Monday, July 26, 2010

blessings

For those of you who have been praying, thank you! I feel SO much better and was able to work a full day today. I am reminded to thank the Lord for the many unseen blessings in our lives... you know, those blessings we forget exist until the Lord somehow alters them. Things like... air (Boy, life could be very short.), food (You'll realize how much you miss it if you're ever on Ciproxin for three days, believe me. Toast never sounded so good.), sleep (It's difficult while running to the bathroom, although I think I nearly mastered it. Practice makes perfect, Dad always said.), and especially health. All this to say, God is good!

It has been awhile since I've given the photo update, so here it is... enjoy!

Danshui

A few weekends ago, we headed out to Danshui,
a small, costal town on the outskirts of Taipei.
It was beautiful.

 

we loved the ferry ride

139

the Pacific... on this side of the world

the boardwalk

a Danshui sunset

the bridge at Fisherman's Wharf

You all are constantly in our thoughts and prayers... love to you!

Beth

Thursday, July 22, 2010

slowing down

Sometimes, the Lord brings circumstances in our lives which cause us to slow down a bit. This week has been one of those for me.
I've found this song by the Gettys to be so encouraging, and thought you might as well.

 
Jesus draw me ever nearer
As I labour through the storm.
You have called me to this passage,
and I'll follow, though I'm worn.

May this journey bring a blessing,
May I rise on wings of faith;
And at the end of my heart's testing,
With Your likeness let me wake.

Jesus guide me through the tempest;
Keep my spirit staid and sure.
When the midnight meets the morning,
Let me love You even more.

Let the treasures of the trial
Form within me as I go -
And at the end of this long passage,
Let me leave them at Your throne.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Could it be Taiwanese Tummy?

Dear Friends,
With a new culture comes new lingo. When I lived in Turkey, there was a constant fear of what we called Turkish Tummy...(really bad stomach issues). Unfortunately, Beth (and myself to a much lesser extent) were struck by what we thought was Taiwanese Tummy a couple days ago. Yesterday, we were both sick as dogs. I felt much better this morning after I woke up, but Beth is not doing any better. There has been a terrific Taiwanese lady, who just so happens to be a pharmacist and the pastor's wife, helping us out. She has said that Beth probably has some sort of bacterial infection. Therefore, tomorrow she will get a live and upfront look at a Taiwanese hospital.

Prayer
-Please pray that we, especially Beth, would get to feeling better soon. Pray that it would be something that might easily be taken care of.
-Please pray for us as over the next few weeks we will be involved with a jr. high kids camp. This camp is being held at a local church and is designed to use English to build bridges with area youth.

Praise
-We praise the Lord that I have been able to find a job. It should start up in the next couple of weeks.
-We are extremely grateful that our transition over here has been smooth and (aside from getting sick) pretty uneventful.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fact and Fiction

Fact: It's so hot that, as some would say, "I could incubate chickens in my armpits." The humidity is so thick you could cut it with a knife. \

Fiction: Some may have the idea that the public transportation here is antiquated. To the contrary, public transportation here is amazing. It is probably the best I've ever seen.

Fact: In order to get rid of your garbage you simply wait until you hear the garbage truck with it's blaring music and take off out the door to to throw it into the back. (By the way, you are required to buy special bags for trash and to separate out the recyclables).

Fiction: For those of you who think that dishes such as "cat kabobs" and "stir fry with fresh vegetables and a smattering of cat meat" occupy a regular place on the menu, it just ain't so. I have yet to run across any sort of cat anything. However, yesterday I did notice pig intestine. Perhaps that will be the subject of one of my "Man vs. Food" posts.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

welcome to my school.

As promised, here is a tour and introduction to Bambini Learning Program... are you ready?

welcome to my school

Owned by an American believer and his Taiwanese wife, Bambini originally served as a montessori-type Chinese school, and has recently been developed into an English school. Most classes consist of children between the ages of 4 and 10, at varying levels of English, and take place after school daily. The exception is our current summer program, which has been running during the daytime. Unlike many bushibans (English cram schools in Taiwan), Bambini is dedicated not only to English education, but also to the development of character and a love for learning.

the front room where parents and children hang out...

I love how the school is focused on promoting families... this front room is often crowded with parents and children hanging out before or after classes. Our staff is small, and we feel like one happy family!

my classroom

My classroom...

my classroom's environment

For our summer program, both classes have created an environment of clay, sand, and water. The students are creating clay sea animals... so fun! After a few weeks, we will "pollute" the environment with trash and an oil spill, demonstrating to the students the importance of maintaining a clean world. I think the project is fantastic!

whales... by my students
Whales... by my students.


In all honestly, I feel incredibly blessed to have this job. I am loving teaching, and feel excited about the many opportunities to love and impact these children. Thank you for your prayers!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Imitate Me"

For those of you who are interested, I came across this article recently and thought I would post the link. It is written by D.A. Carson and it gives some good insight into discipleship.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Man vs. Food: Squid on a Stick

I will be introducing a new section to our blog today. It's called Man vs. Food (totally not based off of the Food Network's like-named show). Anyway, I will be eating various kinds of new and exotic foods and giving you a rundown on how they are.

 (Deep Announcer Voice......) "Today, on Man vs. Food, we journey to faraway Taiwan to experience some local cuisine. Being the island that it is, Taiwan is, quite understandably, known for its seafood. We walk up to a streetside vendor to sample some of the exotic fare that the island has to offer."

062-1
(Squid)


063-1


066-1


068-1


069a
Pleasantly seasoned, this rubbery meat gets a two thumbs up from this critic.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

a week in photos

It has been some time since I've posted... life has been busy here! The Lord provided a teaching job for me four days after we arrived in Taipei. We've found His provision overwhelming and humbling.

Monday was my first day of teaching... I am thrilled to have my very own class! After the initial sleepless night, labored lesson plan, and fear of Taiwanese children, I am learning to love teaching. More to come soon about this!

In the meantime, here is our past week in photos...

We took a trip out to Xidian, the outskirts of Taipei.

Taipei is surrounded by mountains
Umbrellas are used here, rain or shine... we find this entertaining.

umbrellas

we took a trip out to Xidian

Ben, with the typical Taiwanese gesture... he's such a natural.

Ben, doing the typical Taiwanese gesture


Finding dinner is always an adventure...

finding dinner is always an adventure

... but this Taiwanese BBQ is a winner.

a good find for food...Taiwanese BBQ

Japanese noodles... yum.

japanese noodles...yum

... and pork kabobs.

pork kabobs...also yum

It's been too long since I've had a good coffee... and you know how I love coffee. Perfect while lesson planning.

lesson planning...

Hope you are enjoying summer as well...

Monday, July 5, 2010

a hospital, fish, & other good things

So... it has been awhile since we've sent out an update, mostly because we haven't had internet until today. Thursday morning we signed a contract with our new landlord (Chris)...(the contract was all in Chinese) and moved in that very afternoon. We moved into a nondescript, one-room flat over a vacant storefront on a typical street, such as the one to the left. We are grateful to be in our own place!

Over the past few days, we have had some great cultural experiences. One such experience was our trip to the hospital. In order for us to be able to work here in Taiwan, we had to have a check-up. Therefore, a number of us foreigners trecked over to the nearby hospital to get that taken care of. They ushered us around to various stations: height and weight, blood, x-ray, eyes, hearing, etc. I do believe that by the time the "eyes & ears nurse" got to me she was frustrated with our lack of Mandarin... she just put her face in her hands and shook her head back and forth. The meaning was clear, "Why do we make these stupid foreigners get health checks?" However, the process went smoothly and we went back a week later to obtain the results. The
health system appears to be more than adequate (there is life after socialized healthcare after all).

Beth and I took a short field trip out of the center of Taipei. Below are some of the sites that we beheld:

Needless to say, on an island, fish are pretty common.

(As are their heads...)

 Frog legs? Then again, I wouldn't bet money on knowing what anything is in
the local markets in this neck of the woods...

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