Tag Archives: SJU Chaplaincy

Comings and Goings….

Been away in the UK for 7 months and so much has happened in my absence.  Out in the big bad world, as usual more has changed in 7 months in Taiwan than in the UK over the whole previous 3½ years that I’d been away ha ha!  In Taiwan, new buildings, new businesses, new roads, new Metro Stations, new everything keeps appearing – but in the case of people, some have left and can never be replaced!

Quite a few staff here at St. John’s University retired while I was away, including Mrs. Chao from our chaplaincy office – after 43 years!  Yesterday she came back to visit us – and was warmly welcomed ~ the students sang ‘Sing Hosanna’ and presented a farewell card, and of course we all posed for a photo!

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Ah, some you lose and some you gain ~ and these 2 beautiful babies are 2 of the 3 babies born recently to our church members at Advent Church, these 2 were born only 3 weeks apart, one boy, one girl. They were both in church last Sunday and posed very nicely for me! Both have similar names, one is 恩嘉 ‘En-jia’, and the other 恩音 ‘En-yin’, and the 恩’En’ character they have in common means ‘grace’.  One of them is our rector’s first grandchild, and all 3 are preparing to be baptized this coming Sunday at Advent Church ~ Pentecost is coming!

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Please pray for them, their parents and the baptism celebrations this Pentecost Sunday!

SJU 愛的團契佈道會 ~ 甦醒 special night!

And a special night it was! St. John’s University Student Fellowship holds a special night of outreach every semester, and last night was it ~ YEAH!

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But just in case you’re none the wiser for reading the above poster advertising the event, the main attraction was one of our good friends from Keelung, Evan, who shared his testimony ~ starting with his year of study at the London College of Fashion, then at Vidal Sassoon School of Hairdressing in London, then back to Taiwan to open his own hair salon, oh yes and Shanghai too ~ with photos of his glamorous wife and famous friends, fast cars, high fashion and life in the fast lane – at which point he realized that something was missing and yes, found faith in Christ.  YES!  Through his new faith, he found himself volunteering to cut children’s hair in a orphanage ~ and finding fulfillment there, realized that all he had ever really wanted in life was his father’s approval and love, which led him to know his Heavenly Father deeper, and God’s love in Jesus – and so he found true satisfaction and contentment in his life – and his relationship with his family changed too….. well, that’s a short version of what he said!

And we also had a student dance group, worship, prayer, chaplain’s blessing and all followed by refreshments – sushi, tea and fruit…..

And nearly all the chairs were full, and lots of students came along, and everyone had a good night, and many were very moved ~ Evan’s testimony was certainly very powerful.

Praying for follow up ~ and please pray for the ongoing ministry of the chaplaincy and student fellowship ~ YES!

From SJU ~ UK: Welcoming David Li to England!

David Li (yep we have the same surname, just a different way to write it!) is one of our former students at St. John’s University, Taiwan, and he was also an active member of our Chaplaincy student fellowship group. He graduated only a year or so ago and now with his military service all over, he’s had the chance to come to the UK to study English for 6 months.  He’s landed in Stratford-upon-Avon, and guess what? Until yesterday I’d never even been there. Disgraceful, indeed.  Home of William Shakespeare and all that, so thought it was about time I got myself acquainted.

So on my way up north yesterday, had an hour with David at his language school, Oxford House College over lunch. Lovely principal, teachers and staff and lively and friendly students. David clearly loves it!

I also had a spare hour to wander around ye olde worlde town of Stratford-upon-Avon, along with large numbers of tourists, all from Japan and China, all in the pouring rain. But hey, never mind, this is ye olde England, and I’m sure it rained as much in Shakespeare’s day as it did yesterday.  In an hour it’s amazing how much you can see of Stratford, ye olde church where Shakespeare and his family were baptized and are buried, ye olde house where he was born and ye olde town where he hung out all day. And plenty more of the ye olde stuff, all black and white tudor style.  So much history and culture, quite overwhelming.  So it was a bit of a relief to buy our lunch at Greggs and get back to a bit of present-day reality!

Welcome David to Stratford-upon-Avon, and have a great time!

St. John’s University 畢業典禮 2014 Graduation Day!

Saturday was THE big day!  Thousands of students, parents, gowns, mortar boards, VIPs, flowers, balloons, cameras, cars – and even dogs – all here for graduation….

Very hot and very humid, stamina needed!  Photos and photos and more photos.  Cameras and phones everywhere.  Smiles permanently fixed.  Click click click all day long.  More stamina needed than ever!

So nice to meet the parents of all these lovely students that we know.   Some students look just exactly like their parents, and some – well you’d never know they were even related!

Ha ha, the internet was buzzing all day with posts from SJU….

Congratulations to St. John’s University and all the students on their graduation ~ and wishing them all the best as they launch forth into the big wide world….

Come back and visit us often!

St. John’s University Student Fellowship 送舊 YA!

Saying goodbye is never easy, and every year as graduation nears, so we get ready to say congratulations and goodbye to another group of lovely students ~ this year the Chaplaincy Student Fellowship is saying goodbye to more than 20 of their group who graduate this weekend….

Delighted that many have become Christians during their 4 years here, some were already Christians when they came but quite a few have yet to make any decision – praying for them all!

Last night was the farewell 送舊 event, the students in years 1-3 saying goodbye to the graduating students in year 4 with a posh meal, entertainment, DVD of everyone saying goodbye and wishing them well (not just any old boring DVD, they’d spent hours filming around the campus and inviting people to take part) ~ then year 4 responded with their own farewell video (filmed in the church) and songs and presentation gift of a camera… older students from former years came by to bring their congratulations, then the graduating students were led around the campus and back in with eyes closed to a candlelit church for songs and prayer and gifts and photos and then cake…

Congratulations, best wishes, prayers and blessings to them all!

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Easter Eve on Qixing Mountain 七星山 ~ Us ‘n the boys!

This morning up bright and early to take a group of lovely SJU students, all boys, plus Shu-Jing, one of our SJU chaplaincy staff – all of them on their first ever visit to Qixing Mountain, the highest in the Yang-Ming Shan Mountains…..

Foggy and full of sulphur smoke from the fumaroles – all added to the atmosphere – great weather for walking in!

Most appropriate for Easter Eve as we wait for the celebrations to start later tonight….

And back mid-afternoon in time to get ready for tonight’s Easter Vigil ~ one of the boys is to be baptized ~ YES!

Yang-Ming Shan 陽明山: All Smiles YA!

Wonderful weather yesterday for Taiwan’s 228 national holiday ~ and it seemed like the whole of Taipei was up on Yang-Ming Shan Mountains making the most of the last few days of the Cherry Blossom season….

And it was quite some day, I can tell you!   3 very delightful students from our university student fellowship and me ~ there we all were standing at the bus stop outside the main SJU gate in the dark at 6:00am, all set for me to lead them on their first ever great ascent of the Yang-Ming Shan mountains….

Can’t believe we did it ha ha!  Even getting them to the gate at such an early hour was not exactly easy, but launch forth we did, and 2 hours later we were ready to start the great climb….

3 lovely students ~ one talked and sang and laughed and smiled and posed for happy photos all day long, another carried the heavy backpacks, helped everyone along and kept cool, calm and collected throughout, and the other, well, alternated between being on cloud nine and joking and laughing and pulling funny faces for the camera, or groaning with each painful step of the way and needed quite some major encouragement to make the next move!  But in the process we got to know all the other people out on the mountain and by the end we had got a whole lot of new friends (and a whole set of crazy photos!)….

And hey, despite some doubts that we might never make it even to the top of the first mountain, in fact we did 4 mountain tops, Mian-Tian Shan 面天山 and the 3 in the Da-Tun range, west peak, south peak and the main peak 大屯西峰, 南峰 and 主峰 ~ the middle 2 are very steep but ropes are provided to grab onto and haul yourself up and down, the other 2 climbs are mostly steps, and on the lower slopes in the forests all very slippery.  A great challenge!

Perfect weather, foggy when we started, but it soon cleared and there was blue sky when we were on the tops, and cloudy when we were going up steep steps ~ God is good!

Met a man who had been one of our students some years ago and he knew all our chaplaincy staff, and a couple who had cycled to the top of Da-Tun Shan (truly amazing – groan at the thought of it!), but not just from Taipei, in fact all the way from Chung-Li 中壢 and were members of the Chung-Li Presbyterian Church, where the pastor happens to be a friend of mine… ah it’s a small world!

Came down from Yang-Ming Shan mid-afternoon with zillions and zillions of people in cars and buses and on motorbikes in one long single-file traffic jam that took 3 times longer than usual ~ but hey it was worth it!

And finally to Tamsui for ‘hotpot’ dinner…

A fun day!  And the reality is that all over the world, local people have often never had the chance to see much of their own country (especially the famous tourist sites), so here was my chance to introduce 3 lovely Taiwan students to the beauties of their own mountains, lying right on their own doorstep, and what’s more – within view of our university campus every day (well, on a fine day anyway)!

Thanking God for an amazing day and the wonders of His beautiful creation!

Paper Embroidery Art Exhibition Opening Day!

St. John’s University is hosting an exhibition of Paper Embroidery Art, in association with our neighbouring junior-high school – and yesterday was the grand opening YA!

Really quite amazing stuff!  A traditional Chinese handicraft, using parchment (like thick tracing paper)…. and leading expert is Ms. Shen Hai-Rong 沈海蓉 who also happens to be famous in Taiwan for her acting roles in Chinese drama, and now devotes her time to teaching this craft to our local children, along with her team of teachers – they all came along yesterday, pupils and teachers – to show us and teach us how to do it ourselves.

This kind of craft is small and fiddly, demands a lot of concentration, and hands ache by the end ha ha!  But it’s fun and, well, the end result is of course quite beautiful!

And the pink orchids?  Well, they were a gift from SJU chaplaincy and Advent Church to offer our congratulations to the school on the opening of this wonderful exhibition!