Sunday, December 4, 2016

Brunches, Bonfires and Blessings


In mid-November, my team and I had the opportunity to host the VOICE Missions Fall Retreat here in Taitung. It's sort of been a pipe dream of mine for a while now, but not one that I thought would actually ever happen because of various logistical difficulties. But this year, things aligned perfectly and it was arranged that we would be hosting our retreat in Taitung for the first time in VOICE Missions history. That was quite exciting! But almost immediately, I began to realize how much work it was going to be in order to organize and coordinate everything. It was really easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged by the amount of work that needed to be done, and be afraid that I wouldn’t be able to host up to my own and others expectations.

God taught me a lot about resting and trusting in His provision, and how not to try and do everything in my own strength. It’s usually very difficult for me to ask other people for help, but I was blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful community of Christian families in Taitung who offered their support generously. Because of their willingness to help, I was able to feel comfortable enough to ask them for the support that I needed. I was really amazed and truly blessed by how much the body of Christ here in Taitung came together in order to bless me and VOICE Missions. I truly could not have hosted the retreat without them.

One awesome thing that happened because of the generosity of everyone, was that we were able to cook a complete traditional Thanksgiving brunch in a single morning. It took seven hours, six appliances and two kitchens, but we did it! It was delicious and a wonderful time of fellowship for all of us.


The most special part of the weekend was our Saturday night beach bonfire and worship. Ever since I started thinking about the possibility of hosting in Taitung, I really wanted to take everyone and have a bonfire on the beach. I really wished that we could take everyone to a much nicer beach 20 minutes away, but I didn’t think there was any way that we could manage that logistically. But our God is a good Father who gives good things to His children, and it was amazing to see how everything fell into place. A friend in town offered to lend us his van so we could drive everyone to the other beach, and we were able to rearrange our retreat schedule in order to accommodate for a longer evening time. And my dear friend who has a house on the beach offered to host us and help us facilitate everything. And just like that, my greatest wish became reality!


The evening was so beautiful. The weather was lovely, the fire was bright, and we were able to spend some time singing and praising God there there on the beach. We were able to sing “How Great is Our God” in four languages: English, Spanish, Chinese and Romanian, and it was really special to be able to praise God in our different languages. It may have sounded a little strange to us, but I know it sounded beautiful to God’s ears!

All in all, the retreat was a really special experience for me. It was a lot of work, but it was amazing to see God’s provision and blessing over the entire time. It was a wonderful reminder that my God loves me and gives me the desires of my heart. We didn’t need to have a great Thanksgiving or a beach bonfire in order to have a successful retreat, but we were able to have them anyway, and I’m so grateful to God for providing all the people and resources we needed for that.




~Elisabeth Corduan

Elisabeth is in her third year serving as a volunteer English teacher at the Character and English Institute in Taitung, Taiwan. She has been blessed to have been able to travel all over Taiwan, and is slowly but surely getting stamps from different Asian countries in her passport. She is blessed to be surrounded by wonderful friends and to have been given the opportunity to make some amazing memories in her time here in Taiwan.