Two chapters ending

“I’m not sure if I’ll see you again…” 

Those were some of the last words my good friend, Howard, said to me before he boarded his plane. Howard has longed to get away from Taiwan and travel the world for quite some time. His dream was finally becoming a reality as he boarded a series of airplanes bound for Brisbane, Australia. His plan is to work there for two years before traveling further.

If you remember, Howard was my first Mandarin teacher. He was also one of the first young men that I took under my wing and discipled. Thankfully, both Howard and I know that we’ll see each other eventually, if not on earth then in heaven. You might also remember from one of our first newsletters that shortly after we arrived Howard chose a life with Christ over his traditional upbringing that included regular temple visits, offerings, and fortune telling.

Here’s Howard helping us play tour guide when Brittany’s father visited. Howard was often with us and was easily part of the family!

It’s funny how God puts us in the right place at the right time. Despite wanting to leave the island almost a year earlier, Howard didn’t end up leaving until a few days after my family’s two year anniversary here in Taiwan. I am most definitely not the only person to pour into Howard before he left, but I believe God placed me here in Taiwan for the Howards of Taipei.

Besides meeting, talking, and praying regularly, Brittany and I were able to bless Howard with a place to live for three months between homes (Thanks to our awesome partners!), we walked through different family/relationship issues, and even tackled some difficult questions like why God permit killing and slavery in the Old Testament, evolution versus creationism, and other queries that kept me up late searching for answers. (Thank the Lord that Holy Spirit revealed these things when needed because previously these thoughts were nowhere near the front of my mind.)

Now that Howard has left and our chapter has closed it seems fitting that my family now embarks on a short furlough. There are still plenty more young men like Howard in Taipei. I look forward to each and every one of them that God places in my path, but first we’re returning to our home country for some rest.

Beach Baptisms

You never know who’s watching… This last weekend we helped and participated with Aroma’s annual beach baptism. A couple from a local frisbee group that I play with every Monday night were invited and showed up, which was a little bit to my surprise. (I’m not sure why… God works in many different ways!)

They knew a few people there beside my family, but they definitely seemed a little out of their comfort zones. We were, after all, having a Christian baptism just a couple hundred meters away from a huge temple.

This was special for more than one reason though; Brittany had chosen just a week or two earlier to be baptized. It’s something she’s pondered often and Holy Spirit definitely stirred something up in her to choose this weekend. After all, it wasn’t our first baptism service with Aroma.

I haven’t had a chance to ask my frisbee friends what they thought of the service…, but I definitely will soon. As I held Brittany while our pastor submersed her in the ocean waters I was keenly aware of the eyes watching and wondering. “Why is this young woman is giving her life to God, in Taiwan, outside of her home, outside of her culture.” It was one of those moments where one can easily sense that the aroma of Christ is spreading!

A new look for a new season!

Both Brittany and I are the type of people that find it necessary to keep our desks clean (most of time), do the dishes every evening before heading to bed (…most of the time), and make sure the house is tidied before we leave for the day.

We do these things to make sure the next time we, or any of our house mates, use our space it’s clean and ready to be used.

Similarly, we want our blog to be ready for a new season. We recognize that we weren’t always the best at keeping it up to date over the last year. We’ll do better this time and part of that effort to keep our friends, family, and partners involved and part of this calling God’s put on our hearts is to keep this website going!

So, enjoy the new layout. I hope it’s super speedy and you’re able to navigate it well. Keep coming back for more updates on the blog as well as other video/media content concerning our happenings in Taiwan!