April. It started out with a 4-day weekend, during which a high school friend from back home visited. It middled with a baptism service. And then it ended in the middle of the week, which was a little awkward, but we all figured it out.
I was refreshed and had a super fun time showing my friend Anthony around Taipei City and beyond (he’s part of the crew I went to school with from 8th grade to graduation who I see everytime I go back to good ‘ole Marysville, Washington). That was an action packed 4-day weekend, and just give you an idea of how international networking is such a natural part of my life these days, let me tell you about Tim, the guy who tagged along on the adventure I had already planned for Anthony. I met him at this restaurant called 365, where I was having lunch with my friend Jamie. He approached us after finishing his meal and directly called us out on our American English accents. Why? He had spent the last 6 months in Australia; they don’t speak with American accents there. As a result of his bold introduction and the fact that he visiting Taiwan for 2 weeks, I invited him to join the tour I was already taking Anthony on. It was a fun weekend, and Anthony officially became my first friend from back home to visit me out here. (I LOVE visitors, hint-hint!)
Then, after a shorter week of school due to the 4-day weekend, we had a baptism service for our friend and sister Angela.
But before I tell you about the baptism service, I’m going to back up and explain some of the cultural significance of a Taiwanese holiday that often lines up with Easter Sunday, this day is called Tomb Sweeping Day. Tomb Sweeping Day is a day when families return to the tombs of deceased family members and pay their respects through 拜拜 （pronounced “bye-bye”), which is basically praying to their ancestors. This includes other practices, such as burning and incense and setting up a table with food. It’s a challenging day for first generation Taiwanese Christians to face, as they don’t want to dishonor their parents, but they also want to honor the God of the Living. And it just so happens, that this last Tomb Sweeping Day coincided with Easter Sunday. On a day people were remembering and praying to the dead, people were also celebrating the life and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the son of God, the God of the living, not of the dead. This is such a powerful example of the battle in the spiritual realm here in Taiwan. (Tomb-sweeping pictured below.)
ANGELA. Angela has been working as a part-time worker at the Aroma Coffee Shop for the last year or so. When she came, she was already a young-seeker Christian; she has been exposed to the Gospel and to church in the past, and felt that working at coffee shop church would help her keep growing in this faith she found! The last year, she has really been growing in her relationship with God and decided to get baptized! So she was baptized on April 12th. The service was dedicated to her and her testimony of Christian growth. It was beautiful.
We actually held the service at a sister CMA church in another part of city. The pastor of that church participated in the service with us as well.
We also said goodbye to Blair, one of the interns who had been serving here for 3-months. Just like all the interns who have been coming through, her energy and enthusiasm to serve and be a blessing to people made an impact on the friends she made while she was here, and she touched people in every ministry she was involved in. A lamb-themed farewell party was thrown in her honor, as Lamb is actually the last name of her fiance who she will be getting married to this summer.
And then, April, like I mentioned earlier, ended in the middle of the week. And I found myself at the beginning of another month. I reflected on some of my feelings about this in a blog post called Responsibility. I also expressed a recent struggle in Love & Hate, Heaven & Hell.
Thank you everyone for your support, near and far.
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS UPDATE! 謝謝你!
Now that I am no longer an English teacher and have officially started full-time Chinese study, I am officially living off of support. I plan to live mainly on support from now to the end of 2016, two years of focused ministry and study here in Taiwan, with 3 months in America this summer.
- If you would like to make either a one-time contribution or start supporting me with a monthly gift, follow these simple instructions on how to send me a financial gift:
Write a check payable to “C&MA-Envision, Victoria Crowley” and send to:The Christian & Missionary Alliance-Envision Office8595 Explorer DriveColorado Springs, CO 80920OR1. Click on https://secure.cmalliance.org/give/ and scroll down to “International Workers and Special Projects.” (I am considered an international worker.)2. Designate the amt of your gift, and then right below it type “ENV – Victoria Crowley” and hit the red GIVE NOW button that appears. My name will appear separately below with the amt you designated.3. Below is a checkbox labeled “Make this a recurring gift” if you would like your contribution to be monthly. Follow the prompts to fill out your contact and billing info and submit!
- If you have any questions about my ministry and what I am doing out here, please free feel to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to connect with you!