Amidst the previous day's talk of camp being canceled due to a national Typhoon Day, we were woken up 10 minutes before we needed to leave and go teach. We awoke to the sound of Chris rushing us out of bed because the weather was looking sunny and clear outside. Chris and Pastor Luke we're in constant contact to make sure that we would for sure have camp. All we needed at this point was 10 parents saying that their kids would be attending that day. Sure enough, over 10+ parents agreed to let their begging kids show up to class since the typhoon had stalled and weather was calm.
Knowing that Friday would most likely be our last day of camp because of the approaching storm, we gave camp our all. A little less than 2/3rds of the kids showed up for camp as expected. Running our normal English classes and games gave us more time to bond with all of our students. About two hours into camp, we broke off into leading games in hopes that we could rid the kids of energy before our American holiday lesson/story time. Friday's holiday was Easter, led by Hannah and Jacob. Through their lesson of Easter, they explained the life of Jesus leading up to how we as Christian's celebrate Easter. The kids watched intently as the Easter story unfolded right before their eyes. The lesson finished, and I believe that Hannah and Jacob did a fantastic job concluding our week in story time.
Pastor Luke stood up following the ending of the lesson. Luke explained in Chinese to the children about Jesus life and what it means to be a Christian. Ups and downs, hard times and bad, Luke shared the kids that they could pray to Jesus no matter what. He told them that prayer was a way for us to talk with God about anything and everything in our lives. The kids were all paying attention more than we had ever seen them up until this point. As Pastor explained what it meant to follow Christ, he began a time in which the kid's could accept the gift of salvation by asking Jesus into their hearts. Luke started a prayer which the kid's could repeat if they were wanting to accept Jesus into their lives. Almost every single one of the student's hands shot up as Luke asked who wanted to accept the free gift of salvation. One of the most beautiful moments of the entire trip right before our eyes.
Ending camp early on a huge high note, we proceeded to "afternoon tea" with Pastor Luke and his wife at a local Hualien favorite. Our group traveled in taxis because the wind was starting to grow more and more rapidly by this point. Enjoying fellowship with the pastor, his family, the helpers, and our group was a good experience as the storm slowly rolled in.
We made our way back to the hostel in which we were staying. On the trip back, we made a mandatory trip to 7-11. Honestly 7-11 has been our second home in Taiwan as we have purchased countless snacks, drinks, and teas during our stay here. We returned to the hostel, got comfortable, watched movies, and waited out the storm.
Progressively growing in strength as it grew closer to us, the storm was intimidating in every sense. Enormous gusts of wind would push up against the building and rattle and thing loose on the outside. Rain washed over anything outside the proximity of the hostel in which we stayed. We had done our best to prepare, and the only thing left was stay in prayer as we waited. God ultimately had a plan since He had brought us this far. About halfway through the night, a hatch on the ceiling started to get semi-loose. The newly made gap allowed water to come in through the ceiling onto Chris's bed in which he was trying to gain as much sleep as possible. Chris, Isaac, and Brian spent the remainder of the night mopping the floor and preventing any further damage.
All I can say now is that GOD IS GOOD! We are safe, the storm has passed, and we live to serve another day. We are blessed beyond measure with the amount of prayer support we have received as we faced the storm head on. Thank you all who joined us in prayer, we are truly blessed!