Last week has been quite busy to say the least, but as we all know God is faithful. Not only does He help us get through everything, He helps us to grow from it. Last week was no exception.
For the first 4 days of last week we were in Kaohsiung, a southern city in Taiwan, to do a ministry visit. Ministry visits to different places are conducted to discern where God is leading us to do permanent ministry here in Taiwan. Anyone can set up strategies & plans to further God’s kingdom, but unless they originate from God’s heart, we will lack the conviction & power we need to implement & persevere. Not only that in His kingdom, it’s all about obedience to His call & not about our own intelligence or ingenuity. Therefore as we prayerfully seek God’s will, we ask for you to pray for us as well.
Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan located near the port, and although it’s only 2-1/2 hours away by car from Taichung, it felt very different from Taichung. Other than the downtown area it seemed very rural, especially the outskirts of Kaohsiung where OMF missionaries are laboring to reach out to the working class people. These are areas where one would not expect to see foreigners, but it’s evident that they situated nicely into the community & are thriving there.
As soon as we arrived in Kaohsiung on Sunday, we worshipped with our OMF host family at their relatively new church plant. It was beautiful to see the Taiwanese worshipping the true God & discussing about the Bible, especially when Ghost Month began last weekend. Ghost Month is a month dedicated to worshipping spirits & ghosts to appease them, and most of the Taiwanese observe it.
In terms of ministry, OMF missionaries are involved in planting churches, they often work with local public schools to teach young people of Christian morals & values using Bible stories. It’s still amazing to us that many public schools allow OMF missionaries to do this. It’s because although school officials are not Christians, they recognize the truth we share as being good in students’ moral development. OMF missionaries are also invited by public schools to run summer camps where a wide range of activities are offered like learning English, and although they cannot invite students to become Christians, the message of the cross is shared with them clearly. They also work with local churches & social services to serve the community where they dwell.
If we are to move down to Kaohsiung, we will be living in a small rural town. We will do 2 more ministry visits this fall. Wherever God leads us, we trust that God’s purpose goes ahead of us, and for that we are grateful.
After we got back from Kaohsiung, we heard the news of a sizable typhoon coming to Taiwan. We experienced mild typhoons before, but this time it was scary. The east of Taiwan had it the worst but we witnessed quite a bit of damage in Taichung as well. It started on Friday night and all through Saturday. We thought our windows would break, but only two of our plastic awnings over our windows were shattered & flew away. Our apartment was leaking so much water in our bedroom & Ethan’s bedroom all night. By Sunday morning, the weather was calm, but we could see damage all over our neighborhood.
Many of us were praying for and anxiously waiting for our new members who were due to arrive on Saturday afternoon. Their flights were obviously delayed but they did arrive safely in the middle of the night before Sunday morning. Our new worker supervisor worked hard for their arrival and had to drive in bad conditions to pick them up from the airport. She shared that she tried to get gas before she got on the highway but because of power outages the gas stations in Taichung were closed. She headed onto the highway, praying that she’d be able to fill up along the way. She found a gas station some ways up that was running on a generator. Praise God for the ways that He provides! They were all able to come over to our home for dinner. We all had an encouraging & joyful time. At the end of the day, I was grateful to the Lord that He is the King over our lives, ministries & even typhoons.