Before I left for Taiwan short term ministry, I told my husband to don’t let me go again: Too much stress, I hate the plane ride and I am too old to do more work.

But at the end of the trip, I told my husband I want to go back next year!


1. The believers there need a boost. I can see that we encouraged the believers there, just to let them know they are not alone. The pastor we know there has a small church, and it was great to fellowship together.

2. The gospel is shared. Sure, local believers can share the gospel there, but having more people there, more seeds are planted. If our church had 8 extra people come for 2 weeks to do a special program to share the gospel, it would be great. Even for a church of 1000, a special outreach for 2 weeks will add to our ministry. How much more so if our team of 8 can help a church of 30?

3. People are open. I believe God is opening a door in Taiwan. I don’t hear many objections to the gospel. People may not receive it right away, but they do not object. That’s because we have the truth and Good News! People in America have baggage from the past that turned them off to the church and Christ, but Taiwanese do not have that baggage.

4. We can acclimate to Taiwan much easier than nonAsians. We already like the food, we don’t mind the traffic, we are used to crowds, we’ve vacationed there, we expect the heat and humidity, and we already know the culture and its sensitivities. While we do not have the “face credibility” of a white person to teach English, once they hear us speak English without an accent, we do have credibility. And for those on our team who speak perfect English and some Chinese, it’s a huge advantage to be able to have deeper conversations in Chinese, while also being able to teach English as a door to get in.

5. For those like me who do not speak Chinese, I was able to make connections with some of the locals just the same, just not as deep. If we work with college students, they all speak some English and are happy to try to talk to me. I was also useful in directing our team, helping them debrief and taking care of logistics while they handle the deeper conversations.

6. All team members grow in faith in God as we are out of our comfort zones. I don’t agree that STM is primarily for the growth of the team members. You can run a marathon to get out of your comfort zone and grow in faith. Team member’s growth is a side benefit, if they go with the right attitude. They cannot merely come back with “big bug stories”, but if they are focused on what God is doing, then spiritual growth is sure to occur.

I had many doubts about spending so much money on STM. Finally this year, I am more convinced that STM do serve a Kingdom purpose. I still have some reservations if people do not go with the right attitude and if the team leader – more accurately the mission mentor – is not equipped to lead the team. I am still learning, and trust that God will work despite our shortcomings.

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