Every Tuesday for the past five weeks I have made my way to Grace Baptist Church near the Gongguan area of Taipei to attend Bible Study Fellowship. I have really enjoyed studying and discussing the Bible with my discussion group, a wonderful group of Taiwanese women that have been incredibly warm and welcoming. I loved getting to know my group, women of faith walking their love of Christ instead of just talking it. And the fact that they study the Bible and discuss it in English (I was the only native English speaker!) was just awe-inspiring. I do not know that I will ever be proficient enough in another language to do something like join a bible study using it, I can barely function using English!
I was captivated by the stories of what many of the ladies in my group had to go through to be Christian here in Taipei. It helped me put in perspective how easy we Christians have it in America. We may get persecuted to a certain extent back in the States, but it is rare to hear about someone being ostracized from their family because they choose to be a Christian. Or maybe I just grew up in a more accepting area, because I always felt that my beliefs were not an issue for those I was in contact with, or at least people seemed to quietly tolerate them. I have honestly never felt hated because of my faith (well, except for in the media occasionally, but that’s a story for another day, very very far in the future, if ever). I think that many people in my home town (maybe all of America, but I hate to speak for such large numbers of people) think the same that I do, that everyone should have the freedom to have faith in what they wish. My time attending the Taipei BSF has really made me realize that I need to be thankful that I am able to state my beliefs and share them without fear of recourse.
I have often prayed and asked God what He wants me to learn on this trip that he has so generously blessed us with. I think that this may be one of the lessons (among so many others so far, a few of my previous blog posts can fill you in on those) that He wants me to grasp and act on. I have lived in a bubble for so long as far as my faith goes, that I often hear stories about people persecuted for their faith, but have spent little, to no time actually, thinking or praying for those that struggle in a society where freedom of religion is not a right (either politically or societally) . Attending this bible study has been a wonderful lesson in empathy and love for me. If you pray, please help me in praying for the wonderful ladies here in BSF, as well as all the Christians here in Taiwan.
Now on a totally different note, the countdown has begun, we have 12 days left in Taiwan, so the packing needs to begin. Seriously how is it that I can accumulate so much
crap stuff in three months?!? More on that fun topic later…