Saturday, August 29, 2009
We serve an incredible God, and I just say that this morning? Man.... I love him! :) And I'm learning more all the time about worshiping Him with my thoughts. I always thought of it in an anti-negative way. Let me explain; I saw worship God with my thoughts as simply NOT thinking about "the bad stuff", if that makes sense. But it's so much more than that. It's about my thoughts being FIXED on Him. Not wavering on His truth. But as usual.... I'm getting distracted from what I really wanted to write; go figure. here's what I really meant to write about.... from my journal yesterday...
... Another revelation, or realization I had today came when my best thoughts and most profound thoughts typically come; when I'm almost asleep. But it was so good, and I knew I'd forget it, so I rolled over and wrote it down quick. Maybe my equilibrium makes me think better when I'm laying down... who knows. : )
In any case, I realized one of the differences between life at home and life here. At home life seems to get in the way of God. Here, life is about God. There, I have to push things out of the way; work, relationships, everything, to get to God, to make room in my life for Him. But here, he's everywhere; He's an intricate part of everything; my relationships, my work. He's in what we study, what we talk about, what we listen to (mostly... with the exception of a country song every now and then. haha), he's in the places we go (again, mostly), He's everywhere. He IS life, he's not some little side-dish that we decide to put on our plate every so often. This is the way life was meant to be!!!! I love it!
I know that this isn't how it should be... I'm simply saying it's what I've realized. I'll let you know how I change that when I get home. But for now... praise God that life is how it should be. :) We serve an incredible God...... I feel like I've been saying that a lot lately; but it's so amazingly true!
here are some pictures I've taken in the last week; enjoy!
the ROCK - the free coffee shop YWAM runs on the busiest street (a night market) in DanShui, where I spend time each Monday and Wednesday night; ministering by building relationships (and teaching minimal english) with the Taiwanese.
Phoebe and I at the staff BBQ Friday night three of my new favorite women - Abigail (Malaysia), Rachel (singapore), and Koala (taiwan). rachel is my roommate and fellow DTS staff
my new little brother; Danny (Paraguayan, and Taiwanese)
please pray for this place... it's near recently dubbed "my spot" where I enjoy spending with the Lord, looking out onto the DanShui river. this is the community of outcasts in DanShui, many have handicaps of all sorts; and have been labeled "crazy"...many are beggars.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Yes, it's good to make plans, it's good to look at the details of life, it's good to "know what you're doing," and it's good to be educated. But is it the end goal of life to have a masters degree, or to make six digits, or to have accomplished the "plan" you mapped out for your life when you were a senior in high school, for what college, what degree, what line of work, what country, what ministry, what evangelistic tool you'd use the most.... these things are good, but they're not what it's about. It's about the fact that you (or I) might not make it to the end of this blog. Not something we think about all the time; but shouldn't it be? shouldn't we be making the most of not just every year, or every month of our life.... but every moment? And yes, I sit here, on the computer typing in this moment, and maybe I shouldn't... but it's the motives behind the things we do. Shouldn't we be loving people to Christ, through our actions, and if needed, our words? The grace that's saved us, shouldn't we be showing that to others? The fact that we have the incredible hope and joy and "safety" if you will, in knowing we get to spend the rest of the rest of the rest of our days, after life on Earth, with CHRIST..... that doesn't change the fact that many in the world don't have that hope, or joy, or safety. and if we take a few seconds out of every day to look at the people God has placed around us; I think that lack of hope, joy, and "safety" will become incredibly apparent.
Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude, or scare anyone with this post.... just something I think God's trying to teach me now, and I thought I'd share it with you. sin=death. We have sin, we get death. Christ= hope. We have Christ, we have hope....... go live it!! =)
Saturday, August 22, 2009
being woken up by someone I'd talked to once... telling me the airlines was on the phone.
waking someone else up so they could give the airlines my address in Chinese
catching up with my friend Robert. We were classmates in DTS here in DanShui 2 years ago, and he just finished staffing 2 schools. He's leaving on Tuesday for home (Okinawa, Japan) but coming back in March to do SBS (school of biblical studies).
talking to my parents for a few minutes.
getting my bags..... taiwanese men are amazing. the deliverer brought both bags (at once) up 5 flights of stairs.... they WERE NOT light!!! (that's almost as insane as the heat)
watching my ice-block frozen water turn to luke warm water over the course of 12 minutes... no joke
talking to the grandparents (on both sides)
more catching up with Robert, and my new friends Danny and Leo (Danny will be a student in the 1st DTS I'm staffing)
getting money out of the ATM since none of mine is exchanged
going to the grocery story so now I can cook for the next few weeks
having a clerk at the grocery story literally shove another clerk out of the way so he could be my cashier, so he could practice his english... and impress me (or something like that. I felt terrible for the other clerk. :/
reading Crazy Love by: Francis Chan.... I recommend it to anyone who loves Jesus, and desires to know Him more, and desires to see the church of Acts be restored now!
reading through James again.... classic faith
going to the school leaders house, and taking forever for all of us to decide what to do... we rented an old clint eastwood movie, and i fell asleep.
looking around and smiling..... because I'm back in Taiwan.
what a wonderful day!!! :)
Friday, August 21, 2009
Also, here in a couple days, Taiwan will begin a new month; one that's traditionally "ghost month". When evil spirits, and the ghosts of their ancestors are feared/thought to haunt them even more than usual. It's definitely a time when fear rules the people's hearts and homes, and when Satan can take over people's thoughts and minds in powerful ways. Thankfully Christ is in the hearts of many here in DanShui, Praise God for that! But please pray with me that God's peace would reign in the hearts of Christians, and those that they come in contact with. Pray that the comfort, and peace of Christ would be very evident in the lives of those of us who know Him, and that we would share that with those who don't. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers; I love you all, and will update you soon.
James 5:6b.... keep praying for DanShui with me
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Here's the longer update. :)
As I sit with just a screened door separating me from this warm DanShui morning, I’m grateful, surprised, and humbled. Yet again God has provided, at the same time as He has humbled me (I love how He’s able to mesh those two together so often). :) I’m grateful to be in DanShui at all, and on time of all things…even if it is without any money or luggage. Surprised, because I was very certain that I’d miss my last flight, and have to take the next flight that went from L.A. to Taipei (leaving LAX 13 hours after my original flight was scheduled to leave). And humbled, because He’s reminded me, yet again, that He is truly in control.
Before I even got on a plane I had issues... both of my bags were a bit overweight, so I took a big purse out of one bag, and put stuff in it, and threw a shirt and pair of B-ball shorts into my backpack, and sent a couple things home. Both bags were fine then. Little did I know that 24 hours later, I'd thank God that my bags were too big; He was providing a way for me to have clothes for the next few days until my bags get to me. (you'll read about that later) Other than delays… my flights were wonderful; smooth, comfortable, and great people. My first flight was delayed by 2 hours. But, thankfully, my second flight had been delayed also, so it left at 11pm, instead of 9:40. The next part was the fun… or shall I say, crazy part. We sat on the runway for over an hour in Minneapolis (2nd flight). After about 20 minutes they informed us that they had boarded us, but didn’t have either of our pilots. And, of course, they were the only ones with access to the cockpit, and therefore the Air Conditioning. Needless to say, the packed airplane was full of unhappy travelers, 100% of whom had already been delayed from this flight (and many, from other flights too). So…. Pilots arrive from Denver, get to our plane, and we take off…. Very late. We get into LAX at 1:10am….. the flight to Taiwan leaves (not boards… leaves) at 1:40am… and it was running early, by almost ten minutes. Now, I can jog…. Not sprint very well, but LAX is HUGE, and the international terminal was outside and “about a 10 minute walk” as one security person told me when I asked how to get to an international flight. Oh joy…. As if I have ten minutes to just stroll outside in the nice California air to get to the security and eventually gate for my next plane…which happened to be two football fields (at least) away from where the International gates started. I mean of course, why would it be close or anything? :) Anyway, after much ado….. I was literally the last person on the plane. But thank the Lord, they waited. They told me my luggage wouldn’t make it to Taiwan, but at that point I was so out of breath and so amazed that I had made it, and tired (it’s 2am…4 am Iowa time), that I didn’t care.
Anyway, all of this to say that I’m thankful to be here, and grateful that God provides, and reminds me that it doesn’t matter if my “stuff” is here…. It’s ME that He wants in DanShui… the rest will come. =) Thanks for your prayers – they got me here. Oh, and about the money…. The money exchange place in the airport wasn’t open yet (we got into Taipei an hour early….. at 5:25), so I only have 400 NT that I have from the last time I was in Taiwan, 2 years ago. Again… just one of God’s provisions; I have a couple days worth of money simply because I was planning on coming back again, 2 years ago…. How cool). Our God is amazing, and I’m so glad He’s in control and not me!
The sounds of a typical DanShui morning surround me (along with the American music coming from my computer); a jack hammer working on a building down the street, birds chirping on the balconies of hundreds of apartments around town, and a baby crying as she and her mother make their way down the seven flights of stairs from their home above ours to the ground level….. ah, I’ve missed this place. It’s so wonderful to be back!! Again, thanks for your prayers and thoughts over the last 24 hours of travel. More soon. Don’t worry… I’m sure I’ll miss Iowa soon enough. =)
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Two days away from my departure, and things are coming along quite well. Things are being packed, goodbyes are being said, passport photos being printed and the like. Thank you to all who've wished me well on my journey, and especially for your prayers. Last week our family visited extended family (from both sides) in Illinois and Michigan. As we were together with one side of the family (all the aunts and uncles, and a couple cousins), they took time to pray for/over me. What a blessing to have family (on both sides) that I know are praying daily, and who support the idea of my mission work! I sat in a room filled with people who love me deeply, and was amazed at God's incredible grace as I was overwhelmed by the prayers sent up on my behalf. We serve a God who's so worthy of our gratitude, and I'm becoming more and more aware of that as I grow closer to Him.
I've found out still more about some specifics from Brent (the Discipleship school leader) about our school. We have two other female staff (a third might be joining); a woman from Singapore (who speaks fluent Chinese and English), and a woman from Taiwan (whose English is ok). Both are in their thirties. The woman from Singapore was on staff of the last DTS, and the Taiwanese woman is a first-time staff like me. So, the make-up of our staff will be diverse and interesting, but I'm very excited!! :) Also, a random side-note, I found out that I will be cooking much more than I expected. The meal schedule is a bit different than it was when I was a student, and we now only share breakfast together and one dinner (or... supper as NW Iowans call it) per week together; the rest we're on our own. So, I've been digging through lots of cookbooks to try and find recipes that I think I can find ingredients (or similar items) for in Taiwan. I'm sure I'll be updating on the crazy foods I eat, and what random ingredients I have to substitute for normal American ingredients.
Well, that's about it. Two days, and lots of stuff to do. But God continues to grant me energy, endurence and excitement to get through each day. I'll see you on the other side..... of the ocean that is. :)
Monday, August 10, 2009
And, with some updated info from Taiwan - My support is about 75% of the way in.... maybe a bit more. As of 5 days ago, or so, we had 7 students, and a few more are projected to be added to our numbers within the next 4 weeks until school!! As I continue to get closer to my departure date, and as I find out more things that have changed since I left; I continue to get more excited about this next season of life!!
Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support over these last days in America. I covet them greatly - and am thankful that God continues to stir my heart for Taiwan, and the Asian people, and He has been amazingly faithful in preparing my heart for this year!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
We have seven students; having gained two more this week, and as far as I know, we're fully staffed as well. My visa is still being processed over in Taiwan, and I'm assuming it won't, in the next two weeks. That will mean that one month after I get to Taiwan I'll have to fly to Hong Kong at least overnight, and try to re-get the visa... we'll see.
We're in Michigan for the next week or so, seeing family that I haven't seen in years, and taking some time to relax and simply be together, before I leave. It's already more than I could have hoped; and God's teaching me a lot through some books I've begun reading. One's the memoirs of a boy soldier from Siere Leon. And I just last night began reading the life story of A.B. Simpson. And the biography is written by none other than A.W. Tozer. :) Well, time to be with grandparents; it's a blessing to be with a grandfather who's lived through so much this year. God is good, and continues to sustain Grandpa and the rest of us.
I'll update about "the Taste" in a few days.
Blessings from Michigan.
~Miranda Kay~ <><
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Come get a
TASTE OF TAIWAN!
What: a night of food, games, music, and pictures from Asia
when: Sunday, August 2nd 5:30-7 pm (but come and go as you need)
where: Dover Avenue Alliance Church – Fellowship Hall (417 3rd Ave. NE, Orange City)
Why: to hear more about what Miranda Rockhill will be doing in her year as a missionary in Asia, and to get a feel of a culture we don’t interact with everyday
in Northwest IowaCost: FREE (a free-will donation opportunity will be available)
just in case you haven't heard about this :) (sorry, yes I know I'm beating a dead horse for most of you... but it will be a great time for the whole family, and I'm just hoping I get to share some culture and what I'll be doing next year, with everyone. See you there!