With IFES World Student Day on 16 October, discover how OMF workers are helping Taiwanese students meet Jesus for the first time and bring hope to their home towns too.
Many students in Chiayi City, Taiwan, come from rural areas where there are fewer Christians and fewer opportunities to hear about Jesus. How will they hear about him? What if they could bring hope to their home towns?
With IFES World Student Day on 16 October, discover how OMF workers are helping these students hear about Jesus for the first time and learn about following him. Please pray with us that these students will go on to be effective witnesses for Jesus, bringing his hope to their families and hometowns.
Watch the video, read Amy’s story and pray with us.
OMF worker Amy Gibson writes:
‘After 15 years of church planting in Taiwan, we began to ask ourselves if the strategies and methods we were using to reach Taiwan’s working classes were as effective as we wanted them to be. Seeing multiplication of working class disciples and Christians moving out to the unreached rural areas seemed to be moving slowly. As we prayed about it, we felt the Lord pointing us to ministry among uni students.
As we researched the possibility of student ministry, we discovered some interesting facts that opened our eyes to the opportunities of student ministry in Taiwan. Firstly, we found that over 80 per cent of students who graduate high school go on to continue their studies. Secondly, we found that, despite a college degree, 50 per cent of college graduates end up working in working class jobs. And, lastly, we discovered a program initiated by the government to encourage students from rural areas to attend university, so many students who go to university are from rural areas, the very areas we are particularly burdened for.
In March 2018, we opened up a coffee shop/student outreach center near one of the universities in Chiayi City in order to connect with students. It’s a relaxed environment with games, music, English activities, food, etc. The intent is to not only connect with students ourselves but also provide a place where Christian students can invite their non-christian friends who may not be willing to go to church or attend a Christian club but can come to the coffee shop and discover Christian community. Christian students see the coffee shop as ‘their’ place and not only invite their non-christian friends but also come to us for prayer and counselling or just to chat. For many students, it is their home away from home.
For many students, it is their home away from home.
In the fall of 2018, we began a weekly fellowship for students where we eat together, worship together, study the Bible together and pray together. The fellowship has evolved to include not only uni students, but also young people who are already out in the workforce. Through the fellowship group, we then find those Christians who are keen for discipleship and those seekers who are interested in exploring Christianity more deeply and do one-on-one study with them or gather them into small groups.
Disciples making disciples
Ultimately, our vision is to disciple and train students to be instruments of change in their communities and work places upon graduation. We especially hope to see many students return to their rural homes, equipped to share the gospel and disciple others. For those who are already out in the workforce and rooted here in Chiayi, we hope to see them trained up and equipped to be co-laborers with us in reaching and discipling uni students.
We have been in awe as we watch the Lord work in these young people’s hearts to grow and change them. What a privilege it has been to walk alongside them during this informative time in their faith.
We have recently seen the students and young people take seriously their desire to serve the Lord and one another. While we have had to be away from the fellowship group a couple of times, they have initiated having the group without us, including eating together and studying the Bible together. This is exactly the kind of thing we want to see! We have been in awe as we watch the Lord work in these young people’s hearts to grow and change them. What a privilege it has been to walk alongside them during this informative time in their faith.’
Please pray for:
- the Christians students who are being discipled and trained, that they would continue to grow and persevere in their faith
- those who have been identified as future leaders for the fellowship group, that they would be trained up and equipped well
- students who are considering who Jesus is for the first time to continue exploring more
- creativity and energy for those leading the fellowship group