Another DTS has come and gone and it seems like time has been going by way too fast lately! In the past three weeks we got back from outreach in Taiwan and we graduated our January DTS! Here is a bit of a update on our outreach to Taiwan!
As I mentioned in my last post, we had 15 students who came from all over the world to do a DTS at YWAM Gold Coast, Jake and I were a part of leading those students. We were able to walk alongside these students and disciple them in their relationships with Jesus. We saw these students experience huge amounts of breakthrough on the Lecture Phase (classroom setting) of the DTS. We saw them find truth in their identities as sons and daughters of Christ, we saw them get freedom from lies and painful experiences they had in their pasts, and we saw them grow deeper in their relationships with Jesus!
Above are some pictures from the Outreach to Papua New Guinea!
However, we have never sent a team to Taiwan before so we did not know what to expect! One of the staff members at our base, was actually having many dreams about Taiwan for a couple months and she really felt these dreams were from God, prompting us to send a team there! So, she contacted a YWAM base in Taitung, Taiwan, and it confirmed that was where God was calling us to.
A couple months later, we arrived in Taitung, Taiwan, and the first thing we realized was how HOT it was!!! It was about 30 degrees Celsius with 90% humidity, and let’s just say there wasn’t a day that went by where we weren’t drenched in sweat! Anyway, we met our AMAZING contacts and their family (from America), got situated at the YWAM base, went out for dinner and suddenly were fully immersed into the Taiwanese culture. Our first dinner was at a restaurant in town, we sat down to realize that none of their menu was in English. Luckily, we had our contact with us to help translate the menu, otherwise we would have just pointed to something on the menu and hoped for the best. I was expecting them to speak Chinese of course, however I guess I was expecting the people there to know at least some English? I soon realized this was not the case and we should quickly learn some Chinese (we did not learn any for the record).
Eventually we got adjusted and became familiar with the culture, we knew the local restaurants, figured out the grocery store, and found the BEST smoothie place you could have ever been to in your life. Fresh fruit like mango, pineapple, passion fruit for only $2 CAD. We also quickly realized that chop sticks are not that easy to use every day for 8 weeks and soon we were back to using forks. (When we saw the locals also use forks occasionally, we did not feel as bad). Bikes were our main form of transportation to get around the city, and let me just say I am so thankful that Jesus kept us safe because those road systems are something else. To prove my point, we witnessed three accidents outside of our YWAM base in those 8 weeks. We went to a bridge that looked like a dragon and trekked to the top of a mountain, we hung out with some wild monkeys, relaxed at a beautiful hot spring, swam in a pool overlooking the ocean, had a bonfire on the beach, ate some of the most AMAZING food, and saved / adopted a kitten!! With all that being said, I guess I just wanted to share some of the fun experiences we had while being in Taiwan!
Some other ministries we did in Taiwan:
Every Tuesday we would work at a school for special needs kids. While there, we would set up an obstacle course on the field outside and help the kids to maneuver the obstacles! We would also set up soccer nets and play soccer with these kids. It was so cool just seeing the joy that these children have and watching the dedicated staff love on these kids!
On Thursdays we went to a school to teach kids English! We did bible stories with them, sang songs, played games, and did crafts! The teacher of this class loves Jesus and she tries to bring Jesus into every aspect of what she does in class, and because of her these children will grow up knowing who Jesus is!
A couple nights a week we would also go out to a marketplace in town and do skits, preaches and testimonies, and luckily we made friends with three Taiwanese who were able to translate for us on those nights. I believe people were truly impacted by what we shared during those market preaches, whether they know it or not, seeds were planted in their hearts and Jesus will continue to work in their lives.
Like I mentioned before, we became really close friends with three Taiwanese, Lily, Tina & Tim. Lilly & Tina have been Christians for a couple years now and are walking out their faith with our contact, Magan. Tim is not a christian, and hasn’t really had that many people sharing Christianity with him. On our first week there, we wanted to go to an open mic night and share the gospel. Lily and Tina were not available to translate and we were hesitant to ask Tim, knowing that he’s not a christian. We thought we would ask anyway, and luckily he was very willing to help translate for us! Throughout our time there, we became very close with Tim and he went everywhere with us! We began to share our testimonies with him, and answer questions he had about Christianity. Eventually, we asked Tim if he would want to come to church with us, and he said yes!! The day that we left Taiwan, we had a layover in Taipei, and Tim met us there and hung out with us until we left! As we were waiting for our flight, Tim messages us and explains that he just ran into a family from BC, Canada. Tim had been thinking about going to school at UBC and then randomly meets a stranger who had studied at UBC previously. This random person encouraged Tim that UBC is a great school and that he should definitely go there! We were able to encourage Tim that the Lord was giving him confirmation of his future plans, and that God has the best plans for his life! Tim replied and agreed 100% that he believes God is calling him there and leading his life! We continued to encourage him and told him that God loves him so much and cares about every detail of his life. It was so amazing in our last moments of being in Taiwan, seeing how God is working in Tim’s life. Through building a relationship with Tim over those 8 weeks, we were able to speak into his life and see him come to believe that God is good, and that he is loved by the One True God.
Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Overall Taiwan was an amazing experience, don’t get me wrong, it had it’s challenges for sure, but even through the hard times, I was always reminded of some undeniable truths, that we were making a difference, that God is working in Taiwan, and that he loves those people so very much.
We arrive in Canada in about 5 days! We will be heading to Ontario first so that we are able to attend Sara’s (Jake’s sister) wedding! We will stay in Ontario for a couple weeks and then I will be heading to BC on July 31! I am so excited for this next season in Canada, to relax, reunite with family & friends, to meet my niece and be a part of my best friends wedding! After our visit to Canada, we will be heading back to Australia in September, more details on what we will be doing in Australia will come later!!
Thank you for reading this (long) post!! Again, I really appreciate everyone’s support that I have received over the years, through prayer or financially, I cannot do what I am doing without all of you!! It is because of your support that I am able to go out to the nations and share the gospel!
If you would like to support what Jake and I do in Australia financially, we would be so grateful! We are looking for more people who want to partner with us monthly, but a one time donation is also very appreciated!!
How to Donate
YWAM Canada – Donating through YWAM Canada will give you an option to donate monthly or do a one time donation. Your donation will also be tax deductible. Please use my full name – Courtney Petrunia – and giving code – PC14
Lots of love,