Thursday, May 26, 2016

Equipped to Witness

Before two wonderful events happened that redefined my perspective I was ashamed and scared to talk about the gospel. The reason I didn’t have enough confidence was because I let Satan creep in and claim ground. I thought my testimony was irrelevant and average, I gave Satan the power to tell me that I would fail.

I accepted the Holy Spirit into my heart at a young age, but later rededicated my life to Christ, due to doubts about my future. I still feel like my story isn’t very special, but I’m beyond blessed to know the truth and live with a purpose. Because I was prideful, I never took advantage of opportunities when given the chance to be used for God’s glory. I would worry that people wouldn’t take me seriously because of my age. I was worried that I would come across as too preachy. I would worry that others wouldn’t show interest, and also that they’d have questions for me that I couldn’t answer because I’m incompetent… Which is a risk we all take if we enlighten someone about the Word; but planted seeds will not return void. The first thing that changed my life was being baptized. I had the privilege of being baptized along with two siblings, and I think that moment in time was like putting the cherry on top of my faith.

  “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
~John 1:17   

Being in Taiwan is the latest chapter that has expanded my borders forever and I find it rewarding teaching and any time I can sneak in a Bible reference, I do. When you hear students learn new character for the first time or hear someone tell you that God’s grace has encouraged them, it’s truly the most bubbly feeling ever, and I can’t help but praise Jehovah.

I wanted to show pictures with the faces of souls that have not yet been saved. So can I ask a favor of you if you’re reading this? Although you probably don’t know them personally, stop for a brief moment and pray for a miracle that they would accept the free gift of love.

~Anslea Morris

Anslea was born and raised in Georgia. She was home-schooled and has five siblings. She is currently serving with VOICE Missions in Taichung. She came to Taiwan because she felt called to, but also because she loves children and traveling. She spends most of her time outdoors doing things like running, kayaking, long-boarding, Eno-ing, hiking, fishing, and doing water sports. She thinks the two most important things in life are time and relationships.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Not an Abstract God

Often times I wonder how to love a God I cannot see or touch or even hear audibly. Being the greatest commandment, loving God with all of my heart often seems like the greatest challenge as well. Recently I’ve been turning to 1 Peter 1:8, which reads: “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” I’m glad the Bible addresses this point so frankly because it brings to light doubts that often creep into my mind. How can I truly love this God whom I follow, when my very own senses claim against its possibility?

For most of my life I’ve been guilty of thinking of God as an abstract thought. An intellectual subject. Not as a person to love with my heart and soul. I may not be the most emotional person on the block, but I know what it means to put heart into something. And putting heart into an abstract thing isn’t exactly easy.

But God is not an abstract. He is the one true God, who has loved me first, undoubtedly deserving of my every affection and devotion. Yet I often feel so distant from Him. Where is the missing connection: the link between what I know and experience, and God’s abounding love and promises? I long to see face to face what I now only vaguely see through a mirror. I guess this is where faith comes in. The faith, which is rooted and upheld by God’s love, looking toward the living hope He has given us. 

“Faith, hope, and Love. These three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)

~Andrew Lukachick

20 years old, Andrew was born and raised in Louisiana, a fifth-born with 4 brothers and 5 sisters. This is his first year teaching in Taiwan. He enjoys everything playing piano, writing music, surfing, soccer, and reading. Andrew has graduated with degrees in Music and Business.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bus Buddies

I’d like to share a snapshot of our daily living here in Taiwan. One aspect of daily living is our daily trek to school and back home again. Thankfully our home is right at the bus stop, and the bus ride to school is only a short 10-15 minute ride.

Wednesday through Friday a driver from the school will take us home, but Mondays and Tuesdays we take the bus home. I look forward to Mondays and Tuesdays because as we take the bus home, we get to spend time with our “bus buddies.” Angel (5th grade) is the older cousin of Sandra (3rd grade) and Sandra’s brother, Ryan (2nd grade). Barry and Dick are both in third grade, they get off the bus one stop before the rest of us do. 

Anslea and I love our little bus buddies. They always run up to give us hugs as we go out to the bus stop. They try to teach us new games to play, or play the same old ones over and over and over again. On days with nice weather they climb the little overgrown mound of empty space between the two houses at the bus stop. On days with bad weather they huddle around us and tell us stories of what their friends said or did that day that was funny.

Some days we know what they’re communicating, and other days we are left laughing at their antics. Some days they’re perfect angels, and some days they’re little monkeys. But every day we spend with them is a special treasure. I’m saving as many of the memories as I can.

One day Barry was telling me something about his favorite movie and I had to keep asking him to slow down. Eventually Sandra exclaimed in exasperation, “Hey! Slow down! I’m not a foreigner and even I don’t understand what you’re saying!”

Another time Anslea and I arrived at the bus stop to find Dick sobbing. Sandra informed us he was sad because the teacher had changed the seating chart that day and Dick was no longer next to Cinderella, his crush. When the bus arrived the driver was full of concern until I explained what had happened - he was then suppressing laughter until we arrived at Dick and Barry’s stop. The driver didn’t stop laughing the rest of the way home.

These and so many other memories are the ones I want to take home with me. The bright memories spending time with the kids, getting to know them, and letting them know they are loved.Whenever we get on the bus, they’re fighting over who gets to sit next to us. And when we get off the bus, Angel and Sandra’s farewells always include many “I love you!”s and “I love you too!”s. I love my bus buddies, and I hope one day they will come to know God’s love too.

~Gabrielle Martin

Originally from Chicago, Gabrielle, 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.

Friday, May 6, 2016

To Be Like a Child

Matthew 18:3 says, “and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’” I am honestly amazed every day of this opportunity that God has given to me. Almost every day of the last two years God has reminded me in some way that I must become like a child, just like one of my students. Children are full of examples and also demonstrate a very clear picture of our Heavenly Father and the relationship that He wants to have with us.

“For we walk by faith, and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) I must say that this last year I have felt how little faith I have when struggles and hard times come. It is easy for me to say to myself, “have faith” when everything feels as if it is close to perfect. When the hard days, the struggles, the bad news comes, my first instinct is to run into my room and hide from the world. And my second instinct is to question why the struggles are happening and how God will use this to show His goodness to me. One way that my students have impressed me is that when I teach in the classroom, they sometimes have so many questions. As I try to explain and answer them, the language barrier often really hinders my explanations. One of my students, Jerry, will always say, “It’s ok teacher, you say it’s like this so we will say it is this way.” Jerry’s leadership has been a huge strength for the entire class. Now other students in his class say, “Oh we will remember teacher. It’s okay.” Their ability to have faith in me and my example reminds me of how I need to trust in God’s leadership over my daily life. He is worthy of my trust and faith not only on a good and easy day but especially during the difficult ones.

Fairly early in the year, I realized that I needed to start looking at my student’s strengths. I started to look at other people’s praise of children so I could find more ways to encourage my students. A lot of people have given very high praise for children of the next generation. As a Christian my highest praise will be at the end of my time on earth, when God says “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” As we are headed toward the end of the school year, I keep reminding myself about my three main goals here in Taiwan. That my view and understanding of Christ’s love for us will only grow and become clearer. That my students will be able to view the world through Christ’s eyes. And, that my faith will continue to grow throughout the challenges. I will never forget this gift of not only teaching Taiwanese students but of learning from them as well.

~Gabrielle Schweikert

Gabrielle, from Missouri, is currently serving with VOICE Missions on the Kinmen team. Traveling, spending time with her family and friends, observing nature and caring for people and animals are some of her favorite things to do. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with the desire to teach children wherever God leads her.