Friday, February 5, 2016

No Fear in Love

"If we will only surrender ourselves utterly to the Lord, and will trust Him perfectly, we shall find our souls "mounting up with wings as eagles" to the "heavenly places" in Christ Jesus, where earthly annoyances or sorrows have no power to disturb us." - Hannah Whitall Smith

Though I've been serving CIs, for 5 times, I'm still so nervous and am afraid of experiencing the failures or facing difficulties. Before serving CIs, I pray for everything related to CI, from the teachers to the children. During the personal devotional time we had, I read “I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me” (Philippians 4:13).

I'm still serving God with a little bit fear, but yet God will "make you perfect, stablish, strengthen settle you" (1 Peter 5:10). Only by casting all your fears on Him, can God work in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. I realize God will use His ways to use us to work for Him, and it doesn't matter if we do something wrong; I mean, if we did not do very well in our own eyes or the eyes of other's. So we don't need to be afraid regardless of being an interpreter or teaching the lessons.

The most impressive thing to me this year is the craft of the grape vine. “If we are unconnected with Jesus, then, we don't have life. As the leaf fell down from the vine (tree), it was dead.” I love this metaphor so much. It's so clear to understand and just so true! I always think that what I learn at the CI is more than what I teach the children during CIs. Walking in the word of God is quite difficult, we may fall down or be unable to trust Him. So we all are still learning and keep following Him.

I think the basic essence of everything is trust. How do we trust Him as well as the woman of Canaan whose daughter was grievously vexed with demons? And just remember, God is love. There is no fear in love!

Jacey Hsu

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The One Who Strengthens

This is my second time serving in CI. It’s only the second day of Taipei CI, and I’m already exhausted. At the first day, I thought, "Wow! Things are going so smoothly this year. Children are willing to learn, hear stories and sing." But then to my astonishment, at the second day, things were out of control!

There are a pair of siblings on my team who find it difficult to pay attention. Especially the five-year-old brother, who can barely sit down during the lessons and always wants to climb on the teacher. During the first large group, he had to sit on my lap otherwise he wasn’t able to listen to the stories since he was wriggling all the time. What’s more, he was totally in his own world during the second large group and wouldn't listen to us at all. I love children. I love that they’re na├»ve and sincere. But honestly, when it comes to kids that are really really difficult to handle, I can hardly face them with a smile, which I know is my weakness.

On the way home, I kept thinking about the sister and the brother on my team. I thought maybe through God’s eyes, sometimes I might be the kid who often refuses to listen to Him and who needs Him to remind me over and over again. But has God abandoned me or ignored me as a result? Absolutely not! During the CI, even though I am the teacher who teaches the children, but I am also a student who needs to be taught. I think maybe God wants me to learn how to love people with patience, and He reminds me that I am not only telling the kids about the gospel, but also living like Christ.

“For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”- John 13:15

We have two more days left of the CI, I believe God will lead us and work by Himself. Although I might be tired and exhausted, I know I have nothing to fear since He is with me. Just as it says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” 

Audrey Guo

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Learning Through Serving

This is the second time I teach in the CI. I was very sick and not comfortable last year. But thank God, I didn’t catch a cold this year. Teaching in CI is a difficult task for me, but I still chose to do it this year. My mom asked me why do I want to join CI for the second time. I told her that because I can help the kids get to know Christianity more, and I really love children. Last but not least, I actually learn a lot when I prepare and teach the curriculum.

This week, the people who have been the assistants the past few weeks are now team leaders. I am one of them, so I am a little bit nervous because I have to be in charge of a team. I pray to God to give me wisdom. And I know that He won’t give me any task that I can't handle. Please pray for the first time team leaders this week.

This CI is the last one for this year and some of the teachers have been taught for three weeks. Please pray that they won’t get bored and that they will have enough energy. Some of our teachers are not feeling well today, please pray for their health.

Becky Liu

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Little, Big Things

As a CI teacher the past two weeks, I feel as if I learn more than what I am teaching. Born in Canada but of Taiwanese descent, using Chinese has no doubt been a challenge for me. Teaching CI and interacting with the kids in Taiwan has been both a humbling and challenging learning experience.

When I was teaching the kids on my Hsinchu CI team how to do a craft in Chinese, there was an item that I didn't know how to say in Chinese, so I just said, "zhe ge dong dong," which roughly translates to "this thing." The kids thought it was hilarious and told me "teacher, your Chinese pronounciation is not accurate!" Laughing and feeling amused with myself, I agreed.

On the first day of the Kaohsuing CI I was slightly nervous, so when I spoke in Chinese, the prononciation was a slightly off. I noticed a boy lean over to whisper something in his brother's ear. One of them turned back to me with a sly grin on his face and asked, "you're not from Taiwan, are you?"

I acknowledged that no, I was not from Taiwan. I proceded to inform them that I was born in a land far, far way and had to ride an airplane to get here. They then tried to guess where I was from. Japan? Korea? Australia? They theorized places from all over the world. When I promised I would tell them on the last day, they became even more curious. On the very last day, I finaly revealed that I was born and raised in Canada.

Being a detail oriented person, I tend to care about the details or the small things. This can be both a good and bad thing because this means I can sometimes forget to look at the big picture. However, I am grateful that our God is a God that knows the heart and thoughts of each and everyone of us as individuals. Knowing this, He has shown me His love and given me blessings in small (yet big) ways.

One example came in the form of a quiet little girl with short hair and big, soft, round eyes. One day, I felt a tiny head softly press and snuggle against my arm. When I glanced down, this little girl smiled softly and bashfully at me, giggled, and cuddled against my arm again. It was so precious. By the very last day, she was combing her hands through my hair, stretching out her tiny hand to point out the features of my face, and reaching up to press her tiny forehead againt mine and giggling when her gaze met my eyes.

I also recall chasing a very stubborn and insistent (yet adorably cute) little girl around when we were supposed to be sitting down in large group. The little sweetheart had just turned four and just wanted to go see her mommy instead of sitting down with the other kids. As I was attempting to stay calm, yet feeling slightly exasperated, I realized that all the children were singing Love Never Fails* in large group. It reminded me about what love is, as written in I Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV):

"Love in patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not esily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserveres."

Visiting Mao Kong on our off day
Most importantly God is Love. It is my hope and prayer that all of us CI teachers can continue to brightly reflect the love of God to the children this week in Taipei. Two CI's have been completed in Hsinchu and Kaohsiung, and I am looking forward to what God has in store with the Taipei CI.

*Love Never Fails is one of the songs that was taught in this year's CI

Elisha Liu