Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Skating in Jhongli, Taiwan (Weekend Trip Part 1)

This past week we had the possibility of a typhoon hitting Taiwan. Luckily it changed its direction and slightly missed us. However it did bring some rain that effected my weekend slightly. I took the bus to Jhongli (a few hour ride), arriving in a pouring rain. I was picked up by Michael (Canadian) and Anthony (from the Philippines) on scooters. We bundled my board up in a garbage bag and threw on a rain coat on me then took off.

Even though it was raining the whole time Michael took me to some sick spots that the rain couldn't harm. We built this little ramp to help us do some wall rides on this almost straight up and down wall. (photo: Michael - fs wallride) 
The amazing thing about this photo is that, Anthony took the photo of me while also filming at the same time. Michael then hooked me up with a free brand new board.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Skating at NTIT College (Taiwan)

 I was Skating at the NTIT College near 一中 (Yi Zhong) Night Market with 4 of my friends there. At one point there was a crowd of at least 10-20 people watching. It was cool feeling having people watch and clap for you when you would land a trick. Complete opposite from the U.S.
Unfortunately the battle became to fierce for me this night. As my elbow swelled up and my legs became weak. I will have to practice my kickflips a little more on something smaller before I return.

(Photos by Travis Geary)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Scooting My Way through Taiwan

 Taking the scooter to Church and other places to have fun.
Normally I have to look from the side to see where we are going, but with Connie I can just look right over her head.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Last Day of SYME - Friend Day!

Today was the last day of my first term of SYME. For this term I mostly taught in the Conversation Class and the Acts Class, while also being involved in doing Chapel messages and other types of ministries. It has been a lot of fun getting to know the students and spending time with them on the weekends outside of school.

Its amazing to see what God is doing in the lives of the people of Taiwan. Many of the students this term have been impacted in a big way through the ministry of SYME. Many of them have family members who don't believe in Christ but worship their ancestors and idols.

The students here have a passion to share Christ and to grow.

The Saturday after the last day of classes we run an hour Bible Club for friends and family of the students or whoever else would like to come. The theme was burdens.

Clay and Deborah mc'd the meeting talking about burdens. (see pile of burdens in photo)
I worked with Josh for two weeks to help him prepare for his part in Bible Club, "prayer time". I coached him into writing the prayer, pronunciation and presentation.

Nikki shared her testimony about how she didn't know Jesus Christ before she came to SYME. God has used SYME to have a big impact on her life. She has become a great witness to her many family members who have never heard the name of Jesus.

Clay played the role of Jesus, healing many sick people, while taken on the burdens of our lives.

Dora played a game with the audience to help them memorize a Bible verse.

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Many people heard the gospel clearly shared by Stan while Betsy translated it into Chinese. Possibly it was the first time for them to hear the gospel or even the name of Jesus.

Aspiring Photographer

His last day in Taiwan...making some lasting memories.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our Church - Their Idols

I never thought I would live so far away
In a world so filled with idols
Where I see more temples then churches
From the outside this place seems much different
And maybe it's not...
They have their idols on their thrones
We have the Bible so falsely known

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Learning Chinese

My efforts and learning Chinese.

I will ask one of the Chinese students to teach me the sound of the character, then will train myself to write and pronounce it the best I can on my own by repetitive writing, speaking and hearing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trip to PingTung 屏市

It was a tough decision for me to go to PingTung for the weekend. I had previous plans to go to Taipei 台北 for some skateboarding with a group of guys. However the weather possibly wasn't going to be good. So with a night of sleep and the morning to think about it, I decided to spend the weekend with the Koreans (Josh and Clay) and Joseph (Joseph's Home - PingTung) one last time before the school term was over.

After school ended at 4:30pm, I had to rush to get my things for the weekend together, get a taxi and arrive at the bus station before 5pm for the discounted bus tickets. We arrived at the bus station at 4:57, just barely making the discounted prices. After a couple hour bus ride we arrived in PingTung (Southern part of Taiwan).

Of course with arriving somewhere so late the only thing left to do is to go to the Night Market for some food and fun. The photo to the left is some Pig Intestines that we ate.

Saturday, Joseph normally goes to a temple to share about Jesus Christ, however the night before he was told that the temple no longer will let him preach there. So instead he held a meeting in a different building. In a week his church will preach at 14 different temples (if I remember right). Below is a picture of the temple we went to share about Christ and serve food.

stacks of paper money that they burn to the gods

They will pay anywhere from $10-100 (US) to buy this little box to receive blessings from the gods.
A quick look at a rainy skatepark

Joseph then offered for us to try out his scooter. Josh drove down the road and came back then Joseph took us out on the road. The Koreans on one scooter and Joseph and I on the other, with me driving. I was pretty nervous. But we took it slow and stayed to the side of the road.
Joseph and his dad enjoy golfing so that night that took us out for a few swings on the driving range. I think it was the Koreans first time golfing, I think they learned to enjoy it. 
The Next day we attend church in the morning. Then I drove Joseph's car  to the E-Da shopping center.  It is a 5 story palace of shopping heaven, at least thats what it looks like.

Later that night we rode on the scooters some more and went to the Night Market for some food. I ate catfish to start out. Then we had some Duck Blood (photo to the left). The rest of the night we enjoyed carnival styled games.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Taiwan Rooftop Photography (Taichung)

It was a clear blue sky so I decided to head out to the rooftops of my apartment complex to get some photos. I took about 60 photos in 15min. then worked in photoshop for a couple hours.

Nikki's Baptism

This past week one of our students was Baptized. She became a believer through the ministry of SYME when she came with a desire to learn English. After coming back in January for her next term, she accepted Christ through a conversation with another teacher. She has been able to be a light to her family, sharing with them about Christ. She went to a funeral for her grandfather this past SYME term and was able to talk about and represent Christ in front of her 42 relatives there that have never heard about Jesus Christ before by not taking part in the practices of the ancestor worship or other practices. I didn't know Nikki before she was a Christian but it has been encouraging to see her desire for God in a world filled with idols.

The SYME Family

Foosball Fun at SYME

We had a Foosball tournament at SYME for our free time activity. Betsy was on my team. We made it to the finally round. The score was 4 to 4 with one point to win the game. It felt like forever before someone would score one point. But finally doom was dealt to my team.

It was a pretty intense/serious game. But in the end the losers bought ice-cream for themselves to make them feel better. So I think by loser I actually won.

The Pit - Skate Ministry

This is just the beginning of a skateboard ministry my friend Trevor Hyed has started in Jackson, MI. He did tons of work to the building, pulled up the tile, teared out the ceiling and built ramps, among other things. This was the first day of skating the place. They had plenty of prizes courtesy of X-Riders (of Jackson) and Launch Boardshop (of Ann Arbor).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Trip to Lou Gong 鹿港

A Market in Lou Gong
Teng Hou Gong Temple 天后宮
This weekend I went to Lou Gong 鹿港. This town has many idol shops and temples. It is a harbor town and has many people who use to be sailors and fisherman. So it brought many idols from fear of their husbands or fathers dying at sea.
Korean Josh Shopping

Min Sou Win Gun - 民俗文物館
This town is a historical area with lots of very traditional foods. The building above is a famous place. Some rich guy use to live there. I am not really sure the whole story. ????.

When we arrived the gates were already locked and they wouldn't let us in. Even to take one picture. So I took this picture from outside the gates, but I think this is pretty much the same angle I would have used  if I could have gotten in the gate. However Josh managed to squeeze through the bars for a moment.

Monday, May 9, 2011

From Seattle To Taiwan

Park by (一中) Yi Zhong Night Market
Saturday I met up with some married friends from Seattle, here in Taiwan. I met them when I visited Jacob Smith's church. Jacob is not here yet, he will come for the summer term in July. I took them to the park above while also doing lots of shopping in the night markets.