Sunday, March 29, 2009

YEAH GOD!!!!!!

Last evening I was heading to the church for a baptism service and to help reorganize a room. I was bit bothered that I was delayed and missed the baptism. I forgot about Taiwan time! For whatever reason the 2 people being baptised were delayed almost an hour. So we arranged took a baptism break and finished reorganized some more.

Oh right the baptism, the son had signed up for the summer camp because soccer camp was being offered but he ended up the only one registering for soccer but he stayed for the camp anyway. His mother started coming to church in August after reading letters her son's camp counsellor sent him and accepted Christ a couple months ago. It was TERRIFIC to see a mother and son baptised in the same service.

It was my first Baptist baptism. I don't know it this is typical or not, well the foldable baptismal tank is probably not that common, I was surprised to see them immersed face up. But no choking or sputtering so God must have taken care of the water up the nose issue.

Today at church I was one of the greeters, not so easy to talk but I can smile and be friendly. Melissa's friend Andy, one of 3 or 4 Andy's, is doing a 5-10 minute English PowerPoint presentation on Canada next week so we talked a bit more about Canada and how he might get it up from the present 2-3 minutes. We talked about curling last week, try describing curling!

This afternoon we drove out to our friends Larry and Michelle's to have a picnic but it was raining so we went to their small military housing unit. We had a great visit and then prayed for each other before we left. It's very different from last time now that we expect to be back in 7 or 8 months!

YIKES 2 weeks from right now we will be nearing Vancouver!

Monday, March 23, 2009


One year ago March 22, 2008 my sister died from cancer. I talked to her husband this morning for a while. It was a VERY quiet day. He was at church and visited with some of their friends. Life is moving forward gently.

This past Sunday our Pastor here spoke of the pace of the renovations in the new location and how things now seem to move so slowly and how that resembles our Christian life experience. At first the big things are easy to see and easy to change, smoking, drinking, lying and later the things like anger, temper, attitude are not seen by many people and are also take more effort and care to change. But God is faithful in helping and guiding us.

We don't really know what God will bring us this next while. Sure we have tickets back to Saskatoon. Melissa is in the process of becoming a permanent resident. We have new firm friends in Kaohsiung that it will be hard to leave but add to the desire to return. We have dear friends in Saskatoon and family that draw us back, what a celebration it will be to see them again!

Hmm, maybe that is a glimpse of a tiny part of that feeling Heaven will bring!?

Pastor David Barbour mentioned a few weeks ago "Only as you allow loneliness to move you to the heart of God can you be filled." True. There is a place created in our hearts that only God can fill. I'm not sure if that as to be profound or simply me sharing.

Well, I can hardly wait to see what God has for us in the remainder of this week. How about you?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Funny thing on the way to the Museum

Beside never actually getting there!

Colleen and I took the bus in front of our apartment to the Fine Arts Museum and as we got off the bus (where we wanted and planned to) a guy pointed to a car and there were 2 women waving and talking to us! They were a couple friends from church. both Taiwanese! but with good English. so we ended up going with them for a hike on a mountain instead. Great surprise and very unlikely in a city this size!!!!

Life has surprises! It was great to get to know them better. Poor Melissa had to work!

I should have taken a few pictures of the pathway! some was smooth and through the Sun Yat Sen University grounds and much was in the paths and trails above the Campus on the mountainside. I'm glad I had my sandals buckled! And this is why I weigh less and have less circumference than I did in November!

We could see the coral rock from the earlier times when the island was underwater. It all had views overlooking the Taiwan Strait towards Hong Kong. It's too far and too cloudy to see HK! Our friend thought it was Monkey Mountain but we only saw 2 unless you count ME. and it may have been the same monkey as it was on the return leg close to the same place. If it was the same mountian Chris McKenzie and I went to 6 1/2 years ago it was on the opposite side. I'm pretty sure it is a different mountain.......

Oh on the way home we took the MRT and actually have been or knew how to get to all the places on the promo video as we waitied for the next train!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tears almost form

Yesterday I had a few of those 'choke back the start of a tear' moments. In some ways not sure why and in others I know exactly why but try to keep the reality of the thoughts under wraps.

Brenda arrived in Taipei and was greeted by her grandaughter with open arms.

Bryer is having her son baptised the week before we get home, another missed event.

We have less than 4 weeks left in Kaohsiung.

I don't think sadness is the feeling, just the reality of life's events. I think this retired thing is letting me be the expressive me.

Oh there were satisfied smile moments too.

Meeting at McDonalds for breakfast.

Working on some projects.

Walking with Melissa and Colleen in the park from her house to the neighborhood we would like to be in next year.

Walking as a couple. Feeling comfortable.

Laying in bed just because I could.


Earlier today I was listening to the variety of construction and traffic sounds and thought of the blessings God bestows on each of us every day. It's so easy to miss the fact that God Blesses Us every moment and we need to savour the fact that every day has a blessing!

Even in the times when we may have poor health, sadness or other stresses God provides blessings. Our mindset often hides the blessing from us! Sure there are everyday things we do and some aren't exactly fun but we need to occasionally remind ourselves that as Christians we hold that God's perspective guides us.

For God, a day, a week, a month, a year are very different than we can comprehend. We need to loosen our grip on time and events in order to see a glimpse of what God has for us! Some times this means ENJOY THE MOMENT with abandon! Yeah Zou! Some times this means endure patiently and watch and listen for what God has for us to learn.

Sometimes this means open up, share our heart.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Weekend thoughts

Well the first Sunday in the new church location went pretty good. We were helping from 4 pm Saturday moving some of the last things from the old location and cleaning , cleaning , cleaning construction dust! And several were still there when we left at 11:15 last night. There were about 200 there and great worship took place! It's in a large basement room that has been modified to suit this use, there was a church there about 2 years ago. It will be interesting to see how God works here.

After lunch there was a World Games community event in the park close to the church. Kids did dancing, Sumo Wresting simulation, the Sumo Mascots came out, some actual sumo wrestlers too. We met the Chairman of the Board for the Community Association and his wife who are Christians! (and good English speakers) Her church is just a block from our new one. Yes OURS. BCC is our Kaohsiung church home even though there is no immediate Free Methodist connection. We will work on that as time permits. Hopefully have another lunch with some Free Methodist missionary/pastors before leaving.

It has been interesting to make friends here and start to think about coming back next year. This apartment has been wonderful for familiarising ourselves with the High Speed Rail, some trains and MRT. We'll see what next year's neighborhood provides and what we can provide to it as well.

Well Dinner calls. More another time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday update

Not much of Friday left here. Tomorrow we pay our last month's rent!

Yesterday we went to B&Q (Taiwan's Home Depot) and bought a few things for a couple projects. We even bought some things from my FRIEND, he speaks pretty good English and I look him up for a short chat whenever I'm there. Today I changed Melissa's bathroom sink faucet, she has most of the tools! We'll change several fluorescent lamps tomorrow.

Ladders are something else here, it takes most of my nerve to get more than 2 rungs off the floor and then most of my foot and leg strength to stand on those 2x3 rungs! And tomorrow's ceiling is almost 12 feet up! At least there is a rope between the 2 sides to keep it from doing the Three Stooges collapse! Today's 4 foot ladder didn't but I've been working on the butt clenches so I can keep it together.

Dinner with Melissa today was Bic (Okay, Big) Macs and iced tea! Right, very Asian! That fried meat was GOOD!

I learned yesterday that a dear friend is dealing with organ transplant rejection. Please pray for continued healing and successful medication treatment.

On the subject of prayer please be praying for our relationship with Jay and Julie. We will be back in Saskatoon in a month and hope to begin to restore regular friendly contact. I know it is a foreign notion for many but I have also had many share of similar anguish over broken contact. God will prevail!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Another exploring day.....

While Colleen and Melissa were at the Business Women's Coffee today I explored the road to the Martyr's Shrine and then meandered back to pick them up. I really am enjoying exploring and familiarizing with the city. I even got a parking spot right next to the Howard Plaza Hotel to pick them up! I FREQUENTLY get a very close parking stall in Kaohsiung when it is typical to park 1-3 blocks from your destination.

I walked around the grounds of the Shrine, read many of the captions talking of the various uprisings in China during the early 1900's. I had expected it to be more recent but most of this is prior to the Communist rule. There is a memorial to the 228 massacre but I didn't find it in my wanderings. I only know a bit but here is a summary from wikipedia, In some ways it bears a resemblance to the Estevan Riot of 1931 where a number of demonstrating miners were killed by police. People believing in righting a wrong can often pay a high personal price.

My mind wanders a bit to the people each reading this may think of.......Jesus paid a price for each of us! The difference is He is divine but none the less the willingness to suffer for someone else creates some pensive moments.

Oh, IKEA had a great roast beef and mashed potatoes lunch today. We were looking for some big pillows for Melissa to use in her common area. We're still looking for just the right thing to go on the raised platform.

Monday, March 09, 2009


We took Colleen's sister and husband to the high speed rail station this morning at 6 am! It's been fantastic to have them and others visiting the last 5 weeks but the socializing means you don't get much information about our life. It will take a few more days.....

Melissa is in the process of fulfilling the requirements for Permanent Residence in Taiwan.

We are in the process of getting over colds, coughs and the realization that we return to Saskatoon in just a month. I'm hoping for lots of Saskatoon warming in late March and early April. I'm sure those living there this last winter are too!

I'll let you in on events and thought processing as they clarify over the next few days.