Taichung Church Goodbye

    Our Chinese church gave us a chance to say thank you and goodbye our last Sunday there in June 2019. I used the Jade cabbage illustration and a clip from the short movie, The butterfly Circus.

    Here are the slides and my outline:

    Taichung Christian ChurchWe have enjoyed being a part of the fellowship here though my responsibilities at Morrison and my limited Chinese ability have made it harder for me to get to know you better. Thank you to all of you that reached out to us in spite of my poor Chinese.

    We will be spending time with our family including extended nephews and nieces we don’t know very well.

    Our MomsWe will also be spending lots of time with My mom, Maryanna. She is 84.
    Also, we will live with Beckie’s mom, Billie.  She is 89.

    I have probably finished the last classes I will ever teach and would like to pass on to you a couple of illustrations I used with students.

    The Jade Cabbage is my favorite illustration. It’s priceless because of the skill of the sculpture. The jade itself is of poor quality with flaws and uneven color. The flaws in the jade have been used by the sculpture to make it more valuable and beautiful. God does the same thing in our lives when we let him.  We each have Wounds, Flaws, and Failures. God doesn’t make them go away but instead makes them a part of our story and often our most valuable area of service and ministry. When I add God’s Grace to my brokenness, we have a life story that draws people to God.

    James 1:2-4 talks about suffering in the same way.

    My favorite short movie is called The Butterfly Circus (Chinese subtitles).  I recommend it. Normally I have my class try to guess which line in the movie is my favorite but we don’t have time for the whole movie.  I showed 3 minutes of clips to the church. You will have to watch the whole thing to find out how it ends.

    The setting is in America during the great depression.  It starts in a circus with a man in their freak show. He runs away with another circus with a very different few of suffering.

    “The greater the struggle the more glorious the triumph”

    I have used this idea to encourage my students that struggle with learning to not compare themselves with others and think about the strength of character God is building into their lives.

    I once heard someone say, “As long as you are still breathing, God isn’t finished writing your story and all stories have chapters.” Never lose hope. 

    If you are ever traveling to Oregon, look us up.