Squid, Anyone????


Jeremiah 17:10a – I, The Lord, search the heart, I test the mind…

Cyrus and I are both passionate about communicating God’s Truth. And Shorebreak (H.S. camp) was no exception. However, we were going with very little knowledge about the students’ hearts. We knew many attended a Cadence run youth group, some were new to living abroad, some had barely set foot in the states, but we had no idea what their relationships with the Lord looked like.

With that in mind, Cyrus determined to start with the essentials and share the message of the G.O.S.P.E.L. over the course of the first two days. Here it is in a nutshell:

G – God created us to be with Him.

O – Our sin separated us from God.

S – Sins cannot be removed by good deeds.

P – Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again.

E – Everyone that believes in Him has eternal life.

L – Life that’s eternal means we will be with Him forever.

Visit http://www.dare2share.org/ to learn more about this acrostic and Dare2Share – a ministry focused on helping students share their faith.

This gave an opportunity for students who didn’t understand the gospel or who had never heard it to see what our Heavenly Father had to offer them! Cyrus also wove in a challenge for re-commitment to Christ.

As with much of ministry, we don’t know all the details of how this teaching impacted each individual student, but we heard several stories that gave us hope that God’s Word was well received! We heard of re-commitments and students having a clearer understanding of the gospel than they ever had before. Most importantly, we rest in the fact that God knows every heart more intimately than we can imagine. And our tiny contribution to His kingdom was used by Him, whether we ever see the results or not. We trust that He is always at work.

Below is a video clip that Cyrus showed to the students, quickly covering the overarching theme of salvation in the Bible. It is powerful – please watch!

In addition to the teaching, Shorebreak was bustling with super fun activities! Here’s a run-down of Monday:

Monday we arrived at Tokashiki Friendship Center, the location of Shorebreak (camp). All the students were divided into one of four colored teams: Pink, Blue, Red, and what morphed in to ‘grellow’ (some identity confusion there J).So after lunch, the team competitions began!

With a relay race. Oh, and the baton? Fresh, live, wiggling, and inking squid!


Squid Relay!

Nothing like seafood to break the ice!

After that the students had some free time before dinner. But not us. Cyrus worked on putting the finishing touches on his first session and I joined the rest of the worship team to practice.

Dinner (I’ll have to tell all about the interesting food another time) came and went and it was session time.

Our program team of Hanz and Franz (also known as Tori and Bjorn) got things off to a great start with a silly game. Each student volunteer had to stand on one leg, bend over, and grab a paper lunch bag with their mouth. Sounds easy, right? You might be surprised! There was far more falling than paper-bag-grabbing. And most of all there was laughter.


Hanz and Franz

The program team had to make some plans on the fly because certain details fell through, but you never would have known; they did a great job.

Worship through music was next. Though behind the scenes this was a bit hectic, everything came together by the grace of God and I truly believe that attention was given to God, not the musicians.

Here is a link to one of the favorite songs of the week:

After that was Cyrus’ first session – the G.O.S. His talk was followed by small group discussion time (probably one of the most beneficial activities of camp).

And to wrap it all up……. Night games, of course! Our game master, Bryce, set up a thrilling battle of capture-the-flag, using glow sticks 🙂

Finally, our evening came to an end. Cyrus and I were fortunate to sleep on beds. Most everyone else had to sleep on bamboo covered floors called tatami mats. I guess sometimes it pays to be among the oldest people around!


Tatami Mat Floors

Next time I will begin to share with you the devotions I wrote for the students’ morning quiet time with God. And of course, there are many more stories to tell!

Thanks for reading. If you have any specific questions, ask away!!!


Coming Home and Looking Back

We’re in Taipei again. Eight days ago we were in in the same place preparing for ministry; today we wait, with full hearts and minds, for the final two legs of our journey. We’ve had only briefly passing moments to reflect on all that has occurred.

For all who have supported us financially and prayerfully, I want to do my utmost to communicate what God has been doing in our little slice of existence over the last week. It’s impossible to communicate the sum of our experiences in a short blog post, so anticipate many more!

Our adventure began late Thursday night with flight number one departing PDX at 9:30 PM. A short flight landed us in San Francisco where we awaited our 1:40 AM flight to Taipei,Taiwan. During these first few hours we became more acquainted with our Corban student team – four young men and three young women, all of whom are Super Duper people! And somewhere in there, we became ‘mom and dad’ to this fantastic group 🙂

The thirteen hour flight to Taipei was a blur of comfortless sleep, on-board movies, music, and some chatting. Then, voila, we were in Taiwan at 6 AM Saturday morning.

I realized we had essentially missed Friday in the blur. And not just any Friday, Good Friday.

And more than that, we were now in a part of the world that realized no significance in that day or in Easter. No celebration, no cross, no Easter Lilly, not even an Easter bunny!

I can’t imagine living in a world with no Easter, and no Good Friday. That dark day that  led to the explosively bright Sunday morning is pivotal for all humanity, whether they recognize it or not.

No Good Friday equals no, shedding of blood and no removal of sin. It was the blood of a lamb that covered the sins of the Israelites, that guarded their lives while the lives of Egyptians were snatched away. And it is the blood of THE LAMB that more than covers – it completely annihilates every last speck of sin lurking in our lives making us brighter and whiter than our minds can comprehend.

Without His death we have no life. Without His blood we have no righteousness.

This is the good news we were called to the tiny island of Tokashiki (pronounced tuh-kosh-key, they drop a syllable) to teach.

But we could’t go quite yet; we had a 12 hour layover in front of us! We spent Saturday exploring part of Taipei. On the North East coast we explored some very interesting rock formations, one which is famously known as the ‘queen’s head.’ Later we took a 30 second elevator ride up to the top of Taipei 101, the world’s second tallest building at 101 floors – 509 meters tall. It was better than a Disneyland ride!

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Multiple Views of Taipei 101                                      North East Coast Rock Formations 

We left that evening on our final flight to Okinawa, Japan. So far things were going just as planned.

But that’s just the beginning of the story ……………More to come!