“The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the
Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

­Praying for Taiwan

Taiwan is situated between Japan and the Philippines. About the size of the Netherlands, Taiwan has a population of over 23 million people. While the population is predominantly Han Chinese (more than 95%), there are also indigenous Malayo-Polynesian peoples and immigrants from all over the world. Taiwan has three major language groups: Taiwanese, Hakka and Mandarin. OMF Taiwan focuses on reaching working-class people, a group of about 15 million people that is approximately 1% Christian. Many working-class people do not fit easily into existing churches, and many churches do not invest resources in reaching the working class because of the inherent difficulties and slowness of such work. Others are alienated from society or belong to marginalized subcultures to which Christians have difficulty relating. Also, many rural working-class communities are almost completely unreached by the church.

SUNDAYS • Church Planting

In Taiwan there are several workers that are focused on planting churches. They seek to plant churches in areas where there are no other churches nearby and where there are significant working-class populations. Several teams are just starting this year, but most of the teams have been laboring for 5-10+ years. Evangelism to the unreached people who are deeply embedded in their local religion is difficult, so church planting is slow work. Please pray for perseverance and energy for our church planters, many who live in isolated environments and see little fruit from their labors.

MONDAYS • New workers learning language

First-term workers devote their full energy to language learning and cultural adjustment. Pray for the new workers who are settling into this strategic phase of missionary life. Pray that they will find meaningful relationships and Christian believers who can support them in the journey. Pray for the mentors of these new workers.

TUESDAYS • Taiwan’s rural townships

Many rural townships, especially in the south, are almost entirely without evangelical witness. The Taiwanese Presbyterian church has made the most effort in reaching these townships, but often they have tiny, struggling congregations. New seminary graduates rarely want to serve in rural environments. For example, in Yunlin County less than 0.3% of the population are Christians and in Chiayi County, less than 0.4%. Missionaries often find these areas challenging as well, as there are fewer education options for their children and rural areas lack many of the conveniences of bigger cities. Pray specifically for those already serving in these areas.

WEDNESDAYS • Marginalized ministries

Many groups of people tend to be neglected and rejected by the majority of society. These include the homeless, addicts, problem kids, gang members, women in the sex trade, AIDS patients, the disabled, orphans and others. Specialized ministries are necessary to reach these people because they tend to have a great need for practical support and have many problems that must be addressed. OMF’s team in the Pearl Family Garden, an outreach primarily to women in the sex trade, has recently expanded its work outside of Taipei to Taoyuan and Taichung as well. Another team has created an organization to encourage Christians to become foster families. Pray that we can act as catalysts to inspire and educate Taiwanese Christians and churches to reach out to these people.

THURSDAYS • Student work

Taiwan’s youth face great family and social pressure to succeed in school, and there are high expectations for them to attain material prosperity and pleasures. Many long to experience real affection and love. Increasing family breakdown is contributing to a worrying rise in youth problems: violent crime, sexual immorality, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and school dropouts. OMF’s student work focuses on vocational schools and technical colleges. These schools tend to have fewer Christians and the students in these schools are less academic and more likely to return to their working-class communities. Due to the lingering effects of Covid-19, youth have become accustomed to relying on their electronic devices, making it harder to attract them to social events. Pray that OMF ministries will be able to influence more students and go deeper with the ones who attend.

FRIDAYS • Mobilization inside and outside of Taiwan

There is a need to mobilize more workers to reach Taiwan’s working class. All of OMF’s ministries have the goal of modeling working-class ministry to Taiwanese Christians with the aim of learning together and motivating more lay Christians and pastors to be involved. They do this through leadership training in churches and Bible schools, developing partnerships with like-minded individuals, churches and organizations, sponsoring Taiwanese Bible college students, and developing structures to support Taiwanese Christians who wish to work full-time in working-class ministry. OMF Taiwan also seeks to mobilize more missionaries through providing programs for short-term workers (up to 6 months), interns (1-2 years), and long-term missionaries with the goal of increasing workers and support for ministries in Taiwan. Please pray for more long-term workers and prayer support for Taiwan.

 SATURDAYS • Potential for diaspora ministries

Taiwan attracts many foreign workers from Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia. In 2022 the government recorded nearly 800,000 migrants in Taiwan. Also, working-class Taiwanese men often go to China to meet Chinese brides as increasing numbers of Taiwanese women are not interested in marriage. Many of these foreign workers come from countries where it is illegal to share the gospel, so there are unique opportunities to share with them while they’re in Taiwan. Currently there is only one missionary specifically reaching these diaspora people who have spread or been dispersed from their homeland. But as surrounding countries become more closed to missionaries, we see great potential in this kind of work. Often, these people are lonely and isolated. Pray for wisdom on how we can incorporate diaspora work more intentionally into our ministry as we move forward.

Click here to download the July 2023 Prayer Powerlines.

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