World Day of Prayer
Friday 3rd March 2023
You are invited to join in worship and fellowship at your local church. Programme prepared by Taiwan. Adapted for use in New Zealand by World Day of Prayer Aotearoa New Zealand.
“I Have Heard About Your Faith”.
One of the WDP Guiding Principles states that ‘Prayer is rooted in listening to God and to one another. In WDP we listen to the Word of God and to voices of women sharing their hopes and fears, their joys and sorrows, their opportunities and needs.’
The theme of the worship service “I have heard about your faith”, based on the letter to the Ephesians, is an invitation to active listening, which is the ground of our prayers. Following the example of the letter (1:15-19), where the author praises the church for their faith in Jesus and love toward all the saints, the worship service contextualizes the witness of the saints with the stories from Taiwan.
The worship service shares the letters of encouragement sent to women who faced suffering and injustice. Their stories of faith contemplate issues that are shared by women and girls around the world and that continue to challenge us to prayerful action.
We are reminded of the urgency to protect the environment and have a nuclear-free homeland; to be aware of the gender stereotypes women face when defying he traditional role in the workplace or in the family, and to care for the healing of the victims of verbal and sexual abuses. It also brings to light the hidden struggle of the essential workers during the pandemic who had to balance between work and family in a vulnerable economic situation.
Programme prepared by the World Day of Prayer Committee of Taiwan for WDP 2023.
Additional information be accessed and downloaded on our Resources page.
Country Background Information
Taiwan is an island country measuring approximately 36,000 square kilometres, located in the Western Pacific region and in the centre of the East
and Southeast Asia Island Arcs. It is composed of the main island and many offshore islands, including the Penghu Islands, Kinmen, the Matsu Islands,
and over 100 other islands and skerries. Two-thirds of the main island’s terrain is mountain forest. Taiwan’s tallest mountain—Yu Shan (also known as Jade Mountain)—approaches 4,000 meters in height and is the tallest summit in Northeast Asia. There are nine national parks in Taiwan.
Because of its location in the Ring of Fire, Taiwan and its surrounding islands experience approximately 1,000 felt earthquakes each year. A major earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 occurred on September 21, 1999, in Central Taiwan (also known as the 921 Earthquake) and was the most disastrous in recent history with more than 13,000 casualties and missing people. While causing damage, earthquakes in Taiwan have also brought about a valuable underground resource, namely geothermally heated groundwater. Hot and cold springs containing different levels of various minerals can be found throughout the country, even in rivers and oceans.
Taiwan lies where the tropical monsoon and the subtropical monsoon meet. The unique island geography and climate conditions have resulted in the considerable diversity of animal and plant species.
The forests host over 250,000 species that make up 3.8% of all the species in the world. Furthermore, Taiwan has a high proportion of endemic species, with 64% of mammals and 13% of avian species. Unfortunately, some are listed as endangered species.
Artist: Hui-Wen Hsaio
Hui-Wen HSAIO was born in Tainan, Taiwan, in 1993. In 2017, she received her bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication Design at Kun Shan University in Tainan. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Intermedia Art Therapy (Intermediale Kunstterapie) at MSH Medical School in Hamburg, Germany.
“Ever since I was young, I have attended a Presbyterian church with my mother and brother. Engaging with God’s words and experiencing the liturgy have shaped and strengthened my faith. The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan traditionally holds worship services in Taiwanese (Tâi-gí), which demonstrates the significance of preserving the language. Even though young people nowadays commonly speak Mandarin, I value that my faith has been nurtured by communicating it in Taiwanese.
As a woman, I want to explore the female identity through my artwork. The subjects of my art always depict the relationship of mothers, women, and people. In my exhibitions, I compose my artwork to express my observation, gratitude, and faith.
I cherish my God-given talents and serve God with my artwork. I humbly hope people will know God through my art.”
Description of the artwork
Taiwan has a history of being colonized by different foreign governments, which led to experiences of ethnical, cultural, social, and political conflict and integration. The artist used several motifs that highlight Taiwan’s best-known features to express how the Christian faith brings peace and a new vision to Taiwan.
The women in the painting are sitting by a stream, praying silently and looking up into the dark. Despite the uncertainty of the path ahead, they know that the salvation of Christ has come.
Two endangered species are featured: the Mikado pheasant and the Black-faced Spoonbill, which are both of unique significance to the Taiwanese people. The Mikado pheasant is endemic to mountainous regions of Taiwan and is usually regarded as one of Taiwan’s national birds. The Black-faced Spoonbill migrates thousands of miles every year to spend the winter in Taiwan. Their distinctiveness symbolizes a characteristic of the Taiwanese people—confidence and perseverance in times of difficulty.
The green grass and Phalaenopsis (Butterfly) orchids stand out against the dark background. They are the pride of Taiwan, which has a worldwide reputation as the “Kingdom of Orchids.” In recent decades, Taiwanese orchid’s exports have increased, and Butterfly orchids have frequently been featured in international competitions. This beautiful island is known by its rich natural resources. Green grass represents the Taiwanese as simple, confident, strong and under God’s care.