08 Jan 2006

?I can’t say I was expecting to be involved in missions when I planned my visit to Taiwan. After Little Lights, I thought my mission experiences for the summer were over. The lack of planning itself caught me off guard. We had prepared for weeks to go into Little Lights. In Taiwan, I had not even known I was going to a missions site until I actually arrived at Yuan-Ze University and met the coordinator. A missions trip? I thought I would only be staying for less than two days. I had only packed for less than two days. There was no preparation; the decision to stay for a week and help was made on the spot. The day the camp started I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or where I was supposed to be. Was I ready? I didn’t know. They said they needed help, so I stayed.

At Little Lights, with everyone around you focused on the mission, working around the clock to make Camp Heaven possible for 100 at-risk kids in Southeast D.C., you could feed off the energy. Sleep in late? No way; there were things to do that were routine but important. Mary’s introduction kicked us off and gave us a reason to fight, to love these kids. We knew that if we didn’t touch them, affect them in some way, the statistics would become a reality. They would become part of the cycle. These beautiful kids…

It was different in Taiwan. Transportation wasn’t a problem, the children brought their own food, and there was a small fee to attend camp. The camp was held on a university campus, 200 kids a week, new auditorium. Many, if not most of them, would study hard, go to college, get jobs, have a family, live long, and die happy. No gangs, no drugs, no jail time. It’s harder to feel the need to fight, to feel the importance of touching these kids. Harder to realize that these kids are just as trapped as the kids at Little Lights. A life without Christ is a life without Christ, no matter what else it is. And if these kids didn’t accept Christ as Lord, they would most likely fall into the superstitions of most Asian cultures.

Going to Yuan-Ze brought the experiences of Little Lights into life that I hadn’t set apart for missions. It brought the urgency of spreading the Word closer to my sophomore-year-junior-year-senior-year-college life. Closer to my suburban family, suburban friends. Closer, but not quite together. What happens if they touch? – Tina Ko

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