My name is Faith Janssen and I’m the Serve Asia coordinator for OMF Taiwan. This means I am responsible for receiving short-term workers who are coming to Taiwan, making practical arrangements for their time here and making sure they are well cared for. My husband, Brian, and I along with our two children are sent from the U.S. and have been living in Taiwan for seven years. We are part of the Kaohsiung university ministry team.
I started as the Serve Asia coordinator in the summer of 2017 after returning back to Taiwan from our first home assignment. When I initially applied to OMF, I imagined myself returning to teaching at Morrison Academy, the Christian international school my children attend. I actually started my Master of Education. as we were applying to OMF. I finished my degree in our second year in Taiwan after juggling part-time language school, caring for two young children, transitioning to life in a new country, and losing my mother, which was the hardest period of my life. I did work at Morrison for the last two years of our first term and then I was asked to fill the role of the Serve Asia coordinator. After much deliberation, I agreed to take on this role and I’m very thankful that I made that decision.
Being a middle and high school teacher for many years has prepared me well for the role. There are occasional challenges that come when one works with people and unexpected situations. 65 long-term missionaries serve with OMF in Taiwan and in the past few years we have received the same number of short-term Serve Asia Workers each year. These short-term workers join us for placements of between two weeks and one year.
I really appreciate my co-workers and their willingness to host and disciple these workers. I enjoy the administration side of the role: planning, emailing, and reporting for short-termers as well as the teaching and training that goes into orientation and debriefs. But the best part of my job is being a part of people’s discipleship journey to find their place in God’s global mission. It always brings me joy to hear workers explain how their faith has been strengthened or what they learned about mission. It’s wonderful to see these workers living out their faith wherever God has called them, and especially to see some returning to Taiwan as full-time, long-term missionaries. I love working with people who come to Taiwan ready to learn and serve. My goal is to make sure each worker is discipled during their time here. I’m currently working on a Bible study with other OMF workers that short term workers can use with their leader/mentor during their placement. Investing in short term workers is investing in God’s kingdom.