It's hard to believe that in just a few short days Floyd and I will be in Taiwan! We have lots to do before then, but I wanted to type a quick update before we leave.
We really enjoyed our two weeks of Pre-Field Orientation with the Association of Christian Schools International in Houghton, New York. We made some great friendships in such a short time, and it was hard to say goodbye to everyone at the end. At least we know that we'll see some of the families again in Taiwan. Others are headed for international schools in places like Ethiopia, South Korea, Ivory Coast, Austria, the Philippines, Senegal, the Czech Republic, Malaysia, Niger, Nigeria, Spain, Ecuador, Thailand, Bolivia, Hungary, and Brazil. You can imagine how fun it was to spend two weeks with people heading for or returning to such a variety of countries! :-)
In the last couple of weeks Floyd and I have also enjoyed spending time with friends and family members we don't see very often (as well as some we do). We have been officially sent off in prayer by both Granada Hills Baptist (where I taught 5th grade for three years) and our adult Sunday school class at Grace Baptist (our home church). It's humbling to have so many wonderful people praying for us and wishing us well in our missionary work. At least we will still have consistent email access in Taiwan (unlike the year I spent in Nabire, Indonesia, where it was sporadic and unreliable). Hearing from friends back home is a welcome treat in foreign lands, so I hope everyone will stay in close touch!
Well, Floyd and I will head for the airport this Tuesday evening (July 31st), and our flight leaves from Los Angeles at 1:40 a.m. on August 1st. We'll arrive in Taiwan's capital city of Taipei at about 6:30 a.m. the same day, after a nonstop 14-hour flight (crossing the International Date Line). Someone from Morrison Academy will pick us up and drive us a couple hours to the city of Taichung, where an apartment has been provided for us. (We'll be living on the seventh floor of a twelve-storey apartment building, about ten minutes' walk from the school.)
We'll have the rest of that week to settle in, then the next week there will be some orientation and training at the school for new staff. Floyd and I will actually be the only new staff on that particular campus (Morrison has four campuses in different cities), so I guess it will probably just be us! We'll also have the first half of our ten-session crash course in Mandarin Chinese.
The week after that consists mostly of in-services for all the teachers, so it will be nice to meet the rest of the staff at that time. Then the next week is when school starts. That doesn't seem like a lot of time to get my classroom and lessons ready, but I'm sure I'll manage somehow! I'm planning to post in my blog again within the first few days after we arrive, so hopefully it won't be too long before you hear from us again.
We really feel encouraged knowing we have so many friends here in the States (and other countries too!) who are keeping us close in their hearts and supporting us in prayer. Your prayers will be an important part of our ministry, as we head for the front lines in God's service. Keep them coming!