Control, Culture, and Hunger: Reflecting on My Time in Taiwan
As I look back at my time as an Envision intern at Aroma the last three months, I’m amazed at how much the Lord has shown me. Here are three of the biggest takeaways from my time in Taiwan.
1. I am not in control.
Proverbs 16:9 – 9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. I never planned on going to Taiwan. I was prepared to leave for Guinea, West Africa this January. I was fully funded and ready to go! In December, I received the news Africa was no longer an option. “What do I do now!?” I wondered. Scrambling to find a new site, in a matter of weeks I found myself getting off a plane wide-eyed in Taipei, Taiwan! That’s where Proverbs 16:9. comes in. I had a plan in place and it fell apart. God showed me that we are called to step out in faith and trust that the Lord will establish each one of our steps. No matter how much we try to plan ahead, in the end, God is in control.
2. Looking past culture.
I stepped off the plane and was hit by a wave of culture shock! Different language, food (stinky tofu), transportation, family structure, church, and ministry style. (Just to name a few.) In the beginning, all I could see were the differences. Over the course of time, I began to see past the different cultures and found similarities between all people. No matter what culture we come from, we’re all searching for something. We all need purpose. We all need truth. We all need joy. We all need hope. The only place we find all these things we’re searching for is in the gospel of what Jesus has done for us! Yes, we are different. Yet, deep down we’re all the same – lost and broken people in search of a perfect savior.
3. People are hungry for God’s word.
Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
I was overwhelmed as I looked out at a city of millions and wondered “What can I do to have an impact?” I came to help people. I came to share the gospel. I knew I didn’t have the power or the words to do that on my own. Only the word of God has that kind of power. Why not just let God speak for himself?
So I started a Bible study here at Aroma. I was amazed at the living power of the Bible! The Bible drew people in. It challenged their hearts and minds. They were hungry for it! I heard things like “I’ve never looked at the Bible this way before” or “I’ll never read the Bible the same way again!” Powerful. I know this wasn’t because of me. All I did was sit down with people and read the Bible. God’s word is a