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Saturday, July 20 After an uneventful flight, we arrived in Taiwan a few minutes after 5 AM, passed through immi-gration and picked up our luggage by 6:40. Charmaine, Tania and their mother were waiting outside for us and Josh arrived a few minutes before 7. We said goodbye to the Epicentre team led by Ben Hui (who were transferring to a flight to Indonesia) and the TWSTM team, Pastor Joshua Cheng, Alan Liang et.al. who were going to Taichung, and boarded our bus for Zhudong, arriving at the church hosting us at 8:30. Pastor Chou greeted us warmly, as we settled in. At 10:30 we met up with Tina from last year and several young people from Pastor Chou’s church, 3 of his children and 4 others, although 3 of them have to return to school or Army next week. But we played icebreaker games to bridge the shyness of these newcomers. After lunch, they were emboldened enough to sing, and we practiced John 14:6 and Lamb of God because we have been asked to sing 3 songs at the service tomorrow. We then started preparation of the Ameri-can holidays lesson plans for teaching next week. We found out from Pastor Chou that it takes a long time to convert the youth here. Many of them have been attending the youth group here for years, but will not be baptized until they are over 18 years of age. Even Pastor Chou’s father, who became a believer years ago, had to run away from home as his father vowed to kill him for becoming a believer. Like the Yazidis in northern Iraq, rejecting the family faith is tantamount to rejecting the family or the tribe. There is great sadness when a son believes Jesus, even an adult son as the parents feel no one will honor them. So in this culture, when the father of the family comes to faith, the family also does the same. We ate dinner, had our group devotions, and Pastor Chou officially welcomed us, and told us a little about how his church was started some sixty years ago by Korean Presbyterian missionaries. We then heard the testimony of a Korean missionary to China who was recently asked to leave. She challenged us as Chinese to be the next people group to replace Koreans as world missionaries. We then retired for the day, having slept little in the last 50 hours.

Pictured below: Playing icebreaker games at Zhudong Church

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  Sunday, July 21 Many of you have friends and relatives in Taiwan. If you would like to invite them to come listen to us, we have two future “public” performances:

Friday, 7/26
改革宗長老會竹東教會
新竹縣-竹東鎮幸福路132號通訊處

Sunday, 8/4
台北市內湖區堤頂大道二段207號 學學文創. 愛家倍主日學園

Today, after a great night’s rest and breakfast, we attended the morning worship at our host church, Zhudong Presbyterian Church. Their youth led the worship (those wearing the Vision blue or lavender shirts are some who practiced with us yesterday). There were about 50 or 60 who attended the service. We sang Lamb of God, then Charmaine gave her testimony ableably translated by Josh Yeh. We then sang In His Time with the doxology in Mandarin and Kelly shared her testimony in Mandarin and we concluded our singing with John 14:6, sung in Mandarin. We then joined their youth in a time of games and fellowship, then spent a half hour teaching the rest of their youth to sing In His Time and John 14:6 so they can join us in singing this Friday. Mrs. Chou, the pas-tor’s wife, shared how meaningful In His Time is to her as she first learned this song as a new believer when she was 15. The church seems very excited about participating with us and offered to host a BBQ dinner on Friday to invite the Tongtex students and their parents to join. We are very excited at this answer to prayer that our hosting church would get involved into the Tongtex school ministry. After lunch, we welcomed two more young ladies from the church to join the music class and then we divided our-selves into two teaching groups to finish our English lesson preparation. This makes a total of 6 young people from the church to join the music camp, and with the 5 returning students from last year plus a new local Taiwan student, we have a total of 12 students, exceeding our goal of ten students. PTL.

Pictured below: Sunday worship at Zhudong Church



After dinner, Eugene started teaching the first session of music theory class, using his broken Mandarin as the primary teaching language! Since all the students either play the piano or sing, their understanding of music is quite good, so Eugene was able to move ahead and work more on vocal techniques. We sang a little, did a music camp orientation, and our daily devotion before turning in.

Pictured below: Eugene leading combined choir


 
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  Monday, July 22 Adam and Rita, both music students from last year, joined us just before breakfast. Mickey and her friend Chloe (a new music student), joined us just before lunch (and Terry will join us in the middle of the week). After a delicious breakfast cooked by the music students from our host church (Michael, Jack, Vivi, and Belle), we started the day with morning devotions. Then we broke into sections and learned the notes for Lamb of God and Holy, Holy, Holy. We tried to learn the Bernstein Gloria Tibi, but the Latin, modern 5/8 rhythm and syncopation proved too challenging. We then headed out to Tongtex School and found out the assembly room we met in last year has been turned into the administration office, so we are assembling at the outside (non-air condi-tioned) covered patio, a reminder that missions is about being flexible and adaptable. So at 1 PM, the teachers brought the 38 children from their two classes and sat them down on the floor. We sang He’s Calling My Name and Gabbie started sharing her tes-timony. A few seconds later, the battery powered amplifier died, but Gabbie and her translator, Josh gamely carried on, and were heard quite clearly. Then Pastor Chou started to share, but only a few minutes in to his talk, the heavens opened and thunder, lightning, and rain poured down and the wind picked up so that those sitting in the mid-dle of the covered patio started to get wet from the rain splashing on the ground with the wind carrying the mist to wet the children’s back. Fortunately, there was room to move the children forward and Pastor Chou was able to complete his talk but instead of trying to teach the assembled group their song and dance, we dismissed them to their classes so we could start our English teaching program. A few minutes after getting into their classroom, the whole patio is completely wet with splashed rain carried by the wind, so again we experienced God’s perfect timing. In spite of the interruption, things are proceeding as (we kind of) planned. We taught about St. Valentine, played games and everyone had a great time. We finished at 4, the rain stopped, so we returned to the church without getting soaked to rest up and clean up before dinner. After dinner, we spent two hours vocalizing and practicing our songs for our hospital visit tomorrow morning, before debriefing our day’s activities. The feedback is we feel these seventh graders are better behaved and understood English better than last year’s kids but we (teachers) could be better organized so the classroom flow could be smoother. Our Taiwan music students were excellent in translating and being the bridge to the seventh graders. It was in all, a good day! Praise the Lord.

Pictured below: The two Tongtex seventh grade classes, with about 19 students and 10 teachers per class, a great 2:1 student to teacher ratio!

 
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Tuesday, July 23 After breakfast, we left at 9 AM to go to Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Hsinchu Branch (where we went last year) and sang at 5 different locations at the hospital: the hospice ward, two elderly sections (one is a new day care facility), a military veteran section, and the admission lobby. We were 22 strong today, 14 from LA and 8 locals. We sang He’s Calling My Name, In His Time and John 14:6 (both sung entirely in Man-darin), Majesty and Glory and The Lord Bless You and Keep You several times at the different locations. The guys sang De Animals a’ Coming and the girls (with Terry sing-ing the solo and Eugene helping sing first alto) sang Shut de Do’ once. We then cara-vaned to Tongtex for lunch and the afternoon teaching.

After lunch, Meiring and Marshall left the group to go to Hsinchu with Pastor Fan to visit the church Helen Gilkerson established. Meiring and Marshall are living at Pastor Fan’s home and Pastor just returned last night from his mission trip to Korea. For those who are too young to remember, Helen Gilkerson is a long time FECA missionary who has served in Taiwan since the 1950’s and passed away at the age of 90 in 2003 in Hsinchu. The Bilacha Church she founded was on a piece of land in Hsinchu but sub-sequently turned into a very expensive six or seven story building and the church owns the second floor as compensation. Following Helen’s passion, we were told this church is now flourishing and very mission-minded. We did not meet the Pastor and his wife because they are currently in Uganda leading their youth there on their own short term mission. Pastor Fan then drove us to see Helen’s burial ground in Zhudong. Helen struggled to establish the church and it is good to see how God is now using the prod-uct of her hands to bless many others, not only in Hsinchu, but around the world.

Meanwhile, back at the school, for the assembly time, Eugene conducted “Majesty and Glory” and then Pastor Chou shared a message about giving thanks because today’s theme is thanksgiving (he used the story of the ten leper’s where only one came back). Later on, Kayla, Gabbie, Janelle, Maddy and Rachel performed “A Whole Lotta Change” for the kids and then taught it to them. After going a little over time, everyone proceed-ed to their classrooms and then began their lessons. It was also a blessing from God that it didn’t rain during the assembly until later on (but it rained quite hard when we re-turned after 4). Since today’s theme is thanksgiving, our main game was the lava game, where the students had to learn how to work together and support each other as a team in order to win the game. Today, the kids had more open attitudes towards the teachers and everyone had a lot of fun! Even though sometimes the teachers were a little disorganized (we had to wing certain things), everyone still enjoyed the day! Not only did the students and teachers bond together, but the teachers within teaching teams as well. We are also grateful that we received RSVP’s from ten of last year’s students to come to the BBQ and concert this Friday. After dinner, we reviewed some music theory, practiced some songs in our sections, and debriefed the day. We are grateful for improved relationships with the children in school, for the visit to the hospi-tal, and for ourselves, good health on everybody’s part.
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  Wednesday, July 24 Since we have no ministry scheduled this morning, we had more time for devotions and practice. We actually recorded (on iPhones) our singing. Chloe is leaving us this af-ternoon because she could not persuade her mother to let her stay longer at the music camp which she said she really enjoyed. (Her mother only allowed her to stay 3 days because we are a Christian music camp.) She gave us permission to pray for her at the end of devotion time and one of our prayer request is that she can rejoin us later. Tina is also leaving but rejoining us later, and Josh drove them to the train station while picking up Terry, an “old” friend from last year.

This afternoon, at 12:50, we had scheduled a half hour reunion time with the eighth grade class (our seventh grade students from last year), the only time the school could squeeze us in. But due to some disciplinary problems, they did not come until 1 PM, so our time with them was really short, just a “hi”, quick intro, and one game. Perhaps more of them will come to the Friday BBQ and outreach concert. By 1:20, our current seventh grade students showed up so Pastor Chou said a quick word about Christmas, run through their song and dance quickly and off we all went to their separate classes to discuss the story of Christmas in more detail. Class went well, but some children forgot to bring their gift exchange presents, so we supplemented with candy so those children felt disappointed, but we tried to encourage them not to look at the size or cost of the gift but be thankful for any present they might receive. After dinner, we did some ear training and singing and ended the night early to get some extra rest.

Pictured below: Last year's seventh grade (now eighth grade) class reunion


 
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  Thursday, July 25 The food and weather here has been very good. In the morning, it is coolish, maybe in the 70’s F, warming up in the afternoon, but it has rained quite a bit during the after-noons so that cools it down. So thank God, nothing like the very hot weather we had been warned about. The food is great! Tasty, goood balance of protein and lots of veggies, delicious mangos, watermelons, and dragon fruit. Even the food at Tongtex school is quite good every lunch. For 50 TWD (about $1.67), we get rice, soup and three dishes, usually a meat dish, a veggie dish, and something mixed. For example, today we had one piece of fried chicken wing each, sautéed cabbage, and scrambled eggs with peas and carrots. Four of the youths (Michael, Belle, Jack and Vivi) joining us are among those who cook for us at the church. They get up at 5:30 to cook us breakfast and help cook some of the other meals too. We take turns doing the dishes.

After breakfast, we spent the time praying for the lesson this afternoon, since it is a kairos moment. We then left at 9AM to go minister at a senior retirement home, located in a beautiful wooded area half way up the mountain with a great view of Zhudong. Both Rev, Fan and Rev. Chou were with us. Rev. Fan warmed up 30+ seniors with some physical exercises. Then we sang and danced the VBS song, A Whole Lotta Change, the same song we are teaching the seventh graders. Then we sang He’s Calling My Name, De Animals a’Coming, Lamb of God, Holy, Holy, Holy. The girls sang Shut de Do’, all the guys sang Find Us Faithful, and we closed by singing in Mandarin, In His Time and John 14:6. We then wheeled the seniors back and enjoyed about a half hour of rest with cold grass jelly tea and cookies. Wheeling the seniors back invoked some emotion from a few of our members as they remembered they have grandparents in similar circumstances and we were happy to be able to act as surrogate grandchildren to these seniors. We then returned to Tongtex and got ready for the afternoon program.

Pictured below: Retirement Home visit



After lunch, we started our group assembly by singing John 14:6, Pastor Chou spoke by emphasizing the meaning of this verse, we taught the VBS dance and we went to teach. In one class, Michael shared his testimony to the whole class. We then divided the children into 3 subgroups and Belle, Hannah and Tania shared their testimonies. Praise the Lord, 12 children (about 2/3 of the class) indicated their willingness to follow the Lord! In the other class, Maddy and Janelle gave their testimonies, with Rita and Mickey translating. The students were respectful and listened attentively. Janelle ended her testimony with the altar call, and hallelujah, 7 of the students decided to accept Christ, even though one was hesitant the day before. Charmaine and Adam then went a little more into depth about Jesus and his love, and the children were interactive and understood. So a total of 19 children, about half the total number of students prayed to accept Jesus. Yesterday, 10 students from the eighth grade (our students from last year) signed up to come to Friday’s BBQ. Today, their teacher told their class she was going to give them a test Friday, and those who did poorly had to stay after class to do remedial learning, BUT those who came to our BBQ would be excused from detention, five more eighth graders signed up! Their motive to come may not be pure, but for us to find favor from a non-C teacher, it’s like God using asking a heathen King, Cyrus to send Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls. We feel blessed!

While all this was going on, Marshall and Mei went with Rev. Fan to visit the Haka church he started, located about 15 minutes from Zhudong. Even though he has pas-tored this church less than 10 years and only has about 40 members, it is a mission-minded church owning their own facility and sending out short term teams. They also visited the Haka gospel center in Zhudong, led by Pastor Bie. This center tracks the Hakas world-wide, the number of a Haka believers in different countries and encourage missions work. This minority group world-wide only has 0.5% of their people listed as believers so we were able to pray and encourage this ministry. After dinner, we de-briefed the day and separated into small groups to have our daily devotion before dis-missing for the evening.
 
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  Friday, July 26 After breakfast today, we did our small group devotions. Because we are leaving early tomorrow, we debriefed the Zhudong Church youth who were with us since none of them are going with us next week, Michael, Belle, Vivi, Jack, and Amy. Each of them shared what they learned from their 5 days with us and we affirmed them and prayed for them. They all expressed their initial fear of joining the music camp but obeyed the urging of Rev. Chou’s wife and all are glad they stepped out of their comfort zone and joined. After the debriefing, Adam and Tina left us but they are rejoining us next week, so as we go to Tongtex for our last day of teaching, we are down to a team of 21.

Today is the first really warm day of our trip to Taiwan. It is only 91F but over 70% hu-midity, so we are trying to spend as much time inside the A/C cooled classroom as possible, but we had to practice the group dance and also perform there at 3:20 for their regular teachers and principal. After we returned to church, we practiced a little for our evening outreach. We were surprised by Tina’s quick return from her grandmother’s funeral and even more surprised to see Chloe, who received permission from her moth-er to come and sing only for the concert. Another surprise was a couple who were Rev. George Chua’s (FEC founding pastor) nephew and wife living in Hsinchu, so Marshall got to meet a distant cousin he never knew about before. About 25 students from a Tongtex came tonight for the Chinese BBQ which is quite similar to a Korean BBQ cooked on a gas burner on the table on a skillet. Very delicious! Terry shared his tes-timony (translated by the Taiwan Terry) how he witnessed God’s miraculous healing on a previous Vision trip and a Rachel shared her testimony translated by Mickey. Pastor Chou gave a short sermon based on our theme verse, John 14:6. We then said tearful goodbyes.

Pictured below: Tongtex students with Vision at Zudong Church


 
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  Saturday, July 27 A few more details about last night’s program. We sang a total of 12 songs, a few by ourselves but the majority with our Taiwan students. We also performed the old Vision Puppet Skit with Belle doing an excellent narration of the story and Michael playing the role of “God”, a superb rendition! We will certainly miss their talents but we leave with fond memories of our time together.

We met at 6:30 this morning to make sure we can arrive in Hualien by 1 PM. Everyone from the church was there and they had packed two boxes of food and drinks for our breakfast and lunch on the road. Annie, Rev. Chou’s daughter who had daytime clas-ses but practiced and sang with us every time she was available, wrote us a nice send off note. We also welcomed Mickey’s friend Patricia (Tricia), who is a non-singer but just wanted to hangout with us. We saw this as an opportunity to share our lives and maybe she too can catch the good news. So besides the 14 from the US, we have Ti-na, Mickey and Tricia. Terry saw us off but will join us later next week. We stopped off at Taoyuan Airport to pick up Auntie Jennifer at 8:15, who landed about 5 this morning and headed off to Hualien. Because of bad traffic, we did not get to the elderly home until 1:30. There were about 25 residents there. It is a Catholic nursing home so we felt quite free to sing there. We were met by Grace, a gracious Filipino lady who with her husband runs the AirBnB we will be staying in for the next three nights. We greeted the elderly residents and sang for about 30 minutes. We stopped by a dumpling house and ate our lunch at about 3 PM, then proceeded to the Queen 5 Hostel AirBnB. This is a very nice facility which normally charges US $120 per room, but gives a special rate of only $27 for missionaries (basically covering the utilities and cleaning fee) as their ministry gift. The rooms are specious and clean and the bathroom as good as any 5 star hotel’s. We ate a boxed dinner, spent an hour doing our devotions, and debriefed the last two days’ activities. We were all very impressed with the servant attitude and dedication of the Zhudong Church youth, who woke up at 5:30 everyday to cook break-fast for us, then participated with us on all our activities, even acting in our skits. One of them shared that if it wasn’t for us, they would be sleeping until noon. This chal-lenged us to think how we treat guests to our church.
 
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  Sunday, July 28 After breakfast, we left 7:45 to go to sing at a Presbyterian Church north of Hualien. The church has a large beautiful sanctuary on the second floor of their building with a high ceiling and excellent acoustics. The service is conducted in Mandarin and a local aboriginal language, Taruko. We warmed up after we got there at 8:30, then listened to their choir practice “How Great Thou Art”. They sang quite well in harmony and we were told their people group loves to sing. Before service started at 9:30, their leaders led all the congregation in almost 10 minutes of dance and praise, which also had the effect of stretching us physically. Otherwise, the worship service was quite traditional with the exception of asking all those who had birthdays in July to come forward at the end of the service and the congregation sing the birthday song in Mandarin and Taruko. This tradition would probably not be accepted in the U.S. as each birthday person had to tell the congregation their birthdate and their AGE! Before the sermon, we sang for 20 minutes, beginning with Ceaseless Praise, John 14:6, Majesty and Glory, Holy, Holy, Holy, and In His Time. Rev. Wesley Hsu was a replacement speaker, as their own pas-tor was leading their young people on a mission trip. Rev. Hsu and his wife (who played piano for the worship service) both sang with ORTV’s Heavenly Melodies for 30 plus years, and knows Rev. Stanley Tang and Chris Chen (FECG’s first Mandarin Pas-tor beginning in 1967 and church administrator, respectively), and of course, Lily Lau. We ate box lunches provided by the church and cooled off until our bus came at 12:30 to drive us to the Filipino service at 2 PM.

Pictured below: Sunday at Taiwanese/Taruko morning worship



The service started at 2 with worship but only a handful of people were there. By 2:30, when we started singing, there were about as many of the congregation as us. About 25 were there when we finished, but don’t let the numbers fool you. The worship was enthusiastic and spirit-filled even though most of their songs were a decade or two old. Eugene led the entire service, starting with He’s Calling My Name, Shut de Do’ followed by Gabbie giving a wonderful testimony. The men then sang Find Us Faithful and we concluded with In His Time sung in English. Pastor Obet, a Filipino pastor who heads the International Church of Taipei and coordinated much of our second week’s ministry with Josh Yeh, preached a powerful message from the book of Jonah. Pastor Obet and his wife started a Filipino church plant here 3 years ago, meeting monthly, but 2 months ago started the weekly service here in Hualien. This is the church we attended so even though it is a young church, it is growing and we could sense God’s presence and power. After the message, 6 came up for prayer, about 25% of the congregation! At the close of service, Pastor Obet asked Vision to come forward so they could pray for us, we then responded by singing The Lord Bless You and Keep You to bless the con-gregation. At the end of service, we took a group photo, then a joyous jam session broke out as their worship leader began singing and we all joined in, Rachel on the ca-hone and someone handed Tricia a maracas. After several songs, we finally stopped so we can enjoy some ice cream, cookies and drinks. We left the church about 5 PM to return to the hostel, ate a boxed dinner, did our devotions, and debriefed our long day.

Pictured below: Filipino Church service


 
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  Monday, July 29 Praise God everyone is quite well today even though Charlene had some minor stom-ach problems yesterday. After breakfast, we left at 8 AM to head out to the reform school famous for training their students to unicycle. We had expected about 20 stu-dents here but there were only 12 as some are in school and some of them are actually visiting LA, having been sponsored by a church there. We were shown a video explain-ing there unicycle ministry. We also found out that some of the boys here are or-phaned, one eleven year old having come here only a year ago as a ten year old after his father died and his mother incapable of providing for him. Some have ADD, some were abused, some have addiction problems. This is a very difficult ministry, and even though many boys profess to believe, about 70% of the graduates desert the Lord after they leave. But they continue to persist in the ministry, praising God for the 30% whose lives are truly transformed. We met one young man here now in college, but returned to help the younger boys! We sang two songs for them and proceeded to play an ice-breaker game to help everyone overcome their initial shyness. We then taught them about Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, going over vocabulary words. We found that these boys’ English comprehension is quite good as most were able to make complete sentences from each vocabulary word. About noon, we ate lunch together, cooked in their kitchen by their staff and as the boys have an hour to rest after lunch, we spent the time doing our devotions. At 2 PM, we sang a short pro-gram for the boys, with Eugene and Kelly giving their testimonies and then it was play time, including unicycle riding time. Hot and sweaty, Auntie Jennifer treated us to boba tea on the ride back. We stopped to eat dinner in Hualien at a famous hole-in-the-wall noodle house. No luxuries but good cheap food. We then returned to our hostel to de-brief the day’s activities and pray for the reform school and their loving staff.

Pictured below: Riding unicycle at Reform School


 
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  Tuesday, July 30 Grace and Jeff, the hostel owners prepared breakfast for us before 6 AM so we were able to leave at 7 AM for Yilan. We arrived at 10 at St. Camillus, a Catholic elderly and handicapped facility managed by Allen Huang who came to FECG and Alpha when he was studying at USC for a semester earlier this year. We sang, Charmaine and Jessi-ca shared their testimonies, and we also performed the Puppet Skit, narrated by Tina and acted out by temptresses Kayla and Gabbie, Victims Terry and Mickey, free person Maddy and Eugene played God. After we sang, Allen proudly showed us the sanctuary building which he helped design. The floor plan actually is in the shape of a boat, re-minding us of Noah’s Ark. It has several pictures depicting the life of Camillus, who re-pented of his earlier reprobate life to help the sick, elderly and lepers. Unfortunately, it has some of the less Christian aspects of Catholicism, a piece of Camillus’ heart which miraculously did not burn when cremated so that if one prays to it, they will be healed. Allen provided a box lunch for us, and we left to drive over two hours to Tamsui, where we stayed for a night last year but will stay for the remainder of our time in Taiwan. We occupy the top 4 floors of this building, which can hold maybe up to 100 people for re-treats. We debriefed Tina who left us at to catch a train back home. For dinner, we found another hole-in-the-wall restaurant that we almost filled up. After we ordered, Ad-am and Rita joined us. After dinner, we had our devotions and debriefed the day.

Pictured below: Singing at St. Camillus sanctuary for elderly and handicapped


 
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  Wednesday, July 31 The guys went to buy breakfast for us and bring them to where we are staying. We left at 8:20 for Mackay Hospital. After warming up in the chapel, we went to the hospice and palliative ward and sang for 30 minutes to the dying patients there. Then we went to the lobby at the hospital entrance and sang for another 30 minutes to whoever was there waiting to see a doctor. We were treated to lunch, an interesting sushi-like roll (but it was warm rice, not vinegar sour rice). There is a layer of plastic on the inside between the seaweed outside and the rice. The plastic kept the seaweed from the moisture in the rice so the seaweed was nice and crisp until inside the plastic is pulled up just before eating the roll. We then had our half day off by going to Jiufen, where we sampled different foods and shopped for souvenirs. We returned by 5 PM to send off Tricia and greet Terry who has returned after taking his calculus test this morning. We then ate dinner at another small restaurant, did our daily devotions and debriefed our day. Kayla, who is planning to study nursing shared she was quite touched by watch-ing the care given to one of the patients in the hospice ward.  
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  Thursday, August 1 We left at 7 AM and ate breakfast on the bus to get to ORTV (Overseas Radio and TV) studios in time to join their 8 AM Chapel service. ORTV is a world-wide ministry broad-casting the gospel with words and music. Their choir, Heavenly Melodies has sung and ministered everywhere. Chris Chen, Josh Yeh’s grandfather, was the first church ad-ministrator at FEC (before all the branch churches) and was the first chairman of the board at ORTV and Lily Lau of FECG and Vision’s second music director, sang with Heavenly Melodies. We spent 15 minutes in worship with about 100 of their staff, ac-companied by the musicians, a clarinetist, drummer, pianist and a couple more instru-ments. Pastor Obet (who also works there) introduced us and we sang He’s Calling My Name and Majesty and Glory. After chapel, Josh asked his long-time friend Ken, a sound engineer to record about ten of our songs. This took about an hour and a half. We were then given a tour of their sound-proof studios and their TV studios. We learned about their broadcast ministry and a new project to record the entire Bible read in dramatic fashion. We ate box lunches in their comfortable 5th floor break room, and left at 1 PM.

Pictured below: Joining the ORTV weekly worship group devotion



Marshall and Meiring were dropped off at the offices of Grace Publishing, who printed our last edition of our hymnal, Hymns for God’s People, and will be printing our new Expanded Edition shortly to have detailed discussions on the particulars of the hymnal (errata pages, cover color, paper type, etc.). The rest of the team went to visit the Mackay Memorial where we learned about the 62 churches he planted in Taiwan and the 30 thousand converts he baptized. We even sang The Lord Bless You and Keep You at the chapel accompanied by the organist of this huge pipe organ.

After returning to Tamsui, we debriefed Rita who is leaving us early tomorrow, talked about our day and did our devotion in the late afternoon so we can go enjoy ourselves at the night market tonight.
 
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  Friday, August 2Rita left us at 7 AM to return home. Like Tina and the rest of the non-churched Taiwan students, they are very open to the gospel and ask a lot of penetrating questions during devotion time. But their parents’ wishes still remain a large obstacle for them to come to full trust in Jesus’ redemptive work. But we believe in God’s time, they will all come to faith. Continue to pray.

We ate breakfast at 7:30 and did our devotion from Mark 8 where Jesus challenges us to follow Him. We left at 9 to visit Willis and Jocelyn Han and their Interserve ministry to mobilize the Taiwan youth to serve in Muslim countries. Willis shared about their life journey and how God called them to recruit professionals in any profession to use their expertise to serve the Lord. He showed us pictures of their time in Kergistan, and we asked them and their daughter Phoebe lots of questions about growing up in a third cul-ture country. The 4 youths, Bel, Jack, Vivi, and Michael from Zhudong church sur-prised us with a visit. We sang Majesty and Glory, The Lord Bless You and Keep You (Aaronic Blessing) with Jocelyn, who was in Vision for many years in the late 1980’s, sing with us. We ate a delicious boxed lunch and left to go to Taoyuan, to a retirement home near where Pastor Obet lives. Because of the extra 4 Zhudong youths, we now had 22 and our bus is a 20 passenger bus so Adam and Terry’s We started our pro-gram in the basement, got through about half of it with Maddy and Bel sharing their tes-timonies, when the management wanted to move us upstairs to the courtyard to sing so all the residents on all 13 floors could hear us. So we scraped the rest of our program including our skit to sing upstairs in the lobby. We stood in a circle and repeated some of our songs, Pastor Obet shared a short gospel message, and we finished with all the guys, including Adam, Terry, Michael, and Jack joining, singing Find Us Faithful and the Aaronic Blessing. We then went back downstairs to the AC basement to cool off. Auntie Jennifer bought us all ice cream; we found out Pastor Obet is about to celebrate his silver (25) wedding anniversary so we wished him a happy anniversary and sang the Aaronic blessing to him. We then left to go back to Taipei to eat a banquet hosted by Marshall and Meiring (not paid by Vision). Among the guests able to join us are Yipeh, Dr. Albert Chang’s assistant who did so much coordination with Josh in planning our trip here, and Willis, Jocelyn and Phoebe. After dinner, we said good bye to our guests, went down to the metro train station below the restaurant, and took the train back to Tamsui. On route, the 4 Zhudong students got off at Taipei Train Station to return home. We returned to our apartment about 9:30, showered and got ready for bed, the end of a long day.

Pictured below: Singing at Taoyuan retirement home



Pictured below: Happy after full dinner. Left to right, front to back: Gabby, Phoebe, Mickey, Janelle, Kelly, Hannah, Vivi, Belle Jennifer, Rachel, Tania, Charmaine, Adam, Maddy, Meiring, Yipeh, Jocelyn, Willis Kayla, Jack, Terry, Eugene, Terry, Marshall, Josh, Michael


 
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  Saturday, August 3Today is our last full day in Taiwan. Late last night, Tina came back, another surprise, having taken the last train from Hsinchu. After breakfast, we debriefed yesterday’s ac-tivities and did our daily devotions, we then spent the day debriefing our two weeks in Taiwan, starting a little after 9 AM. A few minutes after noon, we went across the street to eat lunch. We met Daniel and Emily Ko there. Daniel is a former colleague of Mar-shall at TRW who works here in Taipei and his wife works at Tamsui. They are also good friends of Jennifer and Willis and Jocelyn. After lunch, Daniel drove us to a fresh fruit market where we bought watermelons, mangos and pineapples to snack on in the afternoon, after dinner, and breakfast tomorrow, We continued debriefing at 2 PM, final-ly finishing at 5 PM, about 6 hours total in a room with one underpowered air conditioner and four hard working electrical fans, so it was like being in a sauna the last three hours. The debriefing was sweet, emotional at times, but quite edifying as we reviewed what God had done and praised Him for clarifying some future directions for some indi-viduals. We rested for an hour, and went along the river walk to eat at various vendor booths in Tamsui, returned home to shower and pack. Charmaine and Tania are leaving us at 5 AM tomorrow morning to catch an 8 AM flight to Hong Kong, but the four Taiwan students, Mickey (a she not a he), Tina, Adam, and Terry are joining us to sing at Agape Church tomorrow before we part ways.  
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  Sunday, August 4The Uber showed up in less than 5 minutes after we messaged him to take Charmaine and Tania to the airport. With no traffic, they arrived there at 5:45, in plenty of t8me to catch their Hong Kong flight. The rest of us finished packing, ate the rest of the fruit from yesterday, packed up everything and loaded up the bus by 7:30, arriving at Agape Church by about 8:30, in plenty of time to warm up before their 10 AM service start. Dr. Albert Chang graciously gave us 40 minutes to sing and share, replacing the sermon time, so this is kind of a celebration mini-home concert for us. Gabbie shared about the English teaching, Eugene shared about the Taruko and Filipino service in Hualien, and Marshall summarized our two weeks here using a PowerPoint slide presentation put to-gether by Josh. We sang on stage, in the round - surrounding the congregation, casu-ally, probably not what one would expect in a Sunday service used to more formal teaching, but perhaps enjoyed by Albert who is used to ministering to students and likes to joke around. As Albert’s guests, we ate a delicious lunch in the restaurant one floor up in the Xue Xue building which the church borrows on Sunday. Just before we left, we prayed for the 4 students still with us. We left at 1:15 PM on the bus for the airport arriving at 2. By the time we checked in and cleared security and passport control, it was almost 4 PM, an hour an a half before boarding. Thank God, no problems, general good health the whole trip, and wonderful time with all the music students. Tina, Mick-ey and Terry (Adam left us after lunch to hurry home to celebrate father’s day) all went in with us through the check-in until we had to enter security - they just could not bear to say good bye to us nor our high schoolers leave them.

Pictured below: Lunch at Agape Church before leaving to airport to return home


 
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