敦興九月下旬從美國回來後，就意外發現十月中需要去中國教書。在同時準備本地這學期新課(基督教教育)的同時，敦興必須在準備好另一門新的課(基督教倫理)。這其中過程雖然辛苦，但敦興覺得他從這些課中學到不少。在知道要去中國不久之後，敦興接到美國移民局按手印的通知，但因為與大陸教書的行程撞期，所以經過詢問律師，申請延期一次。敦興原來擔心第二次的通知會和他去馬來西亞教書的行程衝突，但感謝主正好錯開。敦興接到第二次的按手印時間是11/2，而他去馬來西亞的時間正好是11/4 - 11/14。雖然時間非常緊湊，但還勉強安排的過來。經過思前想後，敦興最後是10/31到美國，當中一天並藉由視訊與台灣的學生上課，然後11/4路過台灣再飛馬來西亞，最後在馬來西亞的砂勞越停留了七天教書後返台。其實，在馬來西亞時，因轉機地點離敦興的老家不遠，他就藉著機會回家看看父母親。
so far so good，求主繼續引導。
4． 為Anna 和Praisye在學校的學習以及他們的靈命。
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
In August and September, we sadly said goodbye to our dear brothers and sisters in the US and to our son Zephy who stayed there for his college, we returned to Taiwan as well to as our busy and routine life. Toon was busy with his teaching job in the seminary and overseas. Pam began preparing for her license examination. Anna and Praisye went back to their school routine. However, we all missed Zephy. Without him, Mom and Dad felt something was missing. Although we talked to him through Skype at times, it was different. Moreover, it was not that easy to find him sometimes. I think most parents who have college kids understand what we are talking about.
As soon as Toon returned from the US in September, he discovered that in October he needed to go to China to teach a seminary class (Christian ethics) that he has never taught before. At the same time, he had to prepare for another new class (Christian education) in Taiwan. In other words, he needed to have these two new classes ready. Although it was a challenge and the preparation was tough, Toon felt that he learned a lot from these classes. Not long after he knew about his trip to China, Toon received a letter from the US Immigration Office and informed him to do his biometric. Due to the schedule conflict with his trip to China, Toon postponed the appointment after consulting with his lawyer. At first Toon worried that the second appointment might conflict with his trip to Malaysia in November. Fortunately, it did not. His second appointment was scheduled on 11/2 and the trip to Malaysia was from 11/4 to 11/14. Although the schedule was tight, it was manageable. Finally Toon flied to the US on 10/31, and 11/4 stopped by Taiwan and then flied directly to Sarawak, Malaysia. He taught in East Malaysia (Kuching) for seven days. During this trip, he also had an opportunity to visit his family in Malaysia.
By God’s grace, Pam passed her doctoral dissertation defense when she went to America this summer and got her doctoral degree in counseling after she returned to Taiwan. Soon she found out that the exam date for the therapist’s license was near and she needed to do lots of paper work in order to register for the exam. First of all she needed to have her American diploma and transcript approved by the Taiwan’s governmental institute in the US and also notified by the legal office in Taiwan. The whole process was quite time and mind consuming. She needs to get everything ready and approved by the exam committee by the end of the December. The exam date will be in the February of next year. However, there are about 20 books to study and most of them are new to Pam. Pam felt quite overwhelmed when she looked at the pile of books. Moreover, she often found that she could not remember a thing after she read them. Nevertheless, all she could do was to try her best and gave the rest to God. Actually, Pam has been struggling with the decision of taking the exam. After praying about it, she felt it was God’s will for her to take the exam. She thought the license might give her more opportunities for ministry. She never intended to use the license as a tool to find a job or make money. With regard to her future, Pam is still not very clear. The church that talked to Pam about the possibility of having Pam help them setting up a counseling center had not reached a consensus among themselves. Nonetheless, Pam has been invited to lead or help with four bible study or book study in several places. Pam was also helping with the Taiwan Theological Seminary and the Taipei Friendship Presbyterian Church by counseling their students and members.
Our Children’s Updates:
Zephy went to his dream school and really enjoyed his life in college. In his own standard and terms, he “is fine.” In our standard, however, his condition may not be very desirable. In addition to his unhealthy sleeping and eating habits, he is not doing a good job in taking care of his academic work. Yet, not much we can do except praying for him and reminding him sometimes (not too much) due to the long distance. Above all, we see more clearly that this is his life and he needs to learn the lesson that God wants him to learn. He is an adult now. He has to experience many things on his own. Sometimes he needs to learn many things through failures and painful experiences in order to reach maturity. We as parents have to allow them to fall, yet at the same time keep praying for them and walk this path of growth with them. This is not an easy lesson for both the parents and the child. We are still walking on this road of faith. With God’s presence and promise, we can see light waiting ahead and believe that the outcome will be both beneficial to our kid and bring glory to His name.
Anna is still enjoying her high school life. Although her school work is getting busier, she can find time to go shopping, go outing, having birthday party, or making cookies with friends during weekend or holiday. Her life is very busy and fulfilling. At the same time, she can still take a good care of her own life and school work. We feel quite satisfied with her performance. She also has a very good interpersonal relationship at school. Sometimes when she comes home from school, with our permission and the school, she would take female classmates with her. Many of these kids are children of missionaries who are living overseas. We are glad that we have opportunities to have them in our home. Although we can’t live together with our children after we moved to Taiwan, we can still see them sometimes. These missionaries had to send their kids out at an even younger age, and would only see them once or twice a year. We can understand the parent’s worries and loss. So if we can help them in any way, it will be our pleasure.
Anna still does not know what direction she is going to take for her college. She is interested in drawing and arts, but she also wants to be in the helping profession. She is seeking God’s guidance. She indicates that she does not care whether her future job can make lots of money or not. As long as she can provide for herself, the thing she care the most is to have a fulfilling and meaningful life. She can be helpful to others as well as enjoy her own life. Our wish for the kids is that they can walk in God’s will and serve Him. If God is pleased and chooses them to be His full-time ministers, that will be even better. Yet, it is not our will, but His will be done.
Similar to Anna, Praisye is also busy with her academic work, friends, and school activities. Her life seems to be very fulfilling and enjoyable. During holidays, she sometimes has a busier schedule than Mom and Dad. In addition to activities with her friends, she also attends plenty of school activities such as sports and small groups. After the volley ball team, she is in school soft ball team now. She is also the team leader and pianist of the worship team for the grade school chapel. At the same time, she is leading a 5th-grade girl Bible study with her classmate. We know that she can have these opportunities to serve it is not because she is superior but because the school is small, and we are very thankful for these opportunities to train and equip her. We hope these experiences will not only benefit her but also prepare her to be a suitable vessel for future service. Through the process, we found Praisye’s spiritual life grew and she learned many important lessons, including how to work with others, how to be a leader, how to resolve conflict, and how to communicate effectively. Of course, she also became aware of some of her weaknesses and aspects in her personality that she needed to change. Besides praying for her and giving her advices from time to time, we have to let her handle many of these problems by herself. Thank God, so far so good. May the Lord continue to guide her.
Through the growth of our kids, we realized more and more that parenting is indeed a tough job. With different needs and different age stage of every child, parents are to face with different challenges. Therefore, we come to a deeper sense of appreciation for the labor of our own parents. Unfortunately, although we have returned to Taiwan, our time to spend with our parents is still very limited. When we see that our parents get older and our time with them gets shorter, we know we need to be hurried. This Christmas we’ll go back to Malaysia to visit Toon’s family, and Zephy will join us from the US. After the trip to Malaysia, we’ll bring Zephy to Kaohsiung to visit Pam’s parents. We’ll also celebrate the Chinese New Year with Pam’s parents.
Finally, we want to once again thank you for all your support and prayer. May the Lord remember your love. The following is our prayer requests:
1. For our ministry in the new year can be more effective, and do not neglect our relationship with Him within our busy schedule.
2. For Pam’s license exam in February.
3. For Zephy’s adjustment in college, his school work, and his spiritual life.
4. For Anna’s and Praisye’s school work and their spiritual life.
主僕, 敦興, 如品Toon and Pam,
with Zephy, Anna & Praisye