Story by Leigh Calfee
NEBRASKA CITY (SNR) – Libby Fulton never expected to be a full-time missionary serving in Taiwan.
Although she had completed short-term mission trips, and she felt God calling her to a missionary lifestyle, Taiwan was never on Fulton’s radar. Yet she will leave Jan. 21 for a year of missionary work in Taiwan City.
A graduate of Lourdes Central Catholic School in Nebraska City and a member of St. Mary Parish, Fulton said she first felt drawn to missionary work during a 2016 trip to World Youth Day in Poland. After high school, she became involved with the St. John Paul II Newman Center as a biotechnology major at the University of Nebraska Omaha. She began attending a FOCUS Bible study on campus, traveled to the annual SEEK conference and eventually completed a mission trip to Colombia with FOCUS.
With each successive step, Fulton said she felt the Lord calling her toward the missionary life. She credits FOCUS with helping to deepen her faith.
“I’ve been transformed in really radical ways with FOCUS and seeing lots of my friends serve as FOCUS missionaries,” Fulton said.
Summer 2018 found Fulton back in Nebraska City as a Totus Tuus leader for students at Lourdes Central. She then completed missionary training in Louisiana with Family Missions Company, a lay Catholic missionary group. That training centered on the logistics of being a missionary, the call to Gospel poverty and learning complete reliance on the Lord.
Fulton completed further training in late 2018 in Mexico, with a focus on the fundamentals of missionary life. Along the way, she has been raising funds for her year-long journey.
When she found out her first long-term missionary assignment would be in Taiwan, Fulton was shocked. She knew nothing about Taiwan and had never visited Asia. Accepting the call to Taiwan was another step of faith in her journey.
“Christianity is very new to Taiwan. Lots of Taiwanese people have never heard about Jesus. Less than 5% of the population is Christian, and Christianity is still so new as part of the national identity there,” Fulton related.
Fulton’s service in Taiwan will include leading Bible studies and reaching out to the Taiwanese people with the Gospel message. She will work with a missionary family already established in Taiwan, as well as a French missionary priest who has ministered to the local population for many years.
Her biggest concerns are learning Mandarin (she will attend a two- to three-month, full-immersion language school) and conforming her heart to Asian culture in order to reach people with the Gospel.
Father James Morin, who met Fulton on the World Youth Day trip in 2016 and is now assistant pastor at St. Mary Parish, has watched her spiritual growth over the last several years.
“Libby’s generosity in responding to a call from God has been consistent, as the call has increased in intensity,” he noted.
Father Morin said he has seen a steadiness in Fulton’s faithfulness with each new challenge she has faced.
Fulton is inspired by the spiritual fruit she sees in the lives of people around her; it has helped strengthen her resolve to follow the Lord’s call to full-time missionary work.
“Foreign missions are a bridge to the universal church. It’s an honor to be a part of that bridge. My goal is to tell the kerygma story and show the people of Taiwan the beauty of the Gospel,” Fulton said.
Readers can follow Libby Fulton’s missionary journey, as well as donate to her fundraising effort at mycrazyjesusstory.wordpress.com.