English Summer Camp @ Good Shepherd Church, Taipei ~ YES!

4 weeks of fun, 4 weeks of sun and heat (yes, not a typhoon in sight for 4 weeks, most unusual!), 4 weeks of u-biking along the river path from Tamsui to Taipei, and 4 weeks (well almost, Mondays to Thursdays, mornings only) of teaching a class of 20 lovely children, ages 7-10, lots of Bible stories, English and drama, ably assisted by one of our St. John’s University students, Tzu-Yang (Mark), who also traveled miles every day to get there.  Actually he’s just graduated and is awaiting notification of his 4-months military service, so he was free.  He brought along lots of energy, enthusiasm and youthfulness, as well as doing all the translating for me.  Ah yes, we had a great time!

And we spent this final week practicing a drama all in English ~ the story of Jesus calming the storm (Matthew 8) which involved all the kids speaking at least one English sentence, plus all the adults leading the actions.  After hours and hours of rehearsals, we were finally ready for 2 performances, each one lasting all of 3 minutes ~ one each on Wednesday and Thursday, watched by Keith and Sindy, our new Good Shepherd Church rector and his wife, Linda the kindergarten principal, and Mrs. Lily Lai, kindergarten supervisor.  Plus we had awards presented to students who did particularly well or tried extra hard.

The children’s faces in the drama photos are deliberately blurred, but you can still get an idea of them all sitting in the boat, while those standing in the back row are the winds and the waves, and then Jesus gets woken up and springs into action, bringing great calm on the water.  Ah yes, it was very meaningful, relevant to the children’s lives, and of course great fun to do!

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On one day the children wrote some prayers of blessing for themselves and others ~ this was one of the ones that made me smile!

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Good Shepherd Church is not exactly on my doorstep, and this year, repairs to the church rectory meant it was better for me to travel in every day from Sanzhi – in previous years, I’ve stayed in one of the rooms overnight.  So to fit in a little exercise, and make the most of the bicycle path along the river, off I went from Tamsui to Good Shepherd Church by u-bike, about an hour’s ride, with a few variations of route.  The scenery is beautiful.  Tamsui – ZhuWei – Guandu – pass by Shezi Bridge – Shilin.

A few photos of the early morning highlights…

Meanwhile Tzu-Yang, Mark, came in every day from Yingge, having had a 6:00 am driving lesson before he left each morning!

We were delighted to finish the summer camp classes yesterday with lunch hosted by Chao Mama, member of Good Shepherd Church and also mother of our good friend, Ms. Chao Wen-Yi, who served in the St. John’s University Chaplain’s Office for so many years until her retirement last year.  Chao Mama invited Mark and I to her home for lunch, cooked by her wonderful helper, Hasna.  Hasna took this photo of us, enjoying Chao Mama’s kind hospitality!  Thank you!

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So a big thank you to all at Good Shepherd Church and Kindergarten for your very warm welcome these past 4 weeks.   ‘Warm’ in temperature – wow Taipei is hot in the summer ~ and very warm in welcome and hospitality!

And please pray for the Good Shepherd Summer Camp children who start their new school year and new semester next week, and especially for Rev. Keith Lee’s son and daughter, age 7 and 10, who came to the English Summer Camp for the final week – they are just starting their new school in Taipei, so it’s a big change for them.  Ah, such a lovely family, a great church and we wish them all well as they settle in ~ YES!

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