The Bridge

Building Relationships In Difficult Group Environments

Whenever we mention ‘marginalised people groups’ in our sharing, many in the audience start asking, “Who are these people?” In society, every sector tends to have people who are marginalised – people who are excluded from the larger community or society.

In our ministry to the marginalised in Taiwan, we focus on this large urban unreached people group who are ostracised due to their choice and nature of their professions and lifestyle. In reality, who would want to associate with prostitutes, drug addicts, inmates, and gang members? There is a saying that goes, “Birds of the same feather flock together,” and sadly, only those in the same circle or associate with various vices will remain in consistent contact, not because they want to, but they need to. The only biblical figure to break through such barriers and relate Himself to the lowly and outcast is Jesus, and it is our desire to follow His loving heart for them.

Only those in the same circle or associate with various vices will remain in consistent contact. Image by Michael & Ruth.

For the past few years, we have been connecting with a group of people who have been living and surviving with a code of honor based on principles and values that the majority shun, and a narrative that the law is not only not on their side but actively working against them. Let’s imagine their lives and put ourselves in their shoes. Their personas can come across as defensive, distrustful, fierce and sometimes socially aloof. But they are often not the only ones identified, and labeled; most of their close family members are also victims of discrimination, even if they live the ‘normal’ life.

The joy of one transformed person and the eventual impact he or she makes to the family, society and church outweighs all the time. Image by Michael & Ruth

Without help and strength from God, it is impossible for us to consistently reach out to these people whom God loves and also forgiven. We need love, patience, forgiveness, empathy, acceptance, and His wisdom to befriend them and their families, and journey alongside them. It might take a long time to see fruit, if we see fruit at all after many years. It can be tiring and discouraging at times, but the joy of one transformed person, and the eventual impact he or she makes to the family, society and church outweighs them all. That is true victory in Christ.

And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!
~Genesis 28:12

We know of one person in Singapore who had to serve a bond in the government sector after he graduated. He chose the Singapore Prison Department, which wasn’t on the list of choices for many scholarship holders. Someone asked him the reason why he chose to work for the prison department, and he shared that after becoming a Christian, he had a dream. In his dream, he was standing on the stage in a huge auditorium, the seats filled not by people, but big, black, full trash bags. A voice told him to go and turn all the garbage that the world considered useless into something useful. Because in each bag, there is a precious jewel waiting to be found.

A Christmas event Michael & Ruth were part of last year.

Consider pearls- they are made with a clam’s mucus-like liquid covering an irritable grain of sand that solidifies beautifully over time. Only God can turn the hurts and pains of the marginalised people into something beautiful and worthy. We are a catalyst for their salvation and God’s kingdom work. Pray for us as we continue to be the BRIDGE between this people group and Christ.


Check out the marginalised ministry of Taiwan, or check out other opportunities to serve in Taiwan.

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