Thursday, October 23, 2008

Team 1421 arrives home safely!

Team 1421 arrived home safely today with al of their equipment! Check their blog soon for updates on their trip!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Update the Third (bum bum bumhmmm)

(Courtesy of Jeffrey Aaron Stephens, Esquire; and The Honorable Christian Wade Harger, RTB. Title provided by none other than The Terrific Tish Schuh [also known as Laura])

Greetings and salutations to all,

Things are going swimmingly in Taiwan, though we regret to inform you that we will be departing this splendiferous island all too soon. Early in the AM of this the 20th of October the year of our Lord 2008, we performed our final engagement. It was a glorious worship experience meeting with our brothers and sisters who are a part of YWAM, Taiwan.

Now, working retrospectively, we will regail you with tales of our past adventures. Since last we "spoke," we have had the privilege of ministering in a myriad of environments, ranging from orphanages and churches, to schools and homes for troubled youths. Musically we have run the spectrum from phenominal cohesion to utter chaos, but out of the mire and muck we have been extracted (wc2ls) by God. He has turned our paltry attempts to share His love into resplendent glory.

God is amazing! But the price of an hour of internet is not.. meaning we can't afford another hour.. meaning we have to go.

PS we climbed a volcano.

okay bye! love you paul!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Another update from Taiwan

Here's another update we received today from Laura:

Hello Friends, Family, and others!

We hope things are going well there at home! We've had quite a week here in Taiwan. I'm not really sure where to begin. I know we mentioned last week that we have a pretty varied schedule, and it has continued into this week as well. In the last 5 days we've played for a kindergarden (TONS of fun!!!), at another hospital, at the Fishermen's warf, for the YWAM staff, a homeless shelter, a high school, and another convelecent center. It has been wondederful. The hospital we played at was one that we had played in the very first week. When we were there the first time, there was a boy named David that we were able to pray for. He was 5 and very, very sick. When we came back the next time, he had been feeling much better, getting ready to go home, and very excited to visit with us. He thanked us for praying for him and told us that God had made him feel better! It was really cool to see. At the homeless shelter, we were able to perform for about 100 men and then had the opportunity to serve them dinner. Talk about humbling. And we've had experiences like this every day so far.

We've also been spending a lot of time at The Rock in the evenings. We've been able to connect with a lot of students there and had a ton of ministry opportunities there as well. Just the other day I was talking to a couple of girls about movies when they asked me if I believed in ghosts. It was the perfect set-up to tell them about the gospel. We've all been learning a lot about what God can do when we make ourselves available for ministry. We've also been learning a lot about encouragement. Over the last three weeks, most of our devotionals have been on the theme of encouragement. Then on Monday, we lead worship for the entire YWAM base, and afterwords participated in the montly prayer day. The topic of the month (which every YWAM base in the world will be praying about this month) is encouragement. One lesson we've learned is that it goes far beyond words. It is a constant attituted of lifting each other up. To make another persons path easier to travel by clearing the way for them. It carries itself out it words, yes, but also in actions, in thoughts, in prayer, in sacrifice, etc. Encouragement. We all need it. And we all need to practice it. By practicing encouragement the way Christ did, we grow closer to Him. It's awesome.

On a lighter note, we've been able to do some pretty fun stuff here in Taiwan. Last week, we went to visit Taipei 101 and one of the largest night markets in Taiwan. We were going to go to the beach today, but it rained all day. We were able to go exploring a bit in our free time. Just today, we found an Irish coffee shop on the riverfront. We all ate tacos. Yeah... we had Tacos, in an Irish coffee shop, in Taiwan. Can life get better?!!! We've tried things like frogs, blood soup, pot-stickers, porrige (made with eggs and horse urine), and all kinds of other fun things. A team favorite has been the pot-stickers. It's our standby late-night meal. We also went out for a sweet meal involving lamb and clams. I'd tell you more about it, but it all happened in Mandrin, so I don't know much more than that. Most of our meals consist of us pointing at food that looks like it would be good, getting it and thinking, "Hm... I wonder what THIS is..." and eating it anyway. We've probably eaten tons of cool stuff without knowing what it was. The point is, FOOD HERE IS AWESOME!

Here are a couple of shout-outs from the team:

A quick word on Taiwan:
Great people, great city, great food, and we're all still alive. Keep praying for us. We love you all! Bye!
Greetings to all.
The most importat thing I have to tell you is that the United States is in desperate need of more scooters.
The second most important thing I have to tell you is that I am alive and well.

Everyone else is out galavanting aound the city and didn't get a chance to write down their messages, but we're all healthy and enjoying ourselves! Thank you so much for all your prayers. We love you and miss you!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Update from the team!

We received the following update from Laura today:
Hey everyone!

We're here in an internet cafe enjoying a day off! It's hard to believe that we've only been here for 5 days! Technically, we've been gone a week, but we've been in Taiwan for only 5 days! It's been quite an adventure. Here's how it happened...

It was a dark and stormy night...

Well, no. Actually, it was a bright sunny morning when we left Willmar. Our drive the the airport was ejoyable and uneventful. We arrived at the airport about 3 hours before our flight, only to find out that we no longer had a flight. We were supposed to fly to Tokyo and then to Taipei, all within about 17 hours, but they ended up canceling the flight to Tokyo, which lift us stuck in the US for an extra day. Soooo, we got re-routed to the next available flight to Asia, which didn't leave until the next day. So we flew into Chicago, where we had an overnight layover. Luckily I (Laura) live in Chicago, so my parents were able to pick us up and we had nice comfy beds to sleep in (thank to a few friends!) as opposed to the floor of the gate at the airport. We then flew to Detroit, and then to Osaka, Japan. Upon our arrival to Japan, they informed us that there was a typhoon in Taiwan and that we couldn't fly in until the next day. As a result, we got to spend a night in Japan! Boy was that an adventure! Hahaha. At about 4:00 am we finally boarded our last flight to Taipei. We arrieved on time, met Sandra, our YWAM contact, and started our day!

So far our ministry here has looked different than we thought it would. I guess we didn't really know what to expect, but it was definately a lot less varied than what we've actually been able to experience. So far, we've played in two hospitals, a convelecent center, and residentail home for the mentally handicaped, and a high school. It was inceredible. Each place has been significantly different from the last, and it's been fun to meet people in all stages of life here. Tomorrow we're going down to the fishermen's warf to do some concerts out there. Beyond the music side of things, we've been spending a lot of time at a place called The Rock. It's a free coffee house that YWAM (Youth With A Mission) runs as a means to evangelize and deciple. The Rock offers English classes as well as "hang out" environment where people can come and practice their English with native speakers. We've all had a ton of fun spending time with the students that come. Most of them are universtiy students from the school just down the street from our apartment, so we have plenty in common. There's never a dull moment at The Rock.

Today we're going to downtown Taipei to see the sights with a few of the people here gracious enough to show us around a bit. I've heard rumors of Taipei 101 (which I beleive is the second tallest building in the world), as well as a few other treats that Taiwan has to offer. The food here is incredible and we're all looking forward to eating more of it! Not to mention the fact that we get to spend some quality time with our Taiwanese friends here.

Here are some prayer requests you can be lifting up with us:
  • ~Please pray that we remain healthy so that we can continue in our minsitry.
  • ~We are suposed to get hit by another typhoon this weekend, so please pray for the safety of everyone here, as well as minimal damage. Especially since they're still recovering from the one we had last weekend!
  • ~Pray for the ministry of YWAM and their staff as they work hard to share the gospel and disciple Christians here in Taiwan. ~Pray for 1422 as they start their ministry in the Philippines.
That's all we have. Miss you all, and thanks for all your prayers and support!