Why You Should be a Missionary

missionary 1

Our missionary friend in Taiwan shared J. Trotters’ “Ten Reasons You Should be a Missionary” on her Facebook. We came back from several mission trips this year and found his points spot on, so I’m commenting on a couple of items from our recent experience.

Take number 8 for instance. Unlike traffic in Canada where cars are supposed to pass and merge in from the driver’s side, cars in Panama cut in from both the left and the right. And they usually cut it real close. It’s like playing “bluff” to see who “chickens out” and brake first to yield to the other driver to avoid a fender bender. In Taiwan, the challenge is scooters. They are as numerous as locusts, and weave in and out of tight spaces between cars. If a car driver is not alert, he could send a scooter flying into the air! Even some experienced drivers from N. America are scared of driving in developing countries. If you are accident-free in the third world, you can drive anywhere in the world.

Or take number 6. Police in Russia often do random checks on Asian pedestrians and ask for identification. Aliens who do not have proper IDs are fined or even detained. Even if your documents are in order, they usually manage to find problems where none actually exists. In exchange for not getting a ticket, you can pay a fee directly to the officer. One time our missionary friend in Panama made a left turn where he was not supposed to, despite the fact that there are no road signs telling him this was not allowed. He was stopped by a traffic cop who asked what’s his “offer”. Since he does not pay bribes as a matter of principle, an interesting negotiation followed. This would be especially interesting when neither side know the other’s mother tongue.

But at the top of the list every missionary can identify with is of course number one. Leading someone to Christ in your own language, culture and vicinity is exhilarating enough; doing so when you have to cross barriers in some or all of the above is pure joy that is often indescribable, not to mention the fact that God had seen fit to use you to serve Him. I hope you will take at least one mission trip as part of your bucket list. It will do wonders to widen your heart and mind to fulfill the Great Commission. Some have even changed careers as a result.

Taipei Zoo

On our last day we visited Taipei Zoo, smaller than Toronto’s Metro Zoo but the largest zoo in Asia. Too bad the Maokong Gondola is closed but the zoo is still worth a visit. We finished the day with dinner at the famous Din Tai Fung, more expensive and with long lineups, but wanted to see if they live up to their reputation. It’s pretty good, but I still prefer Cantonese over northern food.

There are many beautiful places to visit in Taiwan, such as Taroko Gorge National Park in the east, Kenting National Park in the south etc., but that would have to await another time.

Taipei Zoo

Taipei Zoo

Resting on a tortoise

Resting on a tortoise

Mimicking a penguin

Mimicking a penguin

Fake cage

Fake cage

That's as close as we can get to a wood duck before it flew away

That’s as close as we can get to a wood duck before it flew away

Hippo

Hippo

???

???

Noah's Ark

Noah’s Ark

IMG_7051

Xiaolongbao at famed Din Tai Fung

Spicy beef noodle

Two Memorial Halls

We visited two memorial halls, Sun Yat-sen, Father of the Nation, and Chiang Kai-shek, former president of Republic of China. Of the two, the latter is a better known landmark sitting in Liberty Square together with the National Concert Hall and the National Theater. Sun overthrew the Qing Dynasty and introduced democracy to China. Chiang fought the regional warlords, the Japanese during WWII, and then the Chinese Communist Party.

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

West entrance mural

West entrance mural

Statute in main hall

Statute in main hall

Statute in west garden

Statute in west garden

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

Statute in main hall

Statute in main hall

National Theatre

National Theatre

Yilan

Our friends took us to Yilan (宜蘭) on the Taiwan’s north-east coast. En-route we visited Gold Waterfall, so-called because the minerals in the water gleamed in the sunlight. We stopped at Nanya Peculiar Stones, so named because wind and water eroded the sandstone to peculiar shapes of rich color. Next we passed by Nanyang Museum, then visited National Center for Traditional Arts, which was quite interesting with shops and displays of the old way of life, plus music performance. The day ended with a sumptuous 9-course Japanese fusion meal for about C$35/person, taxes and tips included. Beautiful scenery, enjoyable company, nice weather, good food – what more can one ask for? Thank God for His goodness!

Gold Waterfall near Gold Ecological Park

Nanya Peculiar Stones

Nanya Peculiar Stones

Without our friends as guides we would have missed a very scenic place.

Without our friends as guides we would have missed a very scenic place.

Rocks with rich color along the coast

Rocks with rich color along the coast

The golden hue is due to the iron within the rock oxidizing - fool's gold, not real gold.

The golden hue is due to the iron within the rock oxidizing – fool’s gold, not real gold.

Nanyang Museum exhibits Yilan's history

Nanyang Museum exhibits Yilan’s history

National Center for Traditional Arts

National Center for Traditional Arts

Sweet tooth? (NT$100=C$4)

Sweet tooth? (NT$100=C$4)

Making dragon whiskers candy

Making dragon whiskers candy

New Friends, New Places

Our friend introduced us to her god-brother in Taipei. He and his wife are very friendly and hospitable, and drove us around to scenic spots near Keelung in north-east Taiwan, places not easily accessible by public transit. The scenery along Hwy 2 on the Pacific coast is very beautiful, with places you can recognize in movies sets and TV drama. Here are some photos:

Enjoying coffee at a Ruifang hill-top cafe overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Enjoying coffee at a Ruifang hill top cafe overlooking the Pacific Ocean

White House Aegean Sea Cafe

White House Aegean Sea Cafe

Ocean side park

Ocean side park

Keelung night market

Keelung night market

As Keelung is a seaport its specialty is seafood.

As Keelung is a seaport its specialty is seafood.

We tried many new foods, including this Taiwanese specialty we can't even pronounce.

We tried many new foods, including this Taiwanese specialty we can’t even pronounce.

Another famous dish - crab stew and sticky rice

Another famous dish – crab stew and sticky rice

Charcoal broiled corn with Shacha sauce

Charcoal broiled corn with Shacha sauce