Finally! The humidity level has dropped significantly here in Taipei and… I’M A PERMANENT ALIEN!!!
My two goals for 2014 were to BECOME A FULL TIME MANDARIN STUDENT and GET MY PERMANENT ALIEN RESIDENT CERTIFICATE. Both have finally happened! After 5 years, I’m finally moving into a new season: a new daily routine of attending class and doing homework, a new residential status, and a new… APARTMENT! That’s right, I’m moving! This month (October) is my last month at this apartment I’ve been living in for 4 years. I will be moving into my own place on Nov 1, and am very excited about a completely new living situation. Things are changing, and it’s exciting.
Another friend who is currently going for her Taiwan citizenship through her parents, also got her ARC that frees her up from having to work in Taiwan. We had a celebratory dinner at the Aroma with friends to celebrate.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:14 (NIV)
Some pretty cool things have happened in October. I officially assumed the position as the Children’s Church Director at the Aroma. I enjoy putting together schedules, lessons, all that planning and administration. And I love kids! It’s so refreshing to be working with them again in the church context, because I have not done that since college. The reason we have a children’s church program now is because a family with 3 kids has started attending on Sunday nights. This was a great reason to start something, not only for them, but for all the future children that start becoming a part of the Aroma!
October 10 is Double 10-Day here in Taiwan, because it’s this country’s birthday! 雙十節! The Double Ten Festival. The holiday fell on a Friday this year, so all the government workers, office workers, bank employees and teachers got a 3-day weekend. A group of us from the Aroma went on a retreat, setting aside time over the 3 days to intentionally focus on connecting with God and with each other. During the retreat, we travelled by bus to the city of Taizhong (台中) and spent the day at a water park! It was a super fun time away from everything and with each other.
(That smudge in the lower right hand corner represents the presence of the very nice man who was willing to take this photograph for us.)
Some of you may or may not care about this, but another exciting thing that has happened this month was the season 5 premier of The Walking Dead! There are definitely a group of us in our community here who gather every Tuesday night to watch the latest episode together. For October, I have assumed the position as host of these parties, preparing zombie-related victuals and snacks for my guests. I say this really to emphasize the significance of these words that were spoken over a me a couple years ago:
“Your hospitable. No matter what you have, host as much as you can. A tent, with not much in it, but full of people you are hosting.”
I love hosting people and having parties and watching my guests have a good time. This was a significant factor as I was looking for a new place. I needed to have space for hosting people.
Lastly, this has been a cool month for the Bible Study Training Small Group I lead on Wednesday nights. Above is a picture of me sitting on the floor of Aroma’s prayer room surrounded by commentaries and other such books in both English and Chinese, showing the group how these books can be used as a tool and resource for studying the Bible. I’ve really enjoyed passing on the things that I learned from going to a Bible college, but what’s even more rewarding is watching people take it and run with it. After a few weeks of these “workshop” style sessions, everyone was assigned a passage and the rotation of everyone taking turns leading has begun. It’s amazing to finally sit back and watch other people, who originally didn’t think they were capable, share from God’s word. Everyone is a theologian!
There you have it: the recent happenings of my personal, community, and ministry life in a nutshell. For more information on ways to support me, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, keep reading my blog!