A new era for Pearl Family Garden in Taiwan

Passing leadership onto local Christians – that’s OMF Taiwan’s vision for pioneering ministry.

“A dream that doesn’t come easily,” social worker Edna McKelleher admits. For over ten years, Edna been ministering to marginalised women with Pearl Family Garden in Taiwan. She’s met courageous women who are willing to share their personal experiences of God’s help to establish a new life.

It has taken many years, but Pearl Family Garden (PFG) has recently been registered as an independent local association. PFG is the umbrella association for three teams ­– in Taipei, Keelung and Taichung. Local Christians now form the leadership and membership of PFG – and sent their first overseas missionary last September!

Today, Edna is involved in training people working in policing, social and employment services in relevant skills such as conducting interviews, assessments and referrals. Government initiatives to support female sex workers to find alternative employment have opened opportunities for Christians to serve in this space.

A fruitful ministry by local Taiwanese Christians
Pearl Family Garden branched out in recent years to Taichung  , pioneered by missionary Audrey Chan.

“Before the Taichung work started, there was a lot of prayer and meetings with local Christians and, especially, PFG founder Tera van Twillert. These conversations convinced me that I needed to be deliberate about focusing on mobilising local Christians,” Audrey says. Audrey, Tera and a local Christian from the Keelung team continue to pray every week over the phone for PFG‘s ministry.

“We didn’t want to keep new missionaries from going out to more remote areas, which is a BIG need in Taiwan. But I also felt [focusing on local Christians] was important in light of our end goal of seeing it become an indigenous, Taiwanese-led work.” Aside from Audrey, all members of the team were born and raised in Taiwan.

The deliberate focus on local Taiwanese Christians spearheading and undertaking the work has borne fruit.

“God seemed to bring the right people to the team at just the right time, to do something that was needed at that phase  .“ PFG Taichung’s newest volunteer joined at a time when Audrey had been asking God to provide a strong listener.

“It was so obvious God was answering that prayer,“ Audrey says. A woman she’d been praying to see again suddenly reappeared that day. “She was so touched by the gentle listening of this volunteer and opened her heart to the Lord in prayer.”

Recently, the pastor of Audrey’s church took the initiative to ask how the church can help. “The Lord truly is the one who builds the house in spite of the odds  ,” Audrey says. The PFG is praying for “church partnerships where the churches get invested with heart and hands and see God work not just in the women, but also in the church.“

Long term, PFG seeks to see every branch of the ministry become fully led by local Christians backed by local churches. Their vision is not only to share the gospel with women in red light districts, but to see a “string of pearls” — churches throughout Taiwan joining God in this work.

Audrey is seeing Christians in two other major cities start to take steps in sharing the gospel – and many responding with hope to PFG’s recently published book, Serving Tea: Stories from Wanhuas Red-Light District, as they read the stories of how God has been doing a work that seemed ‘impossible.‘

How you can pray

  • Pray for the Lord to continue to work powerfully in and through the ministry of Pearl Family Garden.
  • Pray for the three PFG teams in Taipei, Keelung and Taichung; it can be challenging and often lonely in a ministry that often inspires anxiety in pastors when they hear about the work.
  • Pray for Pearl to become a sustainable ministry and for Taiwanese churches to reach out and share the gospel with women in red-light districts all over the island.

New book

Learn more about Pearl Family Garden’s ministry through their newly released book Serving Tea: Stories from Wanhuas Red-Light District, featuring stories of women who met Jesus and saw their lives transformed. https://pearlfamilygarden.weebly.com/

Share this post

Get Involved

Have Questions? Send us an email.

To help you serve better, kindly fill all the fields (required). Your query will be routed to the relevant OMF team.

Contact Form

By clicking Submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with the terms in our Privacy Policy.

You’re on the OMF Australia website.
We have a network of centres across the world.
If your country/region is not listed, please select our International website.