It’s hard sometimes to explain how different life in Taiwan can be at times. Like most transitions into new countries, we can expect to experience seasons of: “Man, I miss (fill in the blank)” or “If only I had (fill in the blank) THEN it might be a little bit easier”. In part, this can be attributed to culture shock (probably a large part, actually).
Speaking of which…
Having lived in Taiwan for almost a year (1 year September 9th!) I am finding myself experiencing a bit of culture shock. It is a little hard to explain, but for me personally it just feels like homesickness, sometimes a loss of motivation to study and remain active in the community…along with a few other things. I have been processing some of these thoughts and feelings with a few people who I love and trust immensely as it is something that feels so very personal. However that being said, I am finding more and more that yes, it IS personal, but it is NOT uncommon. I find hope in this truth. In the truth that I am not alone, that this is a normal season to go through and also an important season to walk through faithfully.
Faithfulness, I feel is something I am learning more and more about these days. Faithfulness seems like such a great idea when you don’t have to think about actually having it. It is in this current season that I am having really lean into the love and strength of the Father. I want to be someone who is found faithful and steadfast no matter what my emotions and feelings may be.
I remember when I moved to Taiwan last fall, I read a biography on Rachel Saint. Rachel Saint was a woman of incredible faith, obedience and steadfastness in the Lord. She is the sister of Nate Saint, one of the 5 Missionaries (Jim Elliot, Ed McCully, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian) who was killed in Ecuador. As a result, Rachel Saint along with Elizabeth Elliot went to Ecuador to minister and live among the Waorani people. I remember staying up late in the night to finish reading an intense chapter only to continue on to the next. Rachel’s story and life are that of incredible inspiration and passion. I find that when I feel alone, or lonely, or like I’m not seeing any fruit; to remember people like Rachel Saint, Elizabeth Elliot and the 5 men who gave their lives for the sake of the Gospel, brings me great encouragement.
Remembering these faithful men and women of God, once again, aligns my heart and steers my vision back to the heart of Jesus and away from present “self”, emotions, feelings and fears.
So, though the current season I am in feels challenging and lonely at times, I take courage and heart in the truth that God is with me and that I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to minister in a nation that Jesus loves and to a people whom Jesus died for.
I know that God has called me to Taiwan and though I am not totally sure of how long the season will be, I want to be faithful to the day. So, today I am thankful for people like Rachel Saint and Elizabeth Elliot who’s lives can inspire and encourage us in all seasons of our faith.
.This blog is dedicated to M.H. Baroody “Maama”. I remember sitting at the breakfast table with you at the house before I came to Taiwan and you shared with me about Rachel Saint. It was after that conversation, that I began to really wonder “Who exactly is this woman of great faith, and how can I live a life like hers” Thank you, thank you!.