Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Powerless. Until…



“We have no power from God unless we live in the persuasion that we have none of our own.” 
~John Owen

It is the beginning of a new year, and at the same time, the close to the end of one school semester. A chance for a fresh start to improvement, yet time is running out to continue making a direct impact during the year we are given in Taiwan. Maybe you have been like me and have set some goals or resolutions before. I have even said that I would make such and such changes for the better and would try really hard. It would probably last several days, weeks, or months and then my old ways would revive. This is the case when I rely on myself to try to do what is good. 

Since coming back to Taiwan, this year especially, God has been teaching me how unattainable it is to do anything, including what I know He wants me to achieve, in my own strength. That is, anything apart from Him. Here are some examples: I was in another location the previous year; in moving to Pingtung, there are definitely more temples around and it felt more spiritually dark here by comparison. It drew me closer to God as I understood how incredibly small I am without Him. I would have a hard day teaching, or make some mistake and feel I just got beat up by something beyond me. Discouragements came easily because I was too focused on doing what is good without having Christ live through me. Also, not being a part of the ministries that I did the prior year made me undergo a sense of unproductiveness in missions. But in reality, my ministry has just changed forms. For this semester, it has shifted less from children hungry for love and attention to co-workers and the locals to see needs that reflect a greater need for Jesus. In response to this, God has shown me my need for His transforming power in my life and to better myself in various skills so I could be a more effective light and testimony. All this has been personally a very growing experience. 

We come to Taiwan with hopes of serving and making some impact, but it all has to start from within everyday so we could do the impossible: love like Jesus can love. Second Peter 1:5-8 says, “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” It takes hard work and discipline on our part, but He is the only One capable of making the transformation including lasting results and with that, He has promised to make us fruitful. Let us go into the next year and semester with the hope that nothing is impossible through Christ. 




~ Angela Hsu

Angela Hsu is from Mississippi. She was raised in Taiwan until she was seven years old and has also spent some time living in New Zealand. This is her second year to be volunteering as an English teacher back in her native country. She is currently teaching in Pingtung with King Car, while her previous location was in Hualien with CEI (Character, English Institute). Her team is super awesome, and she is looking forward to seeing how God will work in the following semester.