Thursday, January 31, 2008


This morning came way too fast. Everything seems to come too quickly here in Taiwan... the mornings, the nights, the kids, the end. Or perhaps we simply have a more realistic view of the preciousness of time while we’re here because of how quickly it goes. I’d like to think that anyway.

After a most encouraging time of wisdom search where we remembered God’s goodness to us, we embarked with the Joshua students on the all popular annual CI trip to Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall. However, this year was quite different than any previous year’s trip to this memorial to the great founder of Taiwan.

The buildings at CKS are all being “renovated.” There is no more changing of the guard. In fact, there are no guards at all. There are no boundaries. President Chiang sits in brazen form now surrounded by larger than life banners of protests of his Presidency. Strange colored objects are everywhere. Gone is the atmosphere of reverence and respect. CKS Memorial Hall is now the Liberty Plaza. Everything is different. I could have cried.

I couldn’t help but think how that one “Plaza” is a representation of our lives as Christians. For some reason, we seem to eventually come to a point where we feel that our faith needs “renovation.” We lose sight of the simplicity of the Gospel and forget how beautiful it is. We begin to fill our lives with things, other things, any things, to keep us busy and make us feel spiritual. When all we really need is what we had in the first place. Seems like that’s what we’ve been talking about in devotions recently, too...

In other daily news, we had Thai food for lunch. Karen seems to have this strange obsession with the stuff. Ah, well, it was quite good just the same. CKS still looks really cool from the outside. As for the CI, words cannot describe how well it’s going... or what Nomes has added to our music repertoire!

Thank you for your prayers! God is working and you are a part!

—Krystal Heath


Yesterday started with an alarm clock going off and me realizing it was very cold. But, forcing myself to face the frigidness, I got out of bed and prepared for the day. Bundling up, I went downstairs to find I was over bundled and outside was a lot warmer than my room. So, removing a layer, I stuffed it into my bag and headed off with my accountability team to catch the bus.

We rode to a little street, then walked to a restaurant called “The Diner.” It had a great brunch menu. When my French toast came, topped with fresh fruit, I was quite satisfied.

After eating we read Isaiah 62 and discussed the attributes of God displayed in the chapter. We also shared what commitments God was calling us to make. Isaiah 62:3 says, “You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

This verse shows me God's protective provision. He wants me to be a crown in His hand. But to be that I must be willing to be different. One of our first nights in Taiwan, we did a prayer walk around the city of Hsinchu and I felt God impressing on my heart Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

God really spoke to me through this verse, and during our brunch yesterday morning, I realized that God was asking me to change 2 things:
1. I can't keep trying to look like everyone else if I'm going to be God's light and salt to this world. Light shines in the darkness. It doesn't hide in a corner.
2. I need to become like Paul in Philippians 4:11 and 19, “For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content... And my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” I've always put the emphasize on the words “all your needs.” But I think Paul would have said, “My GOD shall supply...” It's not about the need; God must be my contentment.

Later on that day, we went to the church and met a group of Taiwanese home-schoolers. We did a huge relay race. It was really fun. And after we removed all the scuff marks from our exertion, we went to another room for a time of testimonies. Since most of us CI teachers are or were home schooled, we were able to share about our experience with the Taiwanese students. We encouraged them to see that God is working through their homeschooling to prepare them for their future.

Then, after dinner we started our second night of CI's. I have a great translator and team and it was a good night. One of the boys on my team, Enzo, and I got to be Adam and Eve in a skit. Then, when we returned to our small group time I was able to share with my team the Gospel. I think they understood it well.

Please pray that the truths the children are hearing would continue to sink into their hearts. Pray for the health and strength of the staff and team. Pray that the older CI children will be interested in what's going on and draw closer to God this week. Pray that the Basic Seminar will continue to touch the lives of the adults. And pray that the children and adults attending this seminar would grow to be greater lights in the city of Taipei, the country of Taiwan and the entire world.

—Anna Lukachick


My first morning in Taipei started at 8:00 when my alarm went off. As I rolled over in bed I saw that both my roommates were still dead asleep (typical.) So, being the awesome roommate that I am, I willingly told them I would take the first shower….only to find out the shower head was WAY too short for my head. That, on top of not being able to get my ears wet, made for a very awkward shower. Then, being hungry and ready to go way before my roommates were even out of bed, I went to eat breakfast …by myself. :-( Pretty much all the food was some weird Chinese meal. Needless to say, my morning did not start off so great. BUT, don’t worry-my day got much better as the day went on. :-)

On a more serious note, both my roommates (which are Krystal and Naomi btw) pretty much rock my face off, I just like giving them hard times. After breakfast we had wisdom search, which was led by Kennan. We read Isaiah 61, and Kennan’s topic was the gospel, and how much we sometimes add to it. He illustrated it by drawing a diagram with God’s love on top, and our sin on the bottom. As you can imagine, there was a big gap in the middle. The point was, the cross (or the gospel) should be what fills in the gap. But sometimes as we grow as Christians we tend to only partly fill in the gap with the cross, while also filling it with our own performance and comparing ourselves to others. Of course, it sounded much better the way he said it, but I don’t have the time or space to talk as much as he did. So anyway, after wisdom search we headed off to the church. We got to go on this awesome subway-type-thing called an MRT. We all got these awesome “easy passes” which pretty much makes it easy to get on! It’s so cool you just like swipe the card and you’re in!! So, after swiping my really cool “easy card” I got on the really cool MRT, and we headed off to the church. The moment finally came that we had all been waiting for, team assignments! As all the teachers names were being called off, and I anxiously awaited my turn to find out who my one and only assistant/translator would be, my name was finally called---as an ASSISTANT!!! It was so awesome, I get to be Wayne’s assistant instead of a leader. I was very happy indeed.

A few hours later, we were waiting for-our kids to come. My awesome team ended up with 8 kids, but found out at the end of the night that Micah’s team actually had 2 of our kids the whole time, so we actually have 10 kids! However, the 8 kids we did have are pretty much awesome. A few of them actually even speak really good English!

Sadly, this is the last week. However it is a very important week, as we probably have the most kids this week than any other week in Taiwan. Please keep us in your prayers, especially for those who are getting sick or getting over sickness. Pray that God will be in the midst of the CI, and the teaching will not be done by us Americans, but when we open our mouths, the Lord would fill it with His words. I pretty much love it here, but I’ll be glad to be home. Well, that’s pretty much all I have to say. So I will end my post with “tzi-jien”.

—Bethany Heath

Monday, January 28, 2008


Today, we all got on the bus at about 10:00 am and headed for Taipei! We started our bus ride off with our own Sunday service. We all sang songs – accompanied by Rachel on the guitar – and then Rowan gave a message.

Rowan turned to 2 Samuel 23:8-39 which talks about David's mighty men. We read about the mighty deeds that David's top three men did. The first man took on a band of 800 men and killed them all at one time! Amazing by anyone's standards! These men risked their lives when the odds were against them. One of the men was deserted by all his soldiers and fought alone. Honestly, I would have retreated. I would have followed the crowd, but these men saw that God was doing something, and they stuck it out even though, by our standards, it was fool-hardy thing to do.

I had to face this question; am I willing to risk all and dare greatly for the Lord? What will he do through me if I do? God is doing a work in this world, no matter how hopeless it may seem. I want to be part of that work!

So after having our service and talking and playing games and shooting rubber bands and having a wonderful McDonald's lunch (Finally! Something my stomach recognizes!!), we arrived at our first destination: the English Village! The English Village is a learning center that some ATI students are helping out at. So we got to say hello to some fellow Americans and we also got a tour of the amazing facilities!

On our tour, we came to a mini airport, where the kids learn to buy a ticket, board a plane and find their way around an airport, all in english. After the airport, there was a library, a bank, a convenience store, a science room, a theater, and... probably some other things too... I can't remember it all!

Touring this "English Village", I couldn't help but imagine all the possibilities... I could have so much fun in a place like that! Oh, I wish my little sisters could see it! It was amazing!

After our visit to the English Village, we all got back on the bus and about an hour later, arrived in Taipei! It has been a relaxing evening; we all found our rooms, and had a nice, long, sit-down dinner. But tomorrow, we will hit the last seminar full force!!

—Elise Gillson

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday, 25th January

This is my first time in taiwan. Its has been the most incredible experience of my life. The Lord has been teaching me alot.Today we had segregated wisdom searches. later the guys went bowling. mucho cool. The high score was won by Rowan Gilson with 172. The girls had their hair done at a salon (I'm glad I'm a boy, how boring).

Mid afternoon, we had teacher training. The teams each presented a skit on a principle of life. I think first place goes to team three, who did a hilarious twist on the Joseph story combined with "high school musical".

6:00 pm. Ok, kids start arriving. Its been intresting working with the interperaters. Many challenges but lots of fun. We had a amazing breakthrough with some of the teams who had difficult kids. Praise the lord.

Right now I'm thinking of the people I love all the way around the world. Pray for us. We as a group are getting really close. Its awesome.

Now I must go to bed and face what adventures the night has in store for me.

Micah Cassidy

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Day of Answered Prayers

   They were determined not to participate in the C.I., they used language that is not permitted, and they wouldn’t join the rest of our team. They were only two young girls, yet they drove me to the end of my rope! What was I to do?

“I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and He gave ear unto me.” Ps. 77:1

   Today began like a perfect day should begin-nothing planned until 11:45! Karen, our accountability group leader, wisely decided that we should pace ourselves and take ad-vantage of a chance to catch up on some rest while we could. So we had wisdom search over lunch at a wonderful little sandwich place called La Petit Prince. You can’t imagine how excited I was over a bacon sandwich and a bit of sweet potatoe salad! Seafood wasn’t even on the menu! OooRAH! While we ate, we discussed Isaiah 57. The book of Isaiah has been a source of hope, encouragement and promise for me in the last 5 years of my life and so studying it as a team is such a blessing!

   After our scrumptious lunch, we walked to the church to prepare for the C.I. At teacher training, Kirsten effectively demonstrated the power of a story by reading to us “The Children of the King”. And she challenged us to use stories from our own life to impact the hearts of the children on our teams.

   Then it was time for the children to arrive...and I was already stressed and at the end of my rope because I knew that my two young troublemakers from yesterday would be returning today. Charlene and Charmaine are sisters (12 years and 9 years old) who decided that they were “too cool” to do any of this “childish stuff”. But this wasn’t just the normal “too cool” syndrome, this was the ABC (American Born Chinese) “too cool” syn-drome where they speak better English than you do. I was at a loss of how to reach these girls who demanded my full attention and balance that with my responsibilities to my team leader, Tim Kruse, and the rest of our team. What else was I to do, but to cry out to God and trust Him to be true to His promises.

   Charlene and Charmaine were the last to arrive at our team and as they walked in, a peace and calm came settled my nerves and as I waited to see how they would behave, I was shocked! They both put on their sashes which they wouldn’t wear before, they sat down with the rest of the team and listened attentively to the lesson, they helped with the craft, and they even did the hand motions in large group! God is so good! He never fails and He answers prayers!

Dominique Aguilar

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Day Of Anticipation

Friday, January 18, 2008
Honestly, the day couldn’t have started out any better. I awoke Friday morning with excitement at such intensity I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle it all! I not only had successfully slept through all of the night, but I had managed to sleep past 5 am. The realization that I was over jet lag just about thrilled me to pieces. But good sleep wasn’t the only thing that started out the morning so wonderfully. ☺

After an eclectic breakfast in the hotel, we all met up to seek God as a team on the third floor. What an incredibly powerful time. We started out singing about God’s power and the beauty of what He did on the cross and went into a time of communion together. Tim, our leader, read an excerpt from an article about the physical elements of what Christ did on the cross. As we sat there, many of our eyes brimming with tears, and contemplated the power Christ’s sacrifice for each of us, our hearts where unified in the One who brought us together that morning. I think we all savored every minute of that hour.

In the early afternoon, we headed over to the church where the seminar was held over the weekend. Upon arrival we dove right into peanut butter and chocolate sandwiches for lunch and then into getting training for the week. But not to worry, they had peanut butter and jelly or tuna for the weaker ones of the group. ☺ The afternoon was definitely full of information and preparations, but with Kirsten being the wonderful teacher trainer that she is and the anticipation rising for the weekend ahead of us, everything went great. After training and our preparations for our first night of teaching were done, we enjoyed a box dinner of rice and the meat of our choice.

So there we were, everything prepared, and excited about what the night was going to hold. As the children started to arrive, I’d smile and excitedly say one thing I confidently knew how to say. Ni Hao! The fun began as we all jumped into the night ahead of us. My poor translator was forced to be in about five places at one time – and she did an amazing job at it! All the translators were incredible, we were all grateful. The night consisted of everything from gigantic bubbles on stage and pipe cleaner creations to falling in love with those precious smiles and getting to teach the children how precious they are to God.

I learned a lot Friday night. Not only did I learn that I have zero creativity when it comes to pipe cleaners (it’s a little embarrassing when the six year old on your team wipes out this amazing animal and you barely got by with calling your “creation” a flower). I learned a lot about God’s love on Friday. I realized in a new way on Friday how broad and how vast the love of the Father was for these precious children. God showed me that even in the midst of me not being able to speak their language, Father God’s love transcends any language. I found myself smiling at them more, and turning to them to laugh whenever the storyteller said something funny. I began to see God’s love being poured out through me onto these kids in new ways. Even though I felt so inadequate hardly being able to communicate, in the midst of that I realized God’s overwhelming adequacy to love these children through me. God loves them better then I ever could anyway! It was a simple lesson, but yet one that completely changed my perspective. I realized that night what my roll was with these children – and I became overwhelmingly excited to see in what ways God was going to show HIS love through this strange American teacher… ☺

Priscilla Chapman

Good Day

I was going to give a run-down of the day and what our team did, but then decided I would simply tell of the day through my eyes. I guess you could say that it officially began on a bus. We left Hsinchu shortly after the seminar ended and hit the road for Kaohsiung.

After snacking on cold pizza, yum, and discussing vehemently, not arguing, with Tim Chen about when and how to use Hast vs. Hath, I stumbled groggily off the bus with the team and we began unloading the mass of luggage that I will fondly call…”The Pile”.

I collapsed in bed for a few hours, then headed down to the world renowned, or maybe Taiwan team renowned breakfast buffet. I think I could eat this hotel out of house and home if they keep this kind of deal going. As is our morning routine, group devotion followed breakfast and today it was led by Rachel Hung. Isaiah has always been one of my favorite books of the bible, so I have really enjoyed gaining new perspectives on it every day.

After stocking up on the necessities, such as cameras, snacks, money, and a few stray monkeys, we boarded the ferry to a little island for a day of adventure. Wow, once we saw the beach, we took off. Soccer, football, splashing in the surf, sightseeing, shopping, and tandem bike riding was the order of the day.

The beach is one of my all-time favorite places to be, so after wandering through town a bit, I headed back there. Soon, the sound of the crashing waves lulled me to sleep and I enjoyed an amazing nap in the warm sun. Ahhh, nothing like it.

Dinner, I have to say, was probably the most “adventurous” experiences of the day. We were subjected to the “No thank you” rule, where we couldn’t say no thank you to any dish on the table. I experienced more seafood in 15 minutes than I care to experience for the rest of my life. Needless to say, I consumed clams in one gulp, no chewing. Ugh. I’m still glad I did it though…

One of the interpreter’s parents paid for us all to go and enjoy the spectacular dessert known as strawberry shaved ice and it was phenomenal. Generous helpings of shaved milk ice, topped with fresh strawberries and syrup, sheer decadence in a bowl. I’m still trying to figure out why we don’t have it in the States!

Tired though we may have been, the adventurous side in us all won out and we braved our first night market. I was dazed by the amount of, well…stuff. My group took off for the basketball arcade and we worked on our free throw skills. There were some definite champions, but we all had a blast.

The last stop of the night was in a sticker picture booth, where we crammed one too many people into the booth, and took what seemed like a million shots. I think the two guys helping us had even more fun than we did, watching the “crazy Americans” make goofy faces and try to all fit into the picture. They had reason to laugh, that’s for sure!

As we walked back to the hotel, I thought back on the day and was amazed at all the “little” ways that God blessed me throughout the day. The ferry ride, the games, and the nap in the sand were all exactly what I needed, and God knew that. I was surrounded by incredible people all day, and was strengthened and encouraged by them. What exactly constitutes a good day? I don’t know if I can put it into words, but today definitely was one.

Hannah Brandau

Monday, January 21, 2008

A "Peaceful" Day

Waking Up - Ah... I can feel it now... I look out my window and watch the snow blanket the beautiful Indiana countryside... BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! AHHHHHHH!!!!!! Nope! This is Hsinchu, Taiwan - Sol Hotel. 6am is just too early... especially when it's 5 pm back home! O well! here comes one of the longest days of my life!

Breakfast - Breakfast was the delicious buffet again... it's been quite good! There are enough choices that I've been able to try something new every day. Due to the time restraints we had to scarf down our food. (Well, some of us : )

Wisdom Search - Unfortunately, we did not have time for Wisdom Search this morning. I missed it. Tim's entertaining yet informative and inspirational talks and activies have been a valuable asset to the oneness this team is experiencing.

The Bus - This morning, Alana, my very capable Team Assistant and I sat next to each other during the bumpy ride and discussed the day's lesson plan. Not being the best if preparers, having Alana has been a HUGE blessing!

The CI - Working with and through an interpreter is kind of a love/hate relationship. We as student long so much to be able to talk directly to the children. It's easily frustrating. But if Alana and I didn't have Angel, our interpreter, there would a lot of just sitting there and staring at the kids... without anything to say... Awkward! Angel is wonderful! She handles the kids well, and I'm confident the children understand the invaluable principles we try to communicate.

Go God! - Above all, the Lord has been gracious. His Spirit transcends any language or age barrier that seem to hinder us. Even if I was perfectly prepared, the impact of of any of the stories or crafts would be useless with out the blessing and guidance of the Lord. From when the first child is signed in to when the last child is signed out, God has been here... Giving His peace - His wisdom - Himself.

Cool Down - When we finished putting away all our supplies (an unexpected chore) Tim had us come together to talk and pray about the day. A very much needed time of reflection and relief.
Most of the kids have been great, but there are a few here and there that are struggling. Please pray that the Lord would work in their lives.

Party Time! - For dinner we broke up into our accountability groups. Grace took us to, get this, a Chinese restaurant! : ) Steak, salad, noodles, bread, chicken feet, misc. vegetables, pig ear (Which Wayne called "Just pork." Yeah right... way too chewy!) and other delectable vitals filled our plates and tired stomachs. Yum!

Sharing - After we were done eating Grace had us go around the table and talk about how God had brought us to Taiwan and what we were expecting from Him on this trip. (and that was too long of sentence. :) Again, another good time of fellowship and encouragement.

Bed - One of the most beautiful words in the English language. At least tonight it is. Let us leave off with a verse... Great peace have they which love Thy law; and nothing shall keep them... awake.

Tim Kruse


Today is the last day in Hsinchu. I prayed that the kids would all concentrate on the lesson, because they were quite distracted on the 1st day and yesterday. As we arrived at the church, some of the kids were there already. After all the teachers got in, we closed the door of the hall. But the kids were trying so hard to get in. Because we hadn't gotten everything ready, we couldn't let them come in. But that truly warmed my heart; that meant they loved us so much, and they were so hurried to see us, even though we only had 3 days to get to know them. Also, the parent presentation was really touching. The kids memorized every verse, every song, and every hand motion. The naughtiest kids on my team even sang along with us! I bet their parents definitely would be so surprised and proud of their kids, and would be amazed by how CI had changed their kids. And that's why CI's exist!! Haha... :D Cooool....

By the way, we went straight down to Kaohsiung.

Cindy Chung

Friday, January 18, 2008


After everyone had got up and eaten breakfast, we had group wisdom search, which started around 10:00am. During this wisdom search we read Isaiah 52, sang several songs, and split into small groups of 4-6. While in these small groups, we were to write, first in forty words or less, and then in twenty, the Good News that we are commanded to spread.

Following this, we split into our mini groups consisting of 6-8 people, and split up to go have lunch. We started lunch at about 11:30 and finished at about 12:00. Not being due at the church until later that night (about 6), we played a game we had been taught during wisdom search. The game was a Taiwanese scavenger hunt. We were to go around town and ask specific questions (in Chinese) for the purpose of finding the Chinese names for particular items. Some of the questions included something you would take home with you, or something you wouldn’t mind driving. So we would each pick a question or two and ask (in Chinese) how to say the name of the item in Chinese. We then returned to the hotel at approximately 3:00 and as a large group took turns talking about what we had found out and learned.

Presently, we were required to go change into dress clothes and meet in the lobby at 4:45-5:00, in order to get to the church on time. During this time, we loaded up the bus with all of our CI supplied, and headed to the church. We then proceeded to unload the bus, while doing this we got to meet some of our interpreters. Following this, we had a “classic box Chinese dinner” at which time we met the rest of our interpreters and got to know them a little better. Finishing dinner between 7:30 and 8:00 we started teacher training. We finished this and headed back to the hotel. Arriving at approx. 10:30, we all headed to bed looking forward to a good night’s sleep and a new and exciting day tomorrow.

Thomas Wilson

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Adventure Begins

"“And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.”" (Isaiah 51:16)

Just waking up this morning made me realize how much I need God to place words in my mouth. Everything sounds like gibberish! Thankfully, with much patience of others who have been here before and a few lessons, my brain is slowly untangling and firming up from its state of pure mush. A few words are making sense, more than that, I am starting to hear the language, and such a beautiful one at that!

Today held much, from waking up to the sound of children headed off to school, to trying milk tea, from the beautiful mountain village we got to wander around with the most wonderful cappuccino, to having supper cooked right in front of me. As we walked, observed, ate, took pictures, nearly got hit by mopeds, shopped and just had fun, I saw that I was truly in a different country. People here seem to be rushing everywhere, searching for life, peace—things. Hoping beyond hope to find something to fill the hurt in their heart.

This evening as we all fought jet lag we took time to walk around the city praying and seeing what the Lord would show us, I began to understand. The Lord said unto Zion, “ Thou art my people.” I am part of Zion, for I belong to Jesus, but so many here do not. All are looking for the peace belonging to Jesus gives. And here I am, given the opportunity to show the way to find that peace; I have been given a great gift.

Our adventure in Taiwan is just beginning. All that it will hold is still unknown. As we continue on please pray that we will truly be a light shining on the path to belonging to Jesus. Pray that many will soon be part of Zion and that the people of Taiwan will truly see God as He is —the Lord of all creation.

Alana Miller

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

FIrst Impression

My first impression of Taiwan was surprising. I was first caught off guard by Kennan and Rachel’s greeting at the airport. Their warm welcoming to a brand new country settled me down. When we arrived at Dr. Chen’s office, I was again “ambushed” by the staff’s preparations. I was quickly integrated in to helping out, which also settled me down.

Then Kennan and I moved supplied to the storage area. After a few trips back and forth, Hannah and I made our journey to pick up the CI shirts. I was exposed the Taiwan streets, cold weather, and the busy underground subway. Hannah and I carried the CI shirts. Yet all through the busy preparations, the staff and Chens were friendly and hospitable.

I find that this smooth transitioning in the CI staff is a great new experience for me. I look forward to becoming more integrated in the staff as I train for CI and learn more about it.

Joshua Hinkle