Reflections of 2012 SOW Taiwan Mission
(1) Mission team member Ashley Bong:
This mission was a real eye-opener for me.
At the youth home I was really struck by how much life the boys had; after they’d gone through so much at young ages, they were ready to bounce back with love for others and God. They have a huge amount of light-heartedness and compassion that’s enviable. They don’t complain when they have to work and they take life head-on in a dizzying amount of energy. Their love and passion for God is the same, and just so amazing to witness. This was really put in perspective for me when we got to Tucheng, where I was surrounded by kids that were really similar to me- they were living the same comfortable lives they always had, taking life and God for granted. I feel like I can’t tell myself I’m a “good Christian” any longer, but really start loving all of the people around me, considering them blessings for coming into my life and wanting to bless them in return. In one week, I fell in love with these boys and the resilience they had in life, their optimism no matter what, and the purity of their hearts. I’m constantly thanking God for these kids, that I can really see who will inherit the kingdom of Heaven.
(2) Mission team member Oscar Chu:
Reflections and Feelings Towards Summer Mission in Hualien Youth Home, Week 1
Coming to the Hualien Youth Home, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that there were a bunch of orphanage boys that I wanted to share the love of Jesus with.
When we arrived at the Youth Home on Sunday, I was impressed by the hospitality and kindness of the boys that welcomed us and did the presentation. Even more surprising was when we found out that most of the boys have already accepted Jesus. I had to think hard about what I was going to do to help these kids. I determined to help these kids understand the Bible more deeply and how to apply its truths in their lives.
On the first day of Bible camp, I was very nervous about what songs to play for worship. I knew that these kids spoke very little English, so I picked the easiest songs in the beginning. I also was trying to get used to playing with our band members, because this was the first time we were playing together with the music instruments. I am thankful that the kids tried their best to follow along, that our band played our best, and that we all learned how to praise God together. Even though the first few songs were originally for little children, I am thankful that the boys still enjoyed singing about God’s love and truth. I was blessed by the amount of love the kids showed when singing praise to Jesus Christ our Lord.
The boys’ love of God continued to show when we did our Bible stories. Even though English was very hard for them to learn, the kids gave their 100% attention, doing everything they could to understand the vocabulary, stories, and memory verses. Even though they were very shy about speaking in English, they tried their best and I am very proud of them. But what I am most proud of them was how well they could apply the Bible stories to their own lives.
Some questions I asked were:
What difficult things can we do for Jesus?
What do people worship? Who should we worship?
What do we do when we know we sinned?
What will you do to proclaim the gospel?
The kids answered very well, and I pray God will help them to live out their Christian faith. One more thing about class time: my class always ended late because we had so much we wanted to teach, yet the kids never had any complaints. They all were eager to finish every class with 100% excellence no matter how difficult or how long it took. These kids are amazing!
I will now mention some memorable things about the individual kids:
-I love how Link wrote “thank you” notes in English to everybody in our team. His love is very big! And I love how he sings with all his heart to God
-I love how Max was so determined to memorize a bible verse that after class he studied and practiced it. Even on the last day of the camp he still was able to share the verse in English! I pray that he never gives up being an excellent student of the Bible.
-I love how Joseph kept my watch safe when I accidentally left it at the basketball court. I was very happy when he gave it back to me the next day. I thought I would never see it again, but you kids are so kind!
-William was very kind and compassionate when he went with us on Saturday to Taroko Park. He even promised to help me speak Chinese when I come back next year! ^_^
-Also special thanks to Mints Chen for helping us with translation. You are a great Teacher Assistant!
One thing I wished was to know more Chinese so I could speak with the kids in personal conversation and encourage them in trusting Christ. That is why I am committing myself to learning Chinese so I can be ready next year!
In the love of Christ,
Oscar Chu (朱振華)
Mission Trip Reflections, Week 2
The kids in TuCheng were much different than the ones at Hualien. The majority of these kids were from the nearby schools, and were not a part of a church. It was a great opportunity to teach these kids the Word of God!
I had a great time leading the group in worship. It was especially fun singing “我要向高山擧目” ( Lift Up My Eyes to the Mountains) with them. They were really excited and joyful with this song! Because of the large size of the group (and large age range), God needed me to adapt for this unique environment. God helped me to understand how to accommodate for everyone’s needs.
Because these kids were advanced in their English reading skills, we used the Bible stories to help them practice speaking English and translating into Chinese. My TA Jay stayed up all night every day reading, writing, and translating the bible stories from English to Chinese in preparation for the next day’s lesson. I’m very proud of him!
The most memorable part of this trip was how the kids affectionately called me “一點點先生” (Mr. A Little)… Because I could speak a little Chinese in the second week. A little bit goes a long way! The kids at Hualien were too shy to talk to me because on my first week I was not able to speak Chinese. But at TuCheng I could speak a little Chinese (and they can speak a little English), so we could somewhat communicate with each other :). This made snack time a lot more fun and interactive 🙂 🙂 :). Having fun with the kids and getting to know them personally and showing them God’s love was a great blessing!
In TuCheng, the host family (especially Howard) went out of their way to fully accommodate for us… literally! The parents stayed elsewhere so we could stay at their home, while Howard served us every day! The Lee family also prepared 12-course meals that were amazing and delicious! Because the parents knew Cantonese, we were able to share with one another what God has been doing in our lives. It was very encouraging and refreshing. Finally, people that can really understand what I’m saying, and the other way around! The TAs also worked very hard to support us in teaching the kids. I trust God will continue to work in them to continue leading the kids in Christ.
On Sunday, it was a blessing getting to spend time with one of my favorite students, 黃孟偉. I was sad that I didn’t see any of my other students :'(.
After worship time, 黃孟偉 brought me to the kids’ Sunday school. We enjoyed the Sunday school lesson and activities together.
After class, I got to play with the kids and got a perspective of how the kids interacted after service.
Next year, I want to come back to Taiwan. I will prepare myself to speak more Chinese, so that I will be able to communicate with my student. I surely will try my best!
In the love of Christ,