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Christmas cheer to the needy in Taiwan

Joseph McNally

Our volunteers for The Family International in Taipei, Taiwan, just love Christmas for the opportunity it affords us to introduce the special joy and happiness of this wonderful season! Every month, the members of our center perform shows in the busy lobbies of the two MacKay Hospitals here, one in downtown Taipei, and one in the suburbs of Tamshui. Immediately following the show, we go room-to-room, singing, perhaps sculpting balloons, sometimes giving away toys, encouraging and praying for the sick children and adults - many quite ill with cancer or other serious ailments.

During Christmas of 2007, another nearby center of The Family International joined with us to make the show extra special with a band performance, dancing, and a Christmas drama. Thanks to the sponsorship of Activated Ministries, we were also able to liberally distribute some wonderful Christmas materials, including the beautiful Grandpa Jake hard-cover Christmas story books for children, to further our goal of spreading the Christmas spirit here in Taiwan, where there is little real in-depth knowledge of the origin of the holiday.

The books were snatched up immediately, along with Christmas music CDs, and our very meaningful Christmas issue of the Activated magazine!

Immediately following the show, all 19 of us divided up into small groups to visit the sick, either in their rooms or in the waiting rooms, while some continued in the lobby, giving away toys and cheering up all who passed by. One of our teams was privileged to visit the two children’s wards. Many of the children were quite heart-breaking to visit, as many were sick with leukemia or other forms of cancer. We sang Christmas carols for these children and talked with and prayed for the little ones and their relatives who were holding vigil by their sides. Again, the Grandpa Jake books were eagerly received, as were the Activated magazines and CDs, which will continue to inspire them long after our brief visit.

One mother of a 12-year-old who had just gotten shots for throat cancer broke down weeping as she hugged Liz, one of our volunteers. She then prayed to receive Jesus into her heart as her personal Savior.

Many thanks once again to Activated Ministries for making it possible for so many lives to be encouraged and changed with these wonderful materials.

Taipei Juvenile Detention Center

As has been our tradition for many years, we visited the Taipei Juvenile Detention Center for a very special Christmas show. Every week, two of our members teach two English classes at the center, with the main goal being to motivate and change these young lives, give them new hope and a new start, and impart to them the realization that God loves and forgives them and wants to help them in a tangible way.

We joined efforts with another missionary center here in Taiwan and their dance troupe added an exciting touch to our show. After our show, several of the inmates ventured out to perform and sing, which brought a great reaction from the crowd. In closing we led everyone, teenage inmates, guards, and prison officers alike, in a prayer to receive the best gift of all—Jesus coming into their hearts as their personal savior! Another highlight was the distribution of 150 Christmas Activated magazines to all the inmates, as well as bilingual Mottos for Success calendars for the guards and officials.

A New Year’s start for Adult Detention Center inmates

The New Year is a good time to make amends, enact changes, and begin a fresh new start. On the 23rd of January, 2008, we visited the Taiwan Taipei Detention Center for adult prisoners.

Our goal and prayer of this visit was to focus on bringing happiness, hope, and a new vision for the future to each of the 300 prisoners who attended this event. We planned a rousing band show, several dance performances, and even interactive dancing that included the prisoners.

From the start of the show, the entire hall became filled with excitement! Everyone was clapping along and singing with us. There were moments when we could really feel the walls bursting with the spirits of joy, excitement and feeling! One of the inmates came on stage, and sung a popular love song for the first time, which everyone enjoyed as well.

We were able to meet with some of the prison officials, and they enthusiastically thanked us over and over again for the love and New Year’s joy and happiness that we brought to their prison. One of them commented, “It’s amazing that such young missionaries from so many different countries can come to a place like this and give of themselves so much love and joy!”

Thanks to Activated Ministries, guards and prisoners alike were able to receive a message of hope for the future, and a new year’s message of love and life changing salvation! We were able to distribute 250 Activated magazines to the inmates and eight Mottos for Success calendars to the teachers and prison guards.

Each prisoner received Jesus in their hearts, the One who can truly forgive any sins, and give us all a wonderful new start!