Friday, 8 January 2010

English Circuit Assembly

We were in Taichung last weekend for the English Circuit Assembly, which they have in the same school hall each time. It's near to the railway station and, being in Taichung, it's central on the island, so makes things as fair as possible. We went down on Friday night and stayed over with a sister and her two daughters - also sisters in the truth and the eldest of whom came to the assembly with us.

It was nice to be in a Hall without the seemingly obligatory picture of Dr Sun Yat-sen visible on the platform! Here are most of the baptism candidates standing to answer the two questions. There were 7 altogether.

The American bro who did the baptism talk made a superb job of it. It's been years since I took so many notes during that item, but he used so many great illustrations and told a moving story, demonstrating how large some of the changes people have made to come into to the truth, about a really violent man who'd been in jail and used to harbour resentment and go after people. He wasn't much better with his wife and children and it took him a while to really get it under control so that he could qualify for baptism, but he did manage it and is now an elder and is pioneering along with his wife. The speaker finished this section of the talk by saying, "This brother has a special place in my heart, because, you see, he's my father." =)

Yufang came along on the Saturday afternon and I took notes for her as of old during the last talk, (it took her all up to that point in the programme to find where we were in the hall!!). After the programme, we went out for dinner with her and Sis Qiu, who we were staying with. The other lad is Yufang's brother, Taiming.

Here's Qiu Jiemei ironing my dress for the Sunday! Lots of people here don't use ironing boards, but have these steam contraptions that we would only expect wedding dress shops to have in the UK!!

And here's another part on the programme with lots of interviews.

Incidentally, the majority of the owners of black hair in the audience are Philipino and Indonesians, not Chinese, (although there were some of them too, and Japanese etc), so it's not like the UK Mandarin assemblies where the audience is about 50% British, although it does rather look like it from the back of the heads!!

After the Sunday session finished, Yufang came again and took us to the station to get the bus back to Taipei. It was then that we realised that you really need to double check if the ticket sales clerk said '4' or '10', because the Taiwanese accent means that folk 'drop their h's' pinyin-wise and both come out as 'si'. We were thinking we were about to get on the bus when I realised that our tickets said 22:30, not 16:30! Seems they put on an extra bus though and we manged to get a space on one about 17:00 and get home before we were meant to have left Taichung, but that was an object lesson in making sure!

It was so nice to have 'aural' spritual food in English - the first time for us since the District Convention in Leeds last June. There were a plethora of accents on the assembly programme and I discovered that New Zealand English is 'Standard English', or so the Kiwi bro taking the Circuit Overseer parts informed us!! (There is an 'English' CO - a German bro, but he's also the DO part of the year and so did those talks instead.) There were Brits, Americans, Canadians, Aussies, a Kiwi, several Philipinos, a family from Swaziland, one bro's accent sounded Japanese, although he had a Chinese name, and also a French and a German speaker. I heard that there were 20 nationalities there, so it was really a mini international assembly.

Now we're back to normal again and that means school, school and more school. Our current teacher is charging through the material like her life depended on us finishing this book before the end of term. Personally, I feel that we're going too fast to really absorb it and for it to be actually useful to us, but she's determined to rush headlong through it, so it's all we can do to catch up! Thankfully, Martin and I found her last test (the only one we've had with her except the usual dictations) very easy. The rest of the class found it hard, so we didn't like to say that we'd thought it was too short, too simple and a bit lacking in variety! Having been language teachers, we look at things somewhat differently, I suppose. Anyway, next term we'll be with someone else, no doubt....

It is STILL raining! We've been here 4½ months and it's been raining for about 3 of them. This time it's rained solidly since Tuesday. I've got a streaming cold as well, which doesn't add to the cheer! Anyway, it promises to be dry and even a bit bright this weekend, then back to the rain on Monday. Honestly, if this goes on, Taiwan will sink! It's really depressing as well, the constant gloom and wet. Cough, cough, cough!

1 comment:

  1. You can have some of our snow if you'd rather ;o)