Monday, February 3, 2014


Having a blast at the night market!

Although the trip has been busy and stressful for me, it's also been a huge blessing! I'm so happy that God has been able to work through me and influence the lives of so many kids. One of my favorite memories occurred during the Taipei seminar. There was a boy on my team who always kept quiet and didn't like to participate much. So I was constantly praying that he would be getting something out of the lessons. As the days went on, he slowly started to open up. It was awesome to find out that he spoke English really well! After that, bonding with him became so much easier. It's amazing knowing that God's truth affects even the little ones. The evident change in his life was a huge encouragement to me! It's always incredible to see God work right before my own eyes! So I ask that you pray for him, that he might continue his spiritual growth in the Lord :)

Also, God has been teaching me so much on this trip! One of the biggest things I've been learning is to submit to Him in everything. Which honestly, has been very hard recently. Proverbs 3:5-6 says,

"Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."

This reminds me I have to have confidence and faith that he knows exactly what he's doing, even though I can't see how things are going to end up. Blind faith is a difficult thing for me, but God promises blessings to those who remain steadfast under trial (James 1:12).

Although the last few weeks have been hard, I've been trying to take every opportunity to submit to Christ, even in the hardest areas. Please pray for all the teachers and interpreters, that we would continue to submit our will and our desires to Christ.

Anna Hodges

Sunday, February 2, 2014

He is Good

It doesn't come with a boom or a bang but in the quiet stillness, there it is - an overwhelming sense of the Lord's goodness. I love coming back to Taiwan for this reason. When I hear the children's beautiful voices singing The Blessing at parent presentation, when we have worship times together as a team, when I stand on a black sand beach and look out on the pacific ocean, I can't really explain the special feeling of God's faithfulness that comes over me!

Taiwan is truly an amazing country. Not surprisingly, there are many things that make it unique but what I love the most is the children here! At our last seminar in Kaohsiung, the children would peek into the staff room and try to coax us to come out to play with them during dinner breaks. When I started an impromptu game of red light, green light with about 20 of them, they were so enthusiastic that I got knocked over and the chair I was sitting on broke! I can't think of anywhere else where the children are more innocent, more curious about us, and more eager to learn. They have a special place in my heart!

Six sets of sisters on the beach in Hualien

This year, we have had a pretty tight schedule with few days of rest. It has been such a blessing to see everyone still cheerful and willing to serve despite that. Another challenge has been having a smaller team of teachers and on top of that having teachers become sick! Everyone has been doing double duty. We are so thankful, though, that most have since gotten better.

Tomorrow, we'll be flying to Hong Kong! It's going to be exciting to be in a new country that most of us have not visited before. We will be working with a different culture and kids from a different background. The schedule for the Children's Institute here will also be longer than usual. Pray for stamina for the teachers, pray that communication barriers will be broken down and pray that we would be focused on giving God glory in everything!

Jolynn Tan

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Final Stretch

Well it's just about time to board another plane heading across the water to Hong Kong!! The past 3 CIs have been full and fabulous! God has shed His blessings upon this trip. I have very much enjoyed my time working with the amazing team of teachers and teaching the adorable children. The kids have been full of energy and excitement which fueled our creative juices in teaching. :) During this trip I have been learning to see and appreciate all the little blessings God brings my way daily. Last week in Kaohsiung I had a few rather energetic children on my team; I found so much joy in spending some one-on-one time with them during sessions. One little girl in particular had a short attention span which provided lots of one-on-one time between me and her. She knew very little English, and I seriously lack in the Chinese department; however, we had many laughs learning new English and Chinese words.

After the Kaohsiung seminar we spent a few days in the mountains of Hualien. We visited the Faith Hope Love Boys Home. It was such a blessing to be able to spend some time playing games with the boys and enjoying celebrating Chinese New Year with them eating hot pot! The last day in Hualin we were able to go to the beach. The Pacific Ocean was incredibly beautiful surrounded by the mountains. I was in awe of the beauty of God's creation! The ride back to Taipei was long and winding, but we managed to pass the time with some bus fun. :) The break has been refreshing and rejuvenating. Now our bags are packed and we're ready to finish strong in Hong Kong! ;)

A few prayer points for this week:
~Safety in travels
~Continued health and strength
~Energy to finish strong
~Open hearts and minds for the children and for each of us as well

Abbi Bergeron