If any of my western friends are itching for summer, you should have come to visit Taiwan last weekend: it was 90 Degrees Fahrenheit here. For Pastor Chris’ wife Jamie’s birthday a group of us went for a bike ride, and I got my first sunburn of the year.
But then it went right back to the lovely rainy and cool weather that has been keeping a small part of my heart happy for about three months– I am willing to have any amount of cool rainy weather if only it is not 100 Degrees and humid beyond belief! Here I do not wear warm cloths because I have to else I will be too cold–no. I wear them because I am so happy that I can! haha
(warm clothes 🙂 )
On chatty days, my sister Corry would say, “Hey Skyebee, what’s the happs?” I would try to ask this to my friends, but they would just stare at me blankly and say, “What’s a happ?”
Translation: (n.) the happenings, ergo, the activity one is participating in
So, the happs are:
I have been talking with the financial peeps at Envision HQ, and I need to raise my budget a little to allow for some things like doctor visits (next week I am getting my wisdom tooth taken out, for example) and a little more travel money for in-country. The main thing though, is that I want to be able to visit home in December and spend Christmas with my family, so I need plane tickets. At this point, I am unsure of what the final amount would be that I need to raise over and above what I already have been so graciously given by you all. If you are interested in helping me, I need about 10 supporters to at least cover the plane tickets, and the monthly donation would be just $10. One-time gifts are also very appreciated! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information, or go to How To Support Skye for directions on how to give. Thanks~~<3
My grades in Chinese classes at National Taiwan Normal University’s Mandarin Training Center (or you can just say NTNU’s MTC haha, or simply ShiDa) are steadily improving, at least that is what the tests say. I usually finish the homework, but not always on-time. Work with Aroma, tutoring, and other activities sometimes takes away the time I have to complete assignments. The good thing is, nothing aside from the final test really matters as long as I am not a scholarship student, so God’s grace is even in that!
- Please pray for my classmates at ShiDa! Last week, I talked with one of them who said she is a ‘convert,’ but when I asked her what she meant, she said that she believes in God but doesn’t really know any god yet. I gave her an open invitation to talk to me anytime about why I follow Jesus. Please pray for Li Xuan to see God working in my life and be drawn to the cross. Pray she feels she can talk to me about him!
- Please pray for my teacher, Ms Hsu. The essay question in our workbooks this week was “Write a paragraph explaining why you are studying Chinese… why you decided to come to Taiwan… do you think you decided to come to the right place?” haha. What an open invitation to completely just share the gospel! Please pray for the words that I wrote to pierce her heart and make her hungry for more of Jesus!
- Please pray for wisdom in knowing how much money I should raise to be able to meet my needs.~
Chen Jie’s shop
I went to visit Chen Jie late one night a couple weeks ago, and she was working until after I left at a quarter to 12. For those of you who do not know, Chen Jie is my Taiwanese friend that I met last year because God said, “Go pray for that lady.” She is a cobbler with an open-air workshop where she sits for 14 to 18 hours a day, bent over shoes or jackets, back packs or suitcases, fixing a stitch here, mending a zipper there, attaching a new sole to a pair of someone’s dress shoes.
I visit her at least three times a week, just to talk, and share the gospel where I can. She has been less open to me praying for her this year for some reason, and I can feel the pull of the enemy on her life sometimes, telling her she needs to stay busy, to reject Christ, to stay loyal to her husband’s religion.
- Please pray for more boldness and vocabulary for me to share the gospel in full with Chen Jie (she speaks no English). Pray for God’s healing hand on her life.
- Please pray for the lady I met at Chen Jie’s shop today, who had a fun conversation with me and who let me pray for her health. I was able to give her Aroma’s card and pray for her in Chinese, praise God!
- Praise God for all the opportunities Chen Jie’s location and popularity afford me in sharing the Gospel!
Yesterday, Cloud, the leader of the Community Growth part of Aroma Church, a Taiwanese man, talked to me and officially put me in charge of discipleship ministries. That means that I will be working under his direction to help oversee the mentors and any classes that happen for Aroma (like new believer classes or Bible studies or conferences) work smoothly and be involved in the planning for all these things. That made me insanely excited! 🙂 The idea is to learn under him for a time and take over leadership, but with the purpose and goal to raise up a Taiwanese believer to take my position in the end.
- Please pray for the structure of discipleship in Aroma, and for wisdom for Pastor Chris and Cloud, along with others who are involved in leading anything relating to discipleship. We want to create a place where believers young and old can be fed and challenged to go out and feed the other lambs of Christ (see John 21).
- Please pray for me to put responsibilities in the right order as I step into this role. Praise God for already helping me to do this so far!
God of Love
This week in our Envision meeting for the interns and residents (intern=1 year, resident=2), we read from Psalm 62, and verses 11-12a blew my mind away:
11 God has spoken plainly,
and I have heard it many times:
Power, O God, belongs to you;
12 unfailing love, O Lord, is yours.
Even David, hundreds or thousands of years before Jesus heard from the people around him and the people before him that God is a loving God. His love is unfailing. To those who are unsure about who this God of the Old Testament is, you can be sure he is exactly like he says he is through Jesus: The same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). If people who followed the Lord at that time thought that God was loving and that his love never failed, we need to listen to that. We cannot deny first-hand witnesses.
Who is God to you? Does your God change or is he the Father, Son, and Spirit from the Old and New Testaments?
Keep the Faith, Expectantly!