After two years in our little village we knew it was time to leave. We were living in a Taiwanese style row house and my knees were feeling the strain of too many stairs. Water leakage was also a common problem in our home. We would be moving about 15 minutes away to an apartment on the edge of Kaohsiung.
Shortly after informing some friends in the village about our move, they organized a barbecue for our family. It was a kind gesture that gave us an opportunity to say goodbye. These people had welcomed us into their community and it is with the same warmth that they were sending us off.
As the group casually sat around eating, the village leader, known as Bones, leaned over to me and began chatting. He startled me with the question, “Why did you not evangelize us?”
This question caught me off guard, I had talked with these men about Jesus. I had spoken about the gospel and answered their questions about Christianity. I had also talked with them about their families, their village, their lives and I had shared about my life and experiences.
It seemed the question, behind the question was, “Why didn’t you push your belief system on us?”
I asked Bones, “If I would have strongly pushed my beliefs on you before we were friends, would you have listened to me?”
He laughed as he emphatically responded, “I wouldn’t”.
I then asked him, “Now, if I continue to share with you about Jesus, will you listen to me?”
His warm response was clear, “Yes, because you are Brian. We know you.”
That night I told Bones and the others gathered that we will continue to visit the village. I told them that I will come back because we are friends. It is out of this friendship that I will continue to share God’s truth and love.
– Brian, University Ministry
(Kaohsiung City, Southern Taiwan)