Our apartment at Gang Shan District in Kaohsiung

Our apartment at Gang Shan District in Kaohsiung

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every evening we as a family read a chapter from the Bible together, then we talk about it, followed by a prayer.  A few days ago, we read Matthew 25.  In it is the Parable of the Talents.  The reason why the last servant in the parable was reprimanded by the master (though he returned the one talent that he received from the master) was simply because he was not willing to take risks to gain more for his master.

To some, this may sound somewhat unfair since he didn’t lose the master’s money.  He kept it safe.  So why the severe rebuke?  It is because the reason why the master entrusted him the money was so that he may work it, to invest it & to multiply it.  The last servant just didn’t understand or stop to think why a talent was entrusted to him.

I could certainly identify with the last servant in the parable because God has indeed entrusted much to me, but for a good part of my life, I haven’t used them to the fullest… mainly out of fear.  Fear of failure, fear of people & even some unrealistic fears.  Maybe it’s my age, but now much of those fears have dissipated, and all I want to do is to glorify & proclaim the One who has given me everything.  I only wish that I had more time than I actually do.

We have already come near the end of our 2 years in Taiwan.  I have to admit some of that time hasn’t been easy.  But by the grace & strength of our Lord, we have made good progress in terms of learning the language, getting used to living in Taiwan, and most importantly embracing & loving the relationships that God has granted in our lives & ministry.  It is a slow progress, but a rewarding one.

Home in Kaohsiung

As I have shared in my last post, we will be moving down to the Kaohsiung area at the beginning of July.  We thought it’d be in Qiaotou District in Kaohsiung, but there was no suitable home there.  Instead we will be living in Gangshan District, just North of Qiaotou.  It’s an apartment complex that the Taiwan government offered to military veterans.  There are, therefore, many older tenants.  Some have passed their apartments down to their children and some are being rented out.

Although living in Gangshan was not our original plan, God being in control, it turns out we’ll have benefits of being there.  First, the Taiwanese church that we will be partnering with is very close.  It’s actually a 10-15 minute walk from our apartment.  Another benefit of living in Gangshan is that there are many immigrants from China who settled there during the time of the Chinese Civil War.  Why is this good news to us?   You may remember me saying before that we chose to learn Mandarin instead of Taiwanese.  There was a slight concern because more people in the South speak Taiwanese, but in Gangshan even the elderly speak Mandarin.  Communicating with our neighbors will be much easier.  Another blessing is that our apartment complex has a rather long courtyard where tenants, especially the elderly come to sit & chat, an ideal place for us to practice our Mandarin & build relationships.  The only downside is that our children’s school is a little bit farther than if in Qiaotou.  Other than that it seems to be a community where there are many shops that we need nearby so I’m planning on getting some bicycles and we’ll try to get around town that way.

Our “world” is about to become different (from living in Taichung), but this is the very reason why we came to Taiwan, to be in a rural working class setting to share the love & gospel of Jesus Christ.  To this end we ask all of you to pray for our family.

The courtyard front of our apartment

The courtyard front of our apartment