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RE-HIRED PROGRAM – 6.1.2020 – Rain, Travel, and Some Beautiful Skies

Rainy season has arrived in Taiwan.  It’s been raining steadily (with some very heavy stretches) for several hours on most days over the last couple of weeks.  Locals have advised us that the concentrated rains may last for three to four weeks during most years.  It may be tapering off already for this year as we had no rain today and the forecast for the next couple of days looks good.
We’ve had multiple opportunities the last couple of weeks to share our faith with students.  On the positive side, Taiwan allows us the freedom to speak freely with the students, even in a classroom setting.  It’s very rewarding to see the interest some of them show.  However, the prevalence of traditional Asian religious beliefs is so strongly ingrained in this society that most cannot see the truth of Christ.  Their religious traditions are passed down from one generation to the next and straying from these beliefs is an insult to the family.  Some university students cannot answer simple questions about their religious beliefs.  They only know that their parents taught them to pray to one god for help with their studies and a different god for help with something else, etc.  Western friends here have expressed amazement that some of the brightest, most educated, professional Taiwanese have strong beliefs in their many false idols.  Too much religion, not enough Gospel (Acts 17: 22-25).  Please continue to remember East Asia in your prayers that Christ’s Light may penetrate the shroud of tradition that darkens this land.
This good-looking group is our Wednesday night English class at the Taichung University of Science and Technology.  We finished up the semester at this university this past week, but still have a few weeks of class left at another university on Tuesday afternoons.
We’ve had the opportunity to go out for dinner after class with some of the students the last two Wednesdays.  The first meal included lots of traditional Taiwanese dishes.
This past Wednesday, the students wanted to take us to this Asian hot pot restaurant.  This is not a meal we’re used to enjoying in Florida.
The preview session of the College and Young Adult Worship and Bible Study attracted a bigger than expected crowd at Enguang Baptist Church this past week.  It was very encouraging to see the support of both young and old church members at this preview.  The inaugural session open to the public is this Saturday afternoon.  We’re praying that this weekly service will attract many young adults not currently attending another church.
Road Trip!!!!  We got the opportunity to travel to the southeastern side of the island this weekend to the city of Taitung (Táidōng) to visit with a western family serving in Taiwan.  The family is transitioning to serve in our city (Taichung) in the northwestern region, but mom and the kids remain in Taitung until the current school year ends.  While most of Taiwan’s population lives on the flatter western side of the island along the Strait of Taiwan, the eastern side boasts Taiwan’s most beautiful scenery with mountains sloping right down to the Pacific coastline.  The route to reach this village involved traveling down the western side of the island in a deluge of rain before emerging around the central mountains for the ride back up the eastern side under blue skies and sunshine.  Despite visiting during the rainy season we were fortunate enough to enjoy beautiful weather all weekend.  Only a couple of areas on the eastern side provide enough flat ground to host a good-sized city such as Taitung.  Our visit to the Sanxiantai Island area left us feeling like we were in Hawaii.
While the island of Taiwan is very much a melting pot of Asian peoples, the largest concentration of aboriginal Taiwanese islanders lives on this southeastern side.  We visited this local park celebrating the aborigine culture.
Please keep praying for us!
-David and Sandy
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