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'Europe Needs You'

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 7, 2014, 12:53 PM


"Europe needs you" - that's what people sometimes say to me. Because I'm studying theology, on the "pastor track" (i.e. heading for ordination - there's others who just study and then don't want to be pastors), and a believer (not all who become pastors are, scary but true... there's an atheist pastor somewhere at the other end of the country). Problem: it's not my plan to stay. It never has been. Except once when I broke down crying in the bathroom (aged 15 or so) considering a call to "reform" Europe (which was kind of presumptuous maybe but when I started finding out what the spiritual state of Europe is, before moving here, I was pretty shocked).

Yesterday when I told my pastor I'm heading for ordination, but actually intending to be a missionary overseas, his reaction was: "Europe needs you". Which I understand. I know the church has trouble finding new pastors, and that it's terrible that people have to go to church uncertain whether the guy preaching to them even believes in Jesus. But Asia is the least-reached continent. And going back is what I've been preparing for all these years, is the reason I started studying theology in the first place.

There's some people who assume I'll go back anyway (who ask: "You're gonig back when you're done, aren't you?"). Then there's people who hint on me staying here ("Europe needs you"). Church leaders for instance. It's true I've always enjoyed church work so far (except for pastoral visits... I just can't handle pastoral visits, I'm incapable of "inviting myself" and visiting a stranger. :( (Sad)), but it's not really what I want to do. I don't want to lead a church; what I really love doing is small group work (home group / cell group), "adult Sunday school" type things, and thinking up small events like prayer meetings and stuff. My favourite thing about pastoring is church services (preaching, communion etc); it's what I think I'm best at, and what I enjoy doing. I'm not keen on weddings, funerals etc. though (besides, over here most things have lost their meaning... I'm okay with child baptism but at least the parents ought to know what it's about - too often they don't; it's become just a "nice custom"). So... why am I even in the "pastor track"?? Shrug (Ask my Papa... he always dissuaded me when I tried to shorten my studies lol)

Sometimes I feel like I'll not even be so "qualified" to be a missionary, since nowadays (my impression) people with secular training seem to be more sought after than people who have only theological training. Grump Unless I add a doctorate; that would at least qualify me to teach in Bible schools. Which would be totally copying my father... hmm (plus I'm kind of fed up with studying)

Main question: if people keep telling me "Europe needs you" - is that a hint from God, or is that just people? And how do I differentiate? I don't want to be disobedient to God - but I really really really don't want to stay in Europe. Even though I've "settled" by now, I don't want to ever feel "at home" here. And that kind of attitude makes it hard too. What if I'm just refusing to hear any call to somewhere I don't want to go - closing my ears? I know that it's a false notion of God to think He always gives us precisely that which we want least (which is a bad tendency I picked up somewhere along the road, thankfully got rid of it but it still creeps back sometimes - in particular when people say "Europe needs you"). But it's also a false notion of God to think He only gives us what we like and what we want.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks of being simply obedient. God calls - the Christian obeys, and follows. But from all the voices, how do I distinguish the voice of God?
Maybe going back for a full quarter-year this time will make things clearer. It may just be the last time I go back "on holiday" - God willing. So I want to go back with open eyes and a praying heart. I know from other MKs that after being gone for a few years, home can stop being home. I never believed that would happen to me. I love Taiwan more than any other place, and the last time I left, nothing changed for me. Still - I know it can't have stayed the same, and neither have I. The question should not be, "Is it still home for me?" but, "Is God calling me here?"
Another thing I need to do is talk seriously with my parents. They are missionaries, so I know they can help with all the practical matters...
And then talk to my friends at the missionary fellowship I'm considering going with... which is a bit scary because all these years here I've gotten to know them quite well, but I'm sort of shy of confessing my plans. I know that their "screening procedure" is very strict, so that can help me check my motives too.

And I need to get church support. Which after yesterday's "Europe needs you" sort of scares me because what if my church tells me I ought to stay? I recently read somewhere that the church needs to be involved in the calling process and confirm the calling. I know my church has a missionary vision (that's one reason why I go there) - but what if they think someone with my degree ought to serve in Europe? I mean, they have a point. But there's others who are more than willing to stay. I know that missionaries are needed in Taiwan. I have a whole bunch of friends, also believers, heading for the pastorate and with the full intention of staying here. I only knew one other person who was thinking of being a missionary in Taiwan (my ex...) and I don't know whether he's still planning on that.

Would appreciate prayer... though after writing this I feel sort of clearer already.
One thing I decided when coming here was that I would serve God to the fullest while I'm here, and then see where He leads once I'm done with my studies. The clearest sign would be a closed door. But until the door is really closed, I'll assume my calling is abroad.

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  • Listening to: Mandopop
  • Reading: Homework... (when I\'m not distracted...)
  • Watching: Game of Thrones
  • Drinking: Tea

deviantID

deng-li-xin32
鄧禮欣
I'm a missionary kid :woohoo:
I grew up in Taiwan and Singapore.

I love Asian things because that is where I come from.

I study theology~

I'm a bit of a language freak, growing up with 2 first languages, neither of which are my parents' first languages, in a country with another language - and having to learn 2 second languages in school, and another 3 for uni! That makes 10. :meow: But I only speak English and German well.

I love inculturated Christian art - such as: marcianitosverdes.haaan.com/wp…

God willing, I want to be a missionary one day - though it's a privilege I don't deserve.

My big project is writing a poem for (almost) every woman in the Bible. deng-li-xin32.deviantart.com/g…

I am what I am because of God's grace. :heart:

Li-Xin's Personality Type Results

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Ten Seconds Prayer for Taiwan: www.taiwanteam.org/index.html
Globalprayer365: globalprayer365.com/

:icongreat-comission: :iconwomen-of-god:

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But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. (Ephesians 3:8)

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Stamp - I love Green Tea by r0se-designsI left the 99 to find the 1 by impersonalinfo:thumb173735313:I support this verse +12 by RebiValeskaLOVE. NOT force. by OnWingsOfBlueI love Taiwan by tikalYesu:Jesus by MenchieeeIt's an insult by Blue-UnciaSwitzerland Stamp by l8God rules and Jesus is Lord? by ChristianKitsuneFragile by 2Timothy3-16Not What I Used to Be Stamp by Haru-MegumiMultilingual stamp by Kylia1992Stamp: Bubble Tea Love by TheSaltyMonsterStamp - Taiwan Flag by nicole92614:thumb272755289:Mooncake Stamp by mylastelI :heart: Sushi by Alys-StampsI Use Chopsticks by angryannoyanceI Love You Stamp by MissBezzHP Stamp by Sergeant-McFluffersLord of the Rings stamp 3 by ChrysalisloverFlag: Singapore by TheStampKingLOTR - Wander by Jenna-RoseStamp Eowyn by DulbellaDance with Jesus by Rainbow-BeanicornEvolution and Creation by impersonalinfoStamp: Flute by samen-op-de-motor...Pray For Japan... by azianwolfdollStamp: Fruits Basket by MoliskiTea Lovers Stamp by Kelsi-samaChina by TivariThe South African Flag Stamp by MoRbiD-ViXeN:thumb148685861:Snape stamp by iruhdamWriter Stamp by AkatsukiMemberWoolfyTaipei 101 blank by IS--awhcomWriter stamp by WhiteKimahriJane Austen Stamp by KelianeDownton Abbey stamp by effleurConflict and Terror by StJoanCM - Stamp - Kaichou Wa Maid-Sama by MissBezzStudio Ghibli Fan by SharkfoldImperfect Stamp by Vexic929Rohan 1 by WolfcatStampsBetter to light a candle by Claire-stampsAgainst needless abortion -- for all human life. by RebiValeskaFaithful by 2Timothy3-16Hotpot Love Stamp by wangqrSo Many Books by LaPurrLes Miserables 2012 Stamp by ThreshTheSkyFranciscus (without the I.) -Stamp by Cygnicantus

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cereal-in-a-bowl Apr 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I hope you're having as much amount of excitement as I am about anticipating the coming of Easter!!!
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EmisBakery Feb 18, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thanks for the fave :aww:
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nattrozanska Feb 18, 2014  Professional Writer
Thanks so much for the fave =)
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nattrozanska Feb 5, 2014  Professional Writer
Thanks so much for the fave =)
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t5hanks for the fave
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