We arrived back in the states on April 12th and then got right back into work and finishing up school. But I don’t want to talk about that right now, I want to tell you about our trip!
After a total of 17 hours in the air we arrived in Taipei, Taiwan. We stayed there at the church for 3 nights. While there we did some sight seeing, helped out with youth group, met the missionaries, went to night markets, went to a big temple, and walked all over Taipei. For a city of 6 million people, it was crowded.
After Taipei we took the high-speed rail to Kaohsiung. It is a smaller city of three million and you really can tell the difference! We met the missionaries, John and Cheryl Dunn and our group all stayed at different places. Stephen and I stayed with a nice Taiwanese couple there. It was fun to get to know them. While at Kaohsiung I helped out one day at an orphanage called “His Hands” while Stephen spoke at a military prison. While Stephen walked around the city and prayed with the guys, I also babysat for a women’s Bible study, which proved very challenging since the kids couldn’t understand us at all. We helped at an English Bible study, helped at an after school program, took a ferry to a small island and saw the ocean.
We only stayed at Kaohsiung 2 nights and then took the high-speed rail to Taichung. It is also a city of about 3 million. We stayed with David and Brenda Atkin at their beautiful home/church and Brenda made breakfast and dinner for us. While there we did our demographic study in a suburb of Taichung called Fengyuan. This is where Jon Ralls, the professor who went with us on the trip will live and plant a church. We walked around Fengyuan with a missionary from Taipei who came down for the study as well, Scott Pagel. Our group found a promising area with two nice parks where people would gather and just prayed for the Ralls family. We walked around the good part of the morning and early afternoon and met ad talked about all we found later. You cannot believe the kind of temples we found, stories and stories high! It is so mind-boggling. There was one just for women and there are others with their own TV stations in them! There is so much need!
On Friday we walked around Taichung and then left on the HSR to Taipei where we stayed the remainder of the trip. We helped out at youth group again, babysat for the missionaries so that they could have a night out together, went out with a person from the church for the day. Stephen and I went with our friend Sophia who is from Taiwan who actually went to school at CCCB, graduated from there and Lincoln Christian Seminary and now is back in Taipei. We went to a ceramics museum and market and ate sushi- COOKED sushi…. Just in case if you were wondering!
Taiwan is interesting because it is very modern. Just in one night market you could get everything you needed. It is very materialistic, like the United States, but it also has temples that when you are in them or you see people’s god shelves in their homes you can tell that you as a Christian are not welcome. So it not only has the evil of materialism, but also the evil of demon worship in the temples. In the temples you might want to worship the god of success if you want success. If you want a baby you will worship the god who will make you have a baby. Health? There is a god for that. Power? There is an app- sorry! Woops! A god for that. It is really sad.
It has been good for Stephen and I to go on the trip. We were able to encourage and be encouraged. When we were helping out with the youth group and everyone was singing praise songs I just imagined the city of Taipei. The night market was going on and people could always be worshipping different idols in temples. I prayed for the kids in the church that they would be bright lights in the city of darkness.
Thank you so much for your support. It was so encouraging. We have decided that we will not be going full time to Taiwan but instead will be moving to Ireland to begin church planting. We ask that you would pray that God would continue to open doors and that we would be able to successfully plant churches in Ireland. We also ask that you would pray about supporting us as we prepare to be full time on the mission field.