Happy Chinese New Year!

By uzi Q and Mary Porter

Happy Chinese New Year! - Suzi Q and Mom, Mary Porter, on mission assignment in Taichung, Taiwan.
Suzi Q and Mom, Mary Porter, on mission assignment in Taichung, Taiwan.

A Missions Assignment:

The subject line in the email said "An Invitation from Taiwan"–– probably just an email hoax, or was it? My Mom's first thought was to delete it but took a second look and realized it was legit coming from the K-8 principal, Seppie Myburgh at Morrison Academy in Taichung, Taiwan. As we headed out the door on errands Mom read it to Daddy and me. My first thought was to get our prayer partners praying for God's confirmation.

Seven miles down the road we came to a group of Christian Motorcyclist Association members gathering for a ride. We've had contacts with this group so we stopped and hurried over to the group where I explained my latest news. Right there on the corner they prayed for us.

Happy Chinese New Year! - The 'tent of meeting' built by students in the classroom.
The 'tent of meeting' built by students in the classroom.

Twenty days later Seppie and OMS missionary Karen Neff planned to SKYPE with me, but we hadn't sensed His confirmation. Then came His still small voice reply, "You said you'd need to contact your prayer partners and I had them waiting for you seven miles away what more do you need?" From that moment on I knew that we were on assignment.

Happy Chinese New Year! - Mary and Donna celebrating Chinese year of the sheep.
Mary and Donna celebrating Chinese 'year of the sheep.'

How It All Began

It started at the 2014 OMS conference in Marion, Indiana. Mom and I visited with missionary Karen Neff and her family. Karen returned to Taiwan and recommended that we be considered as speakers for the Elementary Spiritual Life Week for the K-8 Chapel. With help from MFM and Bill Evans (he was our team leader when we went with a MFM team to Greece in 2004) we soon had tickets and a ministry plan.

Happy Chinese New Year! - Red marking around doors.
Red marking around doors.

Experiencing Missions Life

An elderly lady from our church, Donna McCabe, felt the Lord was leading her to accompany us. At 77 this would be her first trip out of the U.S., quite a feat for someone who doesn't like to fly and had not had a lot of exposure to foreign missions – unfamiliar language, money, foods, markets, traffic, and restroom facilities.

A Week of Ministry

Seppie told me that the Taichung school theme this year was a Latin phrase meaning, "Living in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the Glory of God."

Mom and I immediately felt that we should build around the theme of the Israelites who camped in tents in God's presence. The children used what they had around them and built us a two room tent so I could camp right out in the midst of them.

Monday I told them about God's people in Egypt as slaves to Pharaoh and God found Moses who was watching the sheep, and told him to lead His people out of Egypt. Each family was to kill a lamb and place it's red blood over the door of their house, and when the death angel saw the red blood, it would leave them alone.

Happy Chinese New Year! - Typical traffic in Taichung, Taiwan.
Typical traffic in Taichung, Taiwan.

Happy Chinese New Year!

We also learned something I found very exciting. At an open market place in a little shop that was displaying Chinese New Year decorations, we discovered a package of large red napkins that some people put over their doors at the Chinese New Year. We learned that legend says that a dragon came to a village to kill the villagers, but a lady placed red cloth over her door and the evil dragon saw the red and fled.

I thought that is just like the story of the Israelites when they were about to leave Egypt.

Tuesday as I started to talk, Miss Neff said she had received an email from my Daddy back in Iowa. Daddy gave me some instructions about how to get ready to come home so that I wouldn't miss the plane. I carried my Daddy's email around with me every where I went so we wouldn't forget Daddy's words.

Mom and I told the children about when Jesus had gone out into the wilderness to spend time with His Father, and the devil showed up and tempted Him three times to disobey God. Each time Jesus quoted the words of His Father, "it is written." The devil finally left Him alone. We learned that God's Word is our authority, something we should read, meditate on, memorize, and quote when we're tempted.

Happy Chinese New Year! - Suzi Q enjoying cookies with a student.
Suzi Q enjoying cookies with a student.

Wednesday God had a surprise for me. Mom and Donna had been eating in the lunch room with the kids, but I couldn't sit on the backless seats. The children really wanted me to join them so the lunch room lady and Mom found a high chair. Mom asked the children if anyone would like Suzi to come home with them and eat supper.

We had been told that morning we were going to eat with the Gulliver family. So Mom asked if there was anyone there by that name, and Jonathan's class mates started calling his name. I told Jonathan that I was sure he was going to go home after school and get things ready for our visit.

Our Bible story that day was about Zacchaeus when Jesus told him to come down out of the tree because He was going to his house to visit. I told the children that if you are going to spend time in the presence of God you need to prepare your heart to talk to Him and listen to what He has to say.

Thursday we had the middle school join us and we planned to share the object lesson that talks about the story of creation, first sin, and Christ's death on the cross so that we no longer need to be separated from God by sin.

However, we didn't know that the children would break the rules, and I wouldn't get to eat with them. Children who had been so good, on the day it counted, really made some bad choices. Mom had to share the bad news and also that they hadn't hurt just themselves but that we were hurt also because we had looked forward to eating with them.

That is like sin. Others get hurt when we sin. I'm glad God had us share that day about how we can come to Him when we mess up. I know of two children during the week that gave their hearts to the Lord.

Happy Chinese New Year! - Suzi Q dressed in red Chinese New Year cape.
Suzi Q dressed in red Chinese New Year cape.

Pack Up Day

Friday I was wearing the red oriental dress Miss Karen bought me and the red Chinese New Year cape Mom got me. It cost both of them to give me these gifts and cover me in red. Friday was pack up and take down the tent day. Mom and I were going home because that is where Daddy was. He had written the instructions in his letter for me to get ready for this day. I had come a long way so the children and I could spend time in each others presence. We shared with the children that God had come a long way from Heaven to visit with His people and camp with the Israelites. He came again as Jesus living with the people and dying for their sins. But the next time He comes we will go to live with Him in Heaven where He is preparing a place for those who have asked Him to cover their sins with His precious red blood.

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