The Year of Living Strangely
I am amused by the many memes that have been posted on social media of late regarding a year that most would agree has been challenging at best. Photos from disaster movies with the caption, “2020 can’t get any worse, can it?” went viral in the spring. Since then, we have been entertained by posts like, “Q: If 2020 were a drink, what would it be? A: Colonoscopy Prep.”
It’s true, this has been a tough year. I don’t need to go into details. Many have suffered greatly through personal or financial loss. However, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” So, even though 2020 has been a strange year for Create Taiwan, we are still grateful for all that God has done.
Reasons to Be Thankful
Back in 2019 (seems like decades ago) we made a decision to take a year off from running our main training program, the School of Cartooning and Animation for Missions (SoCAM), in order to rebrand and reinvent the curriculum. So while many YWAM bases were wrestling back in March/April with the decision of whether to run or cancel their schools, we had already made that decision before the term “COVID19” had been coined. Our new school, AniMissions, is now registered, and plans to run it in 2021 are moving forward. For this we are grateful.
In the fall of 2019, three of our staff returned home since we were not running the school, so when stay-at-home orders began to be issued, they were all set. We did have one family who ended up in Guam for most of the year (see Stranded in Paradise), but now they are in the USA and planning to do YWAM schools in Canada next year to improve their skills before coming back. Remaining staff have been able to focus on improving animation skills and designing the new curriculum for the AniMissions training program. For all our staff, we are grateful.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Different countries around the world have had various levels of challenges and successes mitigating the pandemic. We happen to be living in the number two best country on earth. (Kudos to New Zealand! They are number one!) Taiwan’s CDC dealt effectively with the virus early on, and as of today, there have been only seven deaths out of 783 cases (mostly imported). For Taiwan we are grateful.
Finally, according to the news in many parts of the world, the divorce rate went down this year. Many couples and families who normally don’t spend much time together have had to be at home together for months on end. I can honestly say that my wife and I have made some of our best memories together this year—hiking, cycling, playing games, and having lots of good conversations. For all this quality time we have had together, we are grateful.
Looking back, it has been a strange, but rich year. I am not ignoring the struggles, the pain, the boredom and the restlessness that comes from travel restrictions, but many of us have a lot to be thankful for in the midst of these circumstances.
From all of us at Create Taiwan, have a Happy New Year in 2021!
- Dave H.