In Taiwan, relationships are honored and valued. Family relationship is especially important and yet there are so many people whose greatest source of pain comes from the brokenness of it. Here are the stories of a few people we’ve come to know.
Jack’s mom left the family when he was young. He lived with his alcoholic father until he passed away. Shortly after Jack moved in to live with his grandparents, his grandfather passed away. He now lives with his grandmother who is serious about worshipping her idols. Although Jack wants to learn more about Jesus, his grandmother doesn’t allow him to. We were hopeful she’d change her mind about us when Jack was hospitalized with a broken leg. We visited him, prayed for him (with her approval and her standing there watching us), and reached out to help them. We send texts now and then to keep in touch.
Payi’s parents divorced when she was quite young. When they went off their separate ways to start a new life, Payi and her younger brother were left to live at their grandparents’ house. She is an independent middle schooler who rides her bike everywhere. She is the only one in her family who comes to church other than her grandmother who shows up occasionally. She enthusiastically attends church activities, small groups, and worship service but says she doesn’t understand the gospel and what it means for her own life.
Wan Chi was living in an orphanage before a church staff family took her into their home for foster care. She had a face with no expression and hardly spoke. Slowly she started to warm up and give insightful comments at the Bible study. A couple of weeks ago, I was really surprised to hear that she was going to be baptized at the Easter service. It turns out that she had lived with another foster family before who are Christians and took her to church. What a great example of the different links in a chain that God uses to bring people to Himself.
Jianze is a high school student, a quiet and deep old soul. His grandmother fearfully worships her gods and only allows Jianze to go to church because she thinks he’s going for help with homework. Jianze’s parents tolerated him going to church as long as he doesn’t get too into it, but Jianze’s relationship with Jesus has been growing and his love for his family makes him pray for them daily. He also prayed that God would soften his parents’ heart and allow him to be baptized. The prayer was answered! He was baptized at Easter!
Annie was only 1½ years old when her dad left the family for another woman. Her mom worked hard to provide for the two of them, but she struggled financially. When Annie was in elementary school her mom signed up for a subsidized breakfast plan. She and Annie went to thank the people who were helping them and in return heard of the Bible and the stories in it. Slowly, they understood the sacrifice of Jesus and love for them. They were baptized 3 years ago which prompted Annie’s mom to reach out to mend her broken relationship with her own parents. They moved into her house this year and are working to improve their relationship.
I pray that these people and many others in Taiwan will find and grow in a relationship with Jesus which will lead to a healing relationship with their family.
Jeanette Kim – Gongshan, Kaohsiung