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In Taichung, about 45 minutes away from where we live, is a mountainous area called Dakeng. There are 9 hiking trails with varying degrees of difficulties. A number of people encouraged us to go and gave us directions. The directions seemed easy enough, so last Saturday afternoon, we headed out to Dakeng for a family hike. We got to the general area just fine, but difficulties came when we started looking for the actual hiking trails. After the first sign pointing to the trail we wanted to go, there were no more signs. We literally took every road stemming from the first sign, but none led us to the hiking trails. We stopped and asked local people along the way about 4 times, but they had different ideas on how we need to go. They were all very friendly & wanted to help, but their directions didn’t lead us to where we needed to go. After 2 hours of driving through narrow steep mountain roads, we had to face the reality that we weren’t going to find it that afternoon.

The frustration came because we knew that the trails were there. We just couldn’t find them. Without an experienced guide or clear signs, it was impossible for us to find the hiking trails. Because the roads were so high up on the mountain & very narrow and winding, my wife and I were a bit stressed. Our small car worked extra hard to climb the altitude with 5 people in it. Our children enjoyed the ride, seeing things we had never seen before. There were small mountain towns, mushroom farms, and clusters of homes in the middle of the woods. They asked how the kids there get to school every day and how the parents ride their scooters or drive on those roads when it’s raining and slick. It was good experience in some ways. However, at the end of the trip, we were not where we set out to when we started.

The Way to life exists in Taiwan, but like anywhere else, Taiwan needs guides & workers to help people find the Way. Last Saturday’s experience became a tremendous motivation for us. Often people just need to see a better, more beautiful trail than they are on. Once they see the beauty & splendor of the road that leads to eternal life, they will not need much convincing to go & stay. But how would they find it without someone helping & leading them to that road?

As Christians, we must put up “road signs” in life & do all that we can to guide people to behold the beauty of our Lord who is the Way, the Truth & the Life.

We will head out to Dakeng again. But next time, we will ask friends who have been there to lead us. And once we know how to get to the trails, we PROMISE to help other new hikers reach the top of the mountain.

We cannot wait…

 

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Our language teachers at TLC

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At the morning market after language class

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Our favorite vegetable store