Sunday, November 22, 2009

in the very beginning


PSALMS 6:8-10


Thursday, August 13, 2009

child-like faith

I'm updating a little late but better late than never huh?

The last week in Taiwan we had a highschool english camp. Similar to the first english camp with elementary kids our first day was rough. However, the highschoolers were much more reserved about using their english around us unlike the elementary kids. Suddenly those little kids that were shouting out english words with candy as their only reward turn into teens and incentives are futile. I tried to remember my teen years. For a moment I forgot about that feeling of worrying about looking cool or feeling stupid around your peers if you did something bizarre that didn't seem to fit in an imaginary box of whats acceptable. After some thought it all came back to me. I remember the drama, the act, the desire to fit in somewhere. Where does our confidence go? Where do the days of resilient bodies and minds go? At what point in our youth do we decide to internalize our carefree being and result to fear that binds us? I don't remember when that happened to me but I do recall that at some point in my adolescence I became afraid to express things that really mattered like my faith, my values, and pure sillyness. In my youth I abandoned God and chose to follow a path of my own ways for a period in my life. After I had made all the mistakes I wanted to make I once again had the true desire to follow Him whole heartedly. I came back to that strong faith and pure joy that allowed me to have child-like faith and have life in abundance as He promises.
A group of us wrote a skit for the kids the first day but it actually flopped because the kids couldn't figure out what was going on. It's kind of funny to think about how crazy they thought we were because they had no clue what was going on. The next day we came back with another skit that got our point across without confusion. It was an opener for Wendy to talk about Jesus and what he did for us on the cross. After some conversation with them we discovered that they were teens just like most of the american team and like Scott and I once were. The american girls taught the Taiwanese girls how to make bracelets while role playing conversations. The guys did an all english field trip down the street. Scott and some other americans shared their testimony through a translator. By the end of our second day we all had quickly grown attached to eachother.
The last day the americans were feeling completely ready to head back to home. Personally, I loved being there but that last day I had to ask the Holy Spirit to fill me with energy and joy. I didn't feel well and my mind kept going to Iowa and what I had to do when I got back to work. We ended the day with watching the "Lifehouse" skit. It is an incredibly moving skit and everyone in the room was touched by it. We ended the week on a high note. We passed out Bibles and english cd's. We took a lot pictures and exchanged contact information.

One of the girls that I became close with was Ivory. She gave me a book and wrote an amazing note in it that expressed what good friends we were. It was the last time I would see these kids for a while and I was really emotional about it. It was surreal. We were really leaving this place now. The impact that we made on these kids we may never truelly know but the impact they made on me change my heart forever.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

today, God's creation

I skipped over what we did saturday so remember the last blog was sunday.

Saturday started off with coffee shop ministry. We set up at a local coffee shop called 85 degrees. They have excellent iced coffee (according to Scott because I'm not a coffee drinker) and yummy smoothies. The shop is located in a busy area downtown Yilan so we were ready to hand out english CD's, tracts, and chat with folks. We recruited a few more highschool students for our english church camp. A few of us decided to walk down the block to extend our ministry. Soon into the walk I discovered a hair salon. We all went in and before I knew it Emily and I were getting our hair cut! It was actually a great experience and all we had to do was show them a picture. Neither of our hair stylists spoke a bit of english but I figure "it's just hair." Towards the end an interpreter came in and I got to ask her some questions about my stylist's career and tell her why we were in Taiwan. In order to become a hair stylist in Taiwan you must do an apprenticeship first that can start as early as 16 years old. They start out shampooing then after a they graduate highschool they can take an exam to get licensed to cut hair. It's not like in the states where we have to go to an actual hair school and get a certain amount of hours to graduate. After the Americans bombarded the salon and tried to communicate the best we could I ended up getting an awesome Taiwanese haircut and Emily lost about 5 inches of hair and got layers. Plus our interpreter got to talk to the highschool apprentices about our english church camp. It was a success!
After the haircuts we picked up some lunch and had some free time to explore downtown or go back to the house. Scott and I decided to shop for straw hats. We found them but we needed to get some more cash. Scott ran down the block to the 7/11 and I stayed there. While there I asked the store owner if there was a bathroom I could use. She didn't understand what I was asking her at all. It was the moment when your mind realizes there isn't a place to go to the bathroom so then your body for some reason decides it has to go even more. There was nothing I could say to this woman to make her understand I needed to use the restroom. I even drew a picture! So, I stayed there for what seemed like forever until Scott came back. Once he was back my panic subsided and I suddenly didn't have to go so bad. It was so frustrating not knowing how to say a simple thing like "restroom" in chinese. It then became my mission when we got back home to learn how to say some key words just in case that situation came up again.
Behind The Base is the community center. God has really blessed the ministry that the Linde family has in Yilan. He has shown favor to them in so many ways but The Base was provided by the community rent free and utility free and is in a great location. That evening behind The Base, the community center set up a music show of bamboo instrument players. There were several different instruments made of bamboo and the musicians that played them were defenitely talented. The community center also had beautiful landscaping that I couldn't take enough pictures of. That night God revealed himself through his creation. I was in complete awe walking around seeing plants and trees I had never seen before. One of the things I love most about my husband is his love and appreciation of nature. I can't imagine being with anyone else that didn't love nature and see God's hand in it. Thank you God for your vision and the ability to see it, hear it, and smell it.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Did you feel the oceans roar?

Sunday morning we went to the orphanage that Eric and Mandi adopted their kids from. We had a church service there and then we had sunday school classes for the kids. There tiny babies up to young adults at the orphanage. The kids that really pulled at my heart were the older ones. They were the ones with a story, usually a sad one. A few siblings that lived there are going to be there for a while until their dad gives up parental rights. I can't imagine having to share your space, love, and childhood with up to 50 other children but it's an amazing orphanage that teaches them about the love of God. I held a couple babies, they were so sweet. One little baby girl spit up quite a bit on my shirt. I didn't have an extra shirt so I smelled like spit up the rest of the day. It was really nice when a humid wind wafted that up in my face through throughout the day.

Later we went to the beach to set up our music and pass out tracts. People are so kind in Taiwan, they don't mind taking them from us and they actually read them. The band played some music and our dance team entertained. I think the most challenging part for me was not knowing the language. It made it hard to really get to know people but we did our best. If we really needed help we would grab an interpreter. Our interpreters worked incredibly hard while we were there. I'm surprised that no one's head exploded! Charity is amazing at sharing the Lord with people. I looked over and she had her heart wide open and sharing it with a young girl. She was an inspiration to me.

After we got everything loaded up to take back to the base we were able to get some time to get into the ocean. It was an ideal day for swimming. The waves were perfect to play in and Turtle Island was beaming. We jumped in and let the ocean do all the work for us. Steph and Meredith were sitting up on shore where the ocean washed up and suddenly were stung by a jelly fish unbeknownst to them. They both thought at first that something bit them but soon after felt the sting. They went to the life guard station and got some ointment to put on their stings. I swam out with the rest of the crew swimming and there were some tough waves that day. Even though we didn't go outside the swimming bouy the waves began crashing hard. I quickly got back into more shallow waters after getting slammed a few times and gulping too much sea water. My belly was fully after that and I didn't feel well the rest of the day. During one of those big waves Scott was folded in half backwards and scraped up on shore. Hello Chiropractor! After our ocean adventures we piled into the VW van like a bunch of Jesus loving hippies. We shared a lot of joy on this trip and for some reason the VW van was our playing ground. Praise God for our protection whenever we drove anywhere!

When we got home we immediately went to the Base for evening church service. Thomas gave an amazing spirit filled sermon. He is a passionate man that loves the Lord and people with with all his heart. Quite a few people came to the service and afterwards we had fellowship and some prayer time. It was an awesome night for staying up and talking about how great God is.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tears and toilets

I'm so behind on my blog! I am about five days behind. So, friday we went to Taipei to visit ROTV. It is a station that broadcasts shows on the television and radio to teach english. The woman that started the company is in her 70's now and she also holds church services there. They donated us a bunch of CD's to hand out to our students and for our street evangelism. While we were there we got to meet the staff and interns and the music group. They had a full band and the singers were amazing. There was an old man on the saxophone that reminded me of my grandpa because he played the sax. Everytime this man would solo on the sax I started to sob. I couldn't even look at him because I couldn't hold back my tears. It has been 4 years since my grandpa died but God gave me a little blessing that day by reminding me of how great of a sax player my gramps was. After my eyes cleared Eric got up and spoke about why we were here and how he was led to Taiwan in the first place. He did a great job. After he spoke he handed the microphone over to me and told me to tell them why I came to Taiwan and how it has affected me. Again, the tears started flowing. I have been an emotional mess here but it's a beautiful mess of tears from God.

Next, we headed over to a shop of beautiful things made in Taiwan. There were four floors of items that were beautiful, I wanted them all! We picked up a few things but then headed to our next destination. We ended up at a huge garden that had so much history it was hard to keep all the information in my head. It was another scorching day so that made it hard to walk around. The tour guide was only 16 and had been doing tours there since she was 11. She taught herself english so she could do english tours. The people here are amazing at picking up english and so determined to perfect it.

After the garden we headed to a restaurant. It's no easy task hauling around over 20 people in four different cars. I think at some point a couple of cars got lost but God is good and he directed us all back together. Scott is an amazing driver here. The people drive like maniacs and the scooters are like mosquitos, they buzz in and out of lanes in on coming traffic and inbetween cars. Scott somehow handles the pressure like a champ and gets us everywhere safely and quickly. Once we got parked we walked to this restaurant called the Modern Toilet. Everything is bathroom oriented. We ate out of mini toilets and drank out of urinals. How missional huh? It was a great memory though.

The last event of the night was a church service downtown Taipei. We again got lost so we were late getting in there but better late than never. It was an awesome service and a lot of people came to know Christ that night. In America it seems there are churchs everywhere and somewhere along the lines most people have experienced church at some point. Here though, people don't really claim much for religion even though they may say their family is Buddist or Tao. They are very curious and usually easy to talk to about God.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Last day

Thursday was our last day at the elementary school. The kids were unusually rowdy and it was 102 degrees out with about 80% humidity. We were dragging but I kept praying for the Holy Spirit to fill me with energy. We taught them how to sing "Jesus loves me" with the actions, "The BIBLE", and "Head and shoulders." It was hiliarious to see them sing the songs faster and faster. We spoke about treasures in heaven and did a skit. Our translator is amazing but it is still hard to communicate with them. That was the only frustrating part about it the teaching experience. The kids made sure they got a lot of pictures with us. I can only pray that God really shined through us those four days because I am sure that I won't see most of them ever again. I didn't want to let go of hugging them. It was an emotional good bye for me.

After the goodbyes we dropped by a near by mall and did some browsing. I don't feel like shopping much here though. At times I do but I remember shortly after why we are here.

Later on we came took a scooter ride up to the mountains. I didn't bring my camera because it was a rather sponteneous trip. We went up to the university and it was gorgeous up there. God's creation.

Friday, July 31, 2009

turning point

Today my heart grew closer to the kids. I woke up and did devotions with the girls. God lead me to speak about love. The Holy Spirit revealed that all the children really needed was love and hugs. I couldn't think of anything else but the Kim Walker YouTube video "How He Loves." It's an amazing song declaring God's love for us. Eric and Scott started to feel sick to their stomaches that morning. Eric started first with vomiting and went to the school feeling extremely weak. Scott started vomiting at school and looked like death. They concluded that it was food poisoning from some hamburger the night before. They both recovered within about 16 hours but it was nasty while they had it.

Charity is a Taiwanese woman that interprets and helps out with most everything that is needed while we are out here. During our devotional she explained that in the chinese culture little kids stop receiving outward affection after about the age of 3. They are rarely told "I love you." It became our mission that day to let these kids know that we loved them and God loves them. At school that day I couldn't help but hug everyone. Most of them remained limp for the first couple of times I hugged them. It seemed so unfamiliar to not have a kid reciprocate the affection given. After a while you could see the smiles when they figured it out and you felt that little squeeze from them around your waist. It was our second to last day with them and I was just getting to know them. My heart was swelling.

When we got home for the afternoon we had some quiet time and played some scrabble. Scott and Eric slept off their sickness. It was pretty low key until we got ready for the night market. I was bummed that Scott couldn't go because he still was recovering from the food poisoning. Wendy and I took her scooter and not too far into the trip she asked if I wanted to drive. Of course I did! I jumped on and took over the road. It was rocky at times when I had to stop and go but overall, not a bad trip. The night market was packed with people. We seperated into groups of 3 or 4 and did some exploring. There was plenty to see, almost too much for the time that we had. I picked up a couple of things but nothing exciting. I probably enjoyed driving the scooter home the most.

Wednesday, I reflected on the time that had already gone by so fast. I thought about going back home and I have some reservations about it. How do I go back to going and going and do do do? I am going to be open to how God wants me to be change there. It seems that I can not be the same.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

melt down

scott was playing some top game. the kid in the back was "the man"

Yesterday was our first day teaching at the elementary. In the morning I could feel my emotions in my throat. I was nervous, overwhelmed, hot, and desperately trying to grab on to some sort of control. Every day, as a group, we bring things places, clean, eat, sleep, pick up, tear down, drive here, drive there. With all the different personalities and cultural differences it gets crowded physically and mentally. As an introvert I get my energy from alone time so a melt down was bound to happen sooner than later. It was my day.

We get to the school just in time for all the kids to be there before most of us. It was a late start. I had no clue of what I was getting into. I stood in front of these adorable kids and lost my mind. Absolutely lost it! I have never spoke through a translator, I had never spoke to a class full of third graders since I was a third grader. Long story short, everything I had prepared myself for and the group I was leading, went out the window in about 20 minutes. I excused myself to the bathroom, and stood in there trying to hold it together. The Lord broke me. I was in tears for the next 45 minutes unable to go to class. Completely out of my comfort zone I asked God to lead again. Four of the team members prayed for me and it blessed me so much. I ate my pride and embarrassement and walked into the classroom and watched my teammates take over in a beautiful way. I learned so much from them over the next couple of hours. I guess God just wanted me to love that day. My main gifts and talents that He blessed me with were not necessary. He called me to serve and love.

We finished our teaching with a game at the end of the day. I began to fall in love with these kids when I saw that they don't me to be anything but me. This culture appreciates everything so much. They recycle, they say thank you for teaching them an english word, they take their shoes off before they come in the house, they don't put their feet on tables, they don't sit on tables, they get up at 4am to work, go to school, then come to help us with whatever we may need. It is unbelievable! I hope I take home a fraction of that appreciation for what God has given me.

After all that we got to see a Taiwan cultural arts center. They had so many different shops with authentic Taiwanese souveniers. Scott and Eric picked up paper hats and I dressed up with the girls in traditional chinese dresses. We sampled so much food, good and bad. People love to take pictures with americans. A lot of dhinese people say I look famous because I have blond hair. Even with my sweaty face and fuzzy hair! It was a priviledge to be there to see all the different things.
Later on we got to go to a seafood buffet called Noah's Ark. It was absolutely amazing! I mean AMAZING! The best sushi I have ever had. It melted in your mouth. For those of you that love sushi, you would just die, for those of you that don't, you probably would like it. On the way there, we lost a couple of vehicles with leaders and kids in them. It was chaotic for a bit but God knew where they were and I knew he would bring them back to us. He did!

God is stretching me so much right now and I am holding onto whatever I can. All this stretching is really opening my heart. I can't complain!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

set up tear down

Sunday was a beautiful day. We had a really hard rain the night before so it cooled down the morning. The sun shined bright through the window and woke me up around 5:30 am just like it did for me today. Scott and I walked to Thomas' house where Eric is staying and woke him up. He took us to the market where we picked out some beautiful fruit. As we were searching out a coffee shop we ran into a man that came to the Yilan Alive the night before. He showed us around town and took us to breakfast at "Beautiful and Breakfast." Our new friend, Roger, picked out some tasty breakfast items for us to all try. While waiting for our food we had an encounter with a HUGE spider. I couldn't even look at it directly in the eyes, I was terrified! The restaraunt owner came over and killed it for me. UGG!

Eric led devotions for all of us after we got back home. It was a refreshing time with the Lord in his word and in prayer. After that we headed back to the cultural center to set things up outside. I have never felt so busy in my life but I really feel the Holy Spirit on me because my energy level is sky high. Praise God! We set up the face painting, balloon animals, registration for highschool camp next week, skits, and music for outside. It was a success! We had so many come join us for all of our activities and we talked to them about their lives and gave them things to take home about "the base" (the church) and about how being a good person is not going to truelly bring you eternal joy and life. The people were very responsive and even got involved in some of our worship songs that we had dance moves to and participated in our skits.

The worship time humbled me so much last night when we did church service in the park. If Iowa could have church in the park every sunday I think it would be a beautiful thing. You lift your eyes and see His creation and His onlooking people. I couldn't stop smiling in worship because God has brought us to Taiwan! It's beyond a priviledge to be here. After church we had fellowship with whoever wanted to join us. After that we tore down all our equipment and headed back home about 10pm. Another successful day with the Lord's help!

Today, we finally get to start our teaching. I am too excited for it! These kids that we have met are absolutely the most precious kids I have ever met. I hope that they love the camp as much as we do!

Lord, I pray for patience today as we go to the school to teach kids about the Bible and english at the same time. I pray you make our class time productive and our activities fun. I pray for the hearts of the children to be open and that your Holy Spirit would fall on them and make yourself known to them.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shine your light

We found a place to stay that has air conditioning! Praise God! This morning we finally had the pleasure of meeting our Taiwan team. They are amazing people. We headed over to the cultural center to set things up for "Yilan Alive". Setting up consisted of bringing in tables and chairs and moving a lot of other things around to accomadate whoever came in. Scott and I didn't get to see much of eachother during this time because we both had different jobs. Our leader, Thomas, got heat stroke by early afternoon. It was scorching out and we couldn't get enough water. It kept sweating out faster then we could drink it. Everyone is extremely helpful and responsible on the team. It is exciting to see such awesome teens really work hard.

After things were all set up we socialized. We invited everyone we found to come in a play games, get their face painted, and listen to music. They played "Have You Ever" to really break the ice and get our guests feeling at ease. Then, we split up into smaller groups and had more conversation. At that time I felt so blessed to be here that I cried. I slipped out of sight to hide my tears. I couldn't even look out at the events happening for about 10 minutes because I was completely filled with emotion. Scott prayed for me and we praised God for it. After I emerged from my hiding place I went back to meeting people. I can tell that I have made some great friends already!

The Taiwanese love to learn English. A woman and her son that came into the cultural center stayed to speak with us and listen to the music. She asked me english questions for 30 minutes. I hope that she comes back tomorrow! It's hard to do any direct speaking about the Lord but I have handed out a lot of salvation booklets that are written in chinese.

Face painting was hilarious! There weren't a lot of kids that participated but the ones who did were absolutely precious. They loved to say thank you in english. The american team was covered in face paint. One of our guys, Tony, doesn't get to do a whole lot because of a knee problem right now but I made sure he had a pretty pink hearts painted on each side of his face. It was a great way to make all the taiwanese kids comfortable getting it done. We even let some of them paint our faces.

The worship team sounds excellent! Scott is really pumped about using his talents here but I think he's fatigued. He's sleeping very sound next to me right now.

Today was incredible. I don't know if I have ever been filled with this much joy in such uncomfortable weather. The Holy Spirit has filled me up with comfort, energy, and laughter. The Lord has been providing us an abundance of laughter. It is one thing that both of our cultures have in common.

Lord, thank you for this gorgeous day! I pray for Thomas to be healed. I pray that you would fill everyone up with your Holy Spirit for guidance in conversation as we go into our VBS week. I ask that you would prepare the hearts of everyone involved in the events of tomorrow and the rest of the week. Thanks you for all that you have done to make this go as well as it has. Thank you for the energy and a cool place to stay.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Here and there

We left Minneapolis at 11:45 on Wednesday. I'm so confused on what day it is but it was just confirmed it is friday here. Taiwan is 12 hours ahead of Iowa. Although we were up about 30 hours we got a good night sleep at our host house. The neighborhood is really interesting. They are all five story condos with scooters parked outside. We were greeted with big smiles from our Taiwan team. It was a wonderful feeling to not feel like strangers in a different country.

Scott and I sleep in a room that has no air conditioning. It feels a bit like sleeping in a sauna with a fan blowing warm air around. When we woke up we cooled off in a cold shower. The first two floors don't have hot water but the cold water feels refreshing so I am not complaining.

After breakfast we headed out to the beach to swim and paraglide. First, we had to drive up a mountain that overlooked the ocean. Then, we had to run and jump off that mountain attached to an instructor and a parachute. All the way down I was praising the Lord for the experience and the scenery.

There are 96 children signed up for the VBS next week. What a huge blessing!

Pictures will be posted later!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Charger for electronics-check

Here we go! The pups have been sent to the grandparents where they met their new cousin, a miniature horse. The house has been cleaned. Tomorrow I finish work for 15 days. My nerves are starting to kick in now. It's real. I know that things will be great but it's the unknown that I am shy about meeting. People always say, "You'll be fine, it will be great." Bless them for their optimism and ease but we are leaping out of a comfort zone that has been too familiar for probably too long. Suddenly I'm sensitive to every sound, touch, and smell. It's surreal.
I am clinging to work, my house, my car and I realize that I am holding onto things that can disappear in a 10 minute tornado. Already I feel the Lord working on my heart. Construction is being done. A demolition first then new construction. Thank God that my foundation is solid though. That is what I know I will always have. He may break me and mold me but it is always him I stand on. I can not be conformed to this world, I won't. When I pray "Lord, break me" or "Lord, make me a stronger witness for you" he commits to that prayer and begins to go to work.
Thank you Lord for the work you have begun in the hearts of the highschoolers that are coming to Taiwan. Their hearts for you are inspiring. Being a teenager is tough, especially in these times of easy access to everything wrong in this world. They are taking a narrow road reaching towards a goal of winning hearts for Your kingdom! Their treasures are being stored and I pray that you bless their lives and change them forever!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Security

Remember this...Since Scott and I met we have known that we are opposites when it comes to money. Money is security to me and it is freedom to him.

We are in the final stages of fundraising and the team was a little short on the funds we budgeted for. Our families and friends have been praying hard for God to provide, even if it's at the last minute. Bless them!

Yesterday, Scott and I were at a bbq with some friends that are with the Navigators. Earlier that morning we had discussed helping them out with their fundraising. We agreed on giving $100. One thing that we both learned as kids was that you can't out give God. $100 seemed like a safe number to me and Scott just loves giving money away so that was where it settled. I left the bbq a little early and Scott grabbed the check book to write out the donation.

This morning, he informs me that he wrote out a check to them for $500. "WHAT??!! I thought we agreed on $100!" My first reaction...there goes my security and why do we even talk about this stuff and $500, why not $200, that would be a little safer? Scott was sure though that is how much we were suppose to give. Even with the initial shock I still was leaning on the Lord believing that we can't out give Him.

A few hours after Scott told me about the donation I had a visitor (we'll just keep this person a secret) stop by at my work. She asked if she could talk to me in private about something important. Once we got in a quiet room she handed me an envelope that read, "I hope this blesses you, this trip will change your heart forever." I opened it and pulled out 5 $100 bills. $500!!!! To my amazement she told me that God put that amount on her heart and she didn't know how or why but she knew that she was suppose to give it to us.

This miracle stopped me dead in my tracks today. God opened my eyes to see that He is always my security and He is commited to us. He will provide for us over in Taiwan and I believe He will bless the church we are working with. I know that He performs miracles everywhere and this was just the tip of the iceberg.

Thank you Jesus for revealing yourself to your children! This is an awesome testimony of your love and provision!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Love You from the inside out

We are an extension of God and how can people be reached unless we let Him use us? I fully understand that I will only be a servant over there and that I am not the one that will change their hearts. Thank God for that! Agape Love is not human nature but it is God's nature. I can not pretend that I am some super spiritual person that is righteous enough to say that I am 100% ready for this. I have had fears and some tears as the day gets closer. This is a far cry from my comfort zone. The truth is though, Scott and I were called, as we are (spoiled, selfish, and sometimes ungrateful for our salvation) to meet God's children of all ages right where they are in a different country that speaks a different language. What do I hope to get out of this the most? The obvious answer is that absolute truth would be revealed to the people that don't know God. I need to go deeper and say, I want these kids to experience the everlasting love of Jesus, His grace, His correction, a true intense relationship with God our Father. I do believe that they will see Jesus. I do believe their lives will be transformed. The catch is that I have a hard time speaking absolute truth in my own town and in my own language. I'm being honest. So, if it seems that at this point in preparation I seem selfish, it's because I am. I can't imagine why God would give us, a couple with no desire to be around children for an extended amount of time, a strong yearning to be surrounded with children in a different country for 15 days.

Starting this blog, I led myself to believe that it would only be informative but now as a I write and cry, listening to Scott play worship, I feel broken. I still feel unprepared and nervous. At the same time I am consumed with God's love and I keep praising Him for the unknown. I keep praising Him for the opportunity to be broken. I believe the more broken I am, the less of me that will be seen and the more of Him will be seen! He is so awesome and He deserves the praise of every nation and tongue!

Thank you God for the church and leaders that are preparing for us to come to Taiwan. Thank You for the American team that is willing to go and be His hands and feet. Thank You for the children you are bring to VBS. Thank you for preparing the hearts to be transformed. Thank You for bringing in the funds to get us there and provide things for the church we are serving at. Thank you for teens that are standing for what they believe in and speaking it out loud. Thank you for the leaders that we have coming with us. Praise Praise Praise!

1 John 3:18 Let us not love with word or tongue but with actions and in Truth

Monday, July 13, 2009

10 days left

Here we are 10 days before our trip. Scott has been practicing the worship songs and I have been writing letters to our supporters. A lot of thoughts go through my head as we prepare for the lessons and the flight. I'm nervous for the long flight. Flying always seems to make me a bit queezy but it's nothing I can't get over with some crackers and a smoothie. Scott handles everything like a champ so no worries there. He will be cool and collected. I will have my check list all checked off three days before we leave and he will pack at 2am the night before we leave. It just seems to work that way but the main thing is that it works and both of us remember our passports.

Our dogs will be with their grandparents and "cousins" while we are gone. They love it there because they can run free through the country side and get spoiled with love.

Our lesson planning is important but I also know that the Holy Spirit will be involved in opening the kids' hearts. I am already marveling at the work that God is going to do over there. I remember being told about Jesus when I was little and how real He was to me. I knew that I wanted to follow Him at a young age and I hope that we can have the same impact on the kids that we do Vacation Bible School with.