Visiting Mission Posts

Dalin Train Station

Dalin Train Station

We visited Dalin and Chiayi, two towns about 90 minutes south of Taichung by regular train or intercity bus. Our missionary host picked us up from the train station and the first stop was to visit the widow of an Episcopal (similar to Anglican) bishop in Dalin to offer our condolences. The bishop was the first Taiwanese to become a bishop in his denomination, and the principal of a local seminary. He was also instrumental in opening his home to welcome SEND missionaries into the area. He was a godly man who influenced many students, and widely respected by many church leaders across denominations. He had always had good health habits, but in Feb. he discovered he had advanced pancreatic cancer and by Mar. he had gone on to be with the Lord. There were hundreds at his funeral, and a memorial service will be held in Taipei as well. His widow is a strong Christian lady who in her grief submitted to God’s sovereignty.

The bishop's favorite quote: Trust, don't fret; Thank, don't pine

The bishop’s favorite quote: Trust, don’t fret; Thank, don’t pine

The Episcopal and Anglican church in N. America had leaned towards liberalism e.g. in their acceptance of homosexual ordination and same-sex marriage, but that’s not the case elsewhere e.g. here and Africa. Do not generalize by putting everyone under the same label. There will not be denominations in heaven, just true Christians who have trusted in the Lord.

Our hosts had spent 30 years in Taiwan. The first dozen years they learned Taiwanese, and served on a team which planted a Gospel church in Taichung. Then they learned Mandarin, and established an Evangelical church in Taichung, while teaching part-time at a seminary in Taipei. The next phase involved teaching at two seminaries, and helping to establish two churches, one Baptist, one Presbyterian, in Taipei. Again, which denomination is not important, whether you are true to God’s Word is. They then switched to the administration side and most recently championed Vision 119, planning with team members to plant 4 churches in the greater Chiayi area.

God provided them a new 4-storey house as the home-base for reaching out to the community. Many people had wanted to buy the house, but the owner did not want to sell. Other wanted to lease the building and put up walls to partition the house into rooms, but the owner did not want that either. So in the end, they were able to rent the 2,500 sq. ft. building for the price of NT$10,000 (about US$350) a month, because God had reserved it for His servants.

Missionary's home as base for outreach

Missionary’s home as base for outreach

Apartment with walkout to rooftop patio

Apartment with walkout to rooftop patio

It reminds me of Eugene Peterson’s book “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction”. You need persistent obedience to bear fruit. We are not fruitful because we are unwilling to obey, or because we do not persevere. But when you do what pleases the Lord, He gives you the desire of your heart. May God help us to have a willing heart to obey, and persevere.

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