My name is Rebekah Pearson; I'm 19 years old, and I have a heart for Taiwan.
My grandmother has been a missionary to Taiwan for most of her life - so, my dad and his siblings have each at some point lived in Taiwan, and that has remained part of the Pearson family ever since. I wasn't raised in Taiwan, and have only been there twice - but from the first time I visited at four, to when my aunt tried to teach me and my brother Mandarin Chinese and showed us Chinese cartoons and books, to my grandmother's yearly visits accompanied by Taiwanese treats and stories, and finally the time I visited by myself in March of 2016 - it has always been a part of my life. Since my most recent visit, I've thought of returning, perhaps for more schooling, perhaps to live there permanently, but until I discovered YWAM Taipei, I didn't quite have a plan in mind.
YWAM Taipei, a local division of Youth With a Mission, is located in the northwest section of New Taipei City, Taiwan, in the riverside Tamsui District. The night markets bring plenty of people to Tamsui, making it an ideal place for outreaches like the Rock Cafe. YWAM Taipei also runs a Discipleship Training School (DTS) which, unlike most DTS locations, offers a spring term as well as one in fall. That was what caught my eye - a starting date in March rather than August or September. At first I was afraid of possibly having to leave home so soon, but the thought stuck with me, and as I talked and prayed about it, I realized that it just might work. I wasn't sure that my application would be accepted when I sent it in, either, as it was already the middle of January, but it was - and now, after an interview and plenty of information sent my way, I've been officially accepted for the spring term, March 12-July 25!
However, there are still a few things I need to have before I can attend the DTS - the most obvious being money. Though I have more saved up than I thought I did, it's still only a few hundred - not enough for DTS, which will run me about $4,330 (NT $130,000) total, not counting things like food, personal items and school supplies, and my flight to and from Taiwan. Fortunately, I don't have to pay the full amount at once - though I do need to pay about half (NT $63,800) by the week of March 12, which is the first week of DTS. The second half (NT $66,200) doesn't have to be paid off until April 9th.
So, I'm hoping that with a little help, along with the work I'm already doing in church and online, I might be able to reach my goal - and have enough left over for anything else I might need there. Thank you for reading; your prayers and support, especially from those of you who have already been praying and have helped me with this venture, are appreciated.
(Me (left), my grandmother, and our friend at Yangmingshan, Taipei)