This past Sunday after finishing up a speaking engagement in central Taiwan, I drove down to the southern tip of Taiwan to join Western Yunlin teammates for a 4 day team formation and planning retreat.
We stayed at OASIS, a wonderful rest house for international Christian workers that we have all stayed at many times before. We kicked things off Sunday evening with dinner at a local Tex-Mex restaurant and walk through downtown Kenting. I believe it's fair to say the extended times of sharing beginning from this night and stretching over the course of our retreat were encouraging for each of us.
Each morning started with a short devotional or prayer-worship time before breakfast.
Though it poured cats and dogs almost without a break the entire four days, on Monday morning we managed to get out to White Sands beach for a couple of hours of sunshine between rain showers. it was the only time we saw the sun. The undertow was too strong to go far into the water, however.
Monday afternoon we discussed different team player styles, evaluating ourselves and affirming one another. That evening we watched half of the movie "Amazing Grace", but I had a bad headache due to being out in the bright morning sunshine without shades and went to bed early.
That afternoon and late into the evening we continuing developing our team's Memorandum of Understanding, reworking the vision statement we came up with last month as well as our philosophy of team ministry.
Wednesday morning we got away for another team-building exercise as we enjoyed some of the beautiful sights of God's creation at Taiwan's World Class Aquarium, located in this neck of the woods. There's even a section for computer-generated prehistoric fish which come chasing after those viewing them through 3-D glasses. We got soaked getting back out to the car as the rains continued to pour.
At the aquarium "flashing" is expressly forbidden, but people were doing it all over the place anyway. I also enjoyed seeing all the "crownfish" who live in symbiotic relationship with the sea anemones around them. Funny how their appearance reminded me of Nemo and other clownfish.
We spent a few hours Thursday morning sharing and praying. Trusting in God, we hope to finalize an early version of our ministry plan the next few weeks before my teammates return to Canada for the summer for their son's wedding. We realize our utter dependence upon God as at the present time our team only has 3 members, but we are hopeful for the future.
I'm sticking around down here for an extra day of personal vacation, but so far the rain is coming down harder than ever and I've been spending my time studying language and reading... I doubt I'll be able to get in any skin diving on this particular visit to Taiwan's most famous oceanside resort, but I thank God for a great 5 days all the same.