By David and Sarah Clemente, Taiwan and Southeast Asia
While talking about the Chinese people from the Mainland, Wendy mentioned stories that her parents told her, Jane recounted some movies describing the beautiful northwest regions of the country and Jenny quoted one of her missionary friends who recently visited this place.
I just listened and marveled at the vibrant appreciation these Taiwanese students have for their culture. And, out of the blue, Wendy asked me a question: “Teacher, why did you come to Taiwan?”
A few months back, I was dining with three ladies, all third-year students of Holy Light Theological Seminary. It wasn’t a special meal nor an extraordinary occasion. Rather, we were just eating supper at the school cafeteria, and enjoying an informal time at the dinner table.
At this point in time, Wendy asked me her question. As I began giving her my answer, I could not help but think of the many times I have shared about God’s calling in my life as a missionary to my students. Many of these instances have happened both inside and outside the classroom, in informal settings or during a lecture. Perhaps, Wendy wasn’t present at those instances. At any rate, I freely shared with her about God’s calling on my life.
I told her, Jane and Jenny all about how God had called me to be a missionary.
I shared how, I had prayed that He would send me to a frontier missionary work. Specifically, I prayed for the northwest region of the Mainland, the places and cities populated by various Muslim tribal groups. I prayed for about five years or so, but God closed the doors.
When an opportunity came for me to come to Taiwan and teach in a seminary, I thought maybe I could be in Taiwan for a few years and then later move to the northwest regions of the Mainland. But, again, God closed all the doors.
Now, I am realizing that I am here in Taiwan because God wants me to train leaders for missions work and help them to take on missionary work. Now, in my eighth year of teaching, I have had a few of our graduates already move into missionary work in Indonesia, Korea, in the eastern parts of China, Papua New Guina, Turkey, and here in Taiwan doing local missions.
I told them how I am still waiting for God to show me a seminary student who has a heart and passion for the Muslim people in the northwest regions of the Mainland.
I still have not found this student. I believe that someday, God will call a Taiwanese person to come to seminary in preparation for working among the Chinese Muslims of that country. Meanwhile, I will wait by teaching missions here at Holy Light Theological Seminary.