Starting day 4 off with less sleep due to our team joining The Aroma church on their yearly baptism service at the beach for new believers. Around 70 people in total traveled by bus and train to our location of a tropical beach surrounded by the scorching sun. We were advised to over apply sun screen because of the fact that Taiwan is located closer to the equator than our bodies are used to. We spent the entire day playing in the jellyfish infested waters, racking up sting marks, worshipping in song, hearing a sermon from Chris, playing a local favorite of watermelon football, then watching and rejoicing as the new believers committed their lives to Christ through baptism. Jerry, one of the Taiwanese locals which had been hanging out with our group frequently, decided last minute that he would be baptized. Our group was beyond excited to witness his commitment after he had been going back on forth whether he would or not.
After returning to the beach, we made it back to the house where we were staying to quickly shower before we left for a night market and night hike. Annie and Harris led us through the market and pointed out many different foods which we tried. The market was filled with shops that carried shirts with “Chinglish” (broken English which makes no sense to us). Following the night markets, we proceeded in the direction of Elephant Mountain, which is famous for its view of the picturesque city scape showing Taipei 101. The Majority of the group had little to no energy left, yet we began our long trek up to the top. Once making it past the seemingly infinite number of stairs, we arrived our the top to witness one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen. We ended up staying at the top until 11:20 only to realize the MRT (Taipei’s public transportation) closed at midnight. Luckily we made it back by rushing back to the subway on time.
As I witnessed the view from 101, I thought to myself these things:
Taiwan, a country densely populated by 23.4 million people, is home to around 4.5% Christian’s. Of that percentage, 70% profess to be protestant. I believe that God has used our team in a way that we would plant seeds of His love and hope on the island of Taiwan. So many people are unaware of how truly love they are, and they long top know the feeling coming from a culture of reserved individuals. Taiwan is a prime location for our efforts in outreach because of these factors. I see God’s work vastly impacting the population already as growth has come greatly from the church already at work.
Sunday night church in The Aroma coffee shop church was an amazing experience. You could feel the passion in the room of the people worshipping together through a bilingual service. The room in which we gathered was packed to the max. Almost 70+ people crammed together worshipping the same God who truly loves each and every one of them. During the service, Chris opened up a time for people to get up and give their testimonies. I felt an urge to get up and share, and I am more than happy I did! We sang one song in mandarin which stuck out to me. One of the lines in the chorus said “Ai Ying Le”, which translated to “Let love win”.
It is my prayer for the country of Taiwan, that love WILL win. I believe that God is using everyone here to show the citizens of Taiwan His love. No more of this reserved culture caused by fear of individuality and a desire to know what life abundant is. As I pray this for the country, I ask YOU the reader to do the same as God is ever-working in the lives of the people here.