Friday, June 28, 2019

Saying "See You Later"!

After being in Taiwan for almost 6 years now, God has led me to continue to pursue my degree in social work. I've seen the great need for believers to step in and help children especially. That being said, my next step is to move to the US to study. It was really hard to tell this news to my kids at the orphanages where I've been volunteering for years. There were many reactions. There was the wide-eyed stare, the gasp, the red-rimmed eyes, the fierce hug, the "why do you have to study in America?!" and the quiet acknowledgment. As I have been slowly saying my "See you laters" to so many dear friends and students alike, there have been a few things I've been reminded of:

- For the ones who know Christ as I do, we will definitely meet in heaven (and I definitely plan on seeing them again soon before that!). There is so much comfort in this and encouragement, too, to know that even if we are thousands of miles apart, God is still active in our lives no matter where we are.

- The local church will continue to reach out and minister to those lost, sick, hurting or in need of a friend. I've been a member of my church since Christmas 2013 and I've seen their faithfulness in ministry as well as discipleship. I am confident that God will continue working through them and the other local churches who hunger and thirst after Jesus.

- For those who don't yet know Jesus, I can continue to pray and invest in their lives from afar (one of the reasons I'm grateful for technology!). Even though I will be absent, God can send others along to plant seeds and water the ones already sown. He is God of the harvest and He is the one who causes the growth.

- Sometimes God has us in a certain season of life and sometimes He calls us to a new season. It doesn't mean that one season is better than another but simply the next step of this journey of life with Him. My next step will involve navigating reverse culture with a friend who is also moving with me. It'll also involve doing hard things, whether big or small, like finding a good, solid group of believers to find fellowship with or figuring out how to order Subway in English.

While it's extremely hard and sad to leave this beautiful place that I call home, I can leave with the assurance that God will continue to water and grow those seeds that I and many other English teachers have planted. One day we will see more of the fruit of that harvest and what a joyful day that'll be!


Joanna Suich has been serving with VOICE Missions since February 2013.  As a child, she attempted to dig her way to China, but only made it two feet in before her mom called her to dinner. Although Joanna never made it to China, God did bring her nearby to the island of Taiwan. She has a heart for all things involving missions, juvenile delinquents and adventures. God has placed Hualien in her heart and it's been home for quite awhile. She is currently majoring in social work.  If you're looking for Joanna, check the local village or orphanage and you'll probably find her there - playing, tutoring and sharing Christ's love and truth.