Life in Taiwan

Rest. A much needed activity for everyone, but one that so often is neglected. Our lives are busy. Every day we have appointments, classes, and people to care for. On top of that the city we live in has a population of 7 million people who all speak a different language than our mother tongue, so most days it is hard to “feel” completely relaxed or rested. But, this past week we escaped from our normal lives and responsibilities and headed to the most southern part of Taiwan. Why? To rest. Yes, for 5 days we saw new sights of Taiwan, smelled new smells, some good and some not so nice, heard the waves crashing against the rocks, and tasted the sweet flavor of pure rest and relaxation, just the two of us. It has been wonderful, and greatly needed. Our bodies and spirits have been re-charged and re-energized and are now ready for the busyness of the next few months that will lead into our home assignment this Winter.

We often get asked from people back in the States just what it’s like being a foreigner in a country where your skin and features are profoundly different from the vast majority of the people and where every day you hear people saying in your direction “Wai guo ren!”, which translates “Foreign person!”. What’s it like to not be able to get around using English, and where the food, leisure activities, and way of life are so different from what we were used to. A few words that come to mind to describe what it’s like are: challenging, frustrating, humorous, nerve-wracking, adventurous, and unpredictable. Each day is uniquely its own and provides us with numerous situations that make us laugh and keep us humble. But, to put it in basic terms: it is something we wouldn’t trade for the world.

Two days ago, as we were riding a bus from one city back to the place of our place of lodging several little boys got on and immediately began staring at us. They smiled and whispered among themselves, seemingly very excited that two “Wai guo ren” were on their bus. We waved and then began speaking with them in Chinese. They immediately left their seats and came and sat next to us. Erich chatted with the little men for a while before they had to get off. They asked many questions about what America is like and soaked up every minute to chat with us. As they left, we both looked at each other and smiled, both knowing how precious times like that are and both so thankful to God for giving us the chance to serve Him here!Peaceful OceanErich and Kel

Life as of Late

As many of you have heard this past weekend a very large typhoon swept through the southern parts of Taiwan causing much devastion and damage to villages, homes, and buildings. We are fortunately in the very North, so we were spared from the brunt of it, only having experienced a lot of wind and rain. But, still our hearts go out to the people in southern Taiwan. If you think of it, please pray for the many, many families and lives that were affected by this typhoon. Here is an excerpt from a news report about Typhoon Morakot:

“Morakot broke many records in Taiwan, dumping a total of 2.5 meters (100 inches) of rain on the island. At least 40 people are known to have died so far, but hundreds remain missing – many from one village in Taiwan, reportedly engulfed by a mudslide during the storm.” Click on this link to view pictures of the destruction: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/08/typhoon_morakot.html

Otherwise, life is good. Tomorrow we will head to the airport to pick up an American girl who will be living here for several months studying Chinese. We are hoping to get her plugged into our English ministry at Truth during her time here. Please pray for an easy adjustment for her and that we can have good time managment as we care for her, but also as we have numerous other responsibilities.

Due to the typhoon, our large exam for our Chinese studies was postponed. It is now this Friday, the 14th. So, prayers would be appreciated!

Thanks for reading and for your interest in our lives!

Schindler Update 2009_08_04

August 4, 2009

Dear faithful supporters,

Greetings from hot and sunny Taipei! We’ve had another full and busy month of language learning (we can now speak, read, and write around 1100 Chinese characters!), various church ministries and Bible camps, hosting large and small groups of people in our apartment for celebrations and meetings, and deepening relationships with the members of our Alpha groups. Each day we are reminded of the Lord’s goodness to us and His faithfulness that is never ending! What a privilege to serve here!

Prayer Requests:

  • An American girl, Alicia, will be arriving on August 12th. She will be living in Taipei for 4 months, studying the language and doing various ministries. Pray for a quick adaptation to Taiwan and for us to know how we can best plug her into ministries at our church. (part of our role is to shepherd all Westerners that attend our church).
  • This Friday, August 7, we have a big achievement test for our Chinese studies. Pray for good preparation and understanding as we take the test!
  • We are planning a home assignment (first in the States and then in Germany) from early November-mid January 2010. Altogether our extra travel expenses total around $5,000. Because of our monthly support deficit, please pray for the needed funds to come in!

 

Praises:

  • This past weekend we attended a retreat with our Alpha members. It was a great time of getting to know them more, as well as having many opportunities to pray with them. Pray for the seeds that were planted to keep growing!
  • On July 30th we celebrated 4 years of marriage! We thank the Lord for giving us to each other!

 

As always, thank you for your continued interest and encouragement to us! May the Lord’s blessings be upon you today! Keep checking www.crossing7.com/reachtaiwan for more frequent updates and pictures!

For the Glory of God,

Erich and Kelley Schindler

 

Our Weekend

This past weekend was a busy one, to say the least. Friday, after language school, we came home and quickly packed a few things for a short 15 hr. get-away to celebrate our anniversary. We first rode our bikes to the subway station, then rode the subway for about 20 minutes, and then a bus down extremely windy, curvy rodes for another 40 minutes. And then, at last, we had reached our destination- a hot spring hotel in the midst of lush green trees and beautiful scenery. Living in the center of a bustling city of 7 million people, we have come to appreciate any time we get to enjoy the silence of nature. Although it was a quick trip, we enjoyed spending time together and celebrating our marriage!

We arrived back in Taipei shortly before noon on Saturday and then were gone again by 2p.m. We spent the rest of our weekend in another city about an hour outside of Taipei on a church retreat. The retreat was for the co-workers and attendees of our church’s Alpha course, in which we are currently serving in as small group helpers. The retreat was a good time of getting to know our members more in a different setting rather than church, and we had many opportunities to share and pray with them. We are trusting that what they were taught and heard this weekend will cause them to desire a relationship with Christ. 

So, that was our weekend in a nutshell. This is a busy week for us as we have several quizzes and a big achievement test for our Chinese class. Thanks for all your prayers and support on our behalf!

Anniversary Picture