Monday, May 19, 2008

They took my car!

Last Sunday night, I came out of church to discover that my car had been towed. It seems that I was slightly in the red area when the "vultures" came and they towed me. In Taiwan, parking can be a challenge and the tow trucks are always circling the city to tow illegals and then charge you to get your car back. And they got me. While we were calling the place to find out where my car was and how much to recover it, Abbey realized that "her" car was gone! She began crying and crying for "my car with the cherries!" I told her that it wasn't gone forever, but that someone had taken it and that we would get it back. That explanation was not good enough. I kept trying to answer her questions about what happened while we were getting in a friend's car for a ride to our house. (Chris was going to recover the car.) After going over the how, what, and who, Abbey sit back to think about this towing business. In a few minutes, she said in a low, mad voice, "Those Chinese people took our car." Well, I lost it laughing and once again, told her that it was my fault for parking in the wrong place. After a few more minutes of questions, she came to the conclusion that we had wasted money. Somehow, that conclusion wasn't near as funny as the first one.

"Where you come from?"

The kids and I were in 7-11 the other night. A 50ish man, more than slightly drunk and his girlfriend were drawn to my kids. The man, wanting to practice his English, started talking to Abbey. Here's how it went:

man: "Where you come from?"

Abbey: "Where I come from?" (hands up beside her shoulders)

Man: "Yes, where you come from?"

Abbey: "Where I come from? I, I come from here! Taiwan and China! What you mean, where I come from?" (Don't you just love her "Chinglish" here?)

Man: "No, what I mean is, where you come from?"

Abbey: "Huh?" (looks are me in confusion)

I then explained to the man that she was born in Taiwan so she really did come from here, but her passport is American. This is the first time that someone has questioned Abbey about her nationality since we returned from deputation and she just couldn't get what he asking. I started to explain to her that the man was asking that because she looks different, but then thought, "You know what, her Dad says he is from Taiwan also, so why get into the nationality issues with her?" These Third culture kids!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Home sweet home.....and an update on my Mom

We are home! We made it back to Taiwan! Hot, busy, wonderful Taiwan! There are smells here that you can't smell anywhere else. Sometimes that is a good thing. We have been back for about 10 days and are 80% moved into our new apartment. This time it took 2 missed flights, 11 bags checked and 7 carried on, 8.5 hours in the St Louis airport, 1 broken airplane, 12 hours in a hotel room (courtesy of American Airlines, reason for one missed flight), 11 bags of lost luggage, and 3.5 days to get back to Taiwan. As for the lost luggage, they had lost it by the time we got to L.A. and found it by the time we got to Taiwan, so it all worked out. Thank God I do not have another trip like that anytime soon.

As always, when the pastor is going, there is a lot of work for him to do when he returns. But it is so great to be involved again. To worship with your church family. To see their growth and to know their stories. To just be back in your place in the puzzle. I don't know if I am describing this so that you can understand what I am feeling, but it is just so right for us to be here right now.

Some people have been asking about my mother, so here is the latest report. She went to see the oncologist last week and he said that she will have to do 4 rounds of chemo and 7 weeks of radiation. Believe it or not, this wasn't the bad news. To do the chemo, they have to take her off of her MS meds. Those medications are what help her to function normally on a day to day basis. They slow down the effects of the MS and keep the MS from growing. Also, her insurance will not cover all of the cost, so she will need to pay $1000 USD each time that she takes a chemo treatment. That is a lot of money if you aren't prepared for the cost. Please, please keep her in your prayers for the next three months. She will have the chemo stretched out over three weeks, then a two week break and then the seven weeks of radiation. It is hard to know I will not be there to help her, but I know a God that can send her help and give her strength during this time. This isn't a challenge for God, but merely an opportunity. But we do desire your prayers during this time.