Although the past few weeks have been tremendously busy, it has also been a blessed time for our family as we come to a closure here in Taichung. Everything ranging from finding a suitable apartment in Gang Shan to our language assessment to farewells to relationships God has granted us here, it all points to our God’s faithfulness & graciousness. He truly is everything that He says He is. He is the keeper of His promises. He is the lover of our souls. Without His constant presence in our lives, we could not have made it this far. It is this amazing God that we want to share with the working class people of southern Taiwan.
2 Year Language Assessment
OMF International has a very good system of teaching Mandarin to its missionaries. The main focus is on speaking & dialoguing though we learn to read & write too. I have to admit that missionaries can still do mission work without becoming fluent in the language of their target group. But it is our conviction that without having a solid foundation & good usage of the language, it will not be easy to win the hearts of people we are trying to reach.
We were quite nervous about our 2 year language assessment. It involved each of us dialoguing with a Taiwanese for about 45 minutes while being evaluated by our language supervisor & one of our leaders who happens to be Taiwanese. By the grace of God, both Jeanette & I were quite encouraged by the outcome of the evaluation, and couldn’t stop praising the Lord who has formed our mouths & ears! We were also grateful to the Lord for our language supervisor who helped us a great deal, and of course, without our patient & experienced Mandarin teachers, there is no way that we could’ve made good progress. We are truly thankful for these wonderful servants.
No words can express how much our OMF colleagues, language teachers, our Taiwanese church & friends mean to us. They were all heaven sent, and we will miss them greatly. We are still missing family & friends back in the U.S. so our impending departure from Taichung added to what we are already feeling. Whenever we face difficult or low times, there’s a question we ask ourselves that helps us to stay focused, “Why are we here?” It is not to have a comfortable life or to provide the best education for our children or to build anything in this world. We are here to share the love of Christ so that some may find life eternal & life as it’s meant to be… full of grace & hope.
What’s Coming Up in Our Ministry
A week following our move down to Gang Shan District, we will be helping at a summer camp being run by our team leaders who have planted a church in Qiao Tou District. About 80 students have signed up, which is truly amazing because it’s a town where ancestor & idol worship is a way of life. By the grace of God, and the faithfulness of our team leaders, some people recognize the value of sending their children there.
Jeanette & I will be helping out wherever there’s a need, but one day we are assigned to share a Bible story to children. We are both excited & nervous at the same time, and we will truly appreciate your prayers. Please pray that our Mandarin will be clear & that the Lord will use these stories to plant seeds of His truth in the hearts of these children. Starting August, we will be regularly going into elementary schools to share Bible stories, thanks to our OMF colleagues who maintain good relationships with local school principals.
We are also excited about our new Taiwanese church in Gang Shan who shares our vision of reaching out to local college students. There are 3 small rural colleges in our area that do not have Christian presence on campus. It is our prayer that a meeting place near the colleges will be established where the gospel can be shared. We are still in praying & planning stage, but we are blown away by God’s hand working in our midst.
If not daily, we often feel like we are hanging by a thread, but it’s a feeling that we treasure & rejoice in for it is in such a time that God’s power is made perfect & more visible. There is no other place that we’d rather be than here at the center of God’s will for our family. Thank you for partnering with us in reaching out to the working class people of Taiwan.