing)
- Studying Spanish with my college friend, Rafaela, who is a great teacher and has blessed me with teaching me 3 times a week for free. I wish I could pay her!! (If you need a teacher/tutor, I can get you her information) (God willing)
- More fundraising (God willing)
- Writing a song for my friend Zau Nu in Burma (God willing)
- Looking for a Chinese language exchange here, and hopefully talking with MoMo about doing one
(I never stop, haha)
- Please pray for God to direct me to the people who will be excited about being on my ministry team (people who will support me for my time in Taiwan)
- Please pray for me to always stay surrendered to God’s will
- Please pray for you and your family to plan things in light of our uncertainty–and trust that God’s plan might include yours, but will definitely be awesome!
- Please pray for a job for me that I can do while I’m here
Lessons I Hope to Teach
As a returning missionary, or just as someone who has lived overseas for an extended time, there is something I would like you to know. If we meet, or if we talk on the phone, or Facebook, Skype, etc., when I talk about Taiwan, it is my home. I did not just ‘go on a trip.’ If God wills and I return to Taiwan in the future, it will not be for ‘a trip.’ I know how hard it is to connect to a person who may seem like a stranger to you, or who has been somewhere you cannot even begin to conceive of, but that’s okay. Just ask me questions. 🙂
Ask, who did you meet?
Where was your favorite restaurant? What did you eat?
What was your favorite worship song when you played for the worship band there? How many people are on the team?
Do you have any Taiwanese friends?
Did you ever do something embarrassing? (The answer to that is yes, by the way…)
And then listen. Listening is the most important gift you could give me.
If you stay silent, it is even harder for me to find out how to tell you about Taiwan, because, honestly it does not feel like you care. I know that may not be true, but just like anything, you look for what you care about. Look for me. 🙂 I will try to look for you, too.
If you know anyone else who has ever lived overseas, I just told you the key to a part of their heart.
Keep the Faith!