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Roger Campbell Gospel Meeting Trip - Day 3

Friday, 11 March 2011 (Day 3 of 6)

We went to one of the nursing homes in the morning. While the men went off to study Bible with some of the other residents, Sister Wang and the others stood ready with blowdryers as the ladies came out of the shower and I was able to help with getting their socks on their feet, which was surprisingly quite a workout. Later, I was glad to sink my teeth into one of the sweet black sesame pastries Sister Wen-Yi had brought.

At lunch afterward - my brother and the Wangs:

Brother and Sister Wang and Tracy:

Brother Zao:

You can just barely glimpse Justine in this next photo. I have so few pictures of her because we were always sitting together as I shot the scene in front of me. The few photos I have of her do not capture her kind happy spirits and lively banter whenever we got together:

Roger Campbell, and the Zao's who made it all possible - lunch was their treat - and I wanted the recipe of a particularly memorable seafood soup with Chinese sauerkraut in it:

Justine had to catch the train home to Taipei right after lunch and there was a mad rush when she found out she had mixed up her backpack with someone else's.

Roger Campbell before he came had said to schedule as many Bible studies for him as possible because he could always rest in heaven:

The time on that photo reads 1:48 PM Taiwan Time (2:48 PM Japan Time, since they're an hour ahead). We had no idea it was just 2 minutes after Japan's worst earthquake in 100-300 years, causing a 33 foot tsunami traveling over 6 miles inland, taking out at least one of Japan's towns and starting a chain of events that would decimate their economy and leave us with radiation fallout all around the globe by the next month.

Wen Yi's mother and father, her brother and his family, and her sister and her family all worship with us down in Kaohsiung. They had all recently left their respective denominations after one of them found the booklet "The Church of the Bible" in a train station the year before and began discussing it with Brother Wang and my dad, and asking questions of their various denominational leaders.

Wen-Yi still had things she wanted to discuss, and since Roger Campbell and his "What does the Bible say?" logic was there, she wanted to pick his brain:

My brain was taking a short break after lunch so I didn't think to video the Bible Study until we were halfway into it. Thankfully Tracy got some of it on both her camera and mine:

Here's where Tracy started shooting with my camera. She wasn't familiar with the microphone placement on my camera and accidentally covered it from time to time. Thankfully, my camera has supersensitive audio, and the words can still be heard, though not with crystal clarity.

Sorry for the video quality. I was shooting on the lowest setting (320x240) to eke the most time out of my 8G camera card, and it was still blurry from "fixing" the lens after a smash.

Pei-Rong, on the left, came with Wen-Yi out of the denomination and had just been immersed the week before. Tracy and I were staying at her house.

By this time I think the Wangs had started getting calls from friends all over Taiwan telling about the earthquake in Japan and warning them that the news said there was a tsunami headed straight for us in Hualien, due at 5:30 PM. The trains on the east coast had been stopped and the schools let out early. (The train Justine was on would have already left the coast.)

The Wangs continued talking for a while and then we had a prayer. They turned on the TV for a bit. I called my mom and and transferred my photos to my laptop, freeing up my camera card to either film our last moments or the sermon that night.

The Wangs decided to go ahead with the gospel meeting, set for 7 PM that night, and took us back to the church building to continue getting ready for it.

I was wondering why we weren't high-tailing it up the mountains ringing Hualien or at least planning to greet 5:30 PM from the roof of the church building, 5 floors up, but Sister Wang still had obligations, children to help take home from school, and they'd had so many false alarms in the past 30 years. They also felt here was Roger Campbell working so diligently for God, and God had opened up so many doors for them in the past few weeks, they would just trust him about the tsunami and if it came, well, we'd either be around to help with the aftermath or just get to heaven that much sooner.

If we had gone to the mountains, traffic jams would have kept us from getting back in time for the gospel meeting. I figured if God had provided me with a five story building, the least I could do was be on its roof. So, at 5:30 that's where I was, looking down at a steady stream of cars all headed toward the mountains. The opposite lane was empty of traffic.

Standing in the drizzling twilight and seeing nothing but concrete buildings as far as I could see, I felt we were too far from shore for anything like the 10 foot wave I imagined the Indonesian tsunami of 2004 to have been. (This was before I got home a few days later, saw the videos on youtube, and found out the tsunami in Japan had been a 33 foot wave sweeping at least 6 miles - 10 km - inland. When I located the Hualien church building on Google Maps it was only about 3 km from shore.)

Down below, Brother Wang, Roger Campbell, and my brother, were in the neighborhood passing out fliers for the gospel meeting, and after a while to make sure nothing was going to happen, I went down.

It turned out Taiwan was in a sweet spot and the tsunami rolled in on the north coast only a few inches high, though it caused a lot of damage in Hawaii and reached South America.

Roger Campbell preached that night on "The Worship of the Church". If you have only a few minutes, at least listen to the 4th one to whet your appetite; it's only 2 minutes and 44 seconds long. (In Chinese.)

Clicking on any of the photos will open that video in a new tab:

That night after class we drank tea at the Wangs, enjoying fellowship and Brother Campbell's dry flashing humor. We left at midnight but Tracy fondly remembers staying up till 2 AM on Roger Campbell's prior visits.

Related posts:

Roger Campbell Gospel Meeting Trip - Day 1
Roger Campbell Gospel Meeting Trip - Day 2
Roger Campbell Gospel Meeting Trip - Day 3: You are here
Roger Campbell Gospel Meeting Trip - Day 4


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