Taiwan 2017 MBCLA - Week 2!
First off, THANK YOU ALL for all the prayer support! I (and my team ahha) super appreciate all the prayers. Honestly, we don't know how we could have done it without prayer-- constantly being humbled by his word through the devos provided by one of the team members, and constantly battling being burnt out. Praise God that He constantly sustains us and humbles us to realize who is sovereign.
Also, the picture in the thumbnail is of my small group / students and my partner! Haha sorry, taking pictures at this camp is not my strength :P also because we have people taking pictures....I'll be sure to ask if it's alright if I share what they've shared with me!
Just to give some context, here's an idea of what goes on in the camp (outside of having fun and building relationships of course):
One of our team members created about 5-6 lectures on servant leadership, including an intro into servant leadership, building character, effective communication, and others. In each of the lectures, he incorporated ideas from the Bible that are very contrasting to culture in Taiwan, such as love being absolutely unconditional. Please pray for humility, since he mentioned speaking on the stage often gives him pride. Pray that he remember that God will use whatever he spoken during his lecture, regardless of how well or terribly it went, and that God is the one who will grow what has been planted in the students' hearts.
2) Small Group Discussion
Everyone on our team has a group of students to build relationships with and to discuss questions about the lectures with. Questions include "Who are the people in your life who you have influence over?", and even "What do you think is the purpose of your life?" Praise God because during that time, some students opened up and shared struggles that they face. One student broke up with her boyfriend recently because she wasn't getting any appreciation for the love she showed him these last 4 years. Another student struggles with insecurities with his parents calling him "worthless" because he couldn't get into the top school in Taiwan. However, many felt hesitant to share because they thought it was "too deep", probably a part of the Asian/Taiwanese culture to not share too deeply about your struggles. Please pray for Fellowship Night (description near the bottom) that God speak to their deepest sins and insecurities, and that they see that only Christ can provide true healing.
Every year, we give a prompt on a project they need to present to the Dean by the end of the camp. I believe we always focus on Innovation, and our team decided to solve the garbage classification problem in Taiwan (it's complicated, but hopefully I can explain another time haha) by presenting a proposal for a machine to separate different materials for people instead of having people choose where they should throw what (recyclables??! paper??! food??!). It's been pretty hard for me, since the students obviously much prefer to talk in Chinese, especially when they're talking about complex things. The only thing I've been able to provide is some guidance on what to focus on (woot UX) and helping the leader practice more servant leadership. She struggles with always wanting to be "efficient", which I do as well. Pray for the teams that they would be able to practice the skills that they learned in the lectures, but also realize that these are qualities that Jesus had and perfected, and that strength for these qualities is drawn from Christ. Pray for my partner and me that we would be good witnesses in their times of stress.
Here are a few snippets of updates:
- 2 of my students came out to church on Sunday! However....poor timing ahha, we went to an English service, where the sermon ended up being extremely theologically complex, which made me really happy. However, it was hard enough catching everything in English, let alone the Chinese students we brought trying to catch on to what was going on. I talked to one of my students afterwards and he at least liked the worship? Pray that God still work in his heart even just by being at the church and seeing Christ's love through us, even with him not understanding the sermon.
- I got a chance to talk to one of my students when I saw him packing up a suit at school on a Sunday, and I asked him what it was for. He said he went to a different church, which I found surprising since when someone else had mentioned that we were going to pray because we were Christians, he didn't pray with us...but regardless! He said he wasn't loyal and I asked him why. He mentioned that he felt like there were "too many rules" to follow. I had the opportunity to explain to him that Christianity isn't about how much you do, because even though you "follow the rules", it doesn't make you more favorable in God's eyes. In fact, Christianity is freeing, and God wants you to live life the way He had designed it to be lived, which gives us full joy. However, I'm not sure if he understood what I was trying to say, but pray for him that God speak to him. He also agreed to come to Sunday service...but we'll have to do some figuring out since we won't be able to make the Chinese college service since we had activities planned during that time that can't be moved. Please pray that the true gospel be spoken to him through Fellowship Night or Sunday service.
- Our team has constantly been battling with fatigue. We've had a whole discussion on whether or not we should use all of our time to build relationships, or if it were wise to rest/nap during free time. Most of my college friends (holla) would probably know I tend to lean towards the first choice. However, I also realized during my time in college that it was driven by the fear the things would not happen unless I made them happen, and not trusting that God was doing the work, and that I simply needed to be His child. I was constantly burnt out, and it made my ministry more ineffective than if I had paced myself and gave higher quality time to people. Please pray that God give us all wisdom in whatever decision that we make, that God be glorified through whatever choice is made.
- My rosacea started acting up yesterday, and it's getting a bit worse. For those of you who don't know, I was recently diagnosed (sounds serious, but it's not really ahah) with rosacea, which makes my face really red, like it's a really bad sunburn, even though I haven't been in the sun. I am currently in the mild stages, so praise God for that. Please pray that God heal my skin. It's most likely caused by the late night sleeping (due to late night debriefs and early devos) and tiredness (andddd as I write this post super late at night....).
- It's actually been pretty difficult trying to build relationships being almost the only one who can't speak Mandarin. Obviously the students much prefer to speak to people on the team who will speak Mandarin to them as well. It's actually also hard to have my other team members understand this difficulty. It's really humbling to see that despite whatever gifts I may think I have, it honestly doesn't matter with these kinds of circumstances. Pray that God use whatever I give for His glory, even though I know it's unworthy.
Speaking of which, we're holding Fellowship Night tomorrow night! It's an optional part of the camp, and we mentioned it as us sharing our stories, and sharing about what we think is the purpose of our lives. One of our team members wanted the night to be a time where they can experience Christian fellowship, an opportunity to share the gospel through song and dance, and an opportunity to pray for our students. Please pray for the night that it would be a huge blessing to the students, and that Holy Spirit would come and fill the students' hearts and our hearts as well. Please pray that our students' hearts be opened to the gospel.
Thank you all again!! And I didn't mention this before, but always feel free to email me YOUR prayer requests as well at firstname.lastname@example.org!! Would love to hear from you about your walk with God and what God has been teaching you!