The Origin of Prison Evangelism in Taiwan

In 2000, our choir at Evangelical Formosa Church of Irvine (EFC Irvine) who had been singing together for many years, had cultivated a very close fellowship and united spirit. I felt God was impressing upon me, that this was the right time to explore and expand our choir ministry beyond Sunday offertory, so our choir began to record Taiwanese gospel songs, and then distribute tapes and CDs to those who were in need and could be blessed with uplifting gospel music. We were able to produce three CDs of Taiwanese gospel songs for three consecutive years. In 2001, we performed our first musical "No Greater Love" with our choir members. By the end of 2005, our choir felt God was calling us to consider an evangelism ministry in Taiwan.

Beginning A New Ministry

By the providence of our Lord, I was introduced to Teacher Chen Shu-Lan, who was the President of the Association of Tainan Prisons and Rehabilitative Care at the time, and she helped opened the door for Taiwan Prisons Ministry (TPM). As we began planning, the list of tasks grew exponentially. It was both exciting yet challenging: The design of the Choir uniforms, arranging the airline tickets, finding transportation for a large group & finding appropriate lodging in Taiwan, what prison locations would be open to our ministry and when, etc. In stepping into a totally new program, I had no idea where to start. The good Lord was gracious, leading us one step at a time, overcoming issues and allowing us to proceed smoothly into this new ministry. In 2006, Teacher Chen Shu Lan contacted administrators of various prisons around Taiwan, and established our visitation schedule in Taiwan. And working with our choir members, arranged our flight schedule and lodging at various cities where the prison facilities were located. It was a wonderful start. The enthusiasm of our choir members shared their experiences with other friends at other churches in Orange County and Los Angeles area, eventually expanding the number of teams from our original one to four teams. This enable our TPM ministry to reach more of the 50 prisons and rehabilitation centers located in various cities across Taiwan.

Serving Local Churches in Taiwan

Our ministry raised funds and were able to donate piano to those prisons and establish Christian chapels in those prisons where none existed before. We were able to expand our ministry program by performing in churches located in the cities we were staying, and thereby encouraging their congregations as well as share with them how God has blessed our TPM outreach in Taiwan prisons.

The Heart of Ministry

Although we are unable to free the inmates from the prison cells, we brought God's love and peace to them. The Bible says: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. " God's love is so extravagant, beyond human's ability to measure. God's free grace is for anyone who is willing to receive it. No need to pay, not requiring any merit. All who are open to God can receive His abundant love. The Bible tells us: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come." Only the love of God can transform people's lives and bring people new hope. A prison officer shared with me that our musicals & testimonies had a visible impact on those in the prison with a sense of God's love, even changes in their nature.

All By God's Grace

From the start in 2006 until 2019 just before COVID-19 impacted global travel, God has enabled us to show God's love as presented in our musical program to those in Taiwan prisons. We rejoice over their positive response to our ministry, and that many have made their own decisions to follow Jesus. Prison life is difficult and routine. There is despair and even when they release they are still vulnerable to falling into same old habits with same old friends. Our desire is to give them a new hope that changes their life

Written by Chinyuan Huang 黃清源
主後2000年,那時我帶領愛恩教會的詩班已有一陣子,大家很同心,因此就想除了主日獻詩之外,再增加服事及榮耀神的機會。一開始我們先想到錄製台語福音詩歌,做成錄音帶與CD,來送給有需要及喜愛詩歌的弟兄姊妹。我們一連三年錄製了三條台語福音詩歌。並且從2001開始投入舞台神劇「無比的愛」的演出。到2005年底,因 神的感召,詩班就決定返回故鄉台灣,去做傳福音的事工。

當我們開始找尋服事的工場,不知何去何從時 神奇妙的恩手就帶領我巧遇當時在「台南市監所收容人關懷協會」擔任理事長的陳淑蘭老師,於是這樣展開了台灣監獄宣道的事工。起初的階段真是千頭萬緒,舉凡制服、機票、交通、食宿的安排等等不知從何著手。但神奇妙的恩手就帶領我們一一克服所有難關,得以順利地成行。因此從2006年開始,一直到2019年,每年都有熱心的兄姊投入這項事工。從一開始只有一個團隊, 到後來組成四個團隊。没有鋼琴的各個監所, 我們就捐獻鋼琴; 沒有福音堂的,我們就募款, 設法去建立福音堂。後期也開始關心較弱小的教會,扶持他們得以成長。

雖然我們沒有能力將受刑人從監獄的捆綁裡解放出來,但我們將 神的愛與平安帶給他們。 聖經說:「神爱世人, 甚至將祂的獨生子賜給他們。叫一切信祂的,不至滅亡,反得永生。」神的愛是何等長闊高深 ,非人所能測度。世上的每一個人只要不再封閉自己、依靠自己,願意伸出雙手打開心門,接受這份白白的恩典,不需付出任何金錢或做功德,就可以得到這份豐盛的愛。

就這樣一年又一年,一場又一場的關懷音樂會 ; 看到許許多多的受刑人,從絕望的深淵中被救拔出來,他們不但不再自暴自棄, 反而有一份積極向上的心志。也有不少監獄的長官們深受感動, 舉手決志,表示他們很樂意認識這位宇宙的真神。

聖經告訴我們:「若有人在基督裹,他就是新造的人 ,舊事己過, 都變成新的了。」只有神的愛能夠轉變人的生命, 帶給人新的盼望。有監獄的長官告訴我,我們的音樂見證分享,讓整個會場充滿了神的愛,也讓他們感受到前所未有的寧靜與平安。祈願監獄宣道能夠持續推動; 帶領更多的長官們及受刑人歸向主!

Written by Chinyuan Huang 黃清源


General Programs

  • 交通,Traveling
  • 每日靈修, Daily Prayers
  • 監獄導覽, Jail Facilities Visits
  • 用餐, Meals
  • 監獄簡報, Conferences

Music Program

  • 合唱, Singing
  • 音樂劇, Dramas
  • 見證分享, Testimonies 
  • 受刑人表演, 合唱, Singing by & with inmates
  • 牧師/教師簡短信息, Pastor’s short messages
  • 呼召決志, Callings
  • 祝福禱告, Prayers & Blessings