Friday, January 19, 2018

A Season of Change


I've said goodbye to the days where I’m constantly covered in sweat and chalk dust!  My everyday craving for a cold, iced drink is being replaced with hot, ginger tea. My classroom is filled with kiddos wearing their poofy winter coats.  Each day I wake up wondering if it’s going to be 29C/85F, warm and sunny or 13C/55F, cold and windy.

The weather isn't the only thing on this island that's in the changing-seasons stage. Moving to Taitung City a few months ago began a new season of experiences & opportunities for me. Change always brings about its share of challenges, but when you're in the center of God's will, the blessings always outweigh the hard times!

Recently I've been learning how to balance my work at the Character & English Institute with trying to become involved in my local community, keep up with my online college courses, & take part in outside ministry opportunities... all while getting enough rest to stay healthy. I can't say that I've learned exactly how yet, considering I'm in the process of getting over my third cold this semester. However, within this learning process, I am learning to not put ministry in a box!

Back when I lived in Hualien, I was involved in a lot of stereotypical "ministries", such as volunteering at a Buddhist orphanage, working with juvenile delinquent boys, or going to visit students in a rural village as "ministry". This year in Taitung, however, I don't have the resources (such as a car), the people (such as a fellow teammate), or the time (since I am now working on college classes) to become involved in those types of ministries.

At first, I felt guilty that I wasn't doing enough "ministry" here and even wondered if I was being selfish with my time, even though I believed God called me to continue college classes while I teach this year.  That's when I realized that this is just a new season of ministry for me.  What I did previously in Hualien shouldn't compare to what I'm doing here.  Just because something is different doesn't mean one is better or more impactful than the other.  I'm learning that, as a Christian, there doesn't have to be a specific time for "ministry".  My interaction with others should always reflect Christ's love and light.  I'm learning to be intentional with my actions and see my entire life as ministry.

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Caroline Rodgers currently lives in Taitung City.  Her first encounter with Taiwan was over 10 years ago and it was during that trip that she felt God calling her to serve the Taiwanese people long term.  In order to follow this call, she is pursuing her degree in elementary education so she can continue to minister in Taiwan.  Caroline enjoys studying Chinese, visiting former students and connecting with the local people.  She also likes exploring new places and spending time with friends.