Friday, May 23, 2008

Foreign Workers in Taiwan and the Gospel of Mark in their Languages May 2008
In light of the evangelistic Franklin Graham Festival scheduled for October 30.- Nov.2nd, where the Taiwan Expatriate Caring Committee (TECC) in cooperation with the Franklin Graham Team is coordinating translation and training for foreigners the latest number of guest workers should remind us that God continues to bring them on purpose and in high numbers to Taiwan. However, nobody knows how long we can bring them the gospel just in our neighborhood and send them back as Jesus Disciples with Gods love in their hearts. According to the Taipei Times May 23 the Taiwan Confederation of Trade Unions (TCTU) has the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) to control the number of foreign workers allowed into the country in order to protect the domestic job market. The reason for it is the grown number of cheap foreign workers at the expense of the domestic labor market.
Statistics released by the labor agency indicated that there were 367,119 legal foreign workers nationwide at the end of last month, up 1,890 from March and up 19,947, or 5.75 percent, from a year ago. - Many Taiwanese businesses, especially those that need cheap labor, are in favor of allowing more migrant workers, with some also lobbying to lower the minimum wage for foreign workers.- The manufacturing sector topped the list of industries in terms of employment of foreigners, with 187,298 workers. The caregiving sector employs 165,383 foreign workers and the construction sector employs 7,637.
By nationality, Indonesians constituted the largest group of foreign workers with 123,524, or 33.65 percent of the total; followed by 86,059 Thai workers and 85,296 workers from the Philippines. The foreign brides and the illegal workers as well as the 23640 Vietnamese foreign workers from Vietnam are not part of this statistic. If we include the roughly 80,000 Vietnamese construction workers, 60,000 employee, engaged as domestic helpers and 16,000 workers in factories in 2006, as well as the 2,000 in marine-based industries and the remainder in other lines of work the numbers of foreign workers grows beyond 500,000(!) legal foreign workers, without the roughly 200,000 PR-Chinese workers counted into it. The Vietnamese in 2006 composed 21% of the island's foreign workers.(Demand for Vietnamese labour goes up in Taiwanese market, 42% work They concentrate in Taipei City, Taipei County, and Taoyuan County. In the year 2005 there were 118,300 Vietnamese women who met a Taiwan men through international matchmaking services and choose to reside in Taiwan as of 2005("VN-Taiwan discuss brides’ rights in illegally-made matches). Taiwan opened up to foreign workers in 1989 and relaxed restrictions further last October. - Taiwan’s unemployment rate, meanwhile, has increased in recent years from 2.99 percent in 2000 to 3.9 percent last year.

In order to assist the churches in taking advantage of this rare occassion in Gods history to evangelize foreigners so easy, TECC decided to make this a opportunity to reach them in their mother tongues. Consequently, TECC decided to print 20,000 Mandarin-Vietnamese Gospel of Mark. They are being distributed all over the island. The next project is to print 10,000 Gospel of Mark in in Thai for the 86,000+ Thai workers. Already the Bible Society of Taiwan has agreed to print and prepare the editing. There are only still some donations missing (65,000 NT$) to pay the full bill.

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