A letter from Choon and Yen Hee Lim in Taiwan
Dear Friends in Mission,
The greatest sermons I have ever heard were not preached from pulpits but from senior citizens' lives during our Interpretation Assignment (IA) in the U.S. The deepest truths of God’s Word have often been revealed, not by those who preached as a result of their seminary preparation, but by those who have gone through much suffering and have learned the deep experiential life through the Word of God.
During IA we had many opportunities to meet senior citizens who were more than 70 years old. The most unforgettable person is 94-year-old Rev. Ed Brubaker, who is a member of he mission committee of First Presbyterian Church in West Chester, Pa. In 2009 Presbyterian World Mission held “Mission Challenge 2009.” At that time we visited the church and met Ed, who drove his car and took us to his retirement community apartment for a dinner. We have never forgotten his spirit to serve others at that age (91) and his words of encouragement and prayer for us and our ministry. After the dinner he drove us to Bill Clinton’s house (not the former president of the U.S.), where we stayed.
After three years we again visited the church and Ed, but his health was different from the last time we visited. This time he was in a wheelchair and greeted us at the same apartment. His pastor informed us that due to his diabetic problem, his right leg would be amputated two days later. We felt sad and this gave us pain in our hearts as we prepared what to say and how to pray for him. But when we met him, he had the same spirit. He was peaceful, pleasant and spiritual. He tried to listen to our missionary lives and prayed for our new mission work, regional liaison (RL) for East Asia, covering Japan, North and South Korea, China, and Taiwan. After his prayer, his pastor and we prayed for his operation.
This is only one example out of many stories during our 2012 IA. Their life sermons challenged and strengthened us. We looked at ourselves and how we should face our future lives. Furthermore, we learned how to prepare for our retirement lives. We still have 20-30 years to live out for the light of Christ (before, we thought we would have only 3 or 6 years missionary lives). Most of all, we just had a wonderful seven-weeks seminar (8/11 to 9/23 of IA in 12 states). Their stories will live in the rest of our lives. Some of them we might not see in our next IA, but their life examples will stay with us and guide and strengthen us throughout our lives so that we can be better missionaries to serve our Lord, Jesus Christ. Even if we couldn’t say thanks to them individually, through this report we want to express our gratitude to all who gave us wonderful hospitality.
Our mission work as regional liaison for East Asia started July 1, 2012, but we have to go to Taiwan on October 31 and prepare for moving to Seoul, Korea, because our station will be there. On November 13 we will have a seminar for three aboriginal presbyteries, Ami, Taroko and Bunun pastors. When we went to Taiwan we saw that the aboriginal churches’ problem was no Bible study group. So Choon found a book called See Though the Scriptures and translated it into Mandarin in 2003. After the translation, he trained 12 Ami pastors (only 9 pastors finished). Since his college work took most of his time, he couldn’t continue it. Now he finished the college ministry (handed it over to an aboriginal Ami minister, Lapas) and has time to teach them. It can be our final gift to three presbyteries’ aboriginal pastors so that they can use the Bible study materials. (All the participants will get a free book with 120 transparencies in a USB drive.)
It is very hard to say goodbye to those who worked with us more than 15 years. Our old friend encouraged us, saying that we will leave the place we work someday anyway, so we continue to live out in another place. But the most important thing is how we have lived while living in the place. Therefore we pray that people in Taiwan, especially our students, remember us as we have remembered Ed.
Finally, we deeply thank all our supporting churches and individuals. We truly felt connected with them, working in world mission together as in the chopstick mission theory. (To pick up something for food, we need two chopsticks; in the same way, to do world mission we need two—one is a stationed, sending missionary and the other is a going missionary.) Please continue to pray for our new mission work and also to give financial support so that more people can hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.
May God be with you and protect you in spirit and body!
Together in Mission,
Yen Hee and Choon Lim
The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 205