After coming to Taiwan, what often touches me is running into missionaries.  I don’t mean just OMF Int’l missionaries, but other missionaries as well.  They are sent by YWAM, Christian & Missionary Alliance, International Mission Board & others.  Many of them are from the U.S., and that never ceases to amaze me because why would they trade their North American lifestyle for a life that is so different in so many ways?  Not to mention quite humbling.  No matter what you were back home, as a missionary, you are starting your life all over again learning the language & culture.  So why?

One can say to spread the gospel or to make disciples of all nations, and he or she would be right.  Ultimately it is to that end that we labor, but I think there’s much more to it than that because you don’t have to be in Taiwan to spread the gospel in Taiwan.  There are other ways.

I’m speaking from my own limited experience, but what amazes me even more is that many of the missionaries that we have met are more introverted than extroverted.  I always assumed that people who become missionaries are all outgoing, talkative & relational individuals who will thrive in any culture, but that’s not the case.  I thought I was the introverted one, but here I’ve run into many like me.

Think about that for a moment.

These introverts sometimes even shy & who probably prefer to be in the audience are in the forefront engaging with people, initiating & building relationships from scratch & leading them to their Lord who has been their comfort, peace & strength.  Meeting & worshipping the Lord in their own quiet place would’ve been enough, but here they are having their faith stretched & who they are in terms of personalities & abilities challenged every day.  It makes no sense.

But being an introvert myself I think I could answer why.  Not only am I an introvert, I’m socially awkward, and far from being eloquent in any language, but I do know why I am here.  Although I can’t answer for others, I think they will concur with my answer.

We are here because we have no choice.  Let me explain.  As Christians we all want to hear or know God’s will for our lives.  We turn to the Word, pray, seek counsel & read books to find out God’s will for me, but that’s a dangerous thing because once He reveals it to you, your options are only two, only two.  It is to obey or to disobey.  It matters not what your circumstances are or whether you lack the ability, experience or resources.  It comes down to obedience.

I know that it’s all about giftedness & spiritual gifts in the current church culture, but obedience despite one’s own limitations & weaknesses is both beautiful & powerful, and I am certain that it’s pleasurable to the Lord.  For Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12”9).”

It may be THAT ONE THING that makes us feel so inadequate & have the hardest time doing THAT may be the very thing that God desires most from us.