Dear friends & family,

We left Tampa last Wednesday and we stopped in Atlanta for some awesome Korean food, then to Nashville to see some friends, and we arrived in Chicago on Friday. All together it was about a 20 hour drive. This will probably be the last time we will drive such a long distance since Taiwan is a small island, and I was told that if one is to drive from north to south in Taiwan, it will only take about 6-7 hours. It is our prayer that we will learn much about its people, culture & spiritual needs during our 1st 4 years.

Now that we are very close to our departure to Southeast Asia, I am somewhat anxious about changes already taking place & changes that we will inevitably face in Asia. As I have shared in our earlier posts, my family has reduced everything down to 5 backpacks, 5 carry-on bags & 5 check-in bags. It’s a strange feeling that I am not used to yet, living out of suit cases, not having a permanent place to rest. I can’t help but to long for a home, where we can settle down, enjoy some permanence & routine, but I am not sure if that place will be in Taiwan or when we return to U.S. for 1 year of further training & evaluation after 4 years on the field.

I forget where I read it, but I preached one time that home is where relationships that we value & treasure are. Then one may prematurely define those relationships as our family & friends, but I think biblically this is too limiting because if we go by that definition only, then for people like missionaries, soldiers, those working in the global market & so forth, home will be a place that we long for, but it will always be far from us. But if home is defined by relationships we value, then home is actually where we begin to care about people we meet & love them with the love of the Lord. And that makes us hopeful because this which I believe to be a biblical model, helps us to feel at home wherever we may be, not because we have recreated what we had before, but because all these relationships remind us of our true permanent home that is waiting for us at the end.

A Northwest suburb of Chicago is where I grew up and it’s wonderful to be back home. Being in my parents’ home, seeing family & old friends bring a sense of comfort. It feels nice. But if I have to be honest with myself, I have to say that it’s not the same as before because nothing remains the same. Everything changes. We have visited places where we have lived & where I grew up, and they brought back many wonderful memories, but we all know that we can’t restart where we left off.

For us believers, home is not limited to our past, but it encompasses our future as well, definitely our glorious future at the end. The beauty of this is that our home becomes everywhere. It is everywhere we share the love of Christ with people we meet. I think this is why we miss our homes in our past places of ministry because these are places where we enjoyed the love of the Lord through many loving relationships.

Home is where love is expressed, experienced & enjoyed. I’m so grateful for all these places I call home, and it is my prayer that Taiwan will also be our home for a long time.