Monday, March 6, 2017

Good Ol' Joy


For winter vacation I was able to go home back to Jamestown, North Carolina. Those two weeks that I spent there were so refreshing and very much needed. I felt as though I was able to come back and invest in each person more that He has placed in my life here in Taiwan.

As my teammate and I were sharing some goals that we had set for ourselves this new semester, I realized that most all of mine had to do with joy - something that has always seemed so easy but was so hard for me to do.  This semester I wanted to find absolute joy in all things, even though some may be difficult or challenging.  I wanted to find the joy that Paul talks about in Romans 15:13 Not that I just wanted to, but I also needed to find that joy.  

While I have been searching and asking God to give me absolute joy, I have been noticing that having more joy has giving me such peace and such a better attitude towards life. When getting up in the morning, I don’t find myself checking to see how much time there is before I can go back to sleep, but rather excited to teach and to spend time with my co-workers. Teaching recently has been hard for me, because I felt as though I was stuck with doing the same thing over and over, but now I realize that it’s the way I’ve been looking at it.
            
God has given me such a new joy for teaching. I had always thought that I would be a teacher when I was younger, but as I grew up I realized that I didn’t want to do that. Now being here in Taiwan, I have such a love for these children - they are each so precious in their own ways. Though I’m not planning to become a teacher when I go home, I still have a joy when I’m teaching even when it’s hard.
            
Even when traveling, I find myself more eager to meet people, which is way out of the normal for me. Just everything in my daily life seems to be changing for the good! I’m so thankful for this time here in Taiwan as I am able grow so much and to help others realize that they can also have this joy if they to follow God.
            
I’m excited for the next five months here in Taiwan to grow more and to share God’s love and joy with the people that I am surrounded by.  God has already worked so much in Taiwan and I am so excited that I get to be His messenger to bring the Good News to the people here.



Florentina Parra is 19 and is the middle child in a family of 12. She likes to play volleyball and basketball, drink coffee, and try new foods. Flora loves to travel and explore. She enjoys trying to learn Chinese. She has always loved missions and sharing God's Word with others so coming Taiwan is a perfect opportunity!