Missions is a lifestyle, not a destination.
Previous to coming to Taiwan we lived in and ministered to a working class community in Dayton, MN. Cheryl, an Educational Instructor in the Osseo school district, started an after school homework club and began building into young girls. Lizzy, who does security for Sonshine Music Festival, began mentoring teen boys. We have been building bridges with neighbors via working with their children (homework club, bringing kids to church, craft projects, movie nights, hanging out/mentoring kids) and then forming a direct relationship with the parents (visiting their homes, listening and talking with them, meeting basic needs). Over the years we have seen God move in mighty ways. Through the power of the Gospel, we have seen the strongholds of addiction, abuse, and hopelessness give way to true life (John 10:10).
In August of 2015 we came to Taiwan to work with OMF (Overseas Missionary Fellowship, formerly CIM, China Inland Mission) because most people here do not know of the hope that Jesus Christ offers to them. This is especially true of the working class, the vast majority of whom are in bondage to idolatry and superstition and the destruction these bring.
Jeremiah 29:7 is what drives them reaching others for Christ. “Seek the shalom of the city where I have sent you, and pray to the Lord on their behalf. For in their shalom, you will find shalom.” This understanding of shalom (peace) is so much more than merely a calm in the midst of a storm, but the restoration of wholeness within oneself, and living in right relationship with others and ultimately with God. Think of things before the fall in the Garden of Eden…that’s shalom!
God has brought this shalom in our own lives: Cheryl in regards to her divorced and fractured family and Lizzy in regards to substance abuse and addiction. We have been the hands and feet in bringing God’s shalom to the trailer park and look forward to breaking the chains of spiritual bondage in Taiwan.
Recently, we became a part of a team of four in rural Taiwan who live and minister in Puxin Township. It is is a small township with many small factories and farms. It is very traditional and very working class. It is known for it’s production of grapes, mango, and guava. Puxin has 29 registered temples but there are many more unregistered temples as well as small “home” temples in almost every lane. Currently, there are only two church congregations, with an average of 20-30 members. Puxin has a population of around 35,200 people, so that means only 0.068% have a relationship with the God of the Bible (some Christians attend church in nearby Yuanlin). Through God’s grace, and only his grace, we long to see a house church in each of the 20 villages of Puxin and disciples in every family.
To this end, we pioneer in outreach and evangelism as well as partner with local Christians to disciple the working class families of Puxin. This is done through weekly house church gatherings, one-on-one and family discipleship, Bible storying, summer camps, teaching a life skills class at the local junior high, telling Bible stories at the local library, and Sunday afternoon sports/activities at the local elementary school.
If you’re interested in hearing more, click the image below for our full length presentation.