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

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