Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Paid (by the hour) in full!

I have a new perspective on work life. Where to start? Last week I had a bad Sinus infection. One of those knock you down fever, sinuses, cough, sore throat, tired, achy basically everything from the Nyquil commercial. But unlike any previous time in the past 15 yrs I didn't have the option of a "sick day" Having a job that pays hourly is a new thing to me. Therefore I have such a new found respect for the hourly worker. It hit me on Wednesday: We are having a baby, we have to pay for visa papers, if I don't work I don't get paid.

So i get up. Fever is 101. Ok, Ok! I get it. Don't go to a school with a bunch of little children when you have a fever. But that is not very Taiwanese of me now is it? Besides those little carrier monkeys are the reason for the sickness anyway! So like I said, 101 fever. I walk to the bus in a daze. I ride the bus in a daze. I ride the train in a daze. I teach my classes (Wednesday of all days is my longest and hardest days), I go home in a daze. Go to sleep. It was not exactly fun.

So I learned this. Man, how I have taken my nice little salary jobs for granted. I haven't had an hourly wage job since Johnston's Paint Store in Boonville, MO the summer of '94. Always had the luxury off sick days, vacation days, etc. If anyone who is reading this knows me very well they will know how much of a baby I am when I am sick. I did enjoy it. But it granted me a new respect and perspective on the working life of many people. I also realize now why so many Taiwanese people fall asleep on public transportation. If I was so afraid of missing my stop I would have joined them in dreamland on the way there and home.

Monday, October 7, 2013

FOCUS #2 Pt 1: Building Relationships and Learning the Culture

Building relationships.  The core to any ministry whether is pastoring, music, missions, students is building relationships.  Which happens to be one of my best (and sometimes worse) strengths.  I "dont know a stranger" I "am friends with everyone" I "am too trusting".  Christiana on the other hand is "takes longer to open up".  So its no surprise that we have been able to build some close relationships already while here in Taichung.

Acts 8 tells the story of Phillip. Who God used to meet with and talk to a Ethiopian.  Never more in my life has this story been more real or meant more to me.  Verse 27 starts with Phillip got up and went.  He had no clue why The Lord sent him south.  He just went. There he was at the perfect place at the perfect time. The Lord used him for a purpose. It was no accident.

The people that The Lord have brought into our lives. The relationships we have built (which locals and foreigners) are of no accident.  It cant be. A year ago I never thought I would ever even leave the country.  So we are taking it very serious and very purposeful the people that God brings into our path.  Everyone from the guy we buy tea from (Jon) to the security guard at our building (Mr. Wan!). There are no accident.

So as we continue to get to know people.  We continue to pray for them.  We love them and they return to the love.  We love going to LAX Burger not just because the burgers are great because they are! But because we love and adore Jamie, Linus and Lily.  We are there as their friends and we love them. It goes both ways. When I was in the ER, Jamie came up and took care of us.  We desperately needed someone who spoke Chinese. Call me Phillip.

- Jimmy -