Thursday, December 3, 2015

Live & Learn

Being in Taiwan has taught me many things. I’ve learned how to speak Chinese, I’ve learned how to teach English, I’ve learned how to cut dragon fruit and eat lychee, I’ve learned to be flexible when the computer is broken and I can’t use the PowerPoint I prepared, and I’ve learned many other things.But the best way for me to learn is hands on. I’m a kinesthetic learner, so when I actually do what I’m learning, I retain it longer and understand it better. I think this is why God often uses analogies with me. When you can’t do something, likening it to something you already understand is the second best thing.

When I first came to Taiwan, I was lonely. I missed my family, I missed my friends, and I missed my culture. Everything and everyone was new, I longed for news from home. People back home knew this new journey wouldn’t necessarily be easy and would write from time to time. As the years passed, I gained more friends here, deepened relationships with people here, and heard less and less from the people back home. I’d still get news from my family (so I knew what was going on) but news directly from the other people themselves was scarce.

Seeking to change this situation, I started writing emails to my closer friends, hoping I’d hear back from them. At first a few of them would reply, but as time wore on, I stopped hearing from them even when I was writing to them. I was in the middle of writing to my best friend one day, hoping against hope that she’d reply this time when I wondered if this is how God feels with us sometimes. We wake up, we read our Bible, we seek for His wisdom in decision making, but that’s about it. I know it’s very easy for me to slip into this pattern.

God loves His children. He seeks a relationship with us. And a relationship is two ways. I love and miss my friends back home, this is what drives me in continuing to communicate with them. But I also want to hear from them. Even though my family keeps me updated and I know what’s happening in my friend’s lives, I still want to hear from my friends themselves. God also wants to hear from His children. Yes, He knows everything about us, but He still wants a relationship with us. That doesn’t mean just us hearing from Him (though that is important). That means that it is okay to talk to Him about what’s going on in our lives. He wants us to talk to Him. 

Being in Taiwan has taught me many things. I’ve learned how to communicate more clearly, I’ve learned the importance of letting people know you’re thinking of them, I’ve learned that I need to be talking to God and not just hearing from Him, and I’m continuing to learn many other things.

~Gabrielle Martin

Originally from Chicago, Gabrielle Martin, is currently serving on the Taichung team in central Taiwan. She graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a B.A. in Liberal Studies, enjoys writing and photography and has a blog that can be found at This is her 4th year serving with VOICE Missions in Taiwan. 

1 comment:

  1. Good thoughts, Gem. And now I should let you know that I do think of you from time to time... ;-)