I  was in the living room with a book one recent Sunday afternoon and Char was out front with the cat when Eddie came up the walk.  He’s a Taiwanese man I met in 1977 when I lived in Pingtung City.   I was teaching English as an intern missionary, and Eddie was a veterinary student.  Although he began graduate school in the U.S., Eddie’s progressively more serious mental health problems forced his family to bring him back here and have kept him from ever getting a regular job. He lives up North in a house inherited from his parents, though ownership is shared with his siblings. About once a year Eddie finds his way south and spends a few hours talking about his theories for interplanetary travel, world peace, and salvation of the human race from the upcoming environmental disaster (by moving asteroids he will create a new planet able to support human life). He is plagued by spies who want to steal his ideas, but he trusts me.  I’ve slowly become accustomed to the “drill” and actually had enjoyed Eddie this time.  Though ‘crazy’, he is very pleasant.  Traveling with 3 or 4 plastic bags filled with little boxes of trinkets, he ends every visit by fishing through them and presenting us with numerous gifts.   It’s sad, though, to witness the continued deterioration of Eddie’s life. Kindness and prayers can do much, but only so much.

About the Author

David Alexander works at Tainan Theological College and Seminary where he is the adviser to international students

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