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Taiwan Church News
3188 Edition
April 1-7, 2013
Church Ministry News

Tatu Presbyterian Church celebrates 110th anniversary with 110 saved souls as new goal

Reported by Chen Wei-chien

Written by Lydia Ma

Tatu Presbyterian Church, situated along the coastal area of Taichung, is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year. On March 31, the day of the anniversary, the church invited all of its former pastors to come back to the church to celebrate. It also invited members of its daughter, mother, and partner churches to attend the celebration. The thanksgiving service was a festive occasion attended by more than 400 people and the sermon was given by Taichung Presbytery’s Moderator Tsai Chu-chieh.

According to Tatu Presbyterian Church’s pastor, Rev. Huang Ya-en, though the day of the celebration coincided with Easter Sunday, which is a busy day for church leaders, she was very touched by the great number of people from other churches who responded and attended the service. She added that the church’s first goal is to fellowship in this manner with its mother, daughter, and partner churches in this manner every 10 years. The church’s second goal is to increase in number every subsequent year according to the number of years it has been in existence. In other words, the church’s goal for next year is to add 110 new faces or saved souls.

“We have been praying in the 17 boroughs that make up the town of Tatu and we have been doing home visitations and distributing gospel tracts,” said Huang. She added that some of the church’s target locations in Tatu area are schools and the homes and families of prison inmates. The church has already prayed and walked across all 17 boroughs and the congregation does home visitations whenever it can on Sunday afternoons. The home visitations usually take place at a parishioner’s house, but it usually involves getting to know the parishioner’s neighbors as well. Huang said that her parishioners have been very good Christian witnesses in their respective communities and all that they need is support from the church to make their homes a base to proclaim the gospel, bless their community, and establish relationships.

Huang added that churches in the rural-coastal areas of Taiwan have very limited resources, but she is determined to start by evangelizing in the communities where the parishioners are living by using the old-fashioned evangelistic method of home visitations. Her goal is to focus on community outreach in the next 3 years and then ask her presbytery by the fourth year to assess whether the time is ripe to plant a new church. If the time is ripe to start a new church by then, she hopes to plant a church near the Motor Vehicle Office during the 5th year.

 
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Taiwan Church News
3188 Edition
April 1-7, 2013
Church Ministry News

Tainan South Gate Presbyterian Church celebrates 80th anniversary with opera and church music

Reported by Chen Yi-hsuan

Written by Lydia Ma

Tainan Presbytery’s South Gate Presbyterian Church is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. On the afternoon of March 31, the church invited Yuehyin Opera House to the church to celebrate its anniversary with an opera performance. The opera house performed various popular hymns and an opera. The company’s performance was so amazing that the audience responded with loud cries of “bravo!” and thundering applause.

South Gate Church’s pastor, Rev. Yang Jung-tun, said that there were many music-lovers and many music teachers in his congregation. They recommended this opera company to Yang and helped arrange this classical music concert celebration as well. The concert included performances of works authored by renowned composers such as Bach, Handel, Mozart, Rossini, and masterpieces such as The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, etc. The sound of the church’s organ, accompanied with the wonderful voices and the elegant attire of the performers, captivated the audience’s attention and commanded their applause.

Yang told Taiwan Church News that the church was officially founded on January 1, and a thanksgiving service had already been held earlier in the year. However, there will be a few more celebration events throughout the year, including a concert in June and another concert in September. In addition, the church will hold a “Christian Development Seminar in Bible Study” at Presbyterian Bible College in mid-April. Yang hopes that the church’s anniversary will provide opportunities to strengthen the faith of his congregation in addition to opportunities to celebrate.

An opera was held at South Gate Church to celebrate its 80th anniversary.

Photo by Chen Yi-hsuan.

 
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Taiwan Church News
3188 Edition
April 1-7, 2013
Church Ministry News

Indigenous boy in urban school inspires classmates to change their ways and launch a shoebox drive to help the rural poor

Reported by Simon Lin

Written by Lydia Ma

Hsu Chun-wei is a Bunun indigenous youth whose family roots are in Hualien County and he comes from a devout Christian home. His father is a church elder and he grew up in Taipei due to his father’s job and his need for schooling. But despite living in Taipei, Hsu’s heart has always been with Zhuoxi Township, where he calls home. When Hsu began junior high school, he noticed that many of his classmates often threw away half-used stationery because they had so much to spare in affluent urban areas. Not wanting to waste resources, Hsu began to quietly gather whatever he could from his classmates’ discarded items and send them in bulk to children in his hometown via his relatives.

According to Hsu’s school principal, Chen Chin-chen, when Hsu’s classmates noticed what he was doing, they did not make fun of him. Instead, they were convicted of their wasteful lifestyles once they learned that there were so many children in need in indigenous villages. They changed their ways and began to be more frugal. However, Hsu’s actions were also noted by one of his teachers who is also a Christian. Deeply touched by Hsu’s actions, Miss Wang Yun-shang launched a “shoebox drive” recently for the whole class. This activity consists of encouraging students to fill up shoeboxes with second-hand goods such as coloring pencils, notebooks, toys, clothing, etc. and then sending them to indigenous villages for needy children.

While in the process of filling up shoe boxes, Hsu’s classmates felt that it was a bit embarrassing to give away second-hand goods and decided to use their allowances to buy brand new items. They also decided to include in every shoe box a little card with a few words of blessing written in them. The class managed to send 50 shoeboxes of gifts at the beginning of April in the end and with the hope that these shoeboxes would make this year’s Children’s Day just a little bit brighter for indigenous children living in Zhuoxi.

On March 29, a few days before Children’s Day, Hsu and his father brought these shoeboxes to Zhuoxi for the children. Commenting on the difference between urban kids and rural kids, Hsu explained that many well-to-do urban kids do not give a second thought when replacing broken items with new items because they don’t realize that there are other children who don’t have enough clothes to keep warm or enough food to eat. He added that sending these gifts to Zhuoxi not only helps meet the material needs of little children, but more importantly, helps little kids feel loved. He said he was particularly touched by the radiant smiles of the children when they received these gifts.

Indigenous children from Zhuoxi hold up their gifts with a big smile.

Photo provided by Hsu Chun-wei

 


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