Saturday, February 10, 2007


The Rolls Royce parked majestically near the front door was probably our first clue, and perhaps the distinguished bellhops with their freshly pressed black and red uniforms and pillbox hats that greeted our bus was our second, but as we arrived at the Sol Hotel with it’s regal 42 stories, we realized that this was like no other accommodations the CI had encountered before. The beautiful cathedral ceilings and brilliant chandeliers in the lobby took our breath away as our luggage was whisked away from us and the spacious rooms complete with fuzzy robes and slippers gave us an amazing place to relax after our long bus ride and long days at the seminar. (Ok, so I admit, I never tried the fuzzy robe or the slippers!) The bellhops greeted us each evening as we came in from the seminar and held the doors for us with a smile (and an occasional wink) as we left each morning. The church that hosted the seminar was also a gorgeous, well equipped facility (complete with wireless internet and VIP staff rooms) and they treated us extremely well. I tell ya, life in the ministry is sure rough sometimes. *grin*

I love this city. I love the lights across the Love River, the beautiful harbor, the awesome translators, the crowded night markets, the hair salons, the Outdoor Cafe and a very small part of me even likes the infamous Monkey Mountain. I love the seminar here. I love coming back and seeing the kids that I've gotten to know in past years. I love how they run up to me: "Ka Ting Jia, Ka Ting Jia...." (Big Sister Kristi) and then they ramble off in Chinese remembering jokes that I've told year after year because they all that I know how to say in Chinese. I love that they remember and it delights my heart to see the smiles in their eyes. I love watching them bow their heads and pray in a language I can’t understand, but know that God hears. I love seeing them climb all over their teachers and revel in the attention they give them. I love watching the teachers hold them on their laps during large group, I love seeing them laughing with all their hearts when something funny happens. I love how they run up to their parents eagerly showing them the crafts they made and telling them about the lessons and stories. I love watching young people who are wholly committed to God persevere through each challenge, no matter how difficult, even when they're sick. As I stood at the door and waved goodbye to the children as they left each night, I realized that it’s all of these things that make up the ministry of the Children’s Institute. It’s what draws many of us back year after year. It’s the joy of helping these children to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, their minds, their souls and strength. Pray for the seeds that were sown in the hearts of 183 children this week. May they fall on ground prepared by the Holy Spirit and grow strong and produce fruit that will last for generations. Pray for the friends we made this week who have not yet chosen to follow Christ. Pray for our interpreters. They live here and daily have chances to reach Kaohsiung with the hope of Jesus Christ. May they be encouraged in their faith because of the ways we have seen God work.

2 Corinthians 2:14 “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.”

I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do next!

Kristi Cook


Andy said...

Was it better than the Kingdom Hotel? If so, then it must have been spectacular!