Taiwan 2017 MBCLA - Beginning the Journey!
Please enjoy the terrible picture of our team at the airport....since team photos are a bit hard to come by ahah :P
It's been 2 years since I graduated college, and life has definitely shown itself to not be the "boring young adult life" as other people have mentioned, but rather full of of opportunities to grow in Christ and as a person. These last 2 years, I've spent more time thinking about and concentrating my efforts in outreach after exiting a period of time where I concentrated on growing the body through college ministry. God placed in my heart and reminded me that our purpose as Christians of people here on Earth now is to be a light in the darkness, to point people back to who truly gives us joy and satisfaction, and that is Jesus Christ. As it mentions in Luke 19:10, "For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost", where Jesus sought after the very lost Zacchaeus the tax collector and wanted to be with him, despite how people would perceive Jesus because of Zacchaeus' reputation.
I am currently on missions to Taiwan from July 3 - July 16 at a university in Hsinchu with Mandarin Baptist Church of Los Angeles (MBCLA) with a team of about 15 people. There is also another team of 15 going to a university in Ilan. In Taiwan, there are < 4.5% of people who identify themselves as Christians. We will be holding a leadership camp that will provide opportunities to build relationships with the college and graduate students attending and helping, and hopefully share the gospel with them. We will be integrating gospel elements, such as "servant leadership", into the camp. This will hopefully allow for more conversations about this culture and how it is different than what the world tells us. I felt called to this missions trip because this particular program is more of a college ministry. I personally grew a lot in my own college fellowship, where I found true joy and satisfaction when I truly understood the gospel and God's grace. In Taiwan, we will be doing the same, where we will concentrate on building relationships, and encouraging people to find what will give them true joy and satisfaction, since most of them are in a period of their life when they are starting to wonder what their purpose on Earth is.
We spent July 5th praying together for the students, the helpers, and our hearts before we start the camps at our respective universities. It was a great time of rejuvenation and setting our hearts and minds in the right direction. The biggest reminder I took from our time together was that we're not only here to love on the students with Christ's love, but also that the students will see Christ's love by the way we love one another (John 13:35). We already started to find ourselves getting frustrated and losing patience at situations that included us being extremely hot, hungry, confused, and tired. We recognized that all the little things that annoy us on a trip will add up, including our own sins, to us failing to love one another with Christ's love. Please continue to pray for us to be reminded to not only love the students, but to love and bear with one another even when things get hard.
Please pray for:
- Team unity : We haven't been able to meet as a whole team yet, considering a small chunk of our team is in the Bay Area, and I've been in Norcal quite a few times for weddings and an engagement, so please pray for us!
- Physical strength (at least for myself, the poor weak soul): I've been dealing with some stress and fatigue due to work and other minor health concerns, more so this last month, so please pray for me! I'm sure many of us will be extremely tired from the humidity, full days of activities, and being with the students, so please pray for God to give us physical and spiritual strength as we seek out opportunities to share and live out the gospel.
- Taiwan students and helpers: Please pray that God open and ready their hearts for the gospel, the great news of God's grace, in whatever situation they are in. This school is one of the more prestigious schools in Taiwan, so many of them are often stressed and burdened by the pressure to do well from the world and from their family. Also, some of our helpers from the university are not Christian, but were previous students in our camp.
- Boldness: Ultimately, please pray that God be glorified as we labor together. Please pray that God be glorified through our actions as witnesses and through boldness in sharing the gospel.
- Spiritual warfare: Our team has had a few instances of spiritual warfare, and I'm not sure if you consider my fatigue in the last month spiritual warfare, but please pray for us.
- Loving one another: Students will recognize Christ's love when we love one another, not only them (John 13:35). Please pray for us to be reminded to love and bear with one another as we labor together for the gospel.
Thank you friends! Please keep my team and the students in your prayers :) Thank you for all your support!