Wednesday, December 23, 2020

"Carpe diem" Make every moment count

I wasn't expecting to return to Taiwan so soon. But here I am again, enjoying every single moment God gives me every day. Here I am again sharing with people I meet every day, my smile, my joy, my peace; here I am sharing with Taiwan kids I teach, the unfailing love of Christ my heart treasures every day.

 Having made it back here safely despite the pandemic dramatic consequences and impacts on our daily life, having faced all uncertainty, confusion in my plans, travel restrictions, challenges related to quarantine, Covid-19 PCR tests, paperwork, and visa complications, I definitely came out of all these, stronger. Stronger in my faith in God, stronger in my trust in his faithfulness, stronger in my daily walk with Jesus. 

 Today, when I reflect on the past fifteen months I spent with my wife and daughter far from Taiwan after my service in Yunlin and Hualien, when I think about my current commitment in Chiayi enjoying sharing Christ's love and joy with kids and coworkers, when I project myself further in the future, right into the plans God has prepared for my family and I here in Taiwan, only one statement comes into my mind: "Make every moment of mine count for God".

 Yes, making every moment we spend here in Taiwan serving God count for his glory, making every smile we address to a kid in class or during break time count for life for him, making every single love sharing moment with a Taiwanese coworker or friend count for eternity, making our days on this beautiful island count for the glory of the Gospel of Christ, what an awesome and lovely journey!

 And I'm glad I'm not alone on here! He who calls us and appointed us to serve here is on this beautiful journey with us…every day! And besides, I strongly believe that, somehow, each one of us serving today on this island has been called for this very purpose: To make every moment count for His Gospel. Whether serving in Taipei, Hualien, Taitung, Yunlin, Nantou, Chiayi, or any other location where we represent the love of Christ through our services, our relationships and our commitment in teaching English and character, we should make sure we make every moment count for us, for others, and above all, for God. 

 May God help Voice Missions' every single day count for His glory in Taiwan! May God help all Voice Missions missionaries and partners' commitment count primarily for the Gospel and the kingdom here in Taiwan, and also in all the surrounding countries! 

 Carpe diem! Make every moment count. Treasure what the Lord has given you and bless others with the love of God that is in the store of your heart, to glorify Him forever! "These are evil times, so make every minute count." Ephesians 5:16 (CEV: Contemporary English Version) ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Yarmonth Drissou (Yar) is 37 and is from Togo. He is married and is a happy dad of a seventeen month old girl. In his hometown, Yar used to be French and English language teacher in both elementary and junior high school for 5 years before responding to God's call upon his life by quitting teaching and moving to Switzerland for a three year Bible college program. He is a professional graduate with a Bachelor of Theology and is hoping to pursue his postgraduate studies for a Master of Theology, Bible minister and a writer fond of poetry and philosophy. “Eurêka” and “Le procès de Tromal”, “Les leurres de Syviera” are his published books so far. After his Bachelor degree in Switzerland, Yar was waiting for the 2017 fall semester to make it to Dallas Theological Seminary when God opened VOICE Missions' door for him in Taiwan. He served here a year in 2017 and returned in February 2019 for a semester, and now is here again for a longer-term mission. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Adjusting To A New Life

So I’ve been in the small township of Shuili for about 4 months now. I’m finally getting the hang of things around here. Life has been different ever since I moved from NYC. There is a noticeable change of speed lifestyle and environment, it’s really taught me to slow down and appreciate the small things. In New York everyone is always in a rush but where my school is at in Nantou, I’ve noticed that people are more relaxed, something I haven’t yet experienced in any place that I’ve ever lived. Such as when I take my afternoon bike rides into town and marvel at the amazing scenery. I am surrounded by beautiful mountains and outstanding sunsets. I’ve learned to rely on a support system rather than on myself and that opening up about my struggles to others was ok for what I needed to continue moving forward. I can go to my coworkers whenever I am in need of something and can rest assured that they will be there for me. The English teachers from the other campus’ have also been so encouraging whenever I need someone to pray or simply just to talk to. I’ve had the greatest joy teaching the young students and being able to invest in them is incredible they probably teach me more how to be a better person than anything else. It’s incredible how quickly they pick up things, they’re little geniuses. By the end of the week I’m sad that they’re leaving. These kids show much love its insane I enjoy teaching them a lot. Overall its been a difficult transition for me, i’m hanging in there though and knowing I have a great support system with my coworkers and my family I feel like I can do anything. Receiving love from the students also encourages me to keep going. "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philipians 4:13 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Andres Pinilla is an eighteen year old young man who came all the way from New York City to teach English in Nantou, Taiwan. He enjoys exercising, trying new foods and playing sports. When its a teaching week he also enjoys playing soccer and basketball with the students. He grew up in a family of six kids which includes five sisters and one brother! He has enjoyed caring for animals ever since he was little and continues to do so in Shuilli ( his school town) by caring for two dogs named Jie Jie and Mei Mei. His favorite Taiwanese food has got to be dumplings, he says he eats them at least once every two weeks! He hopes to learn Chinese while being here and grow in many other areas in his life with the help of those around him.