Friday, April 20, 2018

Of Dreams and Fields

It’s 10 pm and I’m working on a homework assignment for my online course.  I’m in Taipei because all of the VOICE Missions teachers have a meeting this week. Through the screen door to the balcony I hear traffic buzzing back and forth. I also hear the relaxed conversation of some of the other VOICE Missions teachers drift through from the other room.  They are discussing dreams. Dreams for their future, dreams for what they want to do in Taiwan long term, dreams of how to impact the lives of the students who have become near and dear to them.

Gem in Danshui at a memorial for George Mackay
This scene carries me back to a meeting during my first year in Taiwan. Some of the other VOICE Missions teachers and I sat in the girls’ dorm preparing for bed. There were three other teachers who had been in Taiwan for quite some time, and then there was me – new and eager to learn all I could. I listened wide eyed as they shared their passions, the needs they saw in the lives of those around them, their dreams of how they could help transform this little island that we had ventured to. That night my heart was stirred with a sense of excitement and adventure. I was here and I was going to make a difference.

Five years have passed. Some of those teachers have gone on to become involved in other more long term ministries here in Taiwan. Few of the dreams we discussed have been fulfilled, but the path God has created for those teachers has allowed them to reach and touch many lives. And yet there are still so many lives to reach. Truly the harvest is plentiful and the laborers far too few. Will any of the dreams discussed tonight be able to be realized? “A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps.” (Prov. 16:9 KJV) What path has God prepared for these teachers? And the heaviest question of all - where are all the workers for this waiting harvest?

It is this heavy question that brings to mind George Mackay. The first time I had heard of him was from a lady who attended the same church as me in Dajia. She mentioned that in Dansui there was a small museum for one of the early missionaries to Taiwan and his name was George Mackay. The second time I heard of him was while reading Goforth of China.  Mackay visited Jonathan Goforth’s church (and many other churches) in an attempt to recruit missionaries for Taiwan. Mackay realized he was drawing nearer and nearer to the end of his pilgrimage on earth and wanted desperately to find young Christians to fill the gap that would be left in his absence. It was Mackay’s speech which sparked the fire in Goforth’s heart and started him on the path that would lead to a life of missions in China.

I don’t know if Mackay was successful in recruiting new missionaries to Taiwan. But I do know that there are now many missionaries in Taiwan – I am one of them. Mackay’s heart was heavy for the Taiwanese people, as are the hearts of my fellow VOICE Missions teachers and me. Yet it is not our harvest. It is God’s harvest and we are merely the workers. “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.” (Mt. 9:38 KJV) Whether our dreams are fulfilled or not, at the heart of it all we wish to see laborers drawn the harvest.

 Are you one of these laborers being called to Taiwan? Or is the Lord possibly calling you, as he called Jonathan Goforth, to go to another foreign field? Perhaps He is not calling you somewhere abroad, but rather to be a faithful witness at home. No matter which field He has called you to be a laborer in, will you be praying with me that God would bring workers to the fields of Taiwan? There is indeed a great need here for the Way, the Truth, and the Life.


Originally from Chicago, Gabrielle Martin had served with VOICE Missions for 3 and a half years before being led to spend a year and a half back in the States. She has recently returned to Taiwan, and continues her M.Ed. TESOL studies online through Regent University. She loves teaching English, singing, and dabbling in photography. Her personal blog, sharing her adventures and things she's learned, can be found at

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