A week ago, I was in Shitou Mountain for a two-day retreat with the staff and faculty of the Holy Light Theological Seminary (HLTS). We stayed in an elegant hotel, with nice swimming pool and excellent ambiance, not to mention the super delicious food. The place was located beside a National Forest. It was hard, however, for me to enjoy the retreat. I missed my family. They were all back in Kaohsiung, about 3 hours away. We did plan to join this retreat, but two days before, we found out Jacob was sick and needed a week's rest. So, I was by myself. I tried very hard to carry on, and enjoy the fellowship of everyone. But, it was just different without my whole family beside me.
That evening at the hotel, I met a group of Filipino entertainers. They were the hotel's singers for the evening. Toto, Rommel, Harriet, and Jason. Young people who enjoyed doing their job as OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) here in Taiwan singing for a living. I introduced them to the whole seminary family. I sat with them and talked to them during their break time in between their sets. Toto was the veteran of the group. The other three just came in three days ago. They really were full of excitement, and hope for this new life in Taiwan. They asked me to pray over them. I prayed for each one, especially their families left behind in the Philippines. I prayed for good health, God's protection over them as they live the life of a foreign worker here in Taiwan.
We enjoyed their music. Samuel, Angela, and Richard (from the seminary) stayed a little bit with me. But during the second set, they had to leave and hit the sack. It was almost 12:00 midnight by that time. I talked to the OFWs a few more times after that. I realized, in the next weeks to come, their excitement and hope will be replaced with loneliness and anxiety. Even with their tight schedule of singing and performing from 3 P.M. to 12:00 Midnight, they will still have thoughts of missing home and their families. Harriet said she has a five-year old son. Jason mentioned of his six children. Each shared to me of their children, parents, and siblings back home. Sometime next month, life in Taiwan will look different without their families beside them.
I pray for the many OFWs here in Taiwan. I pray God will be their Friend in the midst of their loneliness. I pray for ministries among Asian migrant workers, that these will multiply and be channels of God's blessings to the lonely and displaced people of Taiwan. I pray that more Christian workers will come to Taiwan and volunteer their services to help migrant workers.