Thankfulness #31-#40

It’s been a long time since we’ve written a blog post listing out things we are thankful for recently. We started making lists awhile back, and had good intentions to make it a regular blog practice, but somewhere in the busyness of life we seemed to have forgotten about it. But, today we are back at it!

 

#31. Our apartment. We moved, again, last October and are now living in a much more local neighborhood. We live on the 3rd floor of a 12 story apartment buiiding and our apartment is a loft style (meaning our bed is upstairs and everything else is downstairs). It’s basically just one room, with a small bathroom attached, but it’s been a blessing and great fit for us!

#32. Great co-workers. We are involved in different ministries, both directly related to our church and also with a local NGO, and at both places have been blessed with co-workers who love the Lord and desire to see the Kingdom of God come to Taiwan. It’s a wonderful thing to have people who are not only co-workers in ministry, but dear friends as well.

#33. Breakfast Stands. At least once or twice a week we try and frequent little breakfast shops near our apartment. The people that run these shops are typical Taiwanese blue-collar people, and their shops are usually full of people starting off their day with a traditional Taiwanese breakfast of dan-bing (an egg tortilla filled with various goodies) and a bowl of soy milk. We have 3 of these little stands within a 2 minute walk of our apartment.

#34. The Friendliness of the Taiwanese People. No matter where we go one fact remains- we stick out like a sore thumb. But, we are thankful that unlike in some countries where forgeiners aren’t always welcome, the Taiwanese love foreigners and are eager to help us in any way they can.

#35. Our local tailor. Just a minute away from our apartment is a little lady who can repair or mend just about anything. She’s helped us by mending pants that had ripped, curtains that were too long, and other clothes that needed hemmed. And all for $3. She’s wonderful.

#36. A borrowed motorcycle. For the past 5 months Erich’s been given a friend’s motorcycle to use indefinitely. Let’s just say he loves the convenience of having a bike he can jump on and take off to wherever he’s going rather than having to wait for the bus (our waits have gotten significantly longer now that we moved farther out of the city center).

#37. Our Kindle. The selection of English books available is quite limited in Taiwan. So, we are very thankful for our Kindle, with which our reading options are limitless!

#38. Skype. Being separted from family and friends by thousands of miles is hard. But, we are very gratfeful for tools like Skype, which allow us to ‘join in’ for family birthday celebrations and get to ‘see’ loved ones who are so far away.

#39. Quality and Affordable Healthcare. Being pregnant, doctor visits, different tests, etc. have become quite routine lately. But, we are thankful, not only a wonderful, Christian doctor, but also for the fact that each visit only costs us $4.

#40. Our healthy, active, growing baby boy! We are almost at the 30 week mark and are daily thankful for God’s protection over this little one and for the way he is growing and preparing to make his grand entrance into this world!

Thanksgiving 2012

We have much to be thankful for this year. God has blessed us with the privilege of living in a land that we love and have come to call home. He’s given us supportive family, the best of friends, and a wonderful church that serves to grow and challenge us. And this year He’s blessed us with the gift of a little one, who we are very anxious to meet next April.

As we gathered we friends this past Sunday for our annual Thanksgiving celebration, our hearts were indeed filled with thanks to God for His faithfulness, provision, grace, and unconditional love. You can see from the picture below just how blessed we are! Many, many friends representing 7 different countries- a little taste of heaven on earth!

Thanksgiving 2012

 

Thankfulness #21-#30

Things we are grateful for #21-#30

21. Our new apartment. We recently moved into a new apartment, which was clearly God’s provision for us. Although it’s older and the decor has a 70’s feel to it, it’s perfect for us and already feels like home!

22. Healings. We attend a prayer meeting on Wednesdays morning to pray specifically for health needs. We’ve seen God bring healing to many, not only physically but spritually as well. What a mighty God we serve!

23. Conferences. Erich recently attended two conferences, one on church planting and and one on working class ministries. Both were eye-opening and energizing for him, giving him new ideas for future service!

24. Baking. Kelley gets to use her love for baking each week as she goes to a local shelter, and through teaching the women baking lessons, has opportunities to build relationships with them. 

25. New adventures. We recently became approved foster parents by the local orphanage Kelley serves at each week. We kept a little guy 3 nights last week, and loved being able to love on him!

26. Vegeatrian buffets. We live close to a great little vegeatarain buffet where we can get a filling and healthy meal for just $2. 

27. Fresh fruit trucks. About a 2 minute walk from our apartment is a truck that sells fresh pineapples, guavas, and watermelons each day. So delicious!

28. Mosquito nets. The mosquitos are ruthless here, especially now that the weather is getting hot. We are so thankful for our net that covers our bed and protects us while we sleep.

29. Technology. Being so far away from friends and family can be hard at times. Lately we’ve been particurlarly thanfkul for technology that allows us to receive pictures and videos of our nieces and nephews back in Pennsylvania! 

30. Date night. Wednesday nights are our nights. We go out to dinner just the two of us, turn our phones on silent, talk, and just be together. It’s so needed and so good. Thankful today is Wednesday 😀

Thankfulness #11-#20

Things we are grateful for #11-#20

1. Bicycles that work! Erich’s bike had just about reached its last leg when he was given another bike for free from a church friend. Kelley’s was also broken last week, but is now fixed and running well.

2. Worship music. As we spend a lot of time on buses, MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), etc. traveling to different places, to be able to listen to music is such a blessing as it encourages and speaks truth.

3. Chinese cell groups. We both now attend 2 Chinese cell groups. One is for leaders and is led by our Pastor and his wife, and in the other ones we are attenders. Each serve to challenge, grow, and help us in our Christian walk.

4. Fresh fruit drinks. On the little streets surrounding our apartment are several places to buy fresh fruit drinks, which are always a welcome treat. They’re healthy, refreshing, and delicious!

5. Cards from ‘home’. Email and Facebook are great tools for keeping in touch with family and friends around the world, but nothing beats a hand-written card from home (espcially when it’s handmade from your 8 year-old niece)!

6. A doctors visit is only $4 USD (including medicine!). With the weather changing drastically lately, it’s easy to catch colds. We’re so thankful for the good medical care in this country, and that it is cheap!

7. Family that is supportive and encouraging. Living so far away from family is hard, but we’re so thankful for our families who write, call, and pray for us. We couldn’t do this without their support!

8. Meals with old friends. Last Sunday we had dinner with two of our previous Chinese teachers. It was great to catch up with them, and be encouraged to hear from ‘the teacher’s mouth’ that our Chinese has greatly improved!

9. Nearby parks. Close to our apartment are two parks. They are a wonderful ‘escape’ from the busyness of city life.

10. A Taiwanese man riding pass us on his bicycle a couple times, each time yelling “Happy New Year!”, “Happy Birthday!”, most likely because that’s all he knew how to say in English 🙂