One of the things I’ve learned in my adventures with God is to expect the unexpected. When I was finishing my third year of music at the University of British Columbia, I had the pleasant surprise of being asked to go and replace a missionary and work in Taiwan for the summer.
The missionary, Bob Wagar, was teaching music in the Glad Tidings Bible School in Taichung, Taiwan and he was also writing a music theory book in Mandarin. I was asked to take over his teaching and writing responsibilities.
So right after my last exam, I was winging off to Taichung, Taiwan. Fortunately, I already had a good friend there. Brian Rubuliak was there working on the print side of the music project and also teaching some other classes.
That summer job turned out to be the best summer job ever. Brian and I were given motorcycles to trip around Taiwan on. I remember taking a missions motorcycle trip into the mountains, crossing suspension bridges and riding down mountain paths to visit remote churches. So much fun!
Even doing the laundry turned out to be eventful. The mission compound we stayed on had a washer and dryer, but the timer on the dryer was not working too well! I remember putting some clothes into the dryer and finally remembering, a good 24 hours later (when I heard the dryer still running), to take them out… needless to say.. they were a bit smaller than when they started!
At that point in my life, I still had not learned about separating the coloured clothes from the whites! Brian was not impressed when I mixed his new red shirt with his white undies. Pink undies was not the trendy colour for guys!
The first month that I was there, Brian and I took a very memorable trip to the capital city of Taipei. While we were there, we attended a live broadcast of a national Christian radio show that taught English. When they found out that we were both musicians, they asked us to play on the show. That lead to us working on a tour to take a band around Taiwan and perform in many of the major halls in the country.
This is Doug Moody & myself with Brian, Morris, & Ed Rubuliak at a rehearsal in Taiwan.
I remember the day when a bunch of musician friends from my home church landed in Taiwan. Doug Moody, John Skidmore and Morris & Ed Rubuliak were among the group of 15 that came together to form a band and play in packed venues all over the country. We did not have a speaker, so I had the privilege of asking people every night if they wanted to know Jesus. Taiwan is mainly Buddhist and Taoist, so to see many people responding every night to the call to follow Jesus was very exciting.
That summer still holds so many great memories for me: teaching music, directing the Bible School choir, the motor cycle trips, witnessing in the park, learning the Mandarin Chinese language, experiencing the Chinese food and culture, directing the band as we travelled around Taiwan. What a great summer! (And…. it was a way better than my other summer jobs: driving taxi and packing bricks!)
Question: Has God ever surprised you? What was your best summer job?
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