On a balmy evening in mid-December an unusual sight unfolded in a city in central Taiwan. Through the large thoroughfares and small back alleys of Chiayi, a procession of close to 100 adults and children walked along, singing together. At the head of this informal parade was local Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Alex Wu and the neighborhood mayor, Mr. Huang. Parishioners and Bible study attendees from Salvation Lutheran Church, along with members of the community joined in Christmas carols and in wishing curious bystanders a “Merry Christmas!” in both English and Chinese.
Earlier in the evening, the group gathered at a historic pineapple warehouse near Salvation Lutheran Church for a community Christmas party organized by the mayor. Salvation congregants include several missionaries of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and their families. The LCMS missionaries and their children shared their musical talents as the old warehouse filled with Taiwanese eager to learn more about Christmas — a holiday that they knew well from Western movies and media.
Wu shared a brief message of Jesus’ birth and the salvation found in Him. Then the missionaries passed out copies of songs in English and Chinese and the group walked together through the streets of the neighborhood singing carols behind LCMS missionary guitar players — occasionally halting traffic along the way. “It was an unforgettable night! In my 16 years of serving in Taiwan, I have never had the opportunity to experience the celebration of Christmas in this unique way,” observed LCMS missionary, Andrew Schaff.
The local mayor was aware that a group of American missionaries worshiped at Salvation Lutheran and had contacted Wu earlier in the month about sharing Christmas with the community. “Your group knows all about Christmas, so come share it with us!” the mayor requested. Wu and the members of Salvation Lutheran Church were thrilled to oblige.
In a county with less than one percent professing faith in Christ, any opportunity to share the Gospel is meaningful. To have a neighborhood mayor request it, shows the power of the Holy Spirit to bring light into the darkness. We thank these servants of Christ for their dedication to God’s mission of sharing the message of Jesus Christ with the Taiwanese. To support the work of missionaries like Andrew and Noel Schaff and others, please visit the missionary support page.