The other day a man showed up at the gate of our home. He had seen a poster which I had made advertising a praise and worship night we will host at the church. Our new friend extended an invitation to Rebekah and I to join his language exchange group, saying that we could come “teach them about Jesus.” He went on to share that he has encountered many missionaries before from many different religious backgrounds but he has remained an atheist while working as a fortune teller in a temple. He told us that as a fortune teller, many people often book a session with him seeking answers to the many questions of this world or the hardships that they carry; so he creates a fortune for them using sayings from the Book of Changes (or I Ching) which has been traditionally used in Asian cultures to predict the future. He shared that he feels there is nothing spiritual about his job – simply a means of “telling people what they need to hear so that they can go on, even if that means sometimes lying.”
Since our first conversation, Rebekah and I have been able to join the language exchange group for one meeting. Our introductions quickly turned into three hours of sharing with them about the immense love of our God! As I shared my call to missions and the impact that Eucharistic Adoration has made on my life, one lady responded in complete astonishment saying, “That sounds like such a beautiful gift of peace from a God who must really love us.” Yet, no one could seem to understand why I would leave school and my family to travel half way around the world to a country where I don’t know the language to simply try to love people and give them the opportunity to know Jesus.
It always amazes me how in each of my attempts to share this story that I have told so many times, I am moved to tears by how the Lord has shown His mercy to me. Because of this great love I have experienced I cannot do anything other than serve Him. He asked me to do that in Taiwan: who am I to object? I trust that where He calls us is where He has “plans to prosper” us (Jeremiah 29:11) and He continues to allow me to encounter Him and come to know Him more and more each time I speak of His great love.
So, we continue to open our church every Thursday night to sing praise and worship even when no one joins us; we try to learn Mandarin; we build a life here in Taiwan. Not because I think this is the most well-thought out and logistically sound plan for my life, but because I know this is how He is making me holy.
“But when I turned to all the works that my hands had wrought, and to the fruit of the toil for which I had toiled so much, see! All was vanity and a chase after wind. There is no profit under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11
It is in these opportunities that I encounter Truth. In these conversations I see this beautiful gift of faith which has been given to us; I see the spiritual poverty of my new home and my heart aches for His peace to find a place in the hearts of all those in Asia. It is so humbling because I know that this aching heart of mine is such a small piece of our Lord’s desire for them to know Him. I humbly ask each of you to please pray for the light of Truth to live within our future conversations with our friends. Not so that they will “hear what they need to hear,” but rather encounter Truth Himself.
I pray that today and everyday you might “set your eyes on things above” (Colossians 3:2) and truly allow Him to make you holy by encountering Him exactly where you are at today.
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