Jack and I came to the first ever GCN Marriage and Family Conference being hosted in Taiwan for Mandarin speaking people of several countries. We left DFW International at 11:00am on August 18, flying 16 hours to Hong Kong, a two hour layover in HK and 1 1/2 hours to Taipei.
Old friends from Bible College days in Springfield, MO, Dan and Louise Freeman, met us at the airport and got us to a little motel right next door to the church where Jack will be speaking in the morning. Dan and Louise have served as missionaries in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and C for 40 years. The church we will be visiting was started 65 years ago by early Baptist Bible fellowship missionaries.
We had a good first night in our cute little room with two single side by side beds and so were ready to rise and shine early, pack up our gear, and have our mini buffet breakfast before meeting Dan and Louise and Esther to walk over to the church. Esther is an artist, business lady, and she serves as chaplain for Mary Kay in Taiwan.
Jack’s sermon was on Storms we face in life from Mark 4. The service was followed by a little lunch served in the church fellowship hall. With suitcases loaded into the car we were ready to drive up the mountain into Fuhshing where the conference center is located. It is the original property where Chiang Kai - shek had his mountain residence and compound built after fleeing from Mao Zedong in the late 1940’s. The home itself has since burned down and the original facility has been added onto several times. The oldest unit built and occupied by the Japanese up until 1945, still exists and is in use as a hostel. I would have loved to go on an afternoon historical tour of the area, but quite honestly we were far too busy the whole time, which was the best choice for us.
Jack and I spent our first night in the newer four story addition on the fourth floor with a lovely view of the mountains. But the air conditioning was a tease! I think the buttons were there to give the impression of control but the reality was quite a different story. We reminded ourselves that it is still summer in Taiwan which means hot, humid days. We slept coverless to compensate.
Around 5:00 pm a group of early arrivers, who were all leaders and volunteers for the conference, invited us to walk down into the village for a fun dinner at a local restaurant. The meal was traditional Taiwanese food which turned out to be quite good. Rice that was cooked inside bamboo poles tasted delicious. Before calling it a day and heading to our room we met our interpreters, Lucy and Emi. They were ready to stay up half the night learning our messages. Jack and I masterfully deferred prep time to the next morning. Jet lag had our number and it was time to turn in.