The Beginning of a Journey
The idea of overseas missions was planted in my head as a young, impressionable Taiwanese girl. It all started with a white missionary who was serving in Africa. He spoke at my Chinese church in Fayetteville, Arkansas. My hometown and good ole heart of the South.
Needless to say, it was quite a confusing time of my life.
I don’t remember much of what the missionary said except that more preachers and teachers are needed in the mission field.
That idea stewed in my head, tucked away subconsciously, for the next 5 years or so as I started seeking out college and career plans and God’s plans for my life.
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A Seed Planted
I’ve never seen myself as the “teacher type” with my demure, in-eloquent, and follower-rather-than-leader type personality.
Yet, I felt a gentle but compelling nudge to pursue education from my mom and others around me.
As I studied, I fell in love with teaching and came out of my shell personality-wise. I also became more passionate than ever about the injustices in the education systems throughout the United States and around the world.
These simmering abstractions about injustice and suffering became more concrete tangibles each year I spent at college.
The Start of Short-Term Opportunities
During my Freshman and Junior year, my Mom and I taught English in rural Taiwan. During my sophomore year we also went to Guatemala with my church.
There we worked with children with disabilities and special needs. Each of those experiences were transformative. My eyes and heart were opened up to understand God’s love, heartbreak, and jealousy for those who are oppressed and don’t know Him.
A Love for East Asia
Later, I was compelled to do a Serve Asia trip the summer after Urbana ’15 where I was exposed to many different mission opportunities.
My first short-term mission trip with Serve Asia was a photography, videography, and media trip to a region called the Skylands. The people group there are heavily influenced by Buddhist worldview, are unreached, and not well known by the rest of the world, including me at the time I went on the trip.
My team traveled deep into the beautiful country to document their way of life and religion in remote villages.
I was overwhelmed foremost by all the new knowledge about the country, the history of this people group, the realities of Buddhism, and difficulties in reaching them with the Gospel.
Secondly, I was overwhelmed by the feeling of urgency, love, and longing for this region, which made me think: if I feel this way, how much more does God love and long for these people to know and worship Him?
Christ’s love compels me to say YES to his mission wherever I am in the world, in everything I do. Whether that means being a teacher in the States, building relationships in the Skylands in the short-term context, or even going longer term in the future.
Yes Lord, “Here I am! Send me.”