Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Letter 2009

In spite of 2009 being a difficult year for many in view of the global economic recession and various natural disasters, this year will certainly be one that we as a family will have many good memories of. It was our second year as a family living in Kaohsiung in Southern Taiwan. Jocelyn was able to buy a good bicycle and to discover the joys of riding relatively long distances in sometimes difficult terrain. I myself also bought a "real" mountain bike and one that was the right size for me. In addition, I was able to swim the whole year outdoors in two different 50 meter pools.
Occasionally, Jocelyn and I were able to get away from the city of Kaohsiung, even if it was just for a couple of days a couple of hours away. Both our boys applied to colleges and were accepted, with James going to Surrey, England to study for a BA in filmmaking and photography, and Morrison going to Elmhurst in Illinois to study international business. I was able to work hard throughout the year, mostly from home or wherever else in the neighborhood I felt able to concentrate, and to meet all their tuition, accommodation and general living expenses by the due dates.
In my generally busy life, I was sometimes able to appreciate the beauty of flowers, like these bourgain villea, as well as banana trees. I enjoy eating bananas, and so I am thankful for the many banana trees that flourish in the warm weather here. To try to maintain some balance in life and not let work completely take over, I tried to swim for about one hour per day about five days per week, and also went on quite a few bike rides, mostly with Jocelyn, in addition to using a bike to get around town, usually to the swimming pool, as going to work mostly only involved going up or down stairs.
Jocelyn was able to become increasingly involved in counseling younger women and church ministry activities and to develop her many unique giftings in these areas. She was also able to help with a fairly difficult translation I was given to do, as well as to work for the local city government as a counselor among some of the many indigenous peoples displaced by the disastrous landslides and flooding in the mountains not far away from us in August this year.
Ten years ago, at the start of the new decade, we as a family were still getting used to living in Hawai'i, where we had only been a couple of months, but subsequently stayed for another seven and a half years. When we returned to Taiwan in 2007, James had finished high school, but Morrison still had one year left (of home schooling). At that time and especially for the boys, the future looked somewhat threatening and uncertain. We are pleased with what happened this year, and thankful for having great friends, great supporters (through work) and a great God. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Morrison said...

Wow that was really good dad! I am glad you and mum were able to exercise a lot and I am very thankful for your guys' financial sport! I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!
See you guys in summer!

VICKY said...


ShirleyPerly said...

Funny that the first line of your post was nearly identical to the one I wrote in a Xmas letter this year to our friends and family. Glad to hear you and Jocelyn enjoyed cycling together and that both of your sons are able to attend college where they wanted. The comment from your son Morrisson was also very touching.

Best wishes in 2010!

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