Our blog name is Olson Family! We are the Olson family...this is our family blog and it's about the different things that we experience in our daily life. It's a family blog about my sweet darling husband, and my three growing children. We are a little bit different in that we are living overseas in Taiwan. We are missionaries but we are reaching the English speaking people who live over here. It's an interesting life and we've been here for almost 4 years.
I never thought that we would ever be in the position that we are right now. My husband is an English pastor at a Chinese church. It's a very unique position to be in and we have been blessed beyond all measure. But both John and I thought we would be missionaries reaching out to people who live in the country and speak the local language. So some times we still mourn the loss of that idea of working as a missionary to a local people group. But God has blessed our work with the English ministry more so than either John or I ever expected. God has blessed the church with a growing children's ministry, a growing church community and a growing small groups. We have met some lovely and wonderful people through out ministry and living in Taiwan.
Victory English Fellowship (VEF) is a very unique church. It's a very come and go type church. It's very different from our previous church in a small town in North Dakota. Our previous church had kids, youth, not many college age and some middle age and the faithful generation. At our current church we have kids, youth, lots of college/early career age and middle age and not many in the faithful generation. We have a lot of people who will attend our church for maybe a couple months or even a couple of years and then their kids either go to college or they return back to their home country. When we first moved here I would get close to a person and then a month or two later they would move and it would just devastate me because I could invest in their life and then they would leave and cut ties with me and their life in Taiwan. Gradually I realized that my mind set had to change and God has provided me some very faithful and loving friends whom I have as friends and then I can make friendships with new people who come into the church and just provide encouragement and the church can provide tools for them -- bible studies, fellowship, a place to worship while they are over seas and then when they are at their new place the time that they had at VEF will provide the tools to help them at their current church. At least that's my prayer that we can touch the people who have attended VEF and they are willing to share the gospel message with others.
John (my husband) is a great guy and is a good pastor. He is very dedicated and if he sees something that needs to get done he will get it done. He is learning that he needs to let go of control and let others share their talents and gifts. He likes to play ultimate frisbee and enjoys going hiking and going on scooter rides in the country. It's very hard to get out of the city and from people and just escape from nature but John has found many hidden treasures around where we live so that we can at time escape from the hustle and bustle of living in a city. I am very blessed to have him in my life.
I am learning how to try to say no and slow down. It's very easy to keep saying yes to the many opportunities that come around your way and soon your are knee deep in stressful situations of your own making and you need to slowly but gradually take a step back and just get back to a happy medium where you are busy with opportunities but not too busy. I'll probably talk more about me later.
N is my oldest! He is 7 years old and is amazing! He goes to a Chinese school for 1st grade. He has learn to read and write in Mandarin Chinese. (I have yet to be able to do that -- I understand just a little bit!) So N will come up to me when the shop keepers are talking to me and say what they are telling me so I can understand. He is making some good friends and is able to play and hang out with them it's amazing. He also is dealing with his demanding schedule. He goes to Chinese school from 7:50 - 12:40 (and then one day a week he goes to school till 3:50) and then we pick him up and I start to homeschool him in English. At this point it's a very edited curriculum - we do bible, history, read alouds, then we work on his reading and writing. He amazes me because 21 weeks ago he wasn't able to read and we struggled greatly with even getting him to take the time to work with me to read and he is just blossoming both in English and Chinese. I am so proud of him. We usually work for 45 minutes on homeschooling before he has to leave to go to an afterschool program so that he can get help with his Chinese homework. Then we pick him up and we finish the rest of his homeschooling work that we didn't finish.
M is my middle son! He is 5 years old and is also amazing! He goes to a Chinese kindergarten. He's been there for two years. We drop him off at 8 am and then we pick him up between 1:45 and 2 pm. He is amazing in that he is able to speak in both English and is able to speak and understand in Chinese. He is my curious one. He wants to know how things work and is very much a peace keeper. He is amazing at sharing and loves to play with others. He notices and cares about others when others might not! It's fun to watch him.
H is my youngest and the only girl! She was born here in Taiwan. (She doesn't have dual citizenship - just american!) She is three years old (just turned 3 two days ago and I am mourning just a little bit how big she is doesn't seem possible that she is already three years old) and has just made our world completely different. Instead of just trains, cars, legos we have now added dolls, dress up and pretend play. My boys are great with their sister and she has all of us wrapped around her finger. She stays home with me and understands some chinese and can speak a few words but once she goes to school (not sure if it will be this coming year or the year after) she will pick up the language pretty quick.
This is our family and this is our little corner over the internet where we share about our life and our adventures. Thanks for finding us and do you have any questions for us? Anything you want us to share more about?
Photo credit: Front Row Photo