By Juanita Price Hebard

Taiwan_StraitIt is as vivid in my mind as yesterday: The missionary had spoken and the altar was filled with tears and pledges to follow God. I found myself standing by the piano, at nine years of age, and the missionary was encouraging me—when I heard God speak directly to my heart “I want you to be a missionary!”  What an amazing journey it has been learning to follow the Lord’s voice through all the ups and downs he has allowed in my life since that day, while preparing me for today’s leg of my journey on the beautiful Island of Taiwan. Here is where I minister to broken women and families and rescue babies, while educating the public on the scars and seriousness of the shedding of innocent blood through abortion.

Today, I re-read the old story in Taiwan Mission Quarterly of how Canadian Missionary Ruth Helgeson came to Taiwan in 1951 (Click here and then click “Download this issue” and read pages 57-61). She gave half a century of her life to Taiwan, retiring to Canada in 2001 at age 80. I remember hearing Sister Ruth share her fascinating Formosan stories at the Philadelphia Church, where I attended the Seattle Bible College from 1971 to 1975. After many years of ministering with Teen Challenge, mission trips, and working in missions; God also called me to this beautiful Island of Taiwan in October of 2001. I moved January 9, 2002. Why Taiwan?


Taiwan Families are in Crisis!

  1. Missionaries arrived in Taiwan in 1865…yet most of the 23 million people have never heard the gospel
  2. Second highest rate of unmarried women in the world.
  3. Lowest birth rate in the world.
  4. Over 500,000 unwanted babies aborted per year.
  5. Highest divorce rate in Asia; third highest in the world. Highest group of divorce are those married within two years.
  6. One sexual abuse case every 27 minutes due to marital dysfunction.
  7. 63% of the fathers sacrifice family life for work which results in poor child character development.
  8. Among the population in Taiwan, every 1 in 20 is depressed.

For the past 12 ½ years, I have served as a missionary in Taiwan. Eight years ago, I was given the privilege of becoming the Executive Director for the Ray of Hope Crisis Pregnancy Ministry. This position was passed on to me from the Bedwells, the founding Missionaries from Calgary, Canada, who served Taiwan for around 32 years from Pastor John Lucas’s Church. Today, they are both now home with Jesus. I’ve heard many stories of the worthy work Missionary Ruth Helgeson did here before them and how the FCA churches supported her. Pastor David Bedwell came with a mission team from Pastor Lucas’s church to help Ruth. I often have churches tell me that they want to support missions in China.  I’m not sure that people realize the tremendous opportunity to serve China here in Taiwan.

Ray of Hope began in 1999 when FCA Missionaries David & Beverly Bedwells, a YWAM missionary, and a Southern Baptist missionary prayed together that God would raise someone up to deal with the sexual abuse and abortion issues in Taiwan.  Today, Ray of Hope has grown from a rented one floor-office to a donated six floor office building of 12 staff and a thrift store, which staffs a manager and three full-time ROH clients. In 2012, ROH moved our pregnant clients from a small, donated three-bedroom home to a large five-year, rent-free remodeled training center, which houses 14 clients. Staffs and volunteers now live in the former client’s home. We are extremely grateful to Pastor John Lucas, who has continued to believe in and promote this desperately needed ministry to the church and public of Taiwan. Donations from Canada and American churches have helped us accomplish our remodeling and paying ROH bills & staff all these years, where faithful volunteers are virtually unheard of. The Taiwanese people are now beginning to slowly step forward in giving to this “strange” ministry that tells them abortion is wrong.

There are now many opportunities to get involved in the ministries here in Taiwan; supporting ministries financially, sending Bible School students to do their practicum, and by sending short term mission teams to help with ministry and church planting here on this beautiful island of Formosa Taiwan. People are hungry and open here and missionaries are loved and accepted. I urge you to pray for Taiwan and that the Lord would send forth more laborers into this Taiwan harvest field, and God will call them, as He called me—in much the same way as He called Missionary Ruth.

Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. Psalm 82:4

Juanita Hebard is Executive Director of Ray of Hope in Taiwan and is sent as an FCA Missionary. Contact her to find out more about connecting the next time she is in the US or Canada or about how you can be involved with what God is doing in Taiwan. 

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