Thursday, November 8, 2007

First Local Divine Appointment Realized

About a year ago when I still living in the big city an hour and a half away from here, after I moved out of my apartment I needed somewhere to stay temporarily for a few days. Thinking a place down the street from my apartment was a a hostel of some sort, I inquired about a room and the lady in charge told me they only rented by the month. I wound up staying someplace else.

This year upon my return to the same city to study Taiwanese intensively for a month before moving down to my present location, I inquired at the same place and the same woman rented me a furnished room with a fridge and TV. At the end of the month, I moved out, but had to go back a week or two later to pick up my deposit.

It was only then the lady asked where I was moving, and when I told her the name of this average-signed township of 30,000 people, she shared immediately that she was from the same town! To the Chinese mind, this kind of seeming coincidence is 緣分 yuan2fen4 (the lot or luck by which people are brought together) but to me it was apparent immediately as something most likely which God was behind.

A week or so after, I dropped by to visit her parents and brother, who tried to persuade me to rent an empty studio they were trying to fill, but I was already in the process of moving into my apartment. Also at this time I learned from my neighbors that for generations this family has historically been known as one of the leading/founding families of the community. They live directly across from the community's huge temple complex.

Today, already a couple of months after that contact, I had opportunity to speak with the woman on the phone again (her name is Joy) and was able to share Christ at length with her. She prayed to invite God to fill her life with her presence and renounced links she had with other gods due to her being entrusted to their care when she was little and sick all the time.

May this not turn out to be a blog entry that would turn out to be off-base or inaccurate in a few days. Please pray that the Good News would firmly take root in the soil of this woman's life as she connects with Christian ladies I have networked her with, and that over time she would be adequately discipled and assimilated into a local church up there. Pray also for positive ensuing life change to attract the rest of her family to the person of Jesus Christ down here. This is only the beginning, but it looks like God may be up to something special in this community which is presently without a viable church.

Money Moles

Last term in Taichung I already had quite an experience catching rats on sticky traps on my back patio (5 or so in 6 months time--- not to mention the time I forgot to take in the sticky trap before letting my love bird out on the enclosed back porch to play).

This term is off to a quicker start unfortunately. In Chinese and Taiwanese there's a kind of rat here called "Money Mouse" or "Money Rat" which the dictionary says is a common mole but which is different I believe. The tradition is sort of a Taiwanese version of the tooth fairy in that you're supposed to see money come your way when you catch one. Well, I've already caught my forth. Yesterday morning was the worst: just after I got up I was bent over emptying something into the kitchen trash when I looked over about 3 feet away and suddenly saw not one but two in the trap! Needless to say, I didn't need my coffee to wake up.