Last June, I traveled to a small island called Taiwan to experience the life of an international student while helping a local church. Through circumstances and timing, God blessed and provided an American family to partner with and a scholarship to cover the costs. So, off I went, not knowing any Chinese or any of the people I would be working with.
While in Taiwan, I was involved in a variety of ministries such as language exchange clubs and volunteering at a local elementary school. Each one provided me with a glimpse into the local culture. I also took Chinese classes at a local university. Learning to read, write, and speak Chinese was very challenging but my desire to communicate with the local people motivated me to continue learning. Being fully immersed in the language and culture also gave me a deep love for the people that surrounded me.
It was an experience of a lifetime. Because of our shared love of Jesus, I quickly became an integral part of my host family’s daily life. They helped me navigate the process of getting established in Taiwan. They helped me get a phone, learn to ride a scooter, figure out what was what in the local grocery store, and just get my feet under me in a very foreign place. I am ever grateful for them.
The eight months I spent in Taiwan were some of the best in my life.
For more stories check out jennamiller13.tumblr.com