Our children’s missionary school in southern Taiwan was surrounded by pineapple fields. Due to its warm climate, pineapples are grown & harvested all year. Still during summer months, they are especially sweet & inexpensive. Pineapples are my favorite fruit in Taiwan not only because of its sweetness, but also because they remind me of a period of grace that my father’s family experienced just before my grandmother passed away. A period that teaches me that our connection to Taiwan started long before we chose to go to Taiwan, and that God’s will precedes all things.
In 1959, my father was a senior at Korean Naval Academy. As the graduating class, the seniors got to travel East Asia on a ship, the final stop being Taiwan, before returning to South Korea. My father knowing about Taiwan’s pineapples, purchased 2 cases of canned pineapples & brought them back. He kept them in storage until he graduated & then took them home. At that time, my grandmother was dying of liver cancer. She wasn’t able to hold anything down except… pineapple juice. My father spoon-fed her pineapple juice every day until she passed away. He said it was the first time she had pineapple juice, and its sweetness fed to her by her son brought unexpected joy to her heart. How gracious our Lord is! He can even use something simple as pineapple juice to comfort those in need.
I am always overwhelmed by how gracious our God is. This past month has truly been a season of grace for our family. We drove a lot using cars that friends & family have lent to us. We visited the OMF office in Littleton, CO, former church members & friends in 3 different cities, and the church where I used to be an EM pastor for 6 years. We also met some friends & partners in the Chicago area. Everywhere we visited, we were showered with kindness, generosity & encouragement of God’s people. How we’ve missed them all! Every encounter felt as though we never left because we were able to quickly resume where we left off. We got to eat delicious food, laugh, cry & pray together, and rejoiced in God’s faithfulness & goodness.
Everything reminds us that it is purely by God’s grace that we are saved, blessed & are allowed to serve His kingdom. His grace moves us to worship the One who gave all to save us.
It is our prayer that our time in Chicago for our home assignment will be a season of deeper faith, miracles & building up the Body of Christ.