Dan Venberg: Ben and Sara Hosch, you have been called and commissioned to serve as LBIM missionaries in Taiwan. Jesus Christ promises to be with you in this. We as the Church of the Lutheran Brethren want you to know that we are also with you, and are blessed to have the privilege of commissioning you and sending you.
Ben, tell us about your calling to Taiwan. You have been preparing for this for years. One might ask, “Is all this worth it?” Tell us why you obviously feel that it is all worth it.
Ben Hosch: We had someone ask us once, with very real concern in her voice, “Why do you want to leave? Why do you want to go to Taiwan?” I think she just thought we wanted to go on some fun adventure. I think she thought it was dangerous for us to leave the US. But the only good answer I had for her was, “We’re going because many people in Taiwan don’t know who Jesus is.” I don’t know if it was a good enough answer for her, but it was for me. When I think of the people of Taiwan who are still unreached with the gospel, then there’s a lot at stake. You can say that you have unreached people at your workplace, but they really aren’t unreached, because they have you. You can tell them about Jesus. There are Christian radio and TV stations. There’s at least one church in almost every town in North America. People here have the opportunity to hear the gospel, whether they want to believe or not. People in North America are not “unreached,” at least not in the way other people in the world are unreached.
People in Taiwan are unreached. People in Taiwan don’t even have the opportunity to believe the gospel or not, because they have never heard it. There are no Christian radio or TV stations. They don’t have Christian friends or coworkers. There probably isn’t even a church in their city. They have no opportunity to hear, much less believe. Let’s think about that for a moment: They have no opportunity to even hear about Jesus. Is it worth it to go? Is the waiting and preparation and moving worth it? Is it worth it for somebody to hear the gospel who has never heard it before? Is it worth it if somebody puts their trust in Jesus Christ and is welcomed into his Church because we answered the call to go? Yes, a thousand times yes.
Dan Venberg: Sara, as you process what it means to follow Christ to Taiwan, leaving family and friends, what sacrifices are looming large for your family… and how do you find peace about that?
Sara Hosch: Honestly, God has been teaching us so much already about our worldly possessions and just how temporary they are. When it comes down to it, I think the sacrifice for us lies in relationships—missing out on being near to family and friends, and family events that we will only see from afar. But we know God is calling us to Taiwan. This has been on our hearts for five years. And as we look back over the years we see God’s faithfulness in each season, and how he was with us. I often remind myself of his promises. Reading and speaking his Word brings me comfort when I am feeling overwhelmed. God’s Word does promise that he is with us, but it also talks about the sacrifices that his disciples made, and the Sacrifice he made. The last few weeks the kids and I have been talking about how big God is. He is bigger than any of our fears, and he will be with us as we move, because God is always with us.
Dan Venberg: Upon arriving in Taiwan, you will be joining our team of LBIM missionaries already there. Can you tell us a little more about how you will fit into this ministry and what your ministry will entail in the upcoming years?
Ben Hosch: After our first two years of language learning, we will be working with Zhubei Victory Church, which is outside of Hsinchu. The church is in a rapidly growing area and is seeing growth in members and attendees. Taiwan is seeing steady immigration from the rest of Asia and taking in expatriates from all over the world. They have plans for new outreach ministries as their city continues to grow. The Church of the Lutheran Brethren in Taiwan wants to plant new churches in areas that don’t have a church. So, we have the opportunity to help a growing church do outreach in their community as we continue to get comfortable with the language and the culture. But we also have future opportunities to further spread the gospel in Taiwan by helping to plant new churches.
Dan Venberg: The CLB seeks to be a disciple-making movement, both here in North America and to the ends of the earth. We want to send more missionaries. We want to plant new churches. We want to make disciples. Sometimes it seems like a daunting task. What would you say to those in the audience who might be thinking: “Wow! Great for the Hosches, but I could never do that”?
Ben Hosch: I talk to people all the time about our future plans. The usual response I get is, “Well, good for you!” I don’t know if people quite know how to respond to an aspiring missionary. I think they really want to say, “Are you insane?” But they’re more polite than that. But I will say, it IS crazy. Somebody out there is saying “I could never do that!” And some days I wake up and say, “I can’t do this!” Some days I wake up and say, “This is crazy!” Some days I wake up and ask, “How am I going to do this?” I can’t do this unless the Holy Spirit is fueling the fire. I can’t do this unless God reminds me that he has called me and he will take care of all the things I cannot. You can’t do this, I can’t do this, but God can, and when he calls us to go, he’ll do what needs to be done so that we can do this.
Dan Venberg: Sara, one final question. As we, the CLB, send you, we desire to support you as you take these steps of faith and are sent into a mission field that is full of uncertainty, yet a mission field that so needs the gospel. Besides the obvious financial support, is there anything specific that you would like to communicate to us as to how best we can support you in this calling as missionaries with the CLB?
Sara Hosch: Besides financially, the biggest way you can support us is through prayer and encouragement. We have been so blessed by the number of people who have come to us to tell us they are specifically praying for our family, or that have sent us emails/messages. We ask that you continue to pray for us, and send us encouraging words as we prepare to leave for Taiwan. Specific prayer requests right now would be for our visa to be approved, all the transitions and small/big moves we have coming up (especially for our kiddos). We have felt all your prayers, and are so thankful for the love we have been shown by the body of Christ.
On June 11, 2018, Rev. Ben and Sara Hosch were commissioned as the Church of the Lutheran Brethren’s newest missionaries to the unreached Hakka people of Taiwan.