Nov 19

Tales from The Far-East Side

OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat.

Rudyard Kipling’s famous line from The Ballad of East and West provides a convenient metaphor for the debut of our new blog site. The culture gap between Orient and Occident which Kipling observed in 19th century British India still exists today in cultures all across Asia, including the Chinese culture of Taiwan where we live and work.  Almost twenty years ago, BMM co-worker Dan Pierce suggested to me the idea of writing a comic strip called The Far-East Side based on our experience as western missionaries in Taiwan.  The cultural absurdities which we observe here on a daily basis are truly Larsonesque.  (Gary Larson was the author of the syndicated comic strip The Far Side which ran from 1980-1995.)  However, the chasm between eastern and western cultures which appears to be so fixed in the first line of Kipling’s poem is, in fact, qualified in the second.  In truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a bridge which spans the culture gap between East and West: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16).  We have the privilege to be daily witnesses of God’s power to transform culture–including our own!

Although our website has been around for a while, writing a blog is a new experience for me; the learning curve is proving to be a steep one.  Those of you who have endured with much long-suffering the amateurish appearance and infrequent maintenance schedule of our hannas.org website already know what to expect from this blog.  I do hope to improve.  But learning to use HTML, blog-ware, CSS, PHP, domain names, and other bits of arcane lore makes demands upon my time which I am not often at liberty to give.  This illustrates the paradox of the internet and ministry:  Those who take time to communicate well using the internet are left with nothing to say; those who have something to say have no time to do so! That is admittedly a broad (and probably unfair) over-generalization.  I offer it with a wink in hopes that you will also wink at our D.I.Y. website and blog.

This blog site is aimed at our prayer and financial supporters, family, and friends. We invite you to visit us regularly for the following types of information:  (1) Current information about our family and ministry to keep you informed and enable you to pray for us intelligently and effectively; (2) insights and information about Chinese (Taiwanese) culture, language, and religion which will help you to understand our task as missionaries; (3) comments about missions and missionaries from a biblical perspective to advance the missionary cause of the Church; and (4) biblical insights and devotional thoughts from my own study and preaching to encourage and instruct you personally.

Finally, this blog is intended to supplement–not to replace–our hannas.org website.  Our website will continue to display semi-permanent information about our family, ministry, and field; up-to-date and frequently changing information will appear on this blog.  In conjunction with the launch of this blog, the website has been completely revised and updated, so check it out.

Let me know from time to time how I am doing so that I can improve.  Suggestions will be appreciated.

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