Friday, February 22, 2008
I am a missionary, but I am not what some people would think of as an "official, trained missionary." Technically, I came to Taiwan to teach English. That's what it says on my Visa anyway. I feel compelled to mention that I am not using English teaching solely as a means to share my faith. I love teaching English, and I try to be a good English teacher. However, I also try to make the most out of the times that my students ask me about my faith. Lately though, I've felt like a missionary without a mission -- which is hardly a missionary at all! I'm not sure what I should focus on, or if I should focus on one area or group of people. As I mentioned before, I came to Taiwan as an English teacher. I didn't take a DTS or go through any other type of missionary training to teach me the best way to go about doing things. Another thing that makes things kind of weird is that I'm still very much in the language learning phase, which means almost all of my free time is devoted to studying Chinese rather than church planting or some other missionaryish thing (I know that language learning is also necessary for a missionary, but you know what I mean). On top of that, I've been volunteering in an OMF ministry every Friday that focuses on homeless people and prostitutes. Right now I feel a bit confused -- like I have too many irons in the fire to be effective at anything. Outside of work, should I do nothing but study Chinese? Should I stop working with OMF so that I can solely focus on my students as my ministry? I just feel like I'm doing something wrong because most missionaries I talk to seem to have a very specific vision for their work like church-planting, the Hakka people, college students, or what have you. I'm just kind of floating. I know God can still use me, but would I be a more effective missionary if I put all of my energy into one group of people? Of course the language learning is a must, but outside of that, should I pray for God to give me a very specific vision for my life here? Or am I making too big a deal out of this and should just continue living life like I normally do and just see who God brings my way? Comments from all you experienced missionaries will be greatly appreciated!