Celebrating new life!

One phrase we sometimes use in our circles is “work hard, play hard“. Often times it’s easy to pass up fun for an extra few hours of work. That’s where it’s important to have a good habit of Sabbath resting, but I’ll leave that topic for another occasion. The month of May brought with it much play and we sure did have fun celebrating with our friends.

First was the baptism of our dear friend Mia. Mia has been attending Aroma for nearly a year now, and she has grown so much! She recently decided to give her life to God, and last month took the step to make that known by being baptized. We are so honored to have Mia as part of our community here at Aroma, but also now as a sister in Christ! Mia volunteers much of her time with our church’s children’s ministry and Kennedy has been so blessed by having Mia around.

Next up, our dear friends, Jimmy and Sandra, got married! We’ve known Jimmy and Sandra both for the better part of our time in Taiwan. Sandra is a worship team leader in our church, and Jimmy is active as an interpreter and translator for our Envision short term teams. He was also previously part of Justin’s huddle. We were able to know them both separately, walk with them early on in their dating relationship, and now celebrate that they are a married couple! Jimmy and Sandra are in our small group, and mean so much to us!

Quick fun fact: This was our first Taiwanese wedding! It was such a cool experience!

Finally, Emmi (our beloved house mate) and Mark (one of the founding members of Aroma ministries and a former church leader)  got married last Sunday! It was such an emotional day – Mark was one of the very first people we met when we visited Taiwan in March of 2015, and Emmi quickly became as close as family for the three of us. To know Emmi and Mark separately, walk with them through the ups and downs of dating, and celebrate this new season with them, has been such an honor! We’re so excited to continue doing life with them and watch them grow as husband and wife!

FUN FACT: While Brittany was able to participate in Emmi and Mark’s as the maid of honor, Kennedy got to be the flower girl in BOTH weddings!

We are so thankful that God is growing our community. While not every moment is full of fun or play, we receive joy and peace knowing that he’s working through the Aroma. So we give thanks for these fun times!

April in Review

@work in review

April was all about paying it forward, quite literally.

At the beginning of the month the cafe [re]launched a pay it forward campaign to get the community educated and engaged in giving and generosity. We started strong and ended with International Pay It Forward Day (April 28th) in which both cafe’s donated 15% of their sales that day to a charity voted on by the community.

(Check out the video below that we made for our social media to promote this new idea amongst the community!)

While Aromans were paying it forward with coffee and baked goods, we also put on an event to share how Jesus paid it forward for us. Despite the Saturday before Easter being a work day for many, we had a good turn out for an egg-dying event where we presented the Gospel to patrons that came in that day.

Young and old joined us to dye and paint eggs. It’s something that is not usually done here in Taiwan.

We continue to develop relationships in our small group. We live life together, sharing meals and thoughts every week. Last week, we spent time pondering 1 John 4:20, to which one Taiwanese friend was quite taken back that the Bible was calling her a liar when she admitted to sometimes harboring hatred towards her brothers and sisters. My [Justin] favorite part to these types of questions is seeing the group come together and answer them together in love, with much grace. #goodstuff

Notes taken while our small group worked together to define true love.

@family in review

We celebrated Brittany’s birthday on April 7th. For those of you that know Brittany well, you’ll know she loves trying new things! For her birthday, we tried a fun Moroccan restaurant she found! It was so good!

April also meant one of our two roommates returned home! Emily jumped on a plane back to Minnesota to spend the summer with her family before heading off to college. She’s all grown up now! 😉

Justin is also almost finished with his first semester of Mandarin language learning. God has blessed him with an excitement and drive for his classes, which is huge considering he is usually a visual, hands-on learner.

April was a lot of fun, but we’re excited to see what May has for us, too! How was your month?