I thank God for giving me the opportunity to go on the mission trips to Lin-Zi-Ne and Chulu in Taiwan. This short-term mission trip was a real eye-opener for me. God revealed stuff that I hadn't realized before. Looking back on it now, my family and Isabella can't contain our excitement whenever we talk about the wonderful works of God; He is always so real and so awesome. The words of Deuteronomy 6:5-7 say, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." And that was what we did, when we walked along the road, when we sat, when we were on the train, even when we laid down, we talked about the acts of God all the time. We sang, prayed and laughed and cried tears of joy. We all felt like kids again. We couldn't get enough of it and I really miss those two weeks when we were together. I truly tasted the sweet fellowship in our Lord Jesus Christ. We also saw the protection of God and sensed His presence during those two weeks. It was evident that our lives were transformed during the mission trip. Of course, Iwant to thank all the brothers and sisters who had prayed for us diligently and without their prayers, we wouldn't have experienced the power of God's love as we did. We're on the same team with Jesus, our Lord who is leading us. May He get all the glory!
I remember I used to complain about the heat in Texas, but after visiting Taiwan, I'm happy with what we have here. I especially appreciate the comfort of the central air in the US. I don't take the comfort for granted now. There are many people in Taiwan, they don't have air conditioning in their homes. We also witnessed the indescribable love of God during these two weeks, especially from the two pastors. I believe that we ate more than 15 big sugar apples in Chulu, which are big and yummy, and Taitung was the only place to have sugar apples during that time, so Pastor Huang in Chulu made every effort to get them for us. Also, knowing that we were tired and fatigued, Pastor Hsiao in Lin-Zi-Ne got up two hours early to prepare us the American ginseng root tea. Their loving kindness and love will not be forgotten.
Proverbs 20: 24 say, "a man's steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand his own way?" Before the trip, James and I thought Chulu would be a right place to start our long-term mission work because of the students who have dropped out. On the other hand, we thought Lin-Zi-Ne has already many outside sources help, so we didn't consider that place as our choice. But God has a different plan for us.
Before the mission trip, I always thought that I was a pretty patient and caring person, but God saw me differently and He knew me well. Something unusual happened, I unexpectedly yelled at my 32 Lin-Zi-Ne 3rd and 4th graders on the 2nd day of the summer camp. Yes, the kids behaved afterward, but I felt so bad and guilty. I knew that wasn't the right way to respond to the situation. The whole night, the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin. I thought I had lots of love for these children. Love is patient and not easily angered but I failed both of them. I then realized that what I had was not the love from God. I tried to love them with my own strength, how foolish I was! Of course, when the pressure is on, the truth comes out. I then asked God to forgive me and give me the genuine love from Him. I realized my desperate need for God's love in my heart. I also asked God for another chance. And that's what I did the next day; I apologized to my kids and asked for their forgiveness. Amazingly, I found these kids to be truly adorable and special after that. Of course, they were rowdy at times, but it didn't bother me at all. The love of God is really hard to fathom, I felt worry-free and joyful.
I also remember the first day we arrived in Lin-Zi-Ne, it didn't impress me at all. In fact, I told God I could not stand 5 more days there. The weather was really hot and humid, mosquitoes were everywhere, and there was nothing interesting in the village. But since the significant incident that I mentioned a moment ago, my love for Lin-Zi-Ne started to grow day after day; especially when I found out the majority of the young people are from broken families, my heart aches for them. How much they need God's love! I told God that every young person deserves to be loved. No one is indispensable. As the love in me grows in increasing measure, I realized that the people in this village have stolen my heart. I think about them all the time and pray for them. This transformation of my heart can only be done by God and the love for Lin-Zi-Ne cannot be manufactured by me but God. He has put a heavy burden on my heart. I just need to follow His leading and trust Him and He will take care of the rest. That's why I am looking forward to the day of returning to Lin-Zi-Ne again. I also know that we'll be learning a lot from Pastor Hsiao, because of her faith in the Lord Jesus and her love for all the saints.
The name of our Lord is the ultimate object of praise; God's ways and His work always go above and beyond our expectations.
Posted at 8/5/2010 12:07 AM