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Taiwan Church News

3231 Edition

January 27  - February 2, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

Nailing The Good News Deep Into Our Home Land, The Church Brings Forth The Sign Of Hope

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

The main thread of PCT's annual assembly in 2014 and 2015 are set up as "Nailing The Good News Deep Into Our Home Land, The Church Brings Forth The Sign Of Hope", quoted from the scriptures from Isaiah 52: 7 -10 and 1 Corinthians 12:26. An expository letter, grafted by the PCT Research and Development Center and approved by General Secretary - Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong, was sent to each PCT member churches to note that 2015 is the 150th anniversary of PCT mission and all the PCT churches are encouraged to live up as the hope from Christ blessed to Taiwan society.

 

In the open letter to local churches, Rev. Lyim retrieved two major movements in the past PCT evangelical histories: 1. The Doubling Movement in 1950s. As the goal of "One town, One church" was tried hard to reach then, that momentum became the foundation of our PCT church today; 2. The Movement of Building the Common Community in 1990s. The church was urged to step out of the walls and walk into the community, the village and the tribe.

 

Up to now at the beginning of 21st century, Rev. Lyim said, we expect PCT keep growing in both quantity and quality. And this objective is similar to what the verb "nailing deep" is about: stretch deep down our root to grow and flourish the mission of God. On the other hand, as stated in PCT's Confession of Faith that we believed our church is "through love and suffering becoming the sign of hope", the PCT member churches should strive to become the sign of hope in Taiwan society.

 

Instead of pursuing "success", "economical development" and "return on investment", Rev. Lyim encouraged PCT churches to learn the spirit of sacrifice and suffering from Jesus. Accompanying the suffered to walk out of their distress, live up to hope and experience the grace and love from God, this is the purpose of what the church for?

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 
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Taiwan Church News

3231 Edition

January 27 - February 2, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

The Amend of Local Government Act Is Still Far Behind A True Self-Government Of The Aboriginal

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

Though the KMT-dominated congress has passed the amendment of Local Government Act(LGA) on January 14, restoring the legal person status and election rights for the aboriginal, and some KMT aboriginal lawmakers also claimed their credits in the legislation process of the bill, this half-way truth forced some DPP lawmakers to open a press conference on January 18 to restore the truth and criticize this hypocritical amendment and unworthy boasting.

 

Rev. Omi Wilan, secretary of Indigenous Peoples Action Coalition of Taiwan, talked straightly that it was KMT's Ma Administration who opposed LGA at the very beginning. Now, to everybody's surprise, KMT changed its mind to restore the legal person status and election rights for the aboriginal. Rev. Omi Wilan criticized this drama is actually a one-man show. In fact, the LGA amendment is still far behind a true self-government of the aboriginal. At its best, it is just an "empty shell".

 

Rev.Omi Wilan urged the aboriginal people not to be cheated by the boasts of KMT's aboriginal lawmakers, claiming their merits within this LGA amendment as a milestone of progress. "It is our natural rights to participate in the politics and the election", said Omi Wilan, "why we have to appreciate KMT for this hypocritical favor?" To restore a complete Self-Government for the Aboriginal, he remind the aboriginal should strive for the full realization of the laws like Aboriginal Self-Government Act, the Act of Sea and Land and etc.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 


DPP Aboriginal Lawmakers united to open a  press conference on January 18 to tell the truth behind the amendment of Local Government Act which was passed on January 14 2014.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3232 Edition

February 3  - February 9, 2014

Headline Blessings

 

The Blessings From God

 

In the July of 1885, Dr. Thomas Barclay published the first Taiwanese newspaper - Tai-oan-hu-sian Kau-hoe-po - the initial title of the current Taiwan Church News. It started the epoch for Taiwanese folks to read, write and learn about the world using the their mother tongue in Romanized spelling.

 

This encyclopedic church newspaper, though changed the title names several times since her monthly publication from the Guanxu period in Qing Dynasty, her enthusiasm to proclaim the ideal of the Kingdom of God still carries on up to date.

 

In the December of 1905, the 38th year of Meiji period when Taiwan was under the ruling of the Japanese government, nearly a whole page in Volume 249 of "Tai-nan-hu-sian Kau-hoe-po" was printed the Chinese Character of "Hok" (ie Blessing) as the attached picture showed.

 

This attractive character of blessing was annotated with both "Seng-chheh e Hok--ji"( Blessing Character in Holy Bible) and "Lin sin chiah u Hok-khi / Lo-ka 1:45"(And blessed is she that believed). And the readers were asked to find five verses which included "Hok-khi"(blessing) from the Matthew and Luke Gospels. What an amazing imagination to utilize such interactive editing technique encouraging reader find more blessing from the word of God! As the character "Hok" not only symbolize the desperate hope of the Taiwanese then, but added more aesthetics effects for the insipid ink-printing only in black and white, many readers could even cut it down and paste it on the front door!

 

At it is the time of lunar new year, let's try to think about this character of "Hok"(blessing), how it is desired by the contemporary Taiwan society! This wonderful word, which is full of God's blessings, should not be deemed as a parochial or selfish personal pursuit toward long life, wealth, health, harmony, virtues and a painless death etc. As these worldly values could only make human mind more and more iniquitous to care about their own interests and adrift away an altruistic spirit.

 

Just as the sermon on the mount preached by Jesus, if we could practice the followings: admit our spiritual poverty, cry out for our own sin, humble down from our arrogance, desire to carry out the will of God, be compassionate to the other, be pure and simple in mind, promote the peace, will to suffer for fulfilling God's will, and dare to be prosecuted and slandered by following Jesus, then this is the true blessings we want from God! Hok-khi-la!

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

The Chinese Character of "Hok"(Blessing) from "Tai-nan-hu-sian Kau-hoe-po", the initial title of current Taiwan Church News, vol. 249, December 1905.

 

 

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3233 Edition

February 10 - February 16, 2014

Editorial

 

Editorial: Here am I. Send me!

 

When the Indigenous Ministry Committee just achieved her 60th anniversary, this moment made us felt hopeful and appreciated. Theoretically, we should be jubilant with enthusiasm to expect a more wonderful future; yet, under a dazzlingly volatile and disappointed Taiwan society replete with so much injustice, cheating and oppression, there are kind of bitterness and sigh behind the hilarious celebration of the 60th anniversary's evangelical ministry. So, how to carry on our indigenous ministry?

 

Retrieving the struggling history of the indigenous people in the last two years, many compelling issues related to land, community and human rights started to emerge more speedily in a complicated outlook: the development case of A-Lan-I ancient path in the Paiwan tribe; the BOT invasion into the traditional preserving territory of the Tsou tribe; the Anti Miramar Resort event at Taitung; the event of graveyards removing of Katibu village in the Puyuma tribe; the prosecution the aboriginal hunter bringing his shot-gun; the event of protecting log at Knkreygan/Dumung village in Hwalien; the storage of nuclear waste in the aboriginal land and etc. Evidenced from such biased government policy and her corruptive performance, the living conditions of the indigenous people would have no chance to be better off in the future.

 

From a demographic point of view, the indigenous population registered their living places at the non-indigenous areas has reached around 220,000 people. It means 43% of the indigenous are living in the city or town, not their aboriginal tribe or villages. If the emigrating indigenous workforce, not registered officially in the city or town, are included, then it is estimated that in fact over 50% of the indigenous had emigrated into the city! Let's have a second thought and raise some questions for these indigenous people: Who are their neighbors? Who are their spiritual pastors?

 

Not to mention the indigenous students who desperately need the pastoral care from church. PCT only has 4 indigenous college student center caring about only 540 aboriginal students in 23 college campus. But the whole Taiwan island have 20,000 more indigenous students with 162 campus. Especially when the indigenous student ministry's evangelists and pastors are destitute of the financial and personnel support from each tribal presbytery or district, who would come to take care those indigenous students exiled on the wilderness?

 

In the same time, confronting the emergence and challenge of the urban aboriginal ministry, we also found that lots of task force and resources have to be invested to care and maintain the daily ministry of tribal churches. There are many social problems we have to engage: the education of single parent family or the family with grandparent bringing grandchildren, the unemployment problem in the far off country, the shortage of the education resources, inferior environment for living and health, the decline of local church attendance and etc.

 

How should we carry on our indigenous ministry? The problems seem so complicated and beyond our capability to handle. Who will be our partners in this indigenous ministry? Though there are lots of uneasiness and challenges, let us carry on sticking to our faith and stand firm to be friend and partner of the poor and the oppressed. We still want to respond to God who call us to serve Him: Here I am. Send me!

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3233 Edition

February 10 - February 16, 2014

Headline News

Main Theme As "Line of Light - Would Add God As Your Good Friend?", A Sunny Juvenile Winter Camp Kicks Off!

 

Reported by Hwang Yi-lek

 

During the lunar new year, February 3rd to 6th, a sunny juvenile winter camp organized by PCT Youth Ministry Committee was held at William Sha Memorial Youth Camp in Puli Township. About 160 juvenile youth, covering from middle school to high school students, accompanied by dozens of working staffs and teachers, went through an experiential education with spiritual exercise. The main purpose of this convention is to encourage PCT juvenile youth to add God on their "Line" app, a very fashionable smartphone application familiar to youth, encouraging them to seek and know God as their best friend.

 

Four days activities of winter camp started from an action drama, inspired from the Hollywood movie - Iron Man. Working staffs played kinds of movie roles, Iron Man, American Captain and Spider Man etc, alluding to different personal bad habits could be overcome by God's grace and love after 4 days experiential education. A night of camp fire was also held in the first day to break the ice and let the youth to know each other.

 

From the second day, the winter camp delivered the major programs for each team to learn and experience. According to Rev. Cheng Chun-peng, PCT Youth Committee Secretary, the characteristics of this winter camp course was tailor-made to suit different needs and youth backgrounds. In addition, most teaching lecturers had been trained through this winter camp, some were even church deacons or ordained pastors.

 

There were programs to encourage the group works: The objective of "the Night of Domino" at the second day is to experience the power of solidarity, juvenile youth are challenged to complete a puzzle map with 16,000 pieces domino; "Group Dynamics" at the fourth day, learning to practice the action of Good Samaritan, the youth members were requested to find the ways out sending the injured up to the hill, where the medicare station was located.

 

In fact, from the perspective of PCT Youth Ministry Committee, this sunny winter camp is not just an outdoor activity for the church youth. It is the first part of a trilogy program. The final part is to equip local churches get ready to summon their community youths in the summer camp to learn their past histories and invite God as their best friend.

 

After this winter camp, the intermediary step will transfer to each presbytery to hold their own youth camp within the usual semester terms. At this intermediary step, hosted by each each presbytery or district, either they can use their own resources to assemble their local youth, or they can ask PCT Youth Committee to support the teaching equipment, training lecturer or finance coverage. Some pastors express that the sunny juvenile camp is worthy to promote as it help the poor church to empower their juvenile youth.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Juvenile youth placed the burning candles, representing their dedication with prayer, upon the water surface for God's mission.

Photo by PCT Youth Ministry Committee

 
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Taiwan Church News

3233 Edition

February 10 - February 16, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

One Year After The Protest Of Lying On Rail, Laid Off Workers Vow to Keep Fighting For Their Rights and Dignity

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

On February 5th 2013, in order to fight for the personal rights and dignity, lots of laid off workers lied down on the rails at Taipei Railway Station. This event sent a big shock across the Taiwan island, and it let the public know in what the miserable despairs the laid off workers were caught and how arrogantly oppressive the Ma administration used to be.

 

After one year had passed, at the very beginning of the lunar new year, these same laid off workers rallied again at Taipei Railway Station. They mimicked the "greeting rituals of early spring" and played the reminiscent action drama of  "Lying On Rail" event, telling Taiwan society that their strong complaint toward the oppressive Ma administration. On the other hand,  this assembly also meant they have no other choice but keep fighting for their rights and dignity in the 2014.

 

Not only there were about 120 laid off workers rallied at Taipei Railway Station, but also 10 self-help employees, including Yuan-li Anti-Windmill Association, Shin-li Paper Self-Help Employees Network and Hwa-Lon Textile Self-Help Employees Netwrok, rounded up and opened a press conference at the Ju-nan Railway Station. Except demonstrating their determination to claim their rights and dignity, the laid off workers jointly requested all their related law suits be transferred to the administration court, because there had already been over 180 law suits transferred to administrative courts and the responsibility of these cases is deemed appropriate to be taken by the administrative legal person.

 

They also urged the government to drop all the law suits which prosecuted the laid off workers to pay back the subragation money. As these money should not be deemed as the government loans to the laid off workers, then asked the laid off workers to pay back. Government should turn to the capitalist or company owners to get back the money. Otherwise, this could only raise up the bitter conflict and unnecessary tension to the miserably laid off workers.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Playing a reminiscent action drama, laid off workers lying at Taipei Railway Station wished to remind the Taiwan public that the heart-breaking demonstration one year before still does not end...

 

Photo from Taiwan People News

 

 


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