Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Trip for the Summer…

Dear friends and family,

Nǐ hǎo ! That is hello in Chinese. :) I will be needing that useful phrase and many more where I will be going this summer!
An opportunity has come for me to teach elementary students English in Taiwan. I have known about this opportunity since my brother and sister in Christ, Nathan and Teresa S. went for this same opportunity three years ago. I never thought that I could be apart of it myself, but God has made a way.

I realized that there could be a possibility for me to go on May 15th when I heard that Nathan and Teresa’s younger brother and sister would be going to Taiwan for the summer. I inquired as to how they would be going, the expenses, and what they would be doing there, and realized that it would be a lot easier to go than I thought it would!
I have been disappointed before by my excitement of going places (such as a trip to Greece and Italy, and my constant longing to visit Asia because of my love for the Asian cultures and languages). I would always get my hopes up, plan everything out and think it would be the best thing for me – and that if I didn’t go to this one place, then any more opportunities would never arrive. I would forget about seeking God’s guidance and focus just what I could do, and what I wanted to do there. I would then ask my parents with my foolish, selfish, and unpractical hopes high, and they, knowing much more than I ever could, would tell me that I would have to wait.

I have never been a person who appreciates waiting. I always feel that if I do not get something right now, I will never again have the opportunity to get it again. I have come to realize that over this year, and I’ve learned that I must be content for where I am at the moment because I am always wanting to be somewhere else. My prayer this whole year has been asking God to give me patience, and to help me learn to be content for where I am in my life (whether it is just my walk through life in general, or where I am literally - in the U.S.A.).
So, my Mom was with me when I inquired about this opportunity, and she seemed somewhat all right with it. This shocked me. I thought it would just be another fanciful trip that I wanted to go on without my parents approval. I then, not wanting to get my hopes up any farther, asked God that if my Dad gave his approval, then I would know that I could go. I asked him the next day, and he gave his pleased support.
We needed to send an answer as to whether or not I would go by the next day, so we had some praying to do to seek God’s guidance asking if this was mean to be, though we all already felt that this was meant to happen.

This past month, I have found out more as to what I will be doing over in Taiwan that I would like to share with you:
~ I will be in Taiwan for two months, leaving the U.S. on July 7th and be back in the States on the 30th of August.
~ I, with different teams of college-age Christians, will be teaching Taiwanese elementary students English in four summer camps all over southern Taiwan (in Pingtung, Nantou, Taitung, and Hualien). I will be in Pingtung 7/10-7/13; Nantou 7/16-7/25; Taitung 8/17-8/21; Hualien 8/22-8/28.
~ The organizations behind this are IBLP and King Car Education Foundation. King Car is sponsoring the camps (It is an organization that has Christians teach English summer camps for Taiwanese children), and IBLP is helping spread the word and gather people to teach at these camps.
~ Housing and food will be covered by King Car, and will reimburse the teachers $1000US at the end of the camps (the teachers have to cover the airfare, passport, visa, and emergency money costs.

I know that I will grow so much during this time, because I can see I will be put out of my little, cozy comfort zone in order to go out of my way to help and teach others on my own (with help of course :) ), and by being in a completely foreign place without any prior experience with traveling or exposure to being immersed in different cultures.
This is such an amazing opportunity to go and help other people, and to be a light for Jesus! Please pray with me that God would give me strength and wisdom and peace (because I tend to get anxious easily), but most of all a love that only He can give. Please also pray that His love would shine through me, and the kids would want to know and experience that Love, which will open opportunities for me to share about Jesus and His loving sacrifice (and please pray that God’s Spirit would give me the words to share specifically for the human being who might be searching).

Thank you all so much for making an impact in my life, no matter how large or small. Thank you my friends.

Love in Christ,
Elizabeth F.

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