TFGF-IIC Final Taipei Franklin Graham Festival 2008 Report (by TFGF Follow-Up Director Alain R. Haudenschild)
We thank God for these blessed days, because they allowed us to execute what He himself had put on our hearts to specifically do for the local and the expatriate churches of North Taiwan. The committee work during the time of preparation and the week of evangelistic efforts from October 26.-Nov.2nd let us grow closer together.
During eleven months time of practical preparation the number of joining churches, fellowships and gospel centers grew from initially eight to 35.
By June four of the ICC pastors and coworkers underwent the two days bilingual Christian Life and witness (CLWC) instructor training course focusing on the needs of churches speaking the languages English, Thai and Vietnamese. The Indonesian ministers due to time-conflict with other matters did not manage to attend one training. Despite the very limited number of trained instructors 508 of them attended the courses and nearly 120 qualified for BGEA approved counseling in the foreign language sector.
As Taiwan’s expatriate community has become more multi-lingual, with 550,000 of them unable to hear the gospel in Mandarin we undertook the effort to have critical BGEA publication like the Operation Andrew sheet, one of the four gospels (Gospel of Mark in Vietnamese and Thai), “My Commitment” and the follow-up study material “30 Days Exercises” and even BGEA's "Follow-up Card" translated into Thai, Indonesian and Vietnamese. The last book came out of print at the day when Franklin Graham had his first evening. – Of the 3000 copies of “30 Days Exercises” in three languages one day after the festival only few copies were left, with most of them taken by expatriate churches to be used for “Discovery Groups”. This may underline how much wanted they were.
Through a long prepared system of free bus transportation for the workers expatriates from as far as Hukou, Chungli, Guanin, Shulin, Wugu, Shenkeng and Sanchong were able to join. The participation divided according to languages and days looked like:
In addition to the days with Franklin Graham we also provided linguistical assistance (in English) at the Kids Festival (26th Oct.), among 32,799 participants helping 10 of the 3,200 people who received Christ at this day to give their lives to HIM). – Distribution of Bibles: We gave away around 400 Chinese English New Testaments to those who showed their signed “My Commitment” Card.
Of the non-English and none Mandarin speaking participants there were a considerable number (25) who decided for rededication rather than a first decision. Their names are difficult to spell and impossible to write, but they are know to our LORD and serve as his kernel of seed to plant the gospel in their unreached cultures here and later back home in their Asian countries (Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesian).
In terms of the overall decisions, including the results of the Kids- Festival we have the following picture:
We hope to enhance our ministry among expatriates with more friends in the local Taiwanese churches. After the BGEA helped Taiwan in 1956 and 1975 through Franklin Graham's Father Crusades we again thank them for their time and their sacrifical efforts to serve us in our needs in Taiwan and improve our ways of outreach in our immediate neighborhood and among those who are extremely difficult to reach.