Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Tales from Taiwan #7
One particular aboriginal village here in Taiwan has stolen my heart. I'm not sure when it happened...
Maybe it was when little arms reached out for me, giving a new twist on my name, "Jo-nan-na!"
Or maybe it was when I saw one girl get sent to the local store to buy her parents yet another alcoholic beverage.
It might've been on my very first trip in the spring of 2013, when we shared the Resurrection account with the kids.
Or perhaps the village grabbed my heartstrings when I held dirty hands, saw their torn clothing and despite it all, watched their faces transform into huge, rambunctious smiles.
Whenever it was, I'm not completely sure. But I am sure of this - God knew. He knew the kiddos in this village would snuggle their way in my heart. He knew He could shine through me in the dark streets.
Don't get me wrong - it's not all romantic missionary work. It's not all smiles and happiness and sunshine. There are hard times, sad times, and discouraging times, too. There are times when I feel so empty and dry that I wonder if I can continue.
That's when His gentle and strong voice speaks. And as I come again and again to Him, He keeps filling me up: Romans 8:38-39, Galatians 2:20, and John 13:34-35.
So every time I walk the dirty village streets, I ready myself: I keep a smile on my face because it's Him, not me. I make sure my arms always ready to hug at all times. A prayer for His guidance on my lips always. Words to always point back to Him.
One of our readers, Abi, sweetly asked me to share some prayer requests with you all, so I will. Thank you, Abi, I was so encouraged at your request!
~ pray for my aboriginal village. Pray for Jimmy, JackJack, Fanny, and countless others. My friend and I visit them weekly and share the Bible with them. Pray that the lessons we share would be like seeds planted in their hearts.
~ pray for good health and energy for my fellow workers and myself. We often struggle with sickness here and we need lots of energy to teach, love on, and interact with kids 24/7.
~ pray for Taiwan, because so many people are in bondage to fear of the gods and goddesses here. They often give food sacrifices, burn incense, and many other rituals in my city. In another city where I used to live, during one temple festival (just last month), people still slash themselves with swords, walk on burning coals, and throw firecrackers at each other (catching themselves on fire) - all to appease their gods and goddesses. Pray for the truth and love of Christ to shine through all the fear and evil.
Thank you, sisters! I'm grateful that our Savior is truth and love and light and life!
For Him in Taiwan,