One of our alumni (Nethaneel Flake) posted this to a group discussion list and I thought some of you might find it interesting. To give you context, Nate was a linguistics major who set off for the Orient upon graduating. He had no definite plans except to practice his language skills.
For those of you who know me and might be wondering, I’d just like to let you all know what I’ve been up to in the last month.
So, it turns out that after spending a week in China (Xiamen) making friends and finding a university to spend a semester, I had to return to my Aunt’s house in Hong Kong to apply for a Chinese student visa. But, while in Hong Kong, I found out my classmate from my YWAM discipleship training school in France was in Taiwan with his Los Angeles church. They were in desperate need of a translator and helper in their summer English camp, and I was in desperate need of a place to spend a month, so I came on down. I’ve had such a great experience among these Taiwanese Christians that I have decided to study here instead of China…also, I need make a bit of dough on the side to pay my bills, and frankly, teaching English in China is like working for peanuts.
I feel a lot more at home here at this church than I do at Stanford. People seem much more cooperative than competitive, and working with the kids here has been much more rewarding than Bayshore (that may be because while at Bayshore I learned a few things about dealing with kids from the first day you meet them). I’m really hoping I can find ways to have an impact on the kids here of all ages, both in English classes and hopefully also on public basketball courts. We’ll see what actually happens.
I’m very very aware of God’s work in my life right now. All I was hoping for during this six month window was a few friends and if possible, contact with a church. Now I find myself completely immersed in both. Being surrounded by pure-hearted Christians with healthy life goals (as opposed to the self-concerning overachieving one I’ve developed over the years) has already begun to have its effect on me. I’m excited to know that I will be spending the next 6 months living in a room at the church/pastor’s house and earning money by tutoring mostly young adults that I already know and like.
All I have to do is get all the visa paperwork for the university finished by tuesday, fly to Hong Kong, get the new visa, hang out with my friends in Xiamen and then come back here in early september (if I come back earlier, my visa will expire before the six months is up).
So, when you think of me, pray that with such a complicated plan everything will fall into place. My biggest fear/lack of faith–going broke–appears to be taken care of. Instead of having to beg people to help me find a job or let me be their tutor, everyone has come to me and asked. A couple high school students gathered enough of their friends together and organized their schedules so that I can reach my minimum monetary requirements teaching one English class, twice a week.
Well, that’s it. I just wanted to stay in touch. Write me back when you get a chance, but if you don’t I understand. We’re all too busy for our own good, aren’t we?
Your Brother in Christ,
Getting this email was cool for two reasons.
1) It was good to hear from Nate.
2) It reminded me of our vision all over again. When we touch the campus, we touch the world.