domingo, 21 de septiembre de 2008

A Knightly Man

Through the years Papaw had a fascination with Cervantes and his fictional character Don Quixote de la Mancha. Why would Papaw identify with such a crazy, fictional character? Maybe because the amazing ideals of Don Quixote lived again through our Daddy and Grandfather L. Haven Miller. This is an excerpt from the first page of an abridged copy of Don Quixote de la Mancha.
He was an honest man, tall, very thin, almost fifty years old [almost 100]… Besides going out to hunt [for garage sales], he liked to read books about knighthood [people living out the highest of ideals], and to them he dedicated all of his free time, which he had in abundance. He involved himself so much in his reading that he completely neglected the administration of his house and property and his hunting trips.

His passion for books about knighthood led him to sell tracts of land [used cars], with the goal of buying all the books that he could find.

He was amazed by the heroic deeds those pages recounted, and he put forth great effort to understand every last detail of the prose.

He would spend days on end, from sun up to sun down and the wee hours of the morning bottled up in his reading.

Sometimes he talked about all he read with the town’s priest, a learned man, or with barber. With them he would argue about who was the most valiant knight.

[notes added for metaphorical clarification]

The book goes on to tell how Quixote saw the world through different eyes [kingdom eyes], and he helped people put on those glasses and open their eyes to the world from a higher spiritual plane in the midst of their misery; fight the unbeatable foe and right the un-rightable wrong.

Papaw believed that Cervantes used Don Quixote to embody the person of Christ in a culture and time where overt biblical teaching resulted in legal condemnation. This Christ-like figure was made into a example the Spanish could identify with at all levels of society. We could all say Papaw lived as Christ in a culturally appropriate way to many people. Thank God for such a man.

martes, 2 de octubre de 2007

First Anniversary

Hello once again from the East. Leslie and I are excited to share this moment with you because we are celebrating our first anniversary (Sept. 30, 2006). We desire to share God's blessing of this union with you because you have been so good to us as well. We recognize how you have helped form us in the instruction of the Lord for many years so that we could be ready to serve God together. This year has been full of challenges and adventures, and we have enjoyed each step of the way.

We reflect back on the beautiful moments that you helped give us at our wedding in Coleman. We thank all of you who worked on preparing a wedding that we could not put together because of our absence. It was "magical", and we were honored.

We look forward to getting to see you all. Hopefully we will be able to make a trip to the Americas in May and June of next year. Keep in touch and we can begin making plans soon. May God continually bless you for the goodness you have poured into our lives.

jueves, 13 de septiembre de 2007

Fall in Full Flow

Good afternoon to all of you friends and family who are just finishing lunch and starting the second half of your work day. I am settling in for bedtime, and the clock just struck midnight. It has been a while since I caught you up with news from the Orient, but I miss each one of you and desire to make a personal connection again.

At the institute, things are calming down after a rocky summer and start of the fall semester. Our boss is content with the growing number of students, which is his number one goal, and I feel like I am finally getting a handle on preparing lesson plans and so many things that need to be done, often without the books or materials we need.

Yesterday I was telling the kids in one of my classes about God's word as I explained the scripture, "I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." I told them that the Bible is a book that tells us what God wants of us. The kids were fascinated! "How can we see this?" asked a student about ten years old. I promised I would bring a Bible to their next class on Saturday.

It's so amazing to see the wonder in the eyes of children who have never heard of God's word. There was no sarcasm like, "Yea, we know... we know..." No, these kids were dead serious!
We are finding other ways that God has given us ministries here, even though we still speak only a handful of Chinese words. Last week in a beautiful public Chinese garden, we came across what was apparently a religious ceremony contacting the spirits. It was being held in the middle of a rainstorm under a gazebo build over a carp pond.Link

As we walked by, filled with the God's Holy Presence, one of the two ladies decked out in the black and white vestments crossed her glassy stare with my eyes. Something was broken there. Leslie and I went to a nearby gazebo over the same pond and began declaring the word of God straight from the Psalms. The Spirit of God was breaking into new territory!

To rap things up, a little fun. Leslie and I had a couple of free days between semesters, and we traveled by train over the mountainous island and visited a beautiful resort near Hualien, built on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Farglory Hotel did nothing less than take my breath away, in every aspect. Take a look at our album and enjoy.

Thanks for staying with us on our journey in the East.

With love,
Brian and Leslie

martes, 28 de agosto de 2007

Hualien for Vacation

Well, we have dreamed of taking a vacation ever since we arrived because we work almost non-stop. The way the school operates, there is almost no way to take a day off for vacation, but because of Leslie's help in organizing the institute, we managed to get away for TWO days! And we found paradise over the sea.

Hualien is a city on the east coast of Taiwan, and the high mountain ridges are pushed up to the edge of the ocean. We visited a marvelous canyon called Taroko Gorge the first day. The tour was long and tiring, but inspiring.

Our hotel is a dream. Farglory Hotel rests high above the ocean on deep green cliffs that lead to the endless sea of every hue of blue you can imagine.

lunes, 16 de julio de 2007

Nuestros Domingos... Especiales

Los domingos en la mañana generalmente son soleados, y a las 9:00 a.m. nos encontramos atravesando el parque camino a la estación del metro, bajamos en Guting Station para llegar a la iglesia.

La clase de Brian comienza a las 11:15 aproximadamente. Veo los rostros de los hermanos expectantes y a la vez tranquilos; ellos han confiado en que mi esposo podrá ofrecer una buena clase.

Tengo que confesarles que el primer domingo fue el más difícil, Brian estaba muy nervioso y no sabía cómo iba a responder nuestro grupo a la enseñanza que había preparado, pero los dos confiábamos plenamente en que Dios estaba respaldando ese tiempo.

Han pasado seis semanas y el grupo se ha mantenido listo a recibir la enseñanza de cada domingo, ellos han mantenido su interés por seguir cada lección. Reconozco que Dios está haciendo un hermoso trabajo en las vidas de los hermanos y que mi esposo ha hecho esta clase dinámica, interesante e ilustrativa.

Mientras estudiamos San Lucas estamos aprendiendo cómo Dios siempre usará nuestras vidas para cumplir su propósito, cómo él nos desafía y cómo nosotros somos parte de sus planes eternos.

Ahora Brian está lanzando retos al grupo; cada domingo los hermanos deben escribir unas líneas sobre los aprendizajes más significativos para su vida. Yo lo he hecho, de esta manera aprendemos más el inglés y estudiamos la Palabra de Dios.

La clase termina a las 12:00 y los hermanos siempre agradecen a Brian la lección de esa mañana.

Ha sido tan gratificante ver como los hermanos se acercan a mi esposo para expresarle la bendición que él está siendo a sus vidas. Eso es lo que llena nuestro corazón, saber que la Palabra cobra vida en ellos. Oramos porque cada domingo sea un día clave en nuestras vidas y en la vida de nuestros nuevos amigos.

Primer Post de Taiwan

Después de 10 meses de que nos casamos nos encontramos en Taiwan. Pasamos los primeros meses pidiéndole a Dios que nos indicara el lugar que Él tenía para nosotros, pero nunca esperamos escuchar "Taiwan". Desde siempre los dos sabíamos que Dios nos llamaría a otro lugar a vivir y servirle.

Dios contestó nuestro pedido con una oferta de trabajo que no pudimos ignorar. Los dos trabajaríamos juntos en un instituto con una situación económica algo mejor que antes. Además nos ofreció un ministerio con la iglesia local dando una clase bíblica en inglés. Después de unas semanas de orar y buscar consejos, supimos que Dios sí tenía una bendición para nosotros aquí.

Pues, nos encontramos aquí en el Oriente, y con una vida completamente distinta. Estamos trabajando con Pacific English Institute, un instituto que se dedica a dar una educación integral en el idioma inglés. El instituto instruye bajo principios cristianos pero no es una institución de enseñaza religiosa. Yo (Leslie) estoy dando clases de español básico y diseñando un proyecto institucional.

Yo (Brian) estoy dando clases de varias materias en inglés y el rango de edad es de 6 a 15. Todavía estoy luchando por organizarme, pues aun tengo mucho que aprender sobre diseñar programas de clase. Además, no es raro que el director cree una nueva clase el día que comienza, y a la hora de comenzar, me diga: Brian, ahora vas a dar una clase de ajedréz. Ahora estoy más acostumbrado a la locura.

Una de las cosas que más nos ha gustado es el tiempo de comunión que tenemos con el grupo de la clase bíblica. En un mundo saturado de idolatría e infelicidad, esta familia es una gran bendición.

Les invitamos a vivir esta aventura con nosotros. Los extrañamos mucho.

Un abrazo,
Brian y Leslie

sábado, 31 de marzo de 2007

Opening Up Shop; Closing Down House


The spring has come and the earth is changing. Here in the desert, our city is covered in beautiful flowers cultivated by the over 1-million people that are taming this former wasteland. Fragrances emanate God has put green dresses on the trees once again and it looks like we live in a new city.

The spring has brought changes for Leslie and me as well. In preparation for our move to Taiwan, Leslie and I opened our apartment last night like a little store, and we began selling everything we own. Many things are now gone, and we feel a little less like genuine desert dwellers.

We still have quite a few things for sell, just take a look at the pictures. Be sure you let us know now if anything interests you.