Getting Started on the Deputation Trail

Completely new to deputation, we’re feeling our way along. It’s been exciting to start contacting churches and line up a few meetings – so far we have 5 confirmed meetings. We’re eager to start sharing our burden for missions in general and Taiwan specifically. Our friends here will be glad, I’m sure, for us to have someone else to talk to about it for a while.

Our big project right now is writing the script for our presentation. We’ve just completed the 4th edition, which we hope will be ready for recording soon with just minor editing from here on out. The next step will be planning what pictures to show with our audio. It’s really been a lot of work, but worth it to get something that we’ll be using to inform and challenge people for the next 2 or 3 years.

Working on the presentation has given us a great opportunity to learn more about Taiwan’s history, religion, and culture. Now we’ll have all sorts of facts at our disposal, as well as a better sense of the “flavor” of Taiwan, if I can say it that way. It’s also helped us think through and sharpen our focus on making and maturing disciples of Jesus Christ in Taiwan.

So far the most compelling things we’ve learned have been about Taiwan’s religion. Taiwanese religion combines ancestor worship with folk varieties of Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucian thought. They all have conservative ethical standards which echo Christ’s command to “love your neighbor.” However, none acknowledges a personal God to whom men are accountable. Wrong behavior produces social embarrassment, but not guilt and confession of sin before God. And man is viewed as naturally good – like water naturally moves downhill. There is no Savior from personal sin against God.

A better understanding of religious thought in Taiwan will certainly help us pray more appropriately and diligently for them. We don’t have to wait until we’re in Taiwan to start ministering to the Taiwanese people.