This is a picture of the Dragon of Heaven Monastery and temple. Behind it, the building on the right houses the LCMS Mission Compound in Chiayi. The LCMS has three floors of the building that houses missionaries and office space etc.
We have been complaining in the church that we are running out of church workers. Seminaries are running all over the place trying to recruit students to become pastors and we are always looking for missionaries and GEO’s. There was a time in the distant past when there were more pastoral candidates than there were calls but it didn’t last long. As of today there are about 80 candidates but over 100 calls for Pastors and that trend is continuing.
If you look carefully in the picture at the area that looks lighter you see little while figures. They are statues of monks and I am trying to find a more close up picture because they are kind of hilarious. There are monks posing in the classic “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil poses; there are monks in poses that are strangely reminiscent of the Mary Tyler Moore statue in downtown Minneapolis. Some of the statues look like they are doing the Tai Chi exercises you see folks doing in the parks in the morning. I don’t know if these statues are set to be rememrances of deceased monks or what. I am trying to find out more about them and in my searching I found some posts about the monastery on social media and several visitors we complaining that there are not enough monks to care for the temple grounds or care for the disposition of loved ones remains. I was overlooking the area for over a week and I never saw a monk either on the grounds of the temple or in the community at large.
I guess recruitment for other religions is an issue too.