It’s been exactly one month since we (the IMC Taiwan group) arrived here in Taiwan and particularly in Hsinchu Diocese. On the 12th of September 2014 (last month) we did set our feet in this youngest mission land of the IMC, marking the historical date of the opening of the Consolata missions among the Taiwanese.
Since then all has gone to silence and it seems like nothing is going on. In fact many have been writing to inquire whether we still “exist” or not. Well, the truth is that a lot is actually happening only that it’s marked with lots of confused feelings that at times become difficult to put into words. May I mention just but a few:
Right from the day we arrived, we did realize that all is not a bed of roses here when it comes to communication. It’s either you learn Chinese (mandarin) or you “die a natural death”, and by that I mean you will socially cease to exist. Just like I wrote in the last article about the learning of the language, it’s more than obvious that we will need a lot of patience and humility in order to grasp this language and so begin to live socially in this milieu.
Just like the situation of language, the cultural difference here is as wide here as you can well imagine. Everything looks just different! Now, at this stage we cannot append any moral adjective to the given cultural data as are currently perceived by us since we are simply neophytes in this rather Chinese dominated cultural context. All we can say now is just, Wow!!!
This is another area that deserves a lot of attention, especially because we as Consolata missionaries have come here particularly for purposes of evangelization. However, as for now, silence is probably the best attitude to adopt, just in the footsteps of our Mother Mary who “kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart” (Lk. 2:19).
To conclude, I would wish to say that, so far all has been great despite the normal ups and downs of life. So like Mary we would say that truly “…the Almighty has done great things for me and holy is His name…” We ask for lots of prayers from as we face the second month in the Lord’s hands.