"The inmates are very impressed with our care and often send letters to express their appreciation. Currently more than a hundred inmates have been converted in prison." --Pastor Thu
(Read examples of letters from a prisoner in this blog post.)
As 2015 comes to an end, the Vietnamese Diaspora Outreach Ministry in Taiwan thanks their supporters for their care and prayers throughout the year. They are now responsible for 3 main ministries:
The church has been sponsored with a 25% decrease in rental expenses every 3 months for the last 2 years until the end of 2015. We thank God that our believers realize the importance of financial independence starting from 2016, thus the financial condition of the church has improved with more support. The church's essential expenses include:
2) Ministry in Detention Centers
There are 4 large detention centers in Taiwan, each of which has nearly 100 Vietnamese people detained for illegal immigration or other violations. We carry on ministry every week. Most people are unprepared for their detention, thus being in need of necessities, so we provide them with tissues, towels, and instant noodles.
During our weekly mission, there are always God's believers who attend. The number depends on the permission of the detention center's administration board. In the last 6 years that we've done the detention center ministry, many people have become believers before they went back to Vietnam. As the detention time is usually short, our mission is aimed at people who have never learned about the church before they leave Taiwan.
3) Ministry and Spiritual Care in Quishan Prison
There are more than 100 male prisoners in Quishan prison. They are sentenced from 6 months to life imprisonment. They used to have resentment and guilt for themselves and their families. Some of them even tried to commit suicide for suffering from improper sentence or losing hope for the future due to the long sentence. It is our gratitude to God that those prisoners with resentment easily become Jesus's believers to embrace God's forgiveness.
Expenses for Prison Ministry
Last year we organized a contest on Psalm 91 and 21 Bible verses. There were 24 contestants in total; 8 of them won first prize with perfect results. They were awarded $70 USD. Others who made some mistakes in the contest were encouraged with small awards of $10 or $20 USD, depending on how many mistakes they made.
This year we plan to organize a contest on Psalm 23, 20 Bible verses, and the Bible's table of contents. There will probably be more contestants. The results will come out in mid-2016. The amount of money used for the prison ministry depends on God's love through our donors, thus relying on your support.
Ministry for Believers in Prison
There are 3 people following the theological curriculum "The Life of Jesus Christ," and they are close to the end of Book 5. Some are following "Abundant Life" and other materials.
Care for Believers After Prison
During the last 6 years, there have been about 50 believers who returned to Vietnam from prison in Taiwan. A small number of workers received training under Agape Vietnamese Church, and a bigger number of believers in detention centers. It was out of our compassion for them, since they received neither attention nor spiritual care after returning to Vietnam.
To follow up from the ministry activities in Taiwan, Pastor Thu went to northern Vietnam in the beginning of 2015 to visit returnees. In 2016 he intends to go back again, to establish communication with the returnees and to connect with the local church. He also plans to support the local church in resettling believers who returned from prison through several community development projects.
Prison Ministry Updates from 2016
Group Meetings and Evangelistic Services
We have a regular Vietnamese group big meeting at the Taipei prison, usually on the first week of every other month. We also have a weekly evangelistic service at the immigration detention center every Wednesday.
Scripture Memorization Contest
This year we continued the Bible memorization contest. The challenge is to memorize Psalm 121 & 23 and the whole Bible index. This year we have more Vietnamese inmates participating in the contest than last year, and the number of winners with zero mistakes has also increased.
Compassion Ministry Gifts
During the Lunar New Year we just had in January we made Banh Chung and Gio Thu (Vietnamese New Year traditional food) to distribute to them. The year-end gifts and assistance for their special needs are also continued as a mandate of our compassion ministry. A Growing Harvest Field, Laborers NeededThe number of Vietnamese inmates increases yearly, and the releases are fewer than the incoming ones. It is so sad, but we try our best to share love to them. Currently more than a hundred inmates have been converted in prison. We are overwhelmed with the task. In order to add more workforce, we are paying transportation expenses and a little sum to a sister in the church, sister Diep, to assist us in our prison and immigration detention ministries. She is faithful and very helpful for us in this outreach ministry. We anticipate raising her up for the pastoral ministry.
This year we also start the distance theological study under the sponsorship of Vietnamese C&MA Divinity school in California for three students. They are very eager to study and appreciate this opportunity.
Community Development, Chuch Planting, and Medical Missions
We are also writing the formal community development project integrating with church planting among the Tin Lanh North church. We also cooperate with Chia Yi Christian hospital in Taiwan to organize the medical short term mission supporting Tin Lanh North church. Sister Lilies Yeh, currently a Bible school intern at our church, is on staff at this medical firm. Hopefully, one Taiwanese medical mission team can be sent some time early next year.
Prayer Requests: Spring 2016Please pray for the following issues:
Thank you for the support of Transparent Fish Fund to make this result for the glory of our Heavenly Father.
Thu & Hanh Nguyen
Vietnamese Diaspora Outreach Ministry in Taiwan
Read about the life-changing stories on the mission field.