Sunday, January 1, 2017

Opal - The Outback

 My first International Assembly! It was a dream for as long as I know. I was accepted as a delegate and I didn't want to let anything get in the way of going. Even though I had enrolled in school in Taiwan, I made the personal decision to take a couple weeks to myself to go to Melbourne and Sydney for the big event. A friend and I had it all planned out. The first week was filled with activities with the host congregations and then our 3 day convention. Our second week, we booked a tour group (for 3 of us sisters together) to see Sydney, go to Bethel and more!
      Once we got off our plane there were friends, our beautiful brothers and sisters, ready to greet us with beautiful posters, warm hugs and smiling faces. My heart was already touched from that moment and that feeling kept on. After the welcoming, with a bit of wandering and asking around at the airport, we somehow figured out how to get to our hotel. Every step we took, from then on we ran into more and more brothers and sisters, a mix of hosts and delegates. 
Before the events even started, we found ourselves exchanging gifts and cards with our information. We, Jehovah's Witnesses took over the city of Melbourne. Such an amazing feeling!
One of the first things we did go out in service with our assigned congregation. I paired up with a lovely sister engaged to be married soon, and we went to a few of her return visits. I loved this close encounter and a taste of the Australian field. 
Next, there was a meal prepared for the delegates together multiple congregations. We had typical Australian food and the congregations, with such a diverse group of friends from all over the place, performed a drama. It was about service in the outback, a comedy. Showing the spiritual history with a twist. Two brothers hopped on inflatable kangaroos knocking on various doors with various characters coming up, and after a charming exchange of the Australian accent with a bit of slang, they preached the good news. There were slideshows, children singing kingdom songs and afterwards we all got goodie bags. 
To follow a delightful evening, we had days of beautiful tours on the Great Ocean Road looking to the twelve apostles and Lake Ard Gorge. I also was able to do the Tree top walk. On the way, we introduced ourselves through the bus mic so we got to know everyone. The tours were also filled with fun facts and history.  It was professional and full of Christian love, better than any tour offered by any company. 
And we knew this to be certain when taking a tour we payed a pretty penny for in Sydney the following week.
But lets talk of our convention! ;)
We sat a bit in the English portion and some parts in the Chinese section. We met friends from Japan, Korea, different states in America, Fiji, Samoa, Greece, and so many more countries. 
Before and after the program and during the breaks, every time we turned around there was a new friend to greet us and hand us a gift. I got so many little koala and kangaroo plush toys and souvenirs. So cute! :D
The goodbye was emotional as you expect it to be. Feeling so strongly when you look around and see so many faithful Witnesses singing our last song of the convention to Jehovah. 
I look forward to being able to go to another International Convention! If not, then paradise awaits, and I wouldn't mind that coming first ;)


some of our first gifts

Witnesses everywhere!

With our service partners


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The Blue mountains

3 sisters mountain

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Assembly Hall Visit


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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Pearl - In Touch With The Culture

               Some people are not sure or do not know the gist of Taiwan and China. Some feel they are the same in culture and some even think there are exactly the same. Well simply put, Taiwan is it's own country and is run by it's own government. Despite Chinese culture had influence and even more during the Cultural Revolution when many Chinese Nationalists had fled, taking precious artifacts and other treasures to the island of Taiwan.
               This history, you may know. But one of the beautiful surprises of this country are the indigenous tribes. All unique and colorful in their way. The Ami, Truku, Atayal, Tao, Bunun, Hla'alua, Paiwan, and many more! Some even have their own dialects aside from the common Mandarin and Taiwanese languages spoken. They wear brilliant colored cloths with reds, yellows, greens, adorned with beads, feathers and patterns. While I was still living in Taiwan, Friends and I spent a day in a cultural park in Kaohsiung where I could get more involved. We could make our own glass beads and put on traditional Clothing and temporary tattoos of the aborigines. Out of all of the tribes, the Ami have to be the most known out of the country. Maybe you have heard the "Elders Drinking Song". You may not recognize the name of the song, but if you here it you might have the same recollection I did. I had definitely known of it before, but never had a clue it had anything to do with Taiwan, until I moved here and actually saw dances for it and danced them myself!
               At a later time I also traveled with a group from my hall to Hualien and other beautiful areas. We practiced even more traditional dances with some of the friends there. The dances are fun and interactive. You dance with a whole group and it's for all ages! You usually hold hands in a circle and use simple steps to go around together. Our worldwide brotherhood is truly diverse and colorful!

This year, on November 2016, there was an international convention in Kaohsiung. My parents had the privilege of being delegates and my brother, who currently lives in Taiwan could have a share in hosting, I would love to share a few pictures from them as well in this blog post.
Unfortunately I was not able to go to this big event. My life had turned in a different direction before this time and another adventure was unfolding for me. This story and more are coming up in my future articles ;)

Now, how about you? Were you able to participate in this special event? If so, you no doubt enjoyed the show of dress of the hundreds of Aboriginal brothers and sisters. Whether you did or did not have a chance to go to this assembly, maybe you've been to another international? I would love to hear about it or to hear of any other special jewels that have affected your heart <3. Look forward to hearing your comments below!: D


Making beads



Amis dancing

photos from my parents

My parents trying out the aboriginal style!