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I know that our missions partners have many questions about our future missions in Taiwan, so we would like to answer as many of them as possible because we desire our missions partners to take this journey with us.

We want our partners to be engaged in what God will be doing in Taiwan through us because this is & it has to be a partnership. And it is our hope & ambition that our partners will come to know almost everything about the culture of Taiwan, its spiritual needs, challenges we as missionaries will confront & victories we will experience, but most importantly we want our partners to come to know & care about the people of Taiwan, who are created in God’s image.

Ultimately, it is our love for the people that will help us to persevere & be successful in missions. There are many ways that we could define love, but in missions, one of the surest ways of communicating our love for the people is to embrace their culture not partially, but fully. It is to lose yourself in a culture that is not your own. It is to put yourself in their shoes, so that you may understand where they are coming from, their struggles & their hope.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT JESUS DID.

John 1:14 explains, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”

2 Corinthians 8:9 further explains, “For your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

Jesus did this not to learn about humanity because He is omniscient, but so that He may experience & empathize with what we experience. The joy & the pain. It is only then that He can truly be one of us, our representative, and our perfect sacrificial Lamb.

To that end, Jesus demanded no special treatment from people or special privilege He had enjoyed when He was with the Father. Philippians 2:5-8 describes what Jesus did.

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, He humbled Himself…”

I believe this is what will make or break our future works in Taiwan. How far are we willing to go to meet the people where they are OR are we going to ask the people to come to us & learn our way?

Somehow we assume that our way is always better, but even if some aspects of our culture are better, for the sake of loving them, we must forgo what is comfortable, convenient & makes most sense. Of course I’m not referring to the gospel here.

Missionary programs can be dangerous because they can be done without us becoming one of the people we are ministering to. You can argue that you are making progress & you can point to buildings going up & programs being run, but unless your home is where the people are, we are not doing what Jesus exemplified. Programs & buildings can be given to the people without ever giving ourselves. I hope that make sense.

OMF International, our missions agency is adamant about duplicating incarnational ministry that Jesus exemplified.

Rather than us choosing a place to live, OMF Int’l will arrange to rent an apartment or house for us to live in, and it will be situated among the people we need to reach out to. It is both exciting & scary. It’s exciting because of the prospect of meeting people who have never heard of Jesus, but at the same time it’s a little bit scary too because the living condition & lifestyle we will live may be drastically different than what we are used to. It’s hard to imagine how it will be. There’s an old Korean saying that goes “ignorance keeps us bold,” and it’s certainly the case here. I just know that we will be humbled in Taiwan.

One of the highest values for OMF Int’l is the language because although you can teach English, run programs & produce a lot of good work, without the language, we will never be able to connect heart to heart with the people. Missions is all about people & relationships, so for the 1st 2 years, one of our main focus will be learning the language. But there is one minor, actually major issue. It is that in Taiwan there are 2 languages spoken: Mandarin & Taiwanese.

Our field director who heads the OMF Int’l office in Taiwan said due to our age (Jeanette & I are in our 40’s) it’d be advantageous to choose one. We decided to go with Mandarin because not only is Taiwanese much harder but Mandarin is more widely spoken.

I have to admit learning the language will be the biggest challenge for us, but if we desire to love the people deeply & touch their hearts, learning the language is a must. This is why Wycliffe Bible Translators do what they do because every nation, tribe or people group should hear the Word of God in their heart language.

People have also asked us about the church we will attend. As OMF Int’l missionaries we are required to attend a local Taiwanese church. This is not only to serve the local Taiwanese church, but more importantly to help us understand Taiwanese Christian culture & learn how to work together effectively with our Taiwanese brothers & sisters in Christ.

Our prayer is that we may blend in with the people of Taiwan well so that what they will notice is simply Christ in us.