Praise God that has passed over 100 days with no locally transmitted Covid-19 cases, although there have been a few imported cases recently. Several OMF workers have been able to return to Taiwan after home assignment in recent months and have been given the all clear to start back in ministry. Also, most churches have resumed and schools plan to open as usual at the end of August, with appropriate precautions in place.
St John’s University in Taiwan faces an increasingly difficult time due to falling admissions as the birth rate has long been declining steadily. As numbers continue to drop, the university tries hard to reassess, reinvent, revive and transform itself in order to stay financially viable. Pray for the new bishop of Taiwan, Rev Dr Lennon Yuan-Rung Chang, as he works with the trustees and the university to find a way forward.
Some Taiwanese have student-exchange programmes with universities in mainland China, allowing hundreds of mainland Chinese students to go to Taiwan. Most have been taught that there is no God and that belief in a deity is for the weak. Yet some come with curiosity, wanting to know what the Bible teaches. Pray that exchange students will hear the gospel, study the Word, and respond. Ask that preconceived ideas will be removed, and truth will be evident. Pray that they will count the cost, open their hearts to Christ, and take advantage of every opportunity, while in Taiwan, to grow and be discipled.
Population: 23,550,077 (2017)
Official languages: Standard Mandarin (spoken), Traditional Chinese (written)
GDP (PPP) per capita: $49,901 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 79 years
Religions: 72% traditional beliefs (Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism), 19% Agnostic or Atheist, 3% Protestant, 1% Catholic, 1% Lord of Universe Church, 1% Maitreya Great Tao, 3% other religions