Spreading the gospel isn’t easy in Taipei, Taiwan. Though citizens do have religious freedom, becoming a Christian often means sacrificing your cultural identity and alienating your family. Lifting Hands Network exists to equip believers in sharing the gospel to people they love. Recently, I spoke with Jane Hsu, the executive chairman for Lifting Hands Network about her ministry.
At what point in your life did you realize you were a leader?
When you have a vision, a passionate, burning desire and you try to share it, most people’s response is, “You are crazy. That’s impossible.” Twenty years ago I had a vision and the impossible came true.
In Taiwan, children usually aren’t named either by their parents or grandparents but by fortune-tellers, because their parents believe that a good name will bring children a prosperous life. When an infant doesn’t sleep well, his mother likely will take the baby to a medium or a palm-reading psychic for a special treatment, but not to a pediatrician since most Taiwanese are either Buddhists or Taoists. More than that, many parents give their children to gods as foster sons or daughters. They do not know that “…anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord” (Deut. 18: 12a).
This situation made me feel sad. So I prayed for the children in Taiwan. In my prayers I began to receive a vision from the Lord. I could clearly see more than 1,500 children singing, laughing and being healed in a large building.
And later, you saw an opportunity to do this through a Christmas program held at the National Theater in Taipei and broadcast on YoYo TV…
Christmas is the best time for sharing the Gospel; even the most traditional families allow their children to go to church for Christmas. I envisioned the name “A Magical Christmas,” for the program. Live children’s Christmas programs need to be strong in concept and design. In prayer, I asked God to reveal to me just who would be the ideal person to be the program producer. Vickie Pettis, the lead teacher of the most popular English TV teaching program, come to mind. Vickie agreed and [her team] were eager to join the program even though it would require to working overtime.
On December 22, about 3,000 children entered the theater. It was so crowded that even the aisles were full and more than 600 children were left outside. One pastor held my hand and asked if he was dreaming, since he had never seen so many children who wanted to attend an evangelistic program.
At the end of the program, 95 percent of the children raised their hands to respond to the invitation of salvation. That night my home phone rang all night long. YoYo TV broadcast “A Magical Christmas” on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Many thank-you letters and phone calls came to ORTV and YoYo TV after the program aired. People thanked us for presenting the real meaning of Christmas and they wanted to know more about Jesus.
I still remember an 80-year-old grandmother told me she accepted the salvation too. She said that she did not know God is so good; she did not know she needed not to go to the hell because Jesus dies for her sin. All her life she never experienced unconditional love, and she was so happy to be God’s daughter…
What is the ministry of Lifting Hands? What would you like people to know?
To reach the lost in places that prohibit proclaiming the gospel in an open, public manner, such as China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. In Taiwan, Christian’s population, including Catholic, is less than 10%. People need Jesus. We teach Christians how to lead atheists, Buddhists or Taoists to Christ in China, Indonesia, and Taiwan. We reach non-Christians through workshops about emotion management and dating. We plan to open grief counseling courses to help [Christians] reach out to non-Christians.
[We also aim] to Equip the Body of Christ. Christians are poorly equipped and need better resources. Many Christians are neither people of influence nor joy, and their hearts are full of doubts. They are spiritually hurt from incorrect interpretation of the Bible and oppression from dysfunctional pastors. Wrong teachings, deviations, and heresies are not unusual. So we help Christian workers become more professional by providing lectures that help them enjoy working and excel in the workplace. We provide character development courses for pastors, missionaries, and their wives. We publish better materials and hold conferences in North/Middle/South of Taiwan, inviting the authors to teach intensive courses.
What are the biggest challenges for you as a leader?
Most Christians are attracted to Charismatic Movement since they want their life problems to be solved immediately. People want success and miracles, but that’s [not in God’s Word]. Our sponsor structure is weak because Lifting Hands Network is not underwritten or sponsored by a large organization or any denomination. I have to lean on God to supply all our needs every day. Also, the publishing industry decline seriously due to the internet.
What has been your biggest blessing?
Many pastors/preachers tell us that [our ministry provides] what Taiwan needs and they feel immensely grateful that we publish these books and hold the conference. Pastors and their spouses have told us that not only is their relationship with elders/deacons [improving], their church grew, and their family relationship also improved.