14 Aug 2013

Summer English Camp 2013 in Taoyuan, Taiwan

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Christina Lee traveled to Taiwan this summer with a mission team from Monmouth Community Christian Church to teach English and share the Gospel with children and youth at Yuan-Ze University.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know how to put my experience at Yuan-Ze University Summer English Camp (SEC) this year in words. I was there as an English teacher, but in turn I actually learned an incredible amount from the American team, the Taiwanese coworkers, and even the kids.

One of our big themes at SEC was character building – we wanted to teach the kids good character through the fruit of the spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control Gal 5:22), and those nine words were repeated over and over again throughout the two weeks. As camp progressed, I was humbled and convicted of my own shortcomings when it came to showing the fruit of the spirit in my daily life, in my interactions with my kids and the coworkers. I realized that everything we were teaching the kids was still relevant to ourselves, especially during camp when our patience was tested on a daily basis, and when not every camper was always easy to love.

In fact, we covered James 1 briefly in our skits – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – but it took until the end of camp for me to look back and realize all the different little ways God used each challenge I faced to open another door.

Taiwanese coworkers and American team counselors spend quality time together the night before the typhoon hit.

Taiwanese coworkers and American team counselors spend quality time together the night before the typhoon hits.

 

The most tangible example of this was the typhoon that whirled in before the first week of camp was over. It was hard to send the kids home early – logistically for obvious reasons, and emotionally, since the kids were just starting to open up to us. In addition, I was an ‘outsider’ of sorts coming into this mission team, so I had no idea what to expect in terms of group dynamic. However, the typhoon actually gave us time to bond with each other and disciple the Taiwanese coworkers, many of whom were not Christian the first week. And as we all got to know one another and grew closer as a team, it was evident that God called each person to this mission trip for a reason. I had something different to learn from each and every team member, whether it was spiritual or practical.

As we crossed every hurdle that came toward us during camp, I was really encouraged to see the strength and unity of our team pulling together for God’s glory (especially when we all fell to sickness one after another). I feel truly blessed to have had the brothers and sisters from the American team in my life. And I am so glad that together, we were able to show God’s love to not only the children in Taiwan, but also to our Taiwanese coworkers during the extra few days we got to spend together. If the typhoon had never struck, would we have been able to touch their lives in the same way? Maybe, but I’m inclined to say no. When things don’t go the way they’re supposed to, I can now say with confidence that God is working in the situation and He has a reason for doing things His way, regardless of whether I want it or am prepared for it.

Being called to this mission was one of the best things to happen to me in a long time, and I had an amazing two weeks serving in Taiwan. Thank you for supporting me, praying for me, and listening to my stories. I look forward to going wherever God will bring me next.

Christina

Water games and field day fun! The kids had a blast.

Water games and field day fun! The kids had a blast.

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