Friday, August 27, 2004

News Flash!

I received an email today with a lot of information in it! It appears there may be a few bugs to work out with the flights and stuff, maybe I'll be seeing more of the United States sooner than I thought....
- At this moment, we know that your visa process can be completed by as early as 9/5.
- We need the visa permit in order to start booking your airplane ticket.
- Once we have the permit for your visa, we can then send it to one of the consulate offices or trade offices where you can then apply for a working visa.
- Usually, we have our permits sent to the Taiwan trade office in Los Angeles (since our North American office is in Los Angles and our staff there would be able to help out in case there is a problem), so most of our foreign staff fly out of Los Angeles to get to Taiwan.
- However, there is also a trade office in Seattle and we're looking to see if Vancouver might be another option. It's just that we don't have any staff members there who could assist you in case there is an unforeseen problem.

Location:
- Right now, we're planning on sending you to the town of Yuli (which is southwest of the city of Hualien on the east coast of Taiwan; on the map below, about 1/2cm southwest of Hualien)
- Population of Yuli: 24,000.
- The churches in Yuli are primarily Taiwanese Presbyterian (in terms of denomination).
- However, unlike many other Presbyterian churches across Taiwan, the churches in Yuli have experienced great spiritual revival.
- The main church that you're most likely going to work with has about 160 members.

The students:
- The students you will be teaching are beginners.
- They should know their English alphabet (and for some, that might be all that they know.)
- Some of them can read but they aren't strong readers.
- We're hoping that through a local Christian children's ministry organization, you can have access into the local schools and assist in their after school programs (similar to after school study halls).

Pray for:

a. HEART--
(1) Start praying for the students that you're going to come into contact with.
(2) Pray also for the local staff members that you'll be working with. Pray for love and understanding.
b. MIND--
(1) Quick ability to learn and adapt to the local culture (I've seen many foreigner workers who just couldn't adapt and wind-up complaining about their life in Taiwan simply because they refuse to try a different way of doing things and insist on doing things the same way as they did "back home").
(2) Attitude of Flexibility. Things happen very fast in Asia. Although, on one hand, things might see "laid back" in the country side, but because there are constantly new projects being done, people are constantly trying to figure-out what is the most efficient or effective way to get things done, so things do change. For those who thrive in changes, this is nothing. But for most westerners, this could be a bit nervy because this flying-by-the-seat-of-the-pants could really push one out of their comfort zone.
(3) Wisdom. How can the lessons be taught in the most effective way for the students?
c. STRENGTH--Pray for sound health. It's easy to get sick when living in a new environment. Sometimes, the spirit is oh-so-willing to do God's work, but the body is weak due to some sickness.
d. SPIRIT-- An overseas experience can be a huge test to one's spiritual development. Pray that you will always be open to hear God's bidding and remain firm in your faith in Him. The Evil One will find many ways to discourage you spiritually.

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