Saturday, December 16, 2006

shout outs and overviews

For those who haven't heard, we have arrived safely back in the States! After many, many hours of travel and a day that never ended (we did gain back 14 hours afterall), we arrived safely back to greet the staff and our counterparts who'd gotten back from Bolivia. It was a bittersweet occasion to say the least. We are glad to be back, but we will for sure miss Taiwan too.

Much has happened in the month we've been gone. I know the Lord has continually stretched me, and I'm sure the rest of my team, out of our comfort zones and blessed us tremendously in the process. Sandra, our translator, was one of the most amazing gifts to all of us by far! We are priviledged to have gotten to spend a month with her and are going to miss her very much. I also wanted to give a shout out to all the other YWAMers we came in contact with. Thank you for your passion for the Lord. Your desires to serve Him are truly inspiring and we can't thank you enough for all that you are doing there and all that you did to bless us as a team. And to those who came out to see us at our concerts in Taiwan, thanks for being such great audiences! We had a blast and pray for you all.

On average we did 2 concerts a day, though we were spoiled and had a few days off to go shopping, do laundry, go to Taipei 101, whatever we wanted. We played in universities, prisons, school, parks, churches, just about anywhere that would let us in, or out as the case may be (we played many outdoor concerts). Overall, it was an amazing experience that can't quite be captured on paper. Nonetheless, there will be many stories to come. So, keep checking back for more. For now, though, thanks for the continued support. We greatly appreciated your prayers as we were overseas (even though we weren't able to communicate directly here) and now while we're back in the States. You guys have been wonderful! I hope this holiday season is treating you well!

Friday, December 08, 2006

More from Taiwan

Here's another post via e-mail from Tiffany:

So, we have less than a week left here in Taiwan and I can't begin to tell y'all how amazing it has been. Oh the stories we will have to share once we can access this site agai But for now, I wanted to share with you something I was challenged with earlier today.

I've been reading through David Crowder's Praise Habit. I thought it would be appropriate and I've heard it's a good book, so I brought it along. Let me tell you, a-mazing! It's been very challenging and encouraging for me to go along with my devos. Being a worship leader himself (in Texas, but also ever heard of the David Crowder Band?), it's been great to have some insight related to praise in this time when we're doing music often (that is our foot in the door for ministry, right?). Moving along, in this chapter he's been talking about Psalm 50--go check it out for context, and here's part of what I read:

"He states that He doesn't find fault with Israel's blood sacrifices. But then He begins to question. He asks why He should want them? Did He not creat the bull and goat? Do we think he is hungry and in need of them to feast on... Then after this rhetorical line of questioning, He makes what I think could be a defining statement for our understanding of praise. The sacrifice God is looking for. . . praise.

What?... Let's try to reframe GOD's address and perhaps make it cut a little more for our moment.

'I don't find fault with your singing of songs. But do you think I'm in great need of music? Do you think it is too quiet where I am? Did I not make the air molecules to vibrate and dance in such a way to let melody float from here to there? Do you think I am in great need of hearing these songs that were my breathings in the first place?' "

Ouch. Now, don't get me wrong, God's rebukes are definitely loving. It's things I believe wholeheartedly but then lose sight of in the midst of travelling from here to there and doing two to four shows a day (in Taiwan two to three). I want so badly to sound great for the Lord, and then I lose sight at times of what or Who I'm doing this for in the first place. I've been challenged lately that while I want to sing well for the Lord, that's not what's most important. Sharing the love of Jesus is what counts, loving on people is first priority, and if I'm so wrapped up in the music and how much I want to praise God just through that, then I'm really missing the point of why I'm here. Our ministry is more than music, and if my heart's desire is to truly live in such a way where praise is my habit, then I need to get beyond the music and learn to praise Him in the midst of every day life. Singing does not equal praise, and while I've known that somewhere in my mind, it's a great reminder especially for this season in my life.

Anyway, that's all I've got for you for now. I hope all of you are well! We'll be state-side again soon, so keep those prayers coming and keep checking back for updates. -Tiffany

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Brief update from Taiwan

Tiffany sent this along for me to post:

Greetings one and all! We have not intentionally neglected any of you, our faithful readers. However, we do not have access to this website, thus we have been remiss.

Our time in Taiwan has been good thus far, we have had no casualties and few illnesses to speak of, so that's a praise! We are halfway through our trip and wishing we could have shared more with you up to this point, but there will be many stories to come! So, you'll just have to wait in hopeful anticipation till then. For now, we appreciate your prayers and support. Stay tuned for stories, more pictures and all kinds of goodies from our trip. Thanks for your patience and sorry about the technical difficulties.

-Tiffany on behalf of 14:22