Goodbyes

One of the hardest parts about the kind of life we lead is all the ‘goodbyes’ you have to say. In the last month we’ve had to say goodbye to 5 of our closest friends as they returned to England for an uncertain period of time, and within the next couple months a few more will be added to that number. And, that’s in just a couple months out of almost 5 years of living here. To think of all the people that have come into our lives and hearts over the last several years, and then to whom we’ve had to say goodbye, are too many to name.

When you live in a country that’s not your home country, solid frienships and relationships are the sole things that keep you going at times. Without them, you’d go crazy. However, by now we’ve met more than a few people who upon hearing a certain individual say they are only planning to live in Taiwan for a year or two, immediately shut down and don’t bother to pursue a relationship with them. Sounds harsh, huh? It does, but it is something we can completely relate to. Usually the first question we will ask a new person (foreigner especially) is, “So, how long do you plan to live in Taiwan?” If the answer is a year or two, an invisible wall, unconsciously as it may be, goes up. Why you ask? Because it’s just too hard. It’s too emotionally draining.

So, what to do right? We need relationships. Foreign as well as Taiwanese. But, when very few foreigners plan to live in Taiwan long-term as we do, how do you balance the need, while at the same protecting your heart from the very real pain goodbyes bring? That’s still a question we don’t have a concrete answer to. All we know is, if you continually keep yourself closed up, you’ll wither away. But, at the same time, if you try to be close friends with everyone, you’ll burn out. So, while we have learned numerous lessons during the last several years here, one life-long lesson has been – God gives and He takes away. Investing in people is something you usually will never regret. His peace surpasses the pain of goodbyes. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Goodbye Lunch with Dear Friends

Goodbye lunch with dear friends

 

Schindler Update 2012_06_18

June 18, 2012

Dear Faithful Friends and Supporters,

Greetings from Taipei! Last week Taiwan experienced a 6.5 earthquake and severe flooding, resulting in businesses and schools shutting down for a period of time. Thankfully, there was no reported damage or causalities from the earthquake, however lives were lost due to the flooding. As areas around the island are in recovery mode, let’s pray that God might use this disaster for His glory.

 

How can you being praying for us?

  • Please continue praying for our housemates, Niall, Hannah, and Edie (1 year old) Dunne. They returned to England on June 5th and are currently waiting for news from the Taiwan government regarding their visa/work situation. Please pray for good news, and that they may quickly be able to return!
  • Please pray for the girls at the shelter where Kelley serves. They are deeply hurting girls who need to know the hope and peace God offers. There are currently some difficult situations; please pray that Kelley would have insight and wisdom as she talks with the girls.

 

Let’s praise the Lord together!

  • Praise the Lord for recent contacts and relationships Erich has made with pastors from working class churches. These are helpful as we look into the future, exploring more opportunities for working class ministries.
  • Praise the Lord for prayer groups. We meet weekly with members from church to pray for the sick, both physically and spiritually, and additionally both have separate, weekly prayer partners. We are so thankful for these times to pray with fellow believers, and have also experienced together the power of prayer!

Our prayer is that each of you may experience a close walk with our Lord each day!

For the Glory of God,
Erich and Kelley Schindler

 

P.S. – The first picture attached was taken of us as we participated in a “Walk for Families” event that our church took part in. The sign Erich is holding says “Prioritize Families”. The second picture is of Kelley and Taiwanese friends taken on a day outing.

Erich and Kelley Marching for Family Values

Kelley on an outing with Taiwanese friends

 

 

A Surprise Party!!

 

We have said it before, but we’ll say it again- God has truly given us family-like friends here in Taiwan. Last Sunday night was another example of just how blessed we are. Our friends conspired together to throw us an early surprise birthday party. Our housemates returned to England this week, and they wanted to celebrate with us before they left, hence the reason for having the party 4 weeks before our actual birthday. We thought we were going to have a dinner with them, and another couple who are dear friends, but when we got to the place we were greeted by 30 of our closest friends shouting and singing “Happy Birthday!”

The night was full of fun-together we played a quiz game to see how well our friends knew us, there was a ton of delicious food and drinks, and the biggest surprise of all was that our friends all joined together and gave us a gift called “Erich and Kel’s Vacation Fund” in which they contributed enough money to send us away on a real vacation (I say “real” because usually due to time and finances we just spend a night or two away somewhere on island). But, due to their generosity we are going to Boracay, Philippines for 5 days at the end of July!! I’m already so excited for this time we’ll get to have to rest, un-wind, re-charge, and just have fun together! God is so good to us!! 

Check out the video below to see the ‘surprise’: