photo 4“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8)”

In life there are times when no words could capture the splendor of the moment.  All I can do is to occupy that space in time, soak everything in & simply be glad that I am alive in Christ.  Although no word is quite sufficient, grace is probably the word that can best capture all that Christ has done & is doing in our lives because I know deep in my heart that I don’t deserve any of it.  I often find myself lost for words, flabbergasted by the unrelenting grace of our Savior & Lord.

This week I want to share briefly of how gracious God has been, and I hope it will lead you to worship the One who is faithful & true.

As we were still trying hard to get used to all the changes and transitions of being missionaries and living in a foreign country with many limitations we never knew before, we were given the news that a supporter will be dropping support.  It was such a large portion of our total and so soon that we didn’t know what was to come.  We had so many questions as to what we have done wrong, what we could have done differently, if we had rushed into coming and then what do we do now, how can we start raising awareness without pressuring our friends and family, how do we do partnership development from so many miles away, etc.  We were filled with a plethora of emotions but then an unexplainable peace came upon us.  We decided that the best thing we can do is to pray.  We shared with some co-workers and friends what had happened and asked them to join us in prayer.

In the last 3 months, the amount that was dropped was covered with sources from all over.  Fundraisers were done on our behalf from halfway around the world, a couple we got to know in our first months in Taiwan shared our story with their family who then shared with friends and so we got support from people in Hong Kong we never even met personally, we gained a few new partners, we saw deposits from anonymous givers, and we had reserve funds we collected before we actually arrived in Taiwan.  So the 3 months since that major amount was dropped we have seen our prayers being answered in ways we never imagined.  This month I even found that our account was at over 100% of our budget.  That’s this month.  We don’t know what will happen next month or the one after, but we know for sure that it is God who provided.  We felt that it was God’s way of letting us know not to worry and that He is watching over us and hearing our prayers.  What a reason to rejoice!  We thank our partners for your prayers & support for you are a physical representation of God’s faithfulness to our missions.  How we long to embrace all of you!  We keep being reminded of what Hudson Taylor (the founder of OMF International) said, “God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.”  We know as long as we stay faithful to His calling and follow His will we have nothing to fear.

One of the greatest blessings of being in Christ is the relationships that God brings to our lives.  We are thankful for all the relationships we enjoy, past and present.  This week I was especially thankful for the church we attend and the people we are getting to know better.  Last weekend was the Mid-Autumn Festival and we celebrated it at church.  We played games & had barbeque together.  As I was enjoying tea with some of our church elders, I was filled with gratitude because this was our 2nd Mid-Autumn Festival at this church, which meant that we’ve been in Taiwan a little more than a year (hindsight often brings clarity to God’s faithfulness), and also because unlike last time, we were able to understand & communicate more in Mandarin.  How gracious is our Lord!

God’s grace is evident in our neighborhood as well.  Our neighbors & local shop owners are very patient when we converse and we are often touched by their openness.  It is not too difficult to love & care about these lives that we are coming know.  We have shared with a few of them that we are Christian, go to church, we work as missionaries, etc.  Most do not understand what those things mean but we slowly explain one thing at a time.  We hope that even in limited language and ability to explain fully we will spark an interest in them to dig deeper and that our actions and interaction with them will speak louder than words.  We realize that the best thing we can do for them is to pray.

Typhoon Dujuan passed Taiwan on Monday and Tuesday.  It was bigger than we had anticipated.  Public schools & offices in Taichung were closed.  We could hear the winds howling and our windows were rattling so severely that at times we were afraid they would suddenly shatter.  Two of our rooms were flooded again.  I have to admit clean-up took some time and it was bothersome, but we were thankful that we were safe indoors and we had no serious problems.

In the past, even 6 months ago, I thought I was somewhat sacrificial.  After all, we were in the mission field.  But now I know how blinded & ungrateful I was for ever thinking that.  The truth is in light of what Jesus has done on the cross & what He continues to do in our lives, I don’t think I could ever utter the word sacrifice to describe my life for all I have been doing is receiving from the Lord who gives so graciously & abundantly.