Rocky Soil

By Mark Edwards, serving in Taiwan

The following is an adapted excerpt from Mark’s recent prayer update.

Taiwan’s western, coastal plain boasts rich and fertile terrain for agriculture. In contrast, when it comes to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, it is hard and resistant soil.

For example, out of the 356 of 358 townships in Taiwan with at least one church, the township where I live has the lowest percentage of Protestant church membership to total population (just 0.04 percent). That’s only about one follower of Christ for every 2,500 people.

Amid the challenges of ministry in this difficult place, I praise God for opportunities to shine His light into the darkness, such as last month’s Christmas activities in two communities here in Western Yunlin. Two weeks before Christmas, God allowed an Alliance church from northern Taiwan to help us for three days. We sang Christmas carols in different places on four occasions, gave away more than 1,200 bags of candies with tracts and 500 magazines. Also, we went to a number of homes for extended visits. Furthermore, our three central Taiwan Alliance churches blessed the children of our Saturday English Club with gift boxes, while the northern area church presented a very energetic Christmas program. Then on Christmas Day, our intern led the children in caroling and giving out candies again.

Cultivating His Garden

During the latter half of 2010, God led me to read a number of books dealing with the broad issue of how Christians can shape and influence culture, transforming worldviews to the glory of Jesus Christ. It is encouraging to be reminded that we are created by our Creator to create. We are created to rule-to bring forth order from disorder and to “cultivate” His garden. But how do we do this?

Similarly, from the perspective of transforming worldviews, how can we be about helping people reinterpret the raw data of their daily experiences according to a biblical worldview? How can we, as God’s “change agents,” be at work in transforming worldviews gradually from within so that people are ready to place their allegiance in the true Lord?

Wanted: Prayer Warriors

As we continue to prayerfully live out answers to these questions in 2011, here are some possible keys for us to pursue, using the resources God has provided. Please keep them in prayer!

Four Lakes Small Group: We give thanks for a number of seekers who regularly attend our small group in Four Lakes, even as we continue to wait on God for spiritual transformation. Seekers sometimes freely come and then leave after 15 minutes or so. But the good news is that they are coming to hear the good news! And our friends Lisa and A-Hong are taking greater ownership of our common values and goals in Jesus Christ!

Mixed Families: There are a number of families with wives from foreign countries in our communities. Many of them are from lower-income brackets. Serving their children and ministering to the unique needs of these mixed families may be a key through which God transforms our communities from within. Pray for us to have wisdom, courage, and resources in this area.

Four Lakes Children’s English Club: Attendance dipped considerably the latter part of the year, compared to a year ago, but made a big comeback over Christmas. Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance as we serve these children and their families in 2011.

Four Lakes Math Tutoring: Our Taiwanese friend Sam Su recently started offering free math tutoring to junior high students whose families cannot afford the expensive tutoring available from “cram schools.” Pray for God to use Sam’s weekly class to help the three students presently attending and to attract more students He might lead to come.

Baojhong: Since their return to Taiwan the week of Thanksgiving, Lorne and Kathy-Lu White have led worship in a field-wide prayer meeting and participated in our team’s Christmas outreaches mentioned above. In their township of Baojhong, the Whites had a fun time at an elementary school telling the Christmas story and in organizing a Christmas Day activity at the request of a community leader for children in front of their home. Pray for continued recovery for Kathy-Lu and for God to guide the Whites as they trust Him to utilize team personnel and resources to create a regular activity that might result in a small group.

What You Can Do

Pray for Mark and his coworkers in Taiwan as they reach out to lost people with the hope of Jesus.

Give to Alliance Great Commission Ministries. In doing so, you partner with overseas workers, like Mark, to introduce lost people to Jesus.


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