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It’s been 7 months since we arrived in Taichung.  Although that doesn’t sound like a long time, we feel as though we’ve been here a lot longer.  At the moment, there’s excitement in the air because we just finished our 2nd language book.  There are 5 textbooks.  After that Mandarin Bible becomes our textbook, so that we learn to share Bible stories & be able to carry on a spiritual conversation.  That’s exciting!  We’ve also been waiting for the end of 8th month because after 8 months, we get to visit different OMF ministries in Taiwan to discern where God wants to use us.  Again that’s exciting and we are willing to obey God’s lead wherever that may take us.

As we pray & ponder our future works here in Taiwan, we can’t help but to ask what IS the most important thing in doing missions or doing ministry for that matter?  We’ve been thinking about that question because sometimes Christians are more concerned about the means to spreading the gospel than the actual gospel.  They place more emphasis on the platforms & personalities than the power of the gospel.  They spend millions on the aesthetics when the gospel message is free.  But Romans 1:16 states,

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Sometimes we fail to have faith in the power of the gospel.  Therefore we try to slow things down, wait for that perfect opportunity & make the gospel easier to swallow.

There was once a heated debate among churches in Korea on whether to remove the neon lit crosses from their rooftop because people have commented that it made the city look like a graveyard at night.  Some were seriously considering the removal.  This is not just isolated to Korea.  Even back in the U.S. we were starting to see more & more globes and the like in place of the cross in sanctuaries.  But this is absurd because the cross is the emblem of what Jesus has done.  The cross is what makes us who we are!

We need to seriously ask ourselves, “Is the gospel being communicated in our churches, ministries & lives?” because ultimately it is the gospel message empowered by the Spirit that softens hearts & leads us to repentance, salvation then to eternal relationship with God.

If our means & investments do not lead to sharing of the gospel, then they are meaningless.  That’s the bottom line.

As we are learning the language, about the culture & its people, our most important prayer is this.  Although we may not succeed in a lot of things we try as missionaries, we may never fail in sharing the message of the cross effectively.  For that is the only way by which we can witness God’s grace & power in the hearts of Taiwanese people.