Taiwan · Typhoon News

The Calm (?) After the Storm

Dear Friends and Family,

I guess the one nice thing about a typhoon is that it confines a person to her home and allows her time to write.  Well, the typhoon has passed, and I know the school year has begun because I have an obvious lack of time.  To add to the craziness of my busy school schedule, Sara and I did the unthinkable and bought a puppy two nights ago.  Of course, this was unthinkable only to me because Sara has been dreaming of this day since she was born.  However, I think she imagined that the puppy would live at her house, and so did I!  Since Sara is not allowed to have pets in her apartment complex, I am housing our little puppy and wondering if life will ever be the same again.  The puppy, named Emi, is a Maltese, though we don’t know if she’s pure bred (probably not).  She is about 6 weeks old, and she weighs only one pound.  She plays hard, tires quickly, and snuggles sweetly.  Nothing like adding a bit of unnecessary challenge (and enjoyable companionship) to an already adventurous transition and new life.

I believe the last time I wrote I was recovering from the typhoon but was still without water, car, or shipment of belongings.  I’m very thankful to say that God has answered so many prayers since that time!

After ten days of being without water, the water was finally turned back on.  I had some recurring hot water and water pressure issues after the typhoon, but several visits from the plumber and one trip to buy a new shower head made it so that I can take a full-pressure, hot shower each morning.  Praise the Lord!

I had been so worried about how I was going to get my shipment of things from Taichung (where it was being dropped off–2 hours north of here) to Kaohsiung (where I live); I was concerned about the transportation and the timing since it was likely to be delivered on a school day at about 4:00 p.m.  God worked out all the details of the shipment so that it would be delivered to Taichung just two days after a shipment of things that was to be sent to Kaohsiung.  The school held the first shipment until mine arrived and allowed me to add my things to the truck to be sent down here.  I was even able to have the movers bring the boxes up to my apartment so that everything was neatly inside when I arrived home on Friday afternoon.  Another blessing was in the fact that the shipment arrived in Kaohsiung on a weekend, so I had two days to work on unpacking.  Everything made it safely (we had prayed for that!) except for a few drinking glasses in one box, but that is remarkable considering the circumstances.  With all of my things here, I am finally starting to feel settled.  Thank the Lord for that.

My car was another issue that was cause for much anxiety and trouble.  If you recall, there had been several problems with the car immediately after I arrived that I had gotten fixed by the mechanic.  Then after the typhoon, I went out to the car and it wouldn’t start.  It took several days for the mechanic to be able to get to it and get it down to the shop.  After that, I waited for a diagnosis, getting more and more concerned as the days went by.  Finally, I was told that there were some serious problems including something with the starter, some kind of computer part, and the air conditioning (sorry, I know nothing about cars AND I have to have everything translated).  So, I begrudgingly told the mechanic to do all the work.  After waiting for about a week and a half, I finally have the car back, and it hasn’t had any problems since being out of the shop.  I am thankful that the car was able to be repaired and that Sara was gracious enough to let me use her car for going up the hill to my apartment each night while mine was being worked on.  My car did cost a lot of money to repair, so I am incredibly grateful for the monetary gifts that so many of you have given to help provide for this car.  God knew what I would need, and He has blessed me through you.  Thank you.

As I settle into my home and my life, I am also loving my new job!  I really enjoy working with the small groups of students (2-4 students at a time) because I feel that I am able to give so much individualized attention.  I also truly enjoy working with so many different ages; I teach Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 8th-9th, and all the ages are surprising and exciting.  Though I miss teaching literature, I greatly enjoy teaching language, and I still get to do some reading and literature with the older grades.  The school is a great place filled with strong Christian teachers and administrators.  The student body and their families are a wide range of demographics, and I can already see lots of opportunities for ministry.  I also have a great friend and mentor who is the other ELL teacher.  Her name is Cathleen, and she really is an outstanding teacher and Christian example.  I love working with her.  I also enjoy working alongside Sara because it is so fun to experience our relationship in a very different setting like this.  As you can see, I feel blessed to be working here.  Praise the Lord again!

Finally, I want to ask that you continue to pray for opportunities for me to have ministry and friendships outside of the school.  I believe God is already opening doors for those kind of relationships.  The first person I want to tell you about and to ask you to pray for is Mike.  He is the head security person at our housing complex, and I see him every other day or so when I go out to my car.  He is very kind and helpful, and he speaks a good deal of English.  The other day when I saw him he told me he had a gift for me.  He gave me a beautiful carved stone dragon, and he also gave me a picture of a smoke dragon to give to Sara.  He said that dragons are “good luck” in Taiwan.  I am trying to find out now what is an appropriate response to such a gift, so pray that I do things right.  Dad said that this is probably a sign of Mike trying to start a friendship.  I believe that Mike is not a Christ follower, so pray that I would be able to cultivate a relationship that would bring him to know Christ.  Second, I want to ask for prayer for a relationship with two young ladies in my apartment complex.  I met them on the elevator the other day, and they spoke English and were very friendly.  They seem to be about my age (a blessing!), and I hope to begin a friendship with them as well.  One of them is named Charity, and I can’t remember the other girl’s name.  If they are believers, then praise the Lord for the edification of a relationship, and if they are not, then pray for opportunities for me to share Christ with them.  I am so excited that doors are starting to open.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  I love hearing from each of you, and I pray for you as well.  Blessings!

Faithfully,
Christel

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