In some countries and cultures, Christmas is not celebrated. Christmas is just a normal day like any other day. The photo above is indicative of what Christmas Day may have looked like today in Taipei, Taiwan. No Christmas trees, no lights, no decorations, no Christmas carols…It was just another work day today to most of the 23 million inhabitants of Taiwan. According to the Joshua Project, less than 5% of the population of Taiwan claims to be Christian, with less than 2% as evangelical Christians.
As our family celebrates Christmas today, we reflect upon the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We reflect not just on His birth, but on Jesus’ sinless life, on His sacrificial death that paid the price for our sins, on His resurrection from the dead and ascension into Heaven that defeated death giving us the promise of eternal life. In short, we reflect on the greatest gift ever given to mankind by the One True God, Yahweh.
Today is a day of celebration for those who have faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 6:23 says,
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We celebrate the gift of eternal life that we’ve unwrapped and claimed as our own. At the same time, we’re mindful of the fact that there remain millions of people who do not celebrate Jesus. Our family is moving to Taiwan as full-time missionaries in 2015 so that more and more Taiwanese will hear about Jesus and unwrap the gift of salvation that God is offering them. Today, we live in a country where finding a church is as easy as finding a convenience store. In Taiwan, we’re moving to a small village where there has never been a Christian church before. It’s a place of beautiful people who are living their lives in darkness.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, celebrate the wonderful gift that was freely given to us when we least deserved it. Please also remember to pray for those who still have not heard the good news of Jesus Christ in Taiwan and around the world.
May the God of grace and peace be with you all.
— Paul —