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We find ourselves as Americans living on foreign soil. We are referred to as expatriate Americans or ex-pats. They call us waiguoren (Why gwo ren) the word is literally translated as outside (wai4) country (guo2) person (ren2) or foreigner. But this is not as difficult a position as one might think. Americans are highly regarded in Taiwan as we have been their allies since almost the moment the country formed. In 1949, when Chaing Kai Shek and his nationalist army fled from Mao Tse Tung’s troops across the Taiwan Strait, they formed a democratic government under Taiwan’s first president Sun Yat Sen. America has stood with Taiwan as an ally ever since, providing the “muscle” when China threatens.
They have tied their economy to ours, in a sense, and have long traded with America. There are many American companies operating in Taiwan. Taiwanese people are eager to learn English and American customs. We are often stopped on the streets, so someone can practice their English or take a picture with us. So this is the environment we find ourselves.
So with that in mind one of the first things we have initiated in Taoyuan City is an English Language Coffee House outreach. Here is the idea in a nutshell. We provide an easy going and fun atmosphere where English is spoken and taught. We use the Bible as a text book. We have interpretation into Chinese to make sure that people understand what’s being taught.
Each Wednesday night we have munchies, usually coffee cakes that we buy from the local cake baker. This woman is our neighbor and has a cake business at her home. We also serve Coffee, Hot Apple Cider and Hot Chocolate.
The current lesson is on the miracles mentioned in the book of John and how they apply to our lives. I have taken it from a Bible Study by Greg Mitchell called Signs from Heaven. I chose this specific Bible Study because of John’s statement that he wrote this book so that we could believe. It was written primarily to Greeks so that they could understand who God is. The Greeks were a foreign culture to Israel and there are some similarities between Greek culture of the time and the Taiwanese culture.
This study has proven to be effective as we have seen participation increase, as well as many visitors coming to see what we’re teaching.
It has breathed life into the church.
There are young people who have come and joined the church. Its always fun to be in a church with a lot of young people. Many of them are excited about the possibilities of God moving in their lives.