It has been the question of 2020 for Sara and me. A question that many acquaintances, friends, and family have asked, mind you even we have asked ourselves this question:
“When are you moving to Taiwan?”
Since we made public our plans to plant a local church in Taiwan, we have been inundated with the question, and FINALLY, now I am thrilled to report that; we are in Taiwan!
We arrived close to midnight on 12 August. It feels surreal, to say the least. Partly because we are in the middle of a fourteen-day quarantine, and all of Taiwan that we get to see right now is the 60 sqm of our 15th-floor apartment. The other reason it feels surreal is that although it has been a recent announcement for most people, for Sara and me, this has been a long time coming, now we are finally here. Pinch me!
After a mandatory COVID test on 8 August returned negative, we took a fully booked charter flight from Johannesburg to Dubai on the 11 August. I know I didn’t have COVID 19 before flying out of OR Tambo, but after eight hours of unaccustomed post-lockdown close fellowship with some nearby passengers, I am not so sure anymore. That heavily populated flight was followed by an eerily empty one from Dubai to Taipei. We were on a Boeing 777-300, which can take 550 passengers, and if I were to hazard a guess, I don’t think there were more than 50 brave travellers.
Getting here has felt like the all-encompassing mission for the past few months. So now that we are here, what is the next step? At the moment, we are, for the most part, on our own in Taiwan. Our team, which consists of four other amazing saints from JoshGen and Oxygen Life, are all in various stages of their journey to Taiwan. While we hope they can all join us soon, we do realize, from experience, that the process can take time. Immediately our focus will be on establishing ourselves in this part of Taichung city, finding our feet. We have a certainty that God has called us here and that He is very zealous for a local church to be planted here. We believe that the location we are in is part of God’s perfect plan. So, we trust that day by day, and step by step, we will see Him work as we align ourselves to His will and walk in obedience and faith. We have never done this before, so our need for God to direct our steps is a very desperate one.
This move has had its challenges, but to be honest, it hasn’t been all that inconvenient. When I think of how others have pioneered in centuries past, some leaving family behind permanently, some heading into great danger, even painful death, I am sure we are too soft. It amazes me that the Moravians, who sold themselves into slavery for the sake of reaching the lost, had no idea whether they would be successful or not. They didn’t know that one day people would write books about their lives. Their joy was Jesus and their aim to bring glory to the Father. I resonate and am motivated by these words:
“Though no one knows who I am, yet that through my life, many would know the saving grace of God through Jesus.”
“But for me, it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”
Please pray for us, especially those on our team who are still trusting God for work opportunities, study visas, and other logistical barriers to overcome in getting here to Taiwan.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen is the loving husband of Sara, and together they have a little girl, Evie. Having been in leadership in Oxygen Life Church, Stephen has recently been released to plant New Heart Church (Xin xin jiao hui), Taiwan.
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