Monday, March 27, 2017

Overlooked Ministry

"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:10

When I came to Taiwan my aim of ministry was leaving a Christ-like impression on the children.  But now I look back on it, I see so many wonderful things I have overlooked.

My time here teaching the kids and playing with them aren't the only ways I can minister. God has graciously opened my eyes to all the different and fun ways I could invest in fellow co-workers, teammate, and peers. You may not think much of it, but when I go out with a friend for a coffee date to sit down, relax, and talk about life, it's a good way of ministering/discipleship.  Going out into the field to preach the gospel to lost people, and hearing out the hardship of a family member of Christ in a coffee shop are both good. Neither one is better than the other. 

I used to think that the only way to minister is to go out into the boonies, where people use leaves and flowers as clothing, where the sun never rises, and you never know if you will be martyred. But that's not true, it's not the only way. If you're like me, please stop beating yourself up. God sends us fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to disciple and minister too. Your spiritual needs are extremely important to God!  He has been teaching me not to neglect my brothers/sisters in Christ..."for His sake." 

Next time you feel guilty for going out with a friend instead of doing intensive field laboring for Jesus. don't.  Jesus also spent time with His disciples alone, even when there was a crowd of people mobbing for His attention and affection. "...especially unto them who are of the household of faith." 

Rebecca Thornton is currently serving in Chiayi under VOICE Missions. She enjoys drawing anime, manga, cosplaying, and chasing after animals.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Good Ol' Joy

For winter vacation I was able to go home back to Jamestown, North Carolina. Those two weeks that I spent there were so refreshing and very much needed. I felt as though I was able to come back and invest in each person more that He has placed in my life here in Taiwan.

As my teammate and I were sharing some goals that we had set for ourselves this new semester, I realized that most all of mine had to do with joy - something that has always seemed so easy but was so hard for me to do.  This semester I wanted to find absolute joy in all things, even though some may be difficult or challenging.  I wanted to find the joy that Paul talks about in Romans 15:13 Not that I just wanted to, but I also needed to find that joy.  

While I have been searching and asking God to give me absolute joy, I have been noticing that having more joy has giving me such peace and such a better attitude towards life. When getting up in the morning, I don’t find myself checking to see how much time there is before I can go back to sleep, but rather excited to teach and to spend time with my co-workers. Teaching recently has been hard for me, because I felt as though I was stuck with doing the same thing over and over, but now I realize that it’s the way I’ve been looking at it.
God has given me such a new joy for teaching. I had always thought that I would be a teacher when I was younger, but as I grew up I realized that I didn’t want to do that. Now being here in Taiwan, I have such a love for these children - they are each so precious in their own ways. Though I’m not planning to become a teacher when I go home, I still have a joy when I’m teaching even when it’s hard.
Even when traveling, I find myself more eager to meet people, which is way out of the normal for me. Just everything in my daily life seems to be changing for the good! I’m so thankful for this time here in Taiwan as I am able grow so much and to help others realize that they can also have this joy if they to follow God.
I’m excited for the next five months here in Taiwan to grow more and to share God’s love and joy with the people that I am surrounded by.  God has already worked so much in Taiwan and I am so excited that I get to be His messenger to bring the Good News to the people here.

Florentina Parra is 19 and is the middle child in a family of 12. She likes to play volleyball and basketball, drink coffee, and try new foods. Flora loves to travel and explore. She enjoys trying to learn Chinese. She has always loved missions and sharing God's Word with others so coming Taiwan is a perfect opportunity!