Monday, February 22, 2010

Goodbyes and Endings

Wow, where do I begin? The day started terribly early, or perhaps I should say the previous day ended horrible late. Our crazy Merry Christmas goodbye party did not end until 4am. Most of us still had packing and miscellaneous things to get done, so the average bedtime was 5am. We had to be out to meet the bus at 9:15.

The party was so much fun, we had a special time of sharing, but now it was time to start saying goodbye. Although we were all dog tired, few slept on the way to the airport. Most of us were flying back to Taiwan, then home the next day. But we were leaving some in Hong Kong.

I believe that goodbyes are the most difficult things on earth. I hate them, especially when I don’t know if I will ever see the people again. But although I hate them and they hurt, I wouldn't trade them for anything. We have been a team for a whole month. We have been together almost 24/7. We have worked and played together, cried and laughed together, grown and experienced together. It feels like a close family. I know many of these people in a deeper way than friends I have know for years. And now we had to say goodbye.

Needless to say it was a difficult day. But we made it back to Taiwan, and to our rooms for the very last night. We packed, talked, and reminisced. Our last meal together was a feast of traditional dishes. It was so enjoyable, though we were all trying not to think about leaving. Of course we stayed up late again. No one wanted to go to bed, but we all ended up caving in to irresistible sleep.

Taiwan holds a special place in my heart. Each team member holds a special place in my heart. This trip has been amazing and life changing. In a way I don't want it to end. But all things must come to an end. The challenge now is to return to 'normal' life. I want to hold onto the lessons I have learned, I want to be changed and not just revert to my pre-trip self. But I also have to live my everyday life. It is quite difficult to say the least. I just keep on trusting my Lord, and thank Him so much for allowing me to experience the Taiwan CI trip in 2010.

Jeanie Mendenhall

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Last Day of the Last CI

Church service at Kowloon International Baptist Church
– First time for a CI team to attend a church in HK other than ICIC (International Children’s Institute Church)

Vietnamese lunch take-out

Parent Presentation – Despite the huge room which seemed to swallow the low volume of the kids’ voices, I am proud of them for learning what they did of the 8 verses and 5 songs.

Despite being nervous that I would blank out during verses, I enjoyed standing on a chair on the balcony and doing hand-motions as big as possible without falling over the edge.

I find CI kids especially endearing and precious during Parent Presentation. Who couldn’t love 60+ children quoting the Bible in unison and singing the Aaronic blessing to you in Cantonese and English?

Class Reward – Our last story of this 2010 CI year. Done as a skit without narration and went overtime as became typical of large groups.

Farewell Party: Dinner – Pizza, ribs, and potato chips, back at our residence hall.

Surprise Christmas Theme – And yet, was it really any surprise? What could have been more natural?

Simon’s game – Involving rubber bands, packing peanuts, straws, string, and paper Christmas trees, this activity could potentially become the basis for the next reality TV game show.

Santa Claus contest – Scottie Haines as best Santa and Johnny Keller as best Santa’s campaign manager.

Farewell Party continued:

Singing contest – CI-themed parodies of Christmas songs. Much fun, humor, and lyrical brilliance. For the 2nd time tonight, Johnny Keller takes home the award for best version of “Go tell it on the Mountain to the Children.”

Last Wisdomsearch – Read the last chapter of John and completing the Gospel after a month of devotions in the book.

Last Worship time/Roll Call – Sharing and tears on lessons learned, difficult times, items of gratefulness, and experiencing God’s love.

Slideshow – Re-living the trip through over 400 snapshots of 4 cities.

Thank you team members for your part on this trip. Thank you family and friends at home for following our blog and praying for us (apologies for the absence of photos in HK. They’re getting caught up). Thank you God for everything you have taught us and for showing your love through the Taiwan/Hong Kong CI 2010.

Rachel Hung

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Longest Day

Today was the longest day of CI that we have done this whole trip. We got to spend a full day with the children, most of them began to arrive at a little before 9:30 in the morning and we said our good byes at around 6:00 in the evening.

I remember getting the schedule for this week on Wednesday, the first day we began the CI in Hong Kong and thinking to myself, “Saturday is going to be such a very long day, I don’t think I have the energy or strength to even make it through this week and especially not Saturday.” But God once again showed Himself faithful, He gave us the strength that we needed for today. It was a blessing to see all the little things He did today.

After the CI, we went to a market and got to do some last minute shopping before most of us leave on Tuesday. We had a great time of trying out some different foods and bargaining for different merchandise. This one lady that was selling chop sticks saw that I was kind of interested in buying some. So she quoted me a price of 130 HKD. I told her that I wasn’t interested, so she said that she would give me a special for 110. I really didn’t like the chopsticks and I told her that I didn’t want to buy any; however, she thought that I was commenting on the high price. After multiple failed attempts to leave and getting dragged back in because of a lower price; the lady finally told me that I was handsome and she quoted me a price of 50 HKD. I felt kind of bad walking out on a descent deal like that, but the experience was totally funny.

This Hong Kong CI has been an amazing experience; seeing God work in the lives of these children and seeing them respond to us as we show them God’s love is something that I won’t forget for a long time. Please continue to pray for the team that we would all finish this trip strong.

Brian Iorga

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Third Day of HK CI

(FIRST THIS IS MY 2ND TIME TO WRITE IT, AND ITS 2:13AM NOW, SO MIGHT HAS MANY MISSPELLING AND MISTAKES, SORRY FOR THAT, AND THANKS FOR CORRECT THEM)(I made it shorter this time, I'm not happy about it, it's not as good as the 1st time :-( but hopefully it still works)

Today is the 3rd day of HKCI 2010, there are 2 more days to go. Before I came to HK, I thought I'm ready for this, I have been looking for it since my winter break started, I thought I'm familiar with it from the experience I had last year, but I'm wrong. Everyday is new, everyday is different this year.

This morning was so cold!!!! Well at least for me it was, but I'm glad it did not rain as much as I thought. We start this cold cold day with wisdom search in John 19. Tim lead us to find out how did Jesus show Himself to people and how did people believe that was Jesus. I had never read the Bible this way, its new and good, got me to think deeper, and realized many things that I had missed out. Such as Jesus showed Himself in different ways which just fits that person. I gave thanks to the Lord for He is so caring. He knows exactly how we are and He always wants to help us to know Him more.

In the Interpreter's Training afternoon, God remind me again of His ownership. Rachel asked us to wrote down the most valuable (cost most) thing we own, and guess who wrote the paper. Everyone knows my paper, I think it's just too hard to not notice it, haha. Everything we have is came from God, and He controls it. So everything happen to them is in His control, even we will never wish anything bad happen to them, such as lost all the pictures in our computer since we usually don't print them out since we have digital pics, lost our love one (family, children) or our job... If thats not MY THING, but HIS Thing, then we will not feel that bad, even still would be sad. But this is easy to say than do, I can even hard to think about anything bad happen to my camera, I lost all my things in my computer once, I know how that feel. But again, everything is God's , He gives, He takes.

Something made me smile today was my new girl Renee who only understand Mandarin came last night, so I have to interpret to Mandarin to her in the large group, that made me enjoy the songs n stories less, but I'm glad she got to understand and enjoy more. In her first large group last night, she didn't want to listen to me, but the 2nd one with the very funny story Johnny and the guys played, she wanted to know what was going on,and today when I asked if she wanted me to help her, she said ok. In the story of the Very Special Book she asked me to tell her what the people said. Looking at her smile and laugh on her cute face, I know she is more relax and enjoy more and more, so dose her heart. I'm so touched and glad, its much better than I enjoy the time myself, I just hoping and praying for her that God will reach her heart in the CI even she can't fully understand everything. God has His own way.

Tomorrow will be a long day from 9am to 6pm. Since everyday is full of differences and surprises, I looking forward for tomorrow for even more unexpected things happen :-) Just keep your eyes, ears, hearts open, there is something new in the corner :-)

Shirley Guan

Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Ode to Today

What to say about today.
It went right by and was OK.
We could sleep in, which was quite nice.
Breakfast was good. I could have eaten it twice.
Had wisdom search with accountability groups.
Our lunch started with Russian soups.
The place where we ate had old music, funny.
However the food we ate was real yummy.
Back to prepare for CI at last.
The day continued to more by real fast.
Most children behaved, some were just OK.
The lessons went well, what more can I say?
The day went well and all I can ask.
Is that each day surpasses the last.

Elizabeth Auer

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Language Inability!!!

Once again, I’m here, in Hong Kong. I feel so insecure for people around me all speak a language that I do not know a bit of. This is sad! I was an interpreter in Taiwan for three weeks. I didn’t know that not being able to understand what’s actually going on feels that horrible. What’s worse, there are lots of people that keep talking to me and asking me lots of questions in Cantonese. I feel helpless, and sort of ...ARGH..... But anyways, that’s just me. The first day of CI in Hong Kong went well. We didn’t have many kids, but it worked out just fine. There are a lot of things that are new for most of us, which makes this CI a lot more interesting and exciting.Once again, I’m here, in Hong Kong. I feel so insecure for people around me all speak a language that I do not know a bit of. This is sad! I was an interpreter in Taiwan for three weeks. I didn’t know that not being able to understand what’s actually going on feels that horrible. What’s worse, there are lots of people that keep talking to me and asking me lots of questions in Cantonese. I feel helpless, and sort of ...ARGH..... But anyways, that’s just me. The first day of CI in Hong Kong went well. We didn’t have many kids, but it worked out just fine. There are a lot of things that are new for most of us, which makes this CI a lot more interesting and exciting.

Please keep us in your prayers.

Simon Yeh

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Out and About in Hong Kong

Today is our second day in Hong Kong & is also the 3rd day of the Chinese New Year. It’s quite different for me in Hong Kong. Because when we’re in Taiwan, I can understand both Mandarin and English but in Hong Kong people speak Cantonese and I can only guest what they are talking about... the other thing is the weather... is really cold now at Hong Kong.

Anyway we started this day with our wisdom search on John 17. After wisdom search we were having a delicious lunch- some Hong Kong DimSum which is really yummy at the nice restaurant. Some of the Americans had tried the chicken feet which was an interesting experience for them. Because of chinese new year I think almost all of the chinese restaurant in the mall is full! After having our lunch we took a bus to a place called Stanley which have a shopping mall/market on the mountain. We have a lot of fun bargaining & shoping over there.

After shopping we were having our dinner at the nice park/garden of Tsim Sha Tsui. It was really cool that we can enjoying the beautiful night scenery of Hong Kong city while we are eating. =) I was fascinated by the beautiful Hong Kong skyline after dark and took many pictures of it. We also went to the avenue of star! By the way we have a chance to watch the light show and it was awesome! Eventually, we ended our exciting and adventure-filled day by going back to sleep.

Thank you for reading it…. please keep praying for us that God will do many great things in and through us during our final seminar. Also, please continue to pray for spiritual strength and physical health for each of us. Have a nice day! =D

Eunice Pang

Monday, February 15, 2010

Going to Hong Kong!

We are going to Hong Kong today and we can only have one checked bag instead of two. Also it can’t weigh over 20kg, so the day started by saying goodbye to all our excess luggage, it’s amazing how much I brought that I don’t really need. It will wait safely for us in Taipei at the IBLP office.

Now it was off to see the Chiang Kai Shek memorial. The changing off the guard was defiantly the highlight of this adventure. I don’t see how the guards can stand so motionless. You would think they were statues, for an hour at a time!! The museum under the memorial was also a point of interest.

Now it was time to say good bye for real. Yvonne, and Peter came to the Airport to see us off. It was really nice to have their company but hard to say good bye. Well, before you know it here we are in Hong Kong, ready for our last week of CI’s. One other thing, I knew I shouldn’t have left my coat in Taipei.

Timothy Allison

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Chinese New Years/Valentines Day!

So today started off like any normal day... that is until we went into the common room and found something rather uncommon... DONUTS! Which in the slight chance you wanted to know, were really good. Then we went to the English service of Friendship Presbyterian Church, where Peter and Yvonne joined us for the day. Which was totally awesome. Also It was rather cool listening to the music sung in English instead of Chinese, though I actually kinda missed hearing it in Chinese. Then we went to lunch at this Beef Noodle soup kinda place (I apoligize for not knowing what it was called). Then later that afternoon we took the MRT all the way to the end to this awesome market place thing. It was pretty crowded because of Chinese New Year, but it was still a lot of fun and really noisy with all the people yelling out special deals... or at least that's what I think they were yelling out, I couldn't really understand it. Oh, and the fireworks definitely added to the noise, but it added to the awesomeness of it. :-) Oh, and luckily for me there was a McDonalds. :-) Haha. Okay, so I only had an icecream, but to get that ice cream I had to eat stinky Tofu. So it was kinda worth it... Okay, so it wasn't, but still I got icecream. :-) Haha.

Then that night since my brothers birthday was the next day, I made a Birthday banner and got everyone to help color it or to write some notes on it. So late that night after we had finished the banner, a few of us snuck out and decorated the hall outside his door with a bunch of balloons and his Birthday Banner. It was a lot of fun doing it, and surprisingly enough even with all the noise we made, he hadn't the slightest clue of what was going on. :-)

Sarah Keller

Friday, February 12, 2010

Finishing Strong!!!!

Well today was another day. Today was our sports day. We played ultimate Frisbee and soccer. It rained today which made playing soccer very fun and wet. We were able to finish another CI successfully today. Praise the Lord!!!!!

This week I was a team leader and David, my brother, was my assistant. I really enjoyed this CI. It was not my favorite, because you are not supposed to have favorites. But if I had to pick one that I liked the best so far, it would be here in Taichung. My kids this week were so good and they really enjoyed the CI.

Tonight we are packing up our things so that we can leave in the morning, to go back to Taipei for Chinese New Year. A lot of the team members have been getting sick. But we are all praying the Lord will give us the strength to finish strong.

At times it’s really easy to be lazy in our lesson planning or just whatever. But laziness is a sin, so I am trying to pray for the strength I need to make it through without being lazy. Because I know that I cannot finish without Him. At the end of this trip I want to be able to say that I finished strong and depended on Christ throughout the whole trip. Even though we will have hard times, we still need to trust in Him. Because Jesus said that we are going to have trouble, but we need to take heart because He has overcome the word.

In His name,

Grace Lukachick

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Girl's Day Out

Today was a little different from the other days. For one thing, we did split wisdom search, which meant the guys got to sleep in and the girls got to do wisdom search in pajamas. I don’t really know what went on in the guys wisdom search, but the girls’ was special. We had a time of just sharing what was on our minds and on our hearts. I learned how easy it is to live three weeks or longer with a person and yet still not know the difficult things on their hearts. So we all got time to talk and “unburden” it was a unifying experience for us as we shared with, listened to, consoled and prayed for one another. Afterwards the staff girls gave us flowers to signify the passage in Matthew 6:28 "Consider the Lilly of the field how they grow; they toil not neither do they spin." We are reminded that God cares for and clothes the flower and how He will care even more for us and our issues and problems.

After wisdom search, we girls went out to have our hair washed and styled. It was definitely an interesting experience having our hair washed for us, but it was also fun and relaxing. For the Taiwanese people it was an interesting experience too as many of them had never dealt with so many foreigners before. Also I don't think they were prepared for Jeanie's bright red, thick curly hair. They all wanted pictures and had no idea how to style it. Us girls found it pretty comical.

After the outing we all got together for training and then prep work for our evening ministry. I got to help prepare the “mud melon” for the CI story. I guess I didn’t do a very good job of it, because when the story teller went to slice the melon through with a sword, it bounced off the melon and poor Tim had to saw at the melon unil it finally opened spilling it’s muddy yuckiness. So yeah, off the record if anyone else ever prepares a mud melon, try to use a fresher melon and actually pack the dirt in. ;-)

Patricia Keller

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


"The kids are beginning to be weird," remarked Peter after today's lesson was over. We thought that was an appropriate thing to write on the post script for the day. The children behaved poorly. Grace Miller was sick and Caroline remained quiet throughout the day due to a sore throat. I began to come up with a lesson for Peter, which mean that Faith I & II were combined into a larger group. Today's lesson was on the topic of Suffering, and I felt that experience would be a better teacher for this lesson than teaching itself. We had our kids separated into two groups and played games such as "suicide" (running back and forth." However, a 6-year old on my team named Caleb cried because he could not win the competition. I was very thankful when Jane helped me take care of him. When I instructed the kids to select the person that they felt was "strongest" (or "the best) in their team, Peter's team selected a tall 5th-grade boy, and our team selected a 3rd-grade boy. I then announced, "You are to recite the Bible verses that we have been learning the past 3 days," so it turned out to be fair. Our team's kid won, for that The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. And that was an important lesson for me, too.

I taught the lesson to the kids right after the game ended. "You guys learned a great lesson in this game - you have to endure suffering in order to win. No pain, no gain - and you have to be responsible, have good self-control, listen to your authorities, and understand God's purpose for designing you. In this way, you will have real freedom and succeed one day." (If you have the Teacher's Manual, you will understand what I was referring to.)

It's important to pray for the kids even after the seminar ends. We may only be with them for a week, but Jesus can continue to do more in them through our prayer.

Jonathan Fan

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hi! Here It is...

Yeah!!! Today is my day to write! Now what should I say?! Actually today while we were waiting for our bus to come and take us to a shopping tourist spot, we (a "certain" group of us CI people) were standing outside a little pet store looking and the CUTE puppies in the window, and watching them… enjoy... life, we turned and wondered who was going to write the blog for today because the puppies were so memorable. So I found it quite funny that I was chosen to write about today... continuing on~~

The Bus arrived soon and 30-something seminar people loaded onto it, but sadly about 6 people had to stay behind either because of sickness or just to rest to be ready for tonight. The ride lasted a short 15 minutes before we arrived at the entrance to every shoppers dream place. There was a mall made of 3 buildings of 11 stories plus streets and streets of brand-named stores and small local shops selling everything you can imagine, except flip-flops Eunice, Jane and I found out! But that is another story... the one thing that made this area stand out was the mall and what made that mall stand out from the other shops was it's... washrooms!! You know that each floor of a mall will normally have at least 1 bathroom but this mall decide to be more creative.... each floor not only has a WC but each one is completely different! At least that is what we had all heard. My friend went to see and tried to find the one on the floor we were on. When she came back we were eager to hear if what we had heard was true, and the first floor's bathroom looks....normal! To our dismay! So of course we went up to another floor with the hope of finding the promised decorative washrooms. To make the story short(er), this bathroom was very different from any we or you have probably ever seen.

After our morning of shopping, we headed back to the Hotel so we could change into dress clothes, freshen up, and for some, take a short rest... then we started walking to the school where we are teaching the CI this week. Once there time flies very quickly until the Kids arrive and the night begins. Each night that we teach the children; we, the teachers, learn many if not more things than the kids. Teaching different aspects of life cause you to look into your own life and either seeing where you need to grow or praising God for what He has done already in your life.

Well, I should get some rest tonight and prepare for tomorrow!! Thanks for reading and keeping us in your prayers!!! 晚安!

Jessica Fitzpatrick

Monday, February 8, 2010

First Experiences as a Teacher

Attending CI for the second or third time (I really forgot), I was excited and a little bit nervous. I was excited about the teachers I would meet, the kids I would teach, and the interpreting experience I would get for the very first time in my life; while I was nervous about the whole unpredictable week, because the last time I attended CI was eleven years ago when I was the youngest kid in my group! What challenge would God give me as I being an assistant this time?

After the enjoyable first day, I was truly thankful for God putting me in this institute and using me in the area of interpreting. The kids in my team are so lovely, and the teachers and I worked together so well. Besides, I learned special things from all of the staffs here.

It is the second day of CI in Taichung. I went back to Hsinchu early in the morning for a reunion with my fellowship friends in high school, so I missed both the devotion and the little food-trip my group took to a Japanese restaurant and Starbucks before the training in the afternoon. After the normal training, the lesson started. Today we taught about the character of self-control. In the first part, we used the parachute man as a metaphor for people who obey the authorities. When in the large group, the children were crazily excited about the skit of Mr. Moggie and Maggie. Seeing them laughing all over, it reminded me the precious of being pure and joyful. It is really amazing how children are so easy to be satisfied! In the second part, we told the kids about how God showed His authority in the story of Moses and the ten disasters upon Egypt. There was an episode in the skit that Johnny, who played the Pharaoh, broke a chair accidently, but it seemed to make the drama more exciting. As we went back to the small group, there were so many crafts left for us to do, but the kids were still energetic and eager to have them done.

Time passed by so fast that another day came to an end as we gathered around again for announcements and prayers. Although things are not always going so well, we could always thank God for being with us and guiding us all the time. Even if we cannot see now, I believe that the Lord will keep working in every child's heart. I enjoyed today as well and am looking forward to tomorrow--we're going to hang out in Taichung! :-)

Pearl Lin

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Birthday and other Surprises

Wow! I can't believe that we just started our last Children's Institute here in Taiwan. Next week we will have one more CI in Hong Kong, before heading home. Just like they say, "Time really flies when you are having fun," although I'm trying not to think about the trip ending quite yet! This morning began with Tim leading our team in our own little "church" service here at the hotel. Tim called it the "ICIC", International Children's Institute Church =P.

After church, we walked over to the school where we will be holding the seminars and the Taichung Children's Institute. We ate a good lunch before going off by ourselves to have an hour long quiet tme between God and ourselves. I always enjoy sitting outside in the nice warm air thinking, reading the Bible, and praying. Tonight our two lessons that we taught were on Faith and Design. While I was having my quiet time, trying to figure out what plans God had for me in the future, He would reveal different verses to me that would be answers to my questions. He kept telling me to just have Faith- taking action even though you don't know what is going on. During our quiet time around 2:15 pm, some of our team felt a slight shake from an earthquake. Not much of a shake, but enough to realize that the rattling of lose items in the classrooms around was not normal.

This week, I am the leader of my small group which is always a challenge for me. My 5 boys and 1 girl all seemed very quiet and shy, but it was neat seeing them begin to open up a little more as the evening went on. I hope that they will continue to open up to us, and have open hearts and ears to what is being taught.

I am very blessed to have my birthday here in Taiwan on a CI trip for the 2nd time in a row! The girls on the team all left a bunch of green sticky notes posted all over the wall next to my hotel room door wishing me a happy birthday. That was a nice way to start out the day! It was so sweet of them. That evening, the staff had me be in one of the skits during large group and had all the kids sing Happy Birthday to me in Mandarin. That evening during cool down they gave me a delicious and pretty cake, along with some different flavored cheese cakes to go with it. The staff always has a way of surprising me when I least expect it, but it makes the day extra special. The staff guys made me a nice bright pink and blue card (haha), and the girls gave me a little present and card as well.

I have been extremely blessed in being able to come on this trip once again. It's such a great feeling knowing that you will be impacting this kids, and everyone else around you (hopefully for the better). It's such an encouragement knowing that each day there are people praying for you. Thank you! Please keep praying for the team's health, and the children and adults who will be attending these last two seminars.

Caroline Rodgers

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Meditiations on my Second CI

Second time serving in CI; still, I felt nervous yet excited. Looking forward to seeing my kids, what they are like? What are their personalities? Will they like me? These questions kept stirring in my mind. Also, I know it's a good bonding time between God and me. I get to spend three weeks learning God's words and translating his message; besides, I love kids so much, I know it's a can't-miss opportunity.

Teacher training started in the afternoon after lunch, every lesson seemed so easy but weirdly, I felt like God was trying to teach me something. Freedom, authority, or responsibility, every lesson surely is a reminder for me. We taught kids that we need to be responsible for everything, but am I really acting like a role model? Am I really listening to the orders from my authority? We tend to just have a big talk but not actually doing it. I know its God's lesson for me, some principles which I've long forgotten already.

Seeing my kids so well-behaved, I felt joy in my heart. They are so cute and innocent; I couldn't help but smile at them all the time. I love being surrounded by little kids, they would pop out the most simple and craziest answer to your question or when the moment came, if they felt like swimming on the floor, they will, without hesitation.

I was sharing a childhood story with one of the kids about why I stopped going to church and never prayed to God again four years ago. "I even forgot how to pray and didn't know what to say to God." I said to her. "How can people don’t know what to say to God? He is so nice and He is our Father." She replied. Isn't she right? As an adult, for me personally, while making decisions or trying to do something or say something, I do get affected by worldly affairs or just simply think too much. For kids, they have a pure heart so that they can have a direct relationship with God. There is almost nothing may interfere their learning or understanding about God. I want to be like that, I want to love him and talk to him wholeheartedly.

Saying goodbye to them today, I couldn't really find words to express my feelings. What can I say, they are so adorable. One of my kids, Paul, a smart young little boy, is addicted to my camera. Before he left, he even asked me to develop those photos and send them to him. How cute is that!

All in all, I know we are here for a reason, teaching them God's words and hope they can become Christ-like. I sincerely hope they can remember the lessons we've taught, and maybe the seed planted in their heart might grow someday in the future. Anyway, I love serving in CI, God bless y'all. :-)

Helen Wu

Friday, February 5, 2010

As our time in Tainan draws to a close...

Our beautiful, sunny Friday morning started out with our wisdom search in John 10. Grace (Wang) asked us to look for what the chapter told us about Jesus and what it tole us about ourselves. With Jonathan as our scribe, we quickly made a long list of each. Verse ten especially caught my attention. "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Jesus is a giver. He did not come to earth for what He could get from us, but to give. He did so only because of His great love for us! How much we have to thank Him for. And this should make us ask ourselves, "Am I coming to do the CI because of what I an get out of it?" We probably don't think so, but I wonder how often are we actually looking more at what we can get out of it than what we can give to others through it.

Following our insightful wisdom search was a second delicious lunch at Quinton and Elmer's church. The church's hospitality not only filled our stomachs but also gave us the chance to see love in action and to enjoy the fellowship with others during the meal.

The church's hospitality did not stop with the meal. After lunch they drove us all (in five vans) to visit three different historic-type places. I enjoyed them all, but my favorite was the second place we went called something like "The Tree House" place. Walking around in the area made me feel like I was in a rain-forest type jungle. The lush green trees growing in and around the old buildings combined with the cool breeze and quiet atmosphere made me want to sit down and rest there for while. It be a cool place to spend a day. Walking around and enjoying God's creation with other team members made my heart full of joy. The vine-like trees and walking bridges awoke in me a long-lost desire to "go wild", climb the wonderful trees, hang precariously on branches, vines and anything else I could hang on...and get dirty and tired. :) I did actually get tired, but I didn't let myself get all dirty. We were only there for 20 minutes anyway. I think we all were tired even before we started the evening's seminar session, but we thoroughly enjoyed our outing.

In spite of our exhaustion, we were able to make it through our last evening CI session without collapsing...though I did see several teachers dose off during large groups. The topic for the evening was Ownership/Contentment. A lot of the boys especially liked the story of Thunder---a baseball story with a great lesson on ownership and salvation. Brian, our guest story-teller held us all in suspense as he expounded on the ways in which to tell if a watermelon is good or not. The conclusion was that the only real way to know is to give it "the sword test" --- to cut it open. Likewise in our lives, the only way to really know what a person is like is by his fruit. After getting a little grossed out at what we found inside the ''mud melon'', the second watermelon was cut open. I was proud to have one of ''my boys'' picked to go up and taste the delicious fruit for the whole group.

This seminar our small group offered a prize to each child who could, before the end of the week, accurately quote our entire passage for the seek (Ps. 34:1-8) on his/her own. Most of our kids did so. Our youngest child, a six-year-old boy was so precious. Though he caused the most trouble for us (We sent him on three wisdom walks in that one evening!), he was also the one who would loudly and clearly belt out the verses and songs during large group. He cried when he left...not the way he would whine to get his way during the CI, but a genuine cry. He told his dad he didn't want to leave. And by the way, he and his sister were usually the first ones there and last ones to leave each night. I am so blessed to see the ways Father did work and I believe is still working in the lives of the eight children on our team (the largest team this CI). Though the Tainan CI is now over, I pray that the truths they heard would continue to take root in their tender hearts, and that they would each be fruitful branches for Him.

Thanks to everyone who is praying for our team! We would not be doing what we are if it weren't for your prayers.

And thank you Father for the ways you are working in our lives to make us more like You as we seek to share You with the precious children of Taiwan.

Grateful for you all.

Hannah Morrison

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lessons Learned

Today's opening is John 9. We talked about what we should see in our life. Because different people have different insights, and we need to make sure what God wants us to see. Don't waste any chance which God gives you to learn something important. All of us need to learn how to have the sight of Jesus.
Then we went to Tainan Assembly of God Church where Quinton's family and friends cooked for us! We ate a lot with a thankful heart. May our kind Lord bless them!

We always could learn something by teaching children. Today's lesson was Forgiveness and Suffering. The real freedom is to forgive people who displease you, and don't let your mind rise and fall for them again and again. Besides, everything has its own reason, we should believe that God controls all things even our thoughts. So we don't need to worry or doubt why God allows these to happen. It's very important because it's an easy way for us to deplete our energy.

In the end, we went into the large group room to pray. The night snack was Oreo with peanut butter. We had six more cookies, so people who answered the question could eat it. That made us so excited to win the Oreo! I remember when Jerry got the last one, and we all heard Johnny say "No, no, no…" as a joke. To our surprise, Jerry did give the last one to Johnny! Johnny was so happy that he started to use exaggerated actions and facial expressions to show how touched he was! That made us have a big laugh for a long time. LOL.

What a sharing and Thanksgiving heart it is! =)

Thank God for today!

All things have their own reason!

Carrie Liu

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

One Could Ever Hope for a More Blessed and Exciting Day

After a long and restful night, we began our Wednesday morning with a wisdom search on John 8. Jerry, the leader of the wisdom search, became light-headed and fainted abruptly. Several minutes of drama and confusion filled the room. Soon after, Jerry was the shipped to the hospital to find out the real reason of this sudden episode of heavy light-headedness. Jerry has now returned to the team, but will still need continual prayer.

So, we then begun a walk to a scrumptious three course meal (all at different destinations) - noodles, winter-melon tea, and a famous miscellaneous Tainan restaurant. Trying the amazing and famous was a marvelous experience. As we walked around Tainan one can know that here is where a huge spiritual warfare is going on. Sadly, there are so many people here that are confused about their lives and are blind to the real true. You cannot walk down a street that does not have a temple of some kind: one that draws others away from the One True God.

Then we headed off to a nearby field to play some ultimate Frisbee and soccer. It was wonderful being able to spend time in the bright sun and fresh air! Dripping in sweat and dirt, we hurried back to the hotel to prepare ourselves for the fun-filled evening of CI's. Not only do we have to prepare ourselves but most importantly our hearts. Christ must be first in our live to fully work for Him and Him alone.

Arriving at the church, we immediately began to prepare for the evenings lessons and crafts. The character quality for tonight was Responsibility: and the children thoroughly enjoyed the little skit that demonstrated the fact that hiding a sin, even a little one, can have a huge conscience. Also one of the points that was taught to the children was Taking Thoughts Captive.

I am really looking forward to having a blessed and exciting day tomorrow, after a goodnights rest. :-)

Scottie Haines

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Please note...

We arrived in southern Taiwan, Tainan to be exact, on Sunday and since then have not had regular access to the internet.

We apologize for the lack of contact and silences between blog updates and would like to assure family members that we are all still alive and well (though some less healthy than others).

Do stay posted as we will try our best to add news here and photos on the CI Picasa web albums as often as possible.

CI Team

Food, Kids, and More Food

My day consisted of getting up in the morning at about 10:00AM, and after that we all went to a restaurant where you actually cook your food yourself. And then when we went back to the church for the CI.

We taught the kids about the character quality of self-control, which I didn't only teach them but taught myself about what self-control meant. And I also learned that even if you have 3 boys, that God had sent to your group, that they matter just as much as 10 kids. God has a purpose for those 3 boys whatever that may be. At the end of the day, we got to go to a "Tibongla" fruit stand that had really good fruit drinks.

Jonathan Gleaves

Monday, February 1, 2010

Do you really love the kids?

Today is the first day we started CI in Tainan. I thought it is easier for me because I can teach in Mandarin and we have fewer kids in our team than in Taipei. But it is completely different than what I thought. I think this is the most crazy CI night I ever had.

I have 3 "super active" boys in my team. I had a hard time to get their attention and control the class. Because they fought with each other and went all around, so I have to chase them.

I felt that God is asking me, "Do you really mean what you thought last week?" And I know that God is teaching me to love people even they are not perfect, to trust in Him and not myself and to rejoice in the Lord always no matter how the circumstances are.

Suffering didn't make me feel good, but I made me come close to God.

Jane Pang