During this past Chinese New Year holidays, several seminars and Children’s Institutes were held concurrently in three different locations throughout Taiwan, with over 900 people attending.
For the Children’s Institute, Christian young people from four different countries banded together to teach the children on the topic of “The Love of God.” Some of these teachers were ATI students; others were the TESOL teachers volunteering their winter vacation in order to teach the children; others were local high school and college students on winter break.
This year’s seminars were also marked by two unusual events of nature. This winter was the coldest winter in 44 years. During the first seminar in Hsinchu, it snowed! —An event that normally occurs only in the mountains. Even though we were cold that entire week, the warmth of the fellowship more than compensated for the weather. We had the privilege of working closely with the members of Victory Church where the seminar was held, with many members attending the seminar for the first time.
The second event of nature was this: On the final day of the seminar, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked southern Taiwan. Since we were in Taipei (in northern Taiwan) at that time, we were not affected, but a number of buildings collapsed in the city of Tainan. Praise the Lord for His protection, but continue to pray for the city of Tainan as the people there deal with the repercussions of the earthquake.
Passing it on: Many of the new teachers this year were CI attendees in past years. It was exciting to see a new generation of young people growing in faith and maturity.
A different kind of family vacation: A family from China came to the seminar in Taipei. They stayed with us at the same hotel, and their son attending the CI enjoyed the time spent with his teachers throughout the day.
Family participation: An ATI family from Canada came to assist with the seminar. The sons helped with technical support for the adult seminars, while the daughter served as a teacher for CI. A missionary family from the Hainan Island in China attended the seminar together in Taipei. A family of six from Pingtung (in southern Taiwan) had different family members attending different seminars, with the oldest son serving as a teacher.
Quality sharing: On the one hand, this year had the fewest attendees in 24 years for the adult seminars (Chinese New Year’s dates prevented many people from attending), yet the testimonies and other sharing by the attendees before the seminar each day were excellent.
Photos courtesy of Conway Liu, Jolynn Tan, and John Huang.