MY TAIWAN LOVE AFFAIR

This is what usually what the Filipino OFWs would call their short-lived “love affairs” in this part of the world. I felt this is what i had here when God said i needed to serve and visit the community of Singles, Handmaids and Servants here for just 10 days.

What a way to start my year of mission and be here in Taiwan for 10 days. Being a Latin American missionary, it brought excitement to go and see how different mission life can be in Taiwan since this served as my first Asian mission, apart from doing it in my homeland, Philippines. My first stop was in Taipei and had the opportunity to meet the community there. They started their covenant orientation with a powerful worship led by Kuya Jun Caramat, and his wife, Ate Emma gave a talk one of the talks for CR. Country servants Roseanne and Ronald Huan were there too to welcome members and leaders.

Kuya Jun Caramat leading a worship.

Tito Gary Faustino giving covenant reco to our community in Taipei.

Country servant, Doc Ronald Huan

I rode a train going to Tanzih, Taichung, Taiwan to meet with the Singles, Handmaids and Servants there. Immediately upon arrival we all met and had a service meeting for the 3-day CLS.

leaving Taipei station to Taichung.

Most of our facilitators were nervous because it will be their first time to serve. A lot of them too were raising their worries of the possible few numbers of participants that might arrive the next day for the CLS. The service team who welcomed me were faces of Filipino brethren who were thirsty of God’s grace for this “work” and most of them are really here to improve the kind of life they have left in the Philippines. Not mentioning the kind of sacrifice they are enduring being away from their families and loved ones.

SFLs who picked me up from the Taichung train station. (L-R) Julie, Rebz, Jhen, me, Pau and Marlon.

CLS service team: Tanzih, Taichung SFLs, Servants and Handmaids.

The first day of CLS started and we were all surprised of forty-seven participants who came! From a lot of different factories and or companies in Taichung, Taiwan,  I saw a lot of familiar faces… faces of all Filipinos with all these question on their minds, what is CLS all about? What will this require from us? Our vibrant music ministry headed by a brother servant started to play and teach some songs and i guessed that really broke the ice. We had Fr. Joy Tajunera gave the first talk. He is the Filipino parish priest of Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish in Tanzih. This church was our same venue for the 3-day CLS. The whole day first module has been very exciting and full of revelations for a lot of our participants. The 2nd talk was given by Sis Jhen from SFL and I gave the 3rd talk for the day.

Fr. Joy giving CLS talk 1

Sis Jhen giving CLS talk 2

Me, giving CLS 3rd talk.

Second day came and we were more surprised when fifty-two participants came. The Lord never ceases to really surprise us when we work for Him. Bro Mike from Servants gave talk 4 and i gave talks 5 and 6. To prepare them for the next day’s baptism and praisefest we ended the day with me giving them the tongues workshop and worship workshop. The Lord allowed all of us to experienced His greatness by hearing the different gifts of the Holy Spirit and upon hearing all of them sing praises during the tongues and worship workshop, we all knew then that the Lord really planned for all of us to be in this place, at that particular moment to worship and just give praises to Him. He planned all of this!

Bro. Mike giving CLS talk 4

On the third day and last day of the CLS, we all gathered as one and prepared for the baptism, talk beforehand given by Fr. Joy and last 2 talks, given by Ate Emma and Kuya Jun Caramat. The whole baptism went peaceful and yet very solemn and prayerful for all the participants and the service team as well. I remember the prayer warriors never ceased to pray the rosary. Towards the end of the whole day session, we ended it up with a very powerful praisefest led by one of the brothers from SFL, Bro. Marlon. We had our graduation and the presentation of talents per group.

Excel introducing the next session

Ate Emma Caramat giving CLS talk 7

Kuya Jun Caramat giving CLS talk 9

God once again reigned in this place. He showed all of us that the 3-day CLS is not a short-term love affair with HIM. In fact, it is the start of a better and far beautiful life for all our brothers and sisters in this place. Taiwan’s image for Filipinos that labelled them of having a short term forbidden love affair now gave them hope that they can actually changed their ways and how they are being looked at when they work here. Now our members are the ones who sings and serves in weekly Sunday masses here. They are very much involve in the parish work and service. The newly graduate members now has assignments also as to where they can be placed in serving the church.
This is my  short “Taiwan love affair!” Short but full of beautiful memories from our brothers and sisters who really understand the real meaning of how to endure and sacrifice. My short lived love affair in this place made me see that our Filipino brothers and sisters are the great messengers of Christ here through the community CFC-FFL. The Lord provided for all the things we needed during the 3-day CLS and for the teambuilding and planning we had beforehand. Our community in Tanzih, Taichung, Taiwan chose life in this part of the world by choosing God and serving Him now! We will continue to bring Christ and experience Him wherever we will be for we always believe this is HIS work and not ours. With this, i can openly say that my OFW brothers and sisters in Taiwan made me love more my God and experience what does it really mean to endure and choose life for God. For all of this, i continue to praise and worship our God and definitely from now on i will always have special prayers for all our OFW brothers and sisters all over the world. God reigns!
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
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4th day in Taiwan.

What?! I’m already on my 4th day and today will be the one of the most exciting day for me here. It will be our baptism and our last day for our CLS here.

preparing graduation kits

God never ceases to surprise us while we are on this mission. Most of our participants really came with so much excitement and joy knowing that it will be their last day in the CLS. And so we gave them all the remaining talks and sessions for the last module.

 

one of the brothers doing the prayer warrior as the session starts

Ate Emma Caramat giving CLS talk 8.

Kuya Jun Caramat giving CLS Talk 9

 

graduation time!

The Lord has brought us this far for He has sent His love and grace for us to finish strong. This is His work and nothing can hinder this from being triumphant for He is our only God who reigns.

through God's grace 52 new members are added in our membership here in Taichung, Taiwan!

 

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.

No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10

3rd day in Taiwan.

January 24, 2012

It is more exciting to wake up this day knowing that there will be around 40 and more participants who are coming (not to mention almost 20 members of the service team) for the 2nd Module of our CLS.

How amazing to see Filipinos in this part of the world really taking time to be in the CLS and be blessed with God’s words.

registration team all ready to receive the participants

Bro. Mike giving Talk 4: Loving God

 

I gave talk 4 and 5.

I am definitely inspired more than anything else of all the sharings of our OFWs here in Taiwan. Their love for their family made them sacrifice being with them so they can give them a better life.

brothers dancing "paketome"

We had 52 participants on the 2nd day of the CLS.

Our last stop for this day was our visit to Fr. Joy with Ate Emma and Kuya Jun Caramat (Regional Servant) and Excel Regidor (Taiwan SFL Coordinator).

Mission team's team courtesy call to Fr. Joy. Ate Emma and Kuya Jun Caramat visited Taipei and then came here in Taichung to give module 3 for the CLS. 🙂 with us in this picture: Excel (far left/ SFL Taiwan Coordinator) and Julie (far right/ SFL Taichung servant)

This work will not end here. Tomorrow we will be ready for our 3rd and last Module. We all know how God will triumph once again in this work here. It is His calling and our mission is to respond and go! It will not be easy and so we continue to pray and ask for Mother Mary’s intercession.

one of our sisters serving as the prayer warrior during the CLS

“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thesalonians 5:17

2nd day in Taiwan.

January 23, 2011

It’s my 2nd day in Taiwan and i am soooo excited because this marks the first day of our 3-day strategic CLS.  Thought it was just for Singles but i came to realized, Servants and Handmaids are also present as  our participant and even in the service team.

When we had our service meeting and prayer, everybody was telling me that they’re were nervous that there will be only few who will respond to their invitations. They had one month invitation and they were all saying they felt it wasn’t the enough. That they could’ve given more time to invite and promote the CLS.

But this is not our work.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

47 participants came and it was a blast of joy for everyone! yay!

First Talk: God's love given by Fr. Joy! How blessed are we!

Jhen, our 2nd speaker

Giving the 3rd CLS talk, repentance and faith.

God was sooo awesome for all of us to really see why God brought us all here…to hear his voice and to know Him more. It was great to end the day seeing everyone excited to go back the next day for our 2nd module.

 

Finishing the night, SFLs brought me to LaiLaiLai (come, come, come) night market and they made me taste, see and experience real authentic Taiwan street foods here! Yay!

they got me this gift from "wawa" 🙂

a taste of Taiwan street food and night market

street foods! yummy!!!

God never ceases to really surprise us, in service, in mission and in friendship. 2nd day in Taiwan and is still counting! 🙂

 

2nd day in Taiwan.

On my 2nd day in Taiwan and its still freezing cold here at 11 degrees C! yay!

I started the day with breakfast from McDonalds with my host! Now its not an ordinary “McDonalds meal”…they actually have here NAICHA ready to serve for their drinks. Its their milk tea and it was soooo good! The best milk tea in town!

Then went to mass at the St John Bosco Parish. It was an english mass presided by a Filipino Salesian priest.

Had the opportunity to lit a candle and ask for Mama Mary's intercession.

We had lunch after the mass in this Japanese fancy restaurant . The chef cooked all our food right there in front of us all! Everything fresh, everything yummy.

picture with the owner and cook of this Japanese restaurant. I will be posting here soon the video of him cooking our lunch.

My first train ride in Taiwan. From Taipei i needed to go to Taichung to meet with the SFLs there and prepare for the 3-days CLS.

I didn’t sleep the whole trip. I don’t wanna miss out my station. yay!

SFL Taichung! They picked me up from Taichung station of high speed bullet train to bring me to Tanzi and prepare for their CLS.

with SFL Taichung, enjoying the cold breeze of air

Everyone’s so excited for the CLS tomorrow…a lot of SFLs stayed still and waited for last minute instructions. They are all so inspiring. They were saying most of them are serving for the first time but i can see in their eyes the passion and the real wanting to just serve our Lord Jesus Christ.

SFL Taichung CLS service team!

Tomorrow will be the start of our CLS and i know God will reign once again! There is no other way but to live this life all for HIM!!!


“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.   ”

 

1 Corinthians 10:31 

                                                                                                      

Now in Taiwan.

I’m here in Taiwan now. Arrived here at 1255am. 5 minutes early from our actual time of arrival.

Thank you Lord for the safe flight! What a privilege to be here indeed. To see you here giving me this 14 degrees of coldness makes me see how awesome God you are. How in a matter of 2 hours you can change my whole world. From hotness to coldness. From Moreno looking fellowmen to chinky-eyed whitish / yellowish Taiwanese.

I’m just excited for this mission trip, Lord. I know you will allow me to see a different you here and I am sure you will use me fully here as your people needs it…and I am definitely humbled by this privilege Lord.

So its 330am now, give me a sound sleep and tomorrow we’ll start the day with your Holy Eucharistic celebration. Yay

Psalm 4:8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

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My first restroom experience here. I’m so in Taiwan!!!!

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Check out their airport.

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Following the signs….

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To the baggage claim…but before that we stopped at the immigration first.

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Fancy airport….

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My host, Kuya Excel. Yay! I just met his wife and cute baby Clarence. Yay!

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My first cab ride. Yellow cab that is!

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Wow! This is how God loves me….my bed all ready and looking warm. Yay!

re-connect

After more than 10 years from graduation, i was able to see again my University friends! It was fun and very nurturing at the same time, to reconnect with people who has been a part of who i am right now. Our reminiscing of how we were, made us remember how we all started to dream simple and how to just enjoy life. It made us remember who we were and how we were at that time. Reminiscing of our funny stories together in our classrooms, our professors and our ” campus crushes” made us laughed so hard, wondered what ever happened to some people and be so thankful that our friendship is still here and so “alive!”

A part of me is so “kilig” seeing everyone again. Just realizing how we all matured and grew! Our “kakulitan” is still there and still unbeatable! But more that, i realized we all grew more loving, more responsible and knows how to have clean fun! 🙂 I am blessed to have this other set of friends who molded me somehow how to love our passion – to deal with different kinds of people. It was not just a part of the course we all finished at the University but as i see all of us, it has become our lifestyle and our mission.

I would love to see you all again and just chat and appreciate as to where God has brought us all! God is great indeed for protecting the kind of friendship He has given us, that no matter how many years had passed and whatever life situations we all had to experienced, we remain fun loving individuals! Yay!

Thank you Jesus for this gift of friendship!