Our daily walk through our neighborhood

Our daily walk through our neighborhood

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been almost a month since we moved down to Gangshan, and we are enjoying getting to know our small town & its friendly people.  I’m always fascinated by how God works so creatively.  What has been very helpful to us in connecting with people, especially the younger ones is the fact that we are Korean Americans because many Taiwanese seem to like Korean pop culture, its music, drama shows, etc.  Although we don’t know much about Korean pop culture (I haven’t visited Korea since I left in 1978, and for Jeanette since 1977), nevertheless, our Korean heritage has been a good connecting point with the people.  We were reminded that in Christ, nothing is wasted, and that everything can be used for His glory.

I found a university in a very rural/agricultural area, about a 20 minute drive from our home.  Whenever there’s an opportunity I want to go there to get to know the students & even staff.  Last week I met a professor who was pleasantly surprised that I came from the U.S.  During his studies, he spent a few years in New York and was glad to hear that I had also lived very close to where he was.  He was gracious enough to talk with me for a long time and even help me with my Mandarin.

I did experience discouragement as well.  It was quite eye opening actually.  There is a staff at the university gymnasium who has been very helpful.  After a few meetings, he asked me why I was in Taiwan.  When I told him that I came as a “missionary”, the feedback was not very positive.  He and a co-worker were both respectful, but I could sense them backing away.  Later that day as I was discussing what happened with Jeanette, I realized that I shouldn’t have used the word “missionary” as it doesn’t have a positive connotation here.  We remembered that our Taiwanese Christian friends previously told us that the Taiwanese think of “missionaries” as people who stand in the streets to pass out tracks.  Or worse, they think we are Mormons (who are very active here in Taiwan).  We are not only racing against time for the end is near, but also against false prophets who are leading people astray.  But if we think about it, this isn’t that surprising in light of what Jesus has warned us about in Matthew 24:11.  He clearly said, “Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

At a walking distance from our home is Gangshan train station.  We recently discovered through our OMF leaders that the land next to the train station has been purchased by no other than Mormons.  They are planning to build their church there.  Even here in southern Taiwan, the last place I thought I would find cultic activity, I realized once again that the harvest field is never without weeds, and that we are also on the battlefield for souls.  It is our heartfelt prayer that God will use all that we have & all that we are “so that by all possible means we might save some (1 Corinthians 9:22).”