Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Latest Happenings

I thought that I would drop a quick note to tell everyone about the latest few days on our side of the world. Some may wonder, "Why is Ben the one who is doing all of the posting?" The answer is quite simple: here in Taiwan the women are the breadwinners and the men get to stay home. I always knew that, somewhere in the world, there had to be a culture this revolutionary - it is too good of an idea not to catch on somewhere...okay, I'm kidding. However, it is true that Beth found a job. She interviewed and gave a teaching demo last Friday and was hired. She started her new job yesterday. She will be teaching English at a small bushiban (cram school) owned by fellow believers.  It is a fairly new school that really seems to be focused on not only providing a quality English education, but also developing the character of its students. We are extremely thankful to the Lord for providing this job for her. In addition, I have an interview with a school tomorrow. We are hoping that my "couchtime" will soon come to an end.

In other news, we should be signing a contract on an apartment on Thursday. We found a one-room flat that meets our needs and we are extremely excited to move in. We'll upload some pictures soon to show ya'll where we will be staying and some of the differences between residences here.

                                        
                                        Prayer and Praise

  • Praise the Lord for allowing Beth to find a job so quickly.
  • Praise God for directing us to an apartment that is beyond our expectations and is in our price range.
  • Praise the Lord for the community of believers here who have welcomed us and gone above and beyond to help us out.
  • Please pray for my upcoming interview. We are asking that it would work out if it is God's will.
  • Please pray for our continued adjustment to the language, culture, etc.
  • Please ask the Lord to make it clear to us how He would have us serve Him in this foreign land.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Taiwan in a Nutshell Vol. 1

Taiwan, also known by it's Portuguese name "Ilha Formosa" which means "Beautiful Island," is situated in the Pacific Ocean right off the coast of mainland China. Many people have asked us about Taiwan's political relationship with China. That is a good and complicated question. The answer seems to be that it depends on who you ask. Apparently, there are two main political parties in Taiwan. One of them desires to have close ties with the mainland, the other prefers to emphasize Taiwan's independence.

Taiwan's main island is 245 miles long and 89 miles wide. It is home to an approximate population of 23 million. 93% of these people hold to a combination of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. 4.5% claim to be "Christian." This number includes Protestants, Catholics, and Latter-Day Saints. The remaining 2.5% are adherents of various other religions, such as Islam.

Please pray for the people of this island, that the one and only true God would draw them to Himself. Pray that these people would reject the idols that they currently serve and commit themselves to a life in Christ.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We made it!

Thank you for your prayers... we had a safe journey and a warm welcome here in Taipei.

More to come soon...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Counting Down

It's all beginning to sink in. We have less than a week remaining before we will be hopping a plane to the Orient. Our feelings right now are ones of excitement and anticipation.


Some of you we have not talked with personally and you might be wondering how we arrived at the decision to spend this coming year in Taiwan. There are three main reasons:
1. This is a great opportunity for Beth and I to do ministry together in a cross-cultural setting.
2. This is the time in our lives when we can "just pick up and go." We are footloose and fancy free which enables us to travel and experience other cultures.
3. Lastly, this year will allow us to prepare financially for seminary. We are hoping to enroll in the fall of 2011.


Many of you have asked about news/prayer letters. It is our plan that this blog will provide both news and ways for you to keep us in your prayers.

Speaking of prayer...here are just a few things that we would appreciate you remembering before our Father:

1. Please pray for a smooth transition...that our trip would be uneventful and that we would be able to quickly find good jobs and an apartment that does the trick.
2. Pray that we would be able to get hooked up with a good church and meet some other believers.
3. Pray that we would be "salt and light" to the lost people around us and that we would be bold in
sharing the Good News of Christ.
4. Pray that we would develop a good friendship with Kayt & Kalan, the couple we are going with.

Thanks in advance for all of your prayers!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Goodbye Arkansas

Last week, we quit our jobs, moved out of our apartment, sold our furniture, and said goodbye to Arkansas... to begin our journey to Taiwan. On the way to Chicago, we spent a night with Ben's Grandma. We were thankful for the opportunity to see her before we leave, and enjoyed conversation, phase 10, and her homemade lemon bars. Yum!

with Grandma


Once in Chicago, I met up with Tami, a good friend from Moody. Our time together was precious as we talked of life, marriage, and ministry.

Tami


Friday and Saturday were spent with more Moody friends in preparation for Manu & Melissa's wedding.

Culby 12 guys


good friends


Following the wedding, Heidi & Kevin, Chad, and we headed up to the western part of Wisconsin,
where we spent the rest of the weekend hanging out.

Devil's Lake


Chad


Kevin & Heidi


more good friends


The weekend was full of laughter, especially when Kevin, Chad, and Ben tried to start a bonfire. Though they had heard that spraying a steady stream of gasoline on a fire was a bad idea, Kevin thought "tossing" gasoline from the can would be an effective boost to their efforts.
Needless to say, Heidi and I (washing dishes inside) heard a BOOM...

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Kevin: "WHOA!!"
Ben: "That's not good!"
Chad: ....clap, clap, clap....(Chad disappears in the opposite direction)

...followed quickly by Chad sprinting into the kitchen to grab a glass of water. Yes, just one glass. By the time Heidi and I made it out to evaluate the damage, the fire in front of Kevin's feet had been effectively stomped out. The three-foot stream of burned grass was all that remained... did we know they were pyros when we married them?

In all, it's been good to catch up with friends before we all head in different directions, pursuing various ministry opportunities. We feel blessed by the relationships that stemmed from our time at Moody, as these friends share a similar passion for the Lord.

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