This last month has had a bit of radio silence on our parts. If you follow Brittany on Instagram you may have gotten a glimpse of what the last month has brought. (I’d encourage you to follow her if you aren’t already! She’s great at documenting our doings!)
The month of November brought with it some unexpected challenges.
Justin’s grandfather was hospitalized after a complicated surgery to repair his gall bladder. After four weeks of hospitalization his family asked us to return. Thank the Lord for his provision as just weeks before we had received a one time gift that matched the price of our plane tickets back to Sioux Falls, SD. While we would have liked to have visited on other terms, we were glad to be able to be with family, even if for a relatively short visit.
Once in Sioux Falls, we were able to spend time with Roger, Justin’s grandfather. He would pass on November 9, 2018. It was peaceful and his wife and children were able to be with him during his final moments on Earth. Praise the Lord, Roger was a man with a steadfast faith. We are certain he is now rejoicing with his Savior.
Being back in the U.S. did mean that we were able to do some special things. We spent some time with our family and friends. We were able to visit Parkside Church, in Minnesota and spend some time with their congregation and encourage them. Plus we celebrated Kennedy’s birthday!
Together with (cookie) cake and presents Kennedy was able to celebrate her sixth birthday with our close family. Originally she had planned her special day thinking it would be in Taipei, so her plans had to change, but we still fully intend on taking her out for a post-celebratory hot pot birthday meal as is our tradition here in Taiwan. We thank God for our daughter and how God uses her every day to encourage us and many others!
Meanwhile, back in Taiwan, work went on! We are blessed to be part of a team that can step up in these times of need. Praise the Lord! November saw our new initiative in the Aroma Church begin; Community Groups. We saw a need for a safe place that people could develop their belonging, in our community. Only then would they then be able to believe and become the Aroma of Christ.
Already we’ve seen fruit from this. One woman who attended these groups has been a Christian for sometime already. Through conversation she shared her passion to be a DJ and how she previously thought this would be something God would be against. Another woman used this space to ask a key question, “What language does God speak?” (One that we hear often, believe it or not!) These thoughts and questions are then able to be talked about and new life is able to be spoken into their situations!
Please pray with us as the Aroma Church takes steps into planning next year. Taiwanese love taking classes in their spare time. We want to meet these friends where they’re at and offer more of this! Whether it’s a class about how to read your Bible, or what Biblical Fatherhood looks like. We’re excited for this!
You can also pray for the Aroma Ximen cafe. While our second location is still moving forward, since the end of September Ximen cafe has remained closed. Praise God though, November brought with it two new individuals that we’ve put in place to reopen. We’re looking forward to reopening as the new year begins under new management and with a new look and feel that still replicates what the Cafes have been doing the last six years; providing a safe space for people to walk in, smell the Aroma of Christ, become the Aroma, and go out and spread the Aroma.