The journey that started as a little candle light in the middle of a desert, susceptible to the violent desert winds and at the same time quite insignificant vis-à-vis the vastness of the desert, is slowly and steadily becoming a conflagration. Each day that passes by becomes like a new page of an interesting book whose content is life experience. Many a times we find opportunities to learn it through formal forums, but at times we are forced to go it the hard way.
This has been our journey for the past four months. It’s unbelievable how time has really engaged the high gears. If you remember our initial complaints; about food, language, the weather, the people, the culture and indeed the slow pace of time… Well, I guess things are taking a dramatic twist. Now whenever we meet to evaluate or simply chat, none of these themes feature in the agenda. They seem to have been forgotten; in fact I laugh at myself when a look back at the very short but rigorous past. That indeed is good news for us. It means that we are starting to get our feet on the ground.
The month of December has been particularly insightful besides being characterized by the obvious Christmas festivities. We just came to learn how Christmas has really become a worldwide event; I meant the commercial world!!!!! I hope you will remember that emphasis.
This is not a Christian country and the Christians are hardly 1% of the entire population, therefore Christmas as a religious event is of no importance. On the other hand it’s shocking to see how all the commercial centres are heavily adorned with Christmas decorations; almost all the restaurants play the Christmas carols, etc. It’s great business!!!
Well, the shocking part is that there is “no Christ in the Christmas”. That sounds funny, but it’s pretty much just that. On plain Christmas day, all the public offices, schools, businesses, etc continue functioning as usual. I mean, there is no holiday on Christmas, in fact it’s the peak of business. That was really shocking news to us; however, as I said before, it’s part of our lesions, learning the hard way.
The end of the year 2014 festivities also marked our first break from the Chinese studies. This meant lots of excitement on one side but frustration on the other; that is, joy for having made great strides in the learning of the language, but frustration because the time covered has not made much impact in the mastering of the language. All the same, as I noted in one of the articles; patience pays!
During the break we did have a chance to visit yet another Diocese (HUALIAN) which gave us quite another view of the mission in Taiwan. A good number of the communities there are the indigenous people. It makes things look so different. All these are territories to be explored and we pray to God for courage and strength to forge ahead. As usual we kindly ask you to join us in praying for this wonderful country whose people are just but wonderful: quite formal, respectful, polite and very attentive to the others’ needs. With that you can already feel that we are starting to enjoy the ride.
God is good all the time!