I can't believe that it's been a month already..time flies when you are：
1) planning a wedding in Taiwan in 2 1/2 months
2) traveling all over taiwan for Chinese New Year
3) Planning another wedding in America in 2 months
4) winter camps for kids
It's run by so quickly that I haven't had time to give you a proper update! So here is my belated update to catch you all up on what has been happening here...
Leading up to the wedding, it was a tension filled and very emotional time for both me and Christina. Trying to do this while we lived 5 hours apart by car made things difficult, but somehow on January 21st, it all came together. Praise God! Having Family come in from the USA and going to see my dad's old house where he grew up was precious and it was surreal having family here in Taiwan with all the kids and everything. I was so blessed to be have them come.
Chinese New Year was different this year and we traveled around as is customary for Chinese to visit family since now I have a taiwan family as well! 紅包，over eating and traveling during this week long holiday was a new experience for me and it was a delight to see how family celebrates Chinese New Year!
The ministry has been going well. The youth have been growing up and they ran a winter camp all by themselves at a new location and with new staff. We have been partnering with a church called Er Ling church and i am seeing them grow in strength and maturity, which is so encouraging! We had 2 winter camps that we did, the first one which I didn't attend and the 2nd one which I did go to to see how things were going. I was so proud of the youth and the way that they were ministering and working to do great work with these kids. The Lord touched many of the kids and I am so privileged to be able to witness and see the way that God touches the hearts of the kids. While some of them are so young that they don't understand what we are saying at times, I find that they are so open to being prayed for and for the spiritual, it amazes me! (thoughts on "being like a child" starts resonating in my heart).
Being here and doing ministry has really challenged and changed the way I see progress. At times I would look and say, "oh we don't have a 100 person ministry", "we aren't doing children camps every week.", or "no one's life is radically changed this week", etc, etc. and I used to think that I was a big failure as a missionary. What kind of missionary was I? I wasn't changing the world, I haven't led a great youth movement into the father heart of God. There aren't any gatherings of thousands of youth where they dedicate their hearts and lives to the Lord and preaching the Word with boldness... And I'm challenged. I've had to do a lot of soul searching and figuring out whether or not it was me, the kids, neither, both or something completely different. (turns out it is both and neither. confusing, i know) I've had to change what my definition of success was and what it meant to be a success in this ministerial world and it's painful and awkward in changing. But sometimes the process is what God is looking for...Not the finished product, because the finished product is dependent on Him and He will complete that Good Work. And that is what is happening with the youth that I minister to. I see progress. I see them growing in spiritual stature (and at times, physical stature as well!) and it encourages me. Not that they have attained maturity, but that they are on the road to maturity and tackling the challenges of this faith and asking the Lord for help. In that aspect, the mission has been had an impact, it has changed kids lives, just not in the way that I thought of before. :)
We (me and Christina) will be coming to the states soon for a much needed time to reconnect with many of our supporters and spending time to be with family and friends before going back. We'll be in the USA for about a month and then we will return back to Taiwan to continue to minister together as a couple! :)
Well, that is about it for now, thank you for your support and thank you for all of your prayers! Love you all!