The old man threw out his fishing line and sat back to contemplate.
He hadn’t lived a perfect life. When Li Qing needed extra luck or blessing, he prayed to his ancestors. If he was being honest though, they didn’t offer a path to forgiveness. But what did?
He mused over the question until the long afternoon shadows signaled it was time to eat at his son’s restaurant. Instead of feeling relaxed and enlightened, his heart felt heavy as he walked the short distance. He opened the door and overheard his son speaking to Mei Li, a Taiwanese global missionary partner. She proclaimed God made a way to forgive everyone’s sins.
Li Qing listened closely. Mei Li shared about a God who loved the world and sent His own Son to pay the price for sin. He knew immediately this was the answer to his question. He, his son and another family member all chose to follow Christ.
“I was so moved,” Mei Li shared afterward at an evangelism training debrief. “Our God listens to every prayer and knows our hearts. He prepared us at the right time to reap the harvest and I was so happy.”
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Mei Li is one of six Taiwanese global mission partners commissioned and funded by Taiwanese Baptists to spend two years serving with International Mission Board teams in other parts of Asia and Africa. This team of six is spending the first part of their time training with IMB missionaries Jonathan and Tommie Anne Guffey in eastern Taiwan.
The IMB knows it cannot reach those who have never heard the gospel alone. It takes local ownership of the Great Commission to fulfill the Revelation 7:9 vision. Veteran missionaries like the Guffeys gladly share their knowledge and train these global mission partners before sending them to join another IMB team in Africa. The goal is to mobilize 500 of these partners from different countries by 2025.
Mei Li’s experience with the Qing family was part of her team’s training on a simple three-minute gospel presentation. Each day, the team went out in the eastern Taiwan community to share. They also learned how to train local church leaders to do the same. Together, they shared the good news over 500 times in three months and prayed with over 100 people who decided to follow Christ.
The team worked among 16 indigenous tribes in the area. The Guffeys, who recently moved to east Taiwan, modeled how to build relationships within a new community. Even the languages of the local tribes were different from what most of the team knew, giving them a much-needed cross-cultural experience involving language barriers.
Jonathan said his purpose was to give the Taiwanese global mission partners a healthy church planting DNA. He knows that often these partners can access people and places that Western missionaries, like him, cannot. Mentoring these partners laid the foundation of taking the good news to those who have never heard — whether it is to the far reaches of the world or their own country.
Through this training the young team discovered the hearts of the people in east Taiwan were ready for the gospel. Xunyi Wang, global mission partner, encouraged local church members to continue the task of sharing
“Even though we’re about to leave for other countries, we hate to part with east Taiwan and we hope you will continue sharing the gospel,” Wang said. “Sharing the gospel is not just a pastor’s job, and not just a missionary’s job. It’s every believer’s job.”
Jonathan nodded his head, excited to hear this statement. It’s exactly the mindset he and Tommie Ann hoped to instill during the global mission partner training. When it came time for the team to leave, he wanted them prepared to join God at work through a missionary presence that cultivates gospel access, gospel belief and church planting and multiplication.