What do you miss?

After living in Taiwan for some time we all miss different things from our home cultures. For some it’s food, others the weather. Apart from family and friends, what do you miss from home?

(Download the video here for viewing at church or a small group)

Discussion questions

Do you know a missionary? Write down their name and message them, asking them what they miss? and what sorts of things they now love in the country they are in?

Case study: A missionary you know is preparing to return for home assignment. What sorts of things might be helpful to do in preparation to help them?

What other Biblical principles or Bible passages can you think of that might help someone to deal with things they miss from home?

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Below are more thoughts from other missionaries in Taiwan. Have a read then discuss the above questions with a friend or small group.

What sorts of things have you missed over the years? Has anything changed?

I missed FOOD like Rojak (Fruit/Veg Salad) , Fried Carrot Cake, Kaya/butter toast and movie at the cinema! (Ruth, from Singapore)

This longing to be closer to family and friends doesn’t go away, but I am grateful to be able to talk with them regularly. I miss that my kids are growing up without my parents around. I miss watching hockey (ice hockey!). I miss having a backyard and fresh air. I miss eating big greasy hamburgers. I love the mountains of Taiwan, they truly are beautiful, but I also miss the mountains of British Columbia and Washington state.
(Brian, from Canada and USA)

I missed Australian summers, the beaches, watching the cricket, long lazy days.
I missed my vegetable garden and being able to eat what I had grown.
I miss the colours – bright blue skies, green grass, clean air. Everything in Taiwan seemed grey in comparison.
Fish and chips, meat pies, Golden Gaytimes, Yum Cha, Aussie bakeries
I miss my boys since they finished high school and returned to Australia.
(Phil, from Australia)

What did you not like when you first arrived in Taiwan but now love?

WEATHER! The weather was cold when we first arrived here as I came from a tropical country, no four season. I was really struggling with the cold weather, but Now I love it because I get an opportunity to dress winter clothes which I do not get to wear back home. Haha
(Ruth, from Singapore)

It may be a stretch to say that I love the traffic in Taiwan, but over the years I have learned to enjoy driving in Taiwan. People are more relaxed and do not get as angry as drivers in America and Canada get.
(Brian, from Canada and USA)

The cities were crowded, dirty and grey. And so many people everywhere. And I didn’t like not understanding anything or having any friends. Taiwan has cleaned up a lot since then. I love the night markets, wet markets, and old buildings. I love the 熱鬧 (vibrancy) of life in Taipei.
(Phil, from Australia)

Which Bible passages helped you deal with things you missed?

Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” For all we have here on earth are just temporary!
(Ruth, from Singapore)

In Matthew 28:16-20, the Great Commission, Jesus tells his disciples “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” In Galatians 2:20 Paul tells us, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” These passages remind me that God’s presence with me does not change and my purpose for living is grounded in what Jesus Christ has done for me.
(Brian, from Canada and USA)

Only one verse stands out and it was Mordecai’s challenge to Esther in Esther 4:14 “And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” God has brought me to Taiwan for a reason. So whether I like it or not, I am here for a reason and so I am called to be faithful and obedient.
(Phil, from Australia)

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