What Is Reality?

Jonathan and I have begun to feel the stirrings of homesickness. Everyday life (especially with kids) has its routines and doesn’t allow for a lot of sitting around and contemplating. You just do it. Of course you speak Chinese if you go out in public. Of course you walk half a mile to the market in the alleyway to get the best deal on vegetables. Of course you breathe in the heady scent of cherry blossoms and revel in the shocking green of spring, and also earn a dozen or so mosquito bites whenever you step outside. Of course we provide entertainment to dozens of people on the MRT (metro), either because we are wearing only one layer of clothing in the winter, or because the baby is toppling over from belly laughing at an impromptu game of peekaboo.

Of course. But then I remember the old “of courses,” and I recall that life is a little different now. Mainly I miss the friends and churches we love, but I even feel a yearning for things I never thought were special, like driving to H.E.B. to buy whatever groceries we crave. It’s in those moments that it hits me: we moved to a new country. What on earth? What were we thinking??

It’s not that I don’t like it here. I love our new home with all my heart, not because I have a naïve view of it, but because God made this land and people and they are lovely. It’s ok to feel the paradox of loving two places, without forgetting our previous home of decades. Thankfully we can keep up with our loved ones from a distance, but I know that what used to be home to us will never be the same. People will move, or move on, and our lives will not intertwine in exactly the same way. We’ll miss their special times and they’ll miss ours.

The good thing about this tension is that it forces me to face Reality, the Reality that’s so easy to forget when we are comfortable: We aren’t meant to spend our lives honing a system of maximum pleasure and comfort. We are meant to spend our very selves for God’s kingdom. We are here not because we have calculated that settling in Taiwan will give us the best possible life. We are here in answer to God’s call: as beggars who have been given bread, eager to share this bread with anyone we can, in a place where most people are living and dying without Christ. We are here to be a small part of God’s plan, watching in awe as He expands His kingdom to include every tribe, every tongue, every nation.

Kathleen Shumate and her husband Jonathan are serving with MTW at Christ’s College in Taiwan. You can follow Kathleen on her blog at www.adventurersarewe.com/blog

Kathleen Shumate in Taipei CC Taiwan Reflection on Apr 20, 2015

Subscribe to MTW Online

Please login to continue
Forgot your password?
Recover it here.
Don't have an account?
Create an Account

Register for a Free Account

Name
Email
Choose Password
Confirm Password

GET INVOLVED

Teach at Christ's College
Longer
Missionary Dorm Parents
Longer
Tutors and Teaching Assistants
Longer
Ethiopia Medical Mission
Trips - 1 to 3 weeks
HELP REFUGEES IN ATHENS, GREECE
Trips - 1 to 3 weeks
Mercy Ministry in Nicaragua
Trips - 1 to 3 weeks

Students Find Faith at Christ’s College, Taiwan

When one student came to Christ’s College, God gave him a new beginning and a faith that gradually grew stronger through discipleship.

SEE MORE

Christ's College Makes a Difference in Taiwan

Making a difference——it’s part of Christ’s College’s DNA. It’s a story repeated again and again through CC alumni around the world.

SEE MORE

Thankfulness in Full

If our friend has taught us anything, it is that “abounding in thanksgiving” swallows up all that we have lost or left behind.

SEE MORE

What MTW Values Look Like on the Mission Field: A Video

MTW's values inform everything we do. Walk with the team in Cusco, Peru, as they show us how MTW's values are reflected in their ministry.

SEE MORE

Pilgrim or Fugitive?

"To many, doing global missions means merely visiting. However, incarnational ministry is a journey to the heart."

SEE MORE

Category 5 Hurricane Irma Slams the Caribbean

Here's the latest on Hurricane Irma and MTW's response. Check back for periodic updates.

SEE MORE

Pray for missionaries who are experiencing homesickness on the field.

Pray for students at Christ's College in Taiwan, many of whom are unbelievers, to embrace Christ and grow in their faith.

Pray for the ministry of Christ's College in Taiwan. And for CC graduate, Pastor Bai as he influences his community for Christ.

Pray for missionaries to remain faithful in the mundane and not get caught up in striving to perform for the praise of others. 

Pray for missionaries who are doing valuable work yet have trouble raising support because their work or field is deemed less exciting or less important than other mission work by some in the church. 

Pray for missionaries raising support and for potential donors to grasp the eternal importance of supporting missions.

Please pray for God’s protection over new missionaries and our MTW family as we engage in God’s kingdom work.

Pray for current missionaries, future missionaries, sending churches, and donors to be willing to ask the question, "How could God use me?"

Pray for missionaries on the field who struggle with loneliness.

Pray for our ministry in Cusco, Peru, as they put MTW values into action among the Quechua through the church, a medical clinic, discipling medical students, an orphanage, and community outreach.