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Since last Saturday we are attending the annual OMF Taiwan field conference. It’s a 5 day conference in central Taiwan (about 30 minute drive from our home in Taichung) where all the OMF missionaries throughout Taiwan come together for training, sharing of ministries & for mutual encouragement.

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What is so amazing about this gathering is that we have missionaries from many countries around the world. They are from the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Canada, Germany, Finland, Switzerland & the U.S. It is quite a testament to the Taiwanese to see these foreigners choosing to live where they live & speak their languages. It prompts the local Taiwanese to ask the question, “Why?”

Most “Why?” questions usually allude to skepticism, but not so in Taiwan because they know that these missionaries have not come to gain in a worldly sense.

I want to mention a few people who served in Taiwan for a long time.

The first couple is part of our central Taiwan team, and they have served as missionaries in Taiwan for 40 years. They had many roles & responsibilities during those years. They served as language coordinators and developed the curriculum that we are currently using to learn Mandarin. In fact, Jeanette read about them in a book before we left the U.S. and was happy to meet him (wife was away on a trip) and learn that this couple were part of our weekly prayer meeting group. Then when she saw [Husband’s] name as one of the authors of our curriculum, she was so excited. At the following prayer meeting she asked for an autograph and we laughed about it because [Husband] looked a bit surprised and thought Jeanette was joking and said no one had ever asked him before. What a humble man. [Wife] works with young people at a university in Taichung, and [Husband] continues to train missionaries not only in Taiwan, but travels to many other countries to do so. We have gained much inspiration from them already as beginner missionaries.

Another couple I want to mention have been in Taiwan for 28 years. They have been serving as church planters while [Husband] also serves as a medical missionary. They are always smiling, open, and warm. Their close friend said that every time she visited their home, it was never without visitors.

They chose to come and love the people here and love the country that God has sent them to. We were asked to ponder on whether we see the Taiwanese as the object of our missions or do we see them as friends?

Unless LOVE is the motivation, we cannot do missions genuinely.

This applies to all things Christian.

One of the above mentioned missionaries shared a statement that describes what success will look like in missions. He said something like this (paraphrased). “It is like a stamp for its success lies in its ability to stick to one thing until it gets there.”

It is our prayer that we may get there… in love.