Book of Hope International has yield great success in the mission in Taiwan since the first Chinese edition of he Book of Hope was launched one year ago.
Intern teams led by the founder of Book of Hope International Bob Hoskins have just returned from Taiwan after a short visit, according to a statement from the Book of Hope International. In the trip, they have made a breakthrough achievement in the newly opened country- a distribution of over 23,000 books in 45 schools within eight days.
Steve Puffpaff, a Response Teams leader, told the Book of Hope that they have received overwhelming requests from schools in Taiwan to distribute the Book of Hope, even though before they have not scheduled any meetings with school leaders.
The Response Teams have explained the urgency to bring the Gospel to Taiwan youths in one of their reports as stating, "Most of the kids are taken out of church and youth group once they hit middle school age so they can focus more on their studies and attend cram school."
"There is an unbelievable amount of pressure on these kids. While we were there the top middle school student in all of Taiwan committed suicide after he did poorly on an exam."
The students have paid close attention to the Book of Hope presentation when the teams visited the schools, according to the report.
Hoskins, during a conversation with the Mission News Network (MNN), commented that young people in Taiwan might be easier to connect with than those in western countries. It is because they have the open and thirsty heart for the Gospel- something that they have not been exposed to from their background of eastern religions, primarily Buddhist.
Compared with the other countries in Asia where the Book of Hope is at work, such as China, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, Taiwan is a wealthier country. However, the mission of the Book of Hope in Taiwan has been unexpectedly running well.
According to MNN, Hoskins said, "They have everything, but their hearts are empty. There's a hole there and it can only be filled with the knowledge of Christ, and the Book of Hope engages those children and young people into discovering that Jesus loves them and has a plan for them."
The interns in the Response Teams to Taiwan described how the culture of the country has affected the way they approach the ministry in one of their reports.
"This culture is based on relationships," one of the interns said, therefore building relationships and mentoring the youth was a major focus of the teams. Through the presence of the Response Teams, one of the leaders Puffpaff believed that they "have changed the future of Taiwan."
As MNN reported, the Book of Hope ministry has been endorsed by some leaders of the Taiwanese government.
In the latest trip, Hoskins has spoken to the Taiwanese Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who said, "We're one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Our young people have everything. We have the harshest drugs laws in the world, outside of Singapore. And yet, our precious young people continue to get themselves involved in drugs. This book is what we need to show them that there is another way."
Taiwanese congresswoman Joanna Lai Chan, representative of Taiwan at the President’s Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Minister of Education Chengsen Du and Judicial Chairman Yuan Cheng are also supporters of the Book of Hope.
The first landing of the world’s first Chinese edition of Book of Hope happened in Taiwan in December 2004, following the groundwork laid by the two regional directors, Ty and Cina Silva since 1998. The first distribution of the Book of Hope in Taiwan reached to 25,000 school children.
After one year till now, Hoskins told MNN, "We have already distributed more than 500,000 books in the public schools of Taiwan." The ministry has achieved far beyond their goal of 464,000 for 2004.
According to MNN, Hoskins said the Book of Hope is sending out Nomad Teams- young people who will be training nationals to do the work.
Meanwhile, the Book of Hope has already begun negotiations to bring the Book of Hope to the children and youth of Hong Kong. It therefore urged everyone to pray that the door will be opened, "as the beachhead to begin reaching the children and youth of mainland China."