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How Michelle Ko Became A Missionary to Africa

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Thoughts on faith and life at Friendship Church

How Michelle Ko Became A Missionary to Africa

Dennis Brown

How many Taiwanese young women (or men) do you know who are willing to forsake all and follow Jesus--to Africa. Now Africa is a wonderful place and every year we meet new students from Africa who enrich us in many ways. But can you imagine being a young single woman going off on your own to a far away place to care for children affected by AIDS? This is Michelle Ko whom we have supported as a missionary for many years. For the next six months she is on home assignment, and she is volunteering at the church to reach out to members, newcomers, small groups and to raise our vision for global missions. Let me introduce her to you in her own words:

How I became a Christian?

“I was a very rebellious teenager. I left home without telling my parents and ran away from my home city. I went to A Li Mountain and lived there for a year. I lived in a temple with some monks. I was ready to become a Buddhist monk.

While I was preparing to be a monk, I was travelling to the Buddhist school ready to be shaved. I met the first Christian in my life during a three hour bus journey. He shared the gospel with me. To make a long story short---it took me two years of being in and out of the church, reading the Bible and thinking about life before I became a Christian. In the end, it was the Holy Spirit who touched my heart so that I received Jesus as my personal Savior.

Since I was homeless and wandering the streets, an American missionary couple took me into their home. From their life example; I saw joy in serving the Lord. They demonstrated the love of Christ by sharing the gospel with many Taiwanese. They loved and accepted me as I was--a strong-willed, rebellious person. Instead of crushing my spirit they shaped and molded me to be used for His Glory.

How I became a missionary?

After I became a Christian I started thinking:  “What should I do with my life?” Like everyone else, I had a dream to earn big money and to live a comfortable life. As I was setting my life goals and choosing a career, I was aiming to study hotel management. I wanted to live luxurious and glamorous life--- wearing brand name clothing, staying in five-stars hotels, traveling around the world, and meeting celebrities. I had no doubt that I would achieve my goal because I knew I had a gift for business.

But there was a voice in my heart: “Michelle, you are not like everyone else. You are a very special person chosen by God to do His work.  I don’t want you to earn money.  I want you to win lost souls for my name sake.” I struggled and wrestled with God. I asked God,  “Don’t you want me to be happy? If I could have this, this and this I will be very happy!” Then God answered me in His gentle voice: The happiness you are looking for from worldly possessions and wrong relationships will only give you temporary satisfaction. If you trust me and follow my lead I can promise you that you will have the kind of happiness which is not from the world’s wealth but a joy that lasts till eternity.

Here are two verses which have helped me: Things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).

Connecting with Michelle

Michelle worked for years in Kenya, Africa among children who were affected by the epidemic of AIDS. She also shared the gospel in various ways. The past two years she worked in Australia to recruit younger people for short and long term mission service.

If you want to contact Michele to explore what it means to be a Christian, or to be helped in your growth in Christ, feel free to contact her at michelle.ko@sim.org. Tel: 0905137552. Also Michelle raises support to be a missionary with SIM. She has never had full support. Our church is one of her main supporters. Perhaps some of you would like to help with her support. If so contact her directly to learn more on how you can be a partner her in ministry.