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Taiwan Church News

3258 Edition

August 4 - August 10, 2014

Headline News

 

PCT Responds To Kaohsiung Big Blast With Care and Shelter

 

Reported from Kaohsiung by Chen Yi-hsaun and Song Cheng-yo

 

The unprecedented ever chemical big blast in the July 31 deep night at Kaohsiung, due to a great leakage of propene resulted from a suspected inappropriate hasty operation, claimed at least 30 lives, injured 309 people and devastated thousands of buildings and households. At 200 thousands Kaohsiung residents are seriously affected in their traffics and daily lives by this accident.

 

Rev. Hwang Zhe-hong, Director of PCT Church and Society Committee, together with his secretary Rev. Lin Wei-lien and the related pastors at So-shan presbytery, immediately set up an emergency accommodation contact center at San-duo Presbyterian Church at 12:00 am on August 1. And this emergency center is established to accumulate the human resources, material supplies and offer the necessary accommodations and pastoral care.

 

Many PCT pastors from Kaohsiung So-shan Presbytery convenes at San-duo Presbyterian Church to pray for the victims and their families around 3:00 pm on August 1. Then, they go to visit the injured patients at 802 Navy Hospital and Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital. As some patients need more rest to restore from this drastic blast shocks, many pastors could only gather at the hospital's prayer rooms to expres their concern and care. Rev. Lee Zhi-ling, Moderator of Kaohsiung Presbytery, while blessing for the PCT co-workers serving at the prayer rooms at each hospital to gain more strength from the Lord during their service,  praying for the victims of the big blast to gain the healing and peace from God.

 

In the afternoon of August 3, about 120 PCT church youths, from Kaohsiung College Student Center, Kaohsiung Aboriginal College Student Center and different local congregations from Fon-san Si-men Church, Chien-gin Church, Nan-tze Church, Kao-nan Church, San-duo Church, Zuo-dong Church, Shin-seng Church and etc., assemble at the emergency accommodation contact center. They go to visit the inflicted residents in the neighboring communities and sing the hymns to show their care and concern.

 

In the annual ministry meeting of Pine Life University hold at Kaohsiung on August 5,  Rev. Lou Zen-quei, PCT Moderator of General Assembly and General Headmaster of Pine Life University, together with Mr. Chou Tse-ching, President of Board of Directors for Pine Life University, jointly go to emergency accommodation contact center at San-duo Presbyterian Church to give their utmost concern and donations to the victims and their families.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

 


 

 

Photo by Chen Yi-hsaun, Hseih Huei-Juan and Song Cheng-yo

 

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3257 Edition

July 28  - August 3, 2014

Editorial

 

 

Editorial: A New And Independent Country Without Racist Chauvinism

 

 

In Taiwan's Constitutional Amendment, effective from August 1st 1994, the name of "the aboriginal people" was officially recognized instead of "the mountain people" used in Taiwan society for decades.

 

On July 27th, when a 20th years' commemoration assembly was held for the recognition of Taiwanese aboriginal people, former President Lee Teng-huei, who played a critical role in this event, was invited to deliver a speech. Lee emphasized the recognition of the aboriginal people as a very important step toward Taiwan's democracy and also an indispensable basis to build up Taiwan's subjective sovereignty. Lee firmly believed that the different people living on Taiwan should help each other to establish an abundantly plural and democratic society.

 

Yet, when the past 20 years is retrieved after the recognition of the aboriginal people, who are still suffering lots of exploitation and oppression from mainstream Taiwan society, we cannot help but say that the last mile of our faith confession - to establish a new and independent country - should be a mindset to protest against "Chinese racist chauvinism" fashioned in Taiwan society, if we are serious enough to practice the recognition of the aboriginal people as an important building block in Taiwan's democracy.

 

Walis Nokan, a famous Taiwanese aboriginal writer specialized in indigenous narratives and related inflicted histories, demonstrated his critical reflection about the Chinese racist chauvinism in his recently published new book - "Walis' Micro-fiction". In one of his short story, Aftermath, he writes: The fate of Ma-lai within the aboriginal tribe is same as the timbre robbers from the Chinese plain villagers. They are all caught by the police in the the same mountain and got sentenced in the same court. But, the timbre robbers got six months sentence which could be paid with money as a fine ; Ma-lai got 18 months jail which means no parole or possibility to pay the fine instead.

 

Why? Ma-lai politely whispered to the judge in an incredible surprise and despair: Timbre robbers took away the precious rare trees, yet we the indigenous just picked up the ganoderma grown from the rotten trees bequeathed by ancestors. Timbre robbers extinguish the particular species without caring the environment; yet our gathering of ganoderma is a sustainable economy. The judge gave Ma-lai in a cold-blooded answer: This is law! Stupid! In addition, why you didn't apply a lawyer to defend for yourself?

 

This story makes us feel sad and sigh for the fate of the indigenous people in modern Taiwan. Somehow, current mainstream Taiwan society may feel enough material supply and social care have been given to the aboriginal society. But, as a matter of fact, Taiwan society always separate themselves away from the aboriginal society with a top-down authoritarianism and patronage mentality.

 

The so called 400 years of Taiwan history, mainly propounded by Hok-loh-lang, is actually an aboriginal history full of blood and tears. Before the arrival of of Chiang Kai-sheik's  KMT regime in 1949, there had already decades of or even hundreds years of hatred and bitterness accumulated within the aboriginal people due to the exploitation and oppression from Taiwan's Chinese society. Tension, mistrust and reckless aggressiveness still dominates the relationships between the mainstream Taiwan society and the aboriginal people. Even the basic human rights of the aboriginal to live safely on their own land becomes a luxury.

 

From the eyes of the indigenous, the stereotyped Taiwanese from plain villages maliciously buy out their lands in the plain and sell their daughters into city as prostitutes. So, how can you blame the aboriginal people not to vote for "the chief of the Taiwanese"? Only we can reach out to help each other, then Taiwan Democracy can stride in a steady march!


 
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Taiwan Church News

3257 Edition

July 28 - August 3, 2014

Headline News

 

Breaking Ethnic Barriers, Tong-pu Aboriginal Church Brings Good News To Holohlang and Hakka Communities

 

Reported By Chiu Kuo-rong

 

Tong-pu Church, located in Hsin-yi village of Nan-tou county, which is also a PCT member church in Central Bunun Presbytery, starts to preach Jesus' good news to the Holohlang and Hakka communities in her neighboring villages since Morakot Typhoon swept across central and southern Taiwan in 2009. Now, the baptized members from Holohlang and Hakka communities has steadily reached to 33 persons within this initially aboriginal-dominated church.

 

Rev. Chhuen Wan-bao, pastor of Tong-pu church, said: As our church was seriously damaged within Morakot Typhoon, many churches across Taiwan started to donate for us. Even when we have recovered from the wreckage, there was still many donation remitted in. With these abundant grace and offerings from God, our neighbor - Sen-muh Village - immediately came to our mind. Though they are mostly Holohlang and Hakka, not the same ethnics people as us - Bunun tribe, yet we still decided to transferred 150 thousands NT dollars to at least 10 families. This is because they were more seriously inflicted and desperately needed the resources. And this decision became the starting point of our evangelical work in Holohlang and Hakka communities. In 2010, next year after Morakot Flood, Tong-pu church formally decided to set up an evangelical station, Love Giving Evangelical Center, passing the love of God to the communities of Holohlang and Hakka.

 

Since 2010, Love Giving Evangelical Center has cooperated with Tong-pu community in providing various kinds of social service, including the project to care for the elders within house , Juvenile/Children Character Formation Camp and etc. Especially, this is the 5th year that Tong-pu church assisted by Los Angels Methodist Church holding the annual English Summer Camp in Dong-fu Primary School. And there are 220 school children attending this activity just in July. Rev. Chhuen remarks, through the evangelical efforts of Love Giving Evangelical Center, the name of aboriginal Tong-pu church deeply impresses and change the minds of Holohlang and Hakka communities in her neighbor villages.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

Love Giving Evangelical Center, established PCT Tong-pu Church in 2010, attracts non-aboriginal believers from Sen-muh and Dong-fu villages to attend the service every Wednesday and Sunday.

 

Photo by Rev. Chhuen Wan-bao

 

 


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