Why Taipei?

I know some of you might be reading this and asking yourselves why we decided to move to Taipei. Others might not be surprised at all.

Taiwan has deep roots in my family. At the end of the day that’s how Brittany and I connected to Taipei. My grandfather served with the Navy in Taiwan. My parents would later move to the island to work with an organization called Overseas Radio & Television (ORTV). I was born in Kaohsiung which is in the southern region of Taiwan.  My uncle would later do some animation work for ORTV and my Aunt and her husband also found themselves pastoring a church in Taipei.

After school we moved to Sioux Falls and it was definitely our plan B. Although I wouldn’t trade the last three years here for anything else Sufu was never where we intended to stop. Our family has come to the point where God has opened so many different doors that we felt we just had to choose one! It’s an exciting place to be and we’re relieved to have finally made a decision. (Some of you might know that we’re horrible at making decisions.)

In 2012 we inquired with Chris O’Dell, a founding member of Aroma, about life in Taiwan and if it might be some where we could work. We quickly found out it might not be the best place for us to make a quick buck and pay off our student loans so we went on our way. Luckily, despite our intentions, a seed had been planted. A connection had been made. In early 2015 when our hearts were finally ready we had another reason to contact Chris once more. This time it wasn’t simply about work. This time we wanted to see what God might have in store for us there.

While Taipei very well may not be our final destination, it’s where we’ve been called to now. Everything going forward is a reaction to that calling.

Ai Taipei

Ai means love in Mandarin. Another definition I’ve seen is to value or to treasure. To TREASURE! We believe that love needs to be at the root of all ministry; people need to be seen as a special treasure. We are, after all, created in God’s image. This truth needs to be at the very core of our being. It needs to be so in-your-face obvious, blatant, and unmistakable in everything we do. From saying hello to someone on the train, to buying a cup of coffee for the homeless man you see every day, to conversations with friends, it all means nothing if love isn’t there to back it up.

Christians are the body of Christ here on Earth, and just like God loves us, we are called to love others. That’s what we want to do, and that’s what we need to do. Love Taipei. Ai Taipei.


Because we want this to be a theme throughout our lives in Taipei, we’ve decided to make it a hashtag! Look for it in our social media updates so you can keep us accountable. #AiTaipei

Our Midwestern Life

We’ve lived in the tiny city of Sioux Falls for three years now.

After graduation in 2012, we had no idea what we were going to do. Unbeknownst to anybody but us, I was about 8 weeks pregnant and we had no jobs. Sioux Falls was the logical choice at the time.

I got a contract job processing student loans for a bank, and Justin interned as a TESOL teacher for refugees, and was eventually hired as a graphic designer for a small company. October and November that year were whirlwind months…I got a new job working in a call center for a credit card company (definitely not my cup of tea), and a few weeks later, Miss Kennedy was born three weeks early.

Fast forward some, and Justin has been working for a marketing agency in town doing video and motion graphics. I’ve also taken up the title of marketing specialist at a locally owned bank. Kennedy goes to daycare where she has a ton of friends and is adored by all of her teachers.

Our happy midwestern life was great, but we’d reached the point where we were bored in our contentment. We realized we needed something different, and wanted that something to glorify God. We had several doors seem to open at once, all of which we knew God would bless…we simply had to choose. When Justin and I took our first trip to Taipei in March, we just knew that’s where we wanted to be.

Right now we are preparing for a two-year commitment. At the end of that time we’ll reevaluate everything and see where God might take us (or keep us?) from there!