1. How did you first get involved with Friendship Presbyterian? I came to live and work in Taiwan after several years in Beijing. At first, I attended a local church for several months. But eventually I came to feel that I was not able to fully understand the message or participate in the community. So, I did the old “English language church service in Taipei” Google search. The first time I came to Friendship, Pastor Dennis and Becky E. both introduced themselves and connected me with some regular attendees. I come from a very conservative church background, but I have felt at home at Friendship. I am grateful that God led me to a Christ-centered church in Taipei that faithfully preaches the Word and fosters Christian community.
2. What do you do Monday through Saturday? I am up by 5:00am or so, every morning, to run or cycle and to prepare my mind for the day ahead. I am a teacher, so Monday to Friday finds me planning, corralling, tutoring, cheerleading, coaching, motivating, refereeing, grading, playing, disciplining, counseling, and somehow imparting knowledge to a classroom full of young minds and hearts. I like to be busy when I am not at work. I play rugby for a local team in Taipei and I row for the Black Tide. Other evenings, I work through a language course, volunteer at an orphanage, and co-lead FPC’s W.o.W (Women of the Word) community group. I also try to set aside a chunk of time each week to catch up on reading and writing, and to call my parents and siblings.
3. What is something people might be surprised to know about you? Everyone is fascinated when I tell them my Dad is a milkman. Invariably, the response is shock that the job still exists and then a lot of questions about glass bottles and delivery routes. Whenever I go back to the States, I go out with my Dad on the route during those first nights when I am completely jet-lagged, something that I also did as a child. It is such a “blast from the past,” since milkman really is a rare job nowadays, and I still find it thrilling to be out and about in the middle of the night while the rest of town sleeps.
4. What do you find most challenging about being a Christian today? Recently, I have been thinking a lot about living life counter to current cultural norms. As the world around us increasingly celebrates darkness, it is challenging to be the salt and light that effectively influences the common good in society while standing firmly in line with the word of God. It is a difficult thing for Christians and the church to live as ambassadors of heaven without either becoming too entwined with the culture around us or isolating ourselves from it entirely. I often find myself in situations where it is easier to embrace the way of the world than to stand by Jesus’ teachings because a loving witness to Christ requires me to be far more like Jesus than I am naturally willing to be. But, more often than not, going along with the crowd compromises the Biblical truth of the gospel. Pulling away from engaging others outside our own Christian community is hardly the answer, though, as doing so forces us to give up our calling to engage others with conviction, compassion, and love.
5. What is one of your favorite books of the Bible? I have always been partial to the book of Hebrews. The supremacy and sufficiency of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are written all over every page. Hebrews lets me clearly see Jesus Christ throughout the Old Testament by showing how God’s glory and redemptive plan are finally revealed in Him. I am led to understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of what was foreshadowed so long ago, and that His sacrifice, His covenant, and His current ministry are far greater than anything that came before. The way Christ is preached again and again in Hebrews encourages me to constantly confess Him and persevere in my faith, and the many loving exhortations in this book challenge me to live a life that demonstrates confidence, obedience, gratitude, reverence, and love.