Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Communication Through Actions

Wow, I don't even know where to begin! There's so much I could talk about. But I feel like the main thing I want to share is communication. 
Olivia and her teammate Flora

Teaching in Taiwan has changed my life forever. Before I came to Taiwan, I'll be honest, I was really scared to come. Afraid of the food, culture, teaching and everything else. I'm a young girl who was leaving her home for 11 months to teach in a foreign country and had no idea what I was doing, but I wanted to obey what God was telling me to do. Plus I didn't like at all. Little did I know that I would grow to love it so much. I absolutely love teaching! Sometimes I really think that the students are the ones that are actually teaching me instead of me being the teacher. They are a huge blessing in my life! 

One thing that has been pretty difficult while in Taiwan is the language barrier. I haven't been able to verbally communicate with my students much because they don't know much English  and my Chinese is not very good at all. I could tell you stories of me trying to communicate in Chinese, but we'll skip that part because there's too many.  But, who needs to be able to speak in a different language when Christ is the one who created all languages and Christ is in me? 

Sometimes, I believe, the most can be said by actions towards people. It doesn't always have to be by words. Even just a high five or a smile. That can speak more then any words. Last week, I had a student who just really needed to be loved.  During the week, I took time to play with him and encourage him. Seeing his eyes light up every time I smiled at him, or hearing his laugh when I would loose to a game - it was heart touching. By the end of the week, he gave me a huge hug goodbye and wouldn't let go then said he loved me. I didn't speak to him in Chinese, but I just loved him for who he was, and took time to play with him and even though I didn't understand what he was saying, let him talk. It's amazing to me to see how God uses the simplest things to show His love through you. Truly it's amazing. I really have learned that to communicate is so simple. By actions I can show how much I care and love those kids.

This doesn't only happen while teaching. This is happening to me with people outside of work. One of the many things I love about Taiwan is the people! Everyone is super nice and so sweet! There's this older lady who goes on walks everyday. I have no clue what she is saying, but I will stop and say hello to her and ask her how she is. She's adorable and will just laugh and talk and then we say goodbye. At first I thought to myself that it wasn't enough and I should be doing more, but I've come to realize that it is enough. We may not understand each other but from actions we do understand each other clearly.

I have loved every minute that I have been in beautiful Taiwan and I am super excited for what God has in store the rest of the year. Living in Taiwan for almost 5 months now has really made me grow also. A lot...and I have definitely learned how to talk slower and speak more clear and sometimes less. Coming to Taiwan has been an amazing experience for me. I am super blessed to be called here and am, like I said, excited for the remainder months in Taiwan.

~Olivia Stano

Olivia comes from a family of 10. She has always had a passion since she was seven to share with people about Jesus and show the Love of Christ. She doesn't enjoy anything more then being with her family and playing with her 5 nieces and nephews. Olivia likes coffee, sports, outdoors, music, traveling and meeting new people. At home, Olivia has a mini photography business and loves it! 

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