Monday, November 3, 2014

Hualien Aboriginal Village Ministry

My weekly trips to one particular aboriginal village were always exciting.  Again and again, God spoke to the children in ways I never imagined.  So many times I found out that He's working behind the scenes, in ways invisible to my human eyes.  Truly, He continues to show Himself strong and faithful and amazing!

Like one week when I shared the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and how they refused to
bow down to the statue that the king put up. My ten village boys crowded around me, intently listening to each word.  These boys grow up rough.  They often are neglected or have broken families.  They use cuss words, get into fights, and have bad manners.  Yet when I sit down on the cement on this particular day, they scoot closer as I share the Scripture.

I am praying.  I don't want these kids to leave saying this was an amusing story.  I don't want them to go home thinking this is just a kids' fairytale.  I want God Almighty to reach into their hearts and work on them.  I want His truth to shine through into their lives and change them, even in a little way.

I continue with the story and the boys are convinced that the three friends will give in to the king's
demands.  This is the first time they've heard this Sunday School classic.  When I tell them that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood firm in their faith and didn't bow down, these village kids simply stare at me in amazement.  This amazement continues to grow as they find out that when the king threw the three guys into the fiery furnace, God protected them and they lived, not even the smell of smoke on them!

When I finish, I ask them what they can learn from this account.  I'm not sure what I'm expecting they will say but it's definitely not what I hear. One boy speaks up.  His words pierce my heart and I know God is at work:  This Bible story means we shouldn't bow down to our Taiwanese idols.  It means we should instead only worship Jesus, the one true God like the three friends did.

I try to imagine a kid in America giving the same answer.  I draw a blank.  When I had prepared to share this particular story, I never imagined how God would use it in such a powerful way - because for kids in Taiwan, worshiping and bowing down to idols is a common practice here. Truly, God continues to awe me and make me realize how powerful and wise He is!

Joanna Suich is a 24-year-old who has a huge heart for missions, kiddos, orphans, and adventures.  Because of this, she's traveled down dirt roads in Romania, Panama, Mexico, and Taiwan, among others.  In July 2014, she came stateside after 1.5 years serving in Taiwan.  When not getting confused over which language to speak (English, Spanish, or Chinese?), she can be found getting swamped with hugs from little ones, volunteering at her church, or making others laugh.  Joanna delights in sharing what Christ has done in her life and seeks to live by a quote from William Borden: "No reserves, no retreats, no regrets."

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