Last night, John and I went to VGM’s prayer meeting at China Evangelical Seminary (華神). We met Pastor Chen and students from 華神. Pastor Chen gave a briefing of VGM’s missionary work.
He described the missionary works from three perspectives:
- The strong hold of traditional temple worships at the countryside as a result of historical immigration from mainland, government encouraged cultural restoration, tourism and social gathering. Another factor is Christianity commonly was treated as a foreign religion.
- The neglect of agricultural economy at countryside as a result of government policy favoring industrial growth and development of city commerce. This trend was reversed a bit as a result of improved transportation infrastructure which brings people from the city back to the countryside.
- The importance of community service in bringing people to the church, particularly the after school tutoring, summer camps and EFL (English as foreign language) camp. There are many problems in the poor villages. For example, the broken family relationships — parents vs. children, daughter-in-law vs. mother-in-law, and foreign-wife which need various types of counseling. The elder populations need cares.
The Biblical foundation of social justice can be found in Luke 4:18-19 — “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Pastor Chen mentioned two ways of helping the missionary works at country villages:
- Adoption of a village church by a city church, and
- Long term residence in the countryside.
He also emphasized the commitment of missionary workers over the church buildings. The need of Bible study teachers and church ministry should be a priority over the hardware. Furthermore, the missionary should emphasize on “quality” rather than on “quantity”.
John and I departed Taipei at 9:42 am boarding HSR to Taichung. Mr. Chiang came to the station to pick up us and took us to John/Annie’s home at Salu. After settled the luggage and some rest, we went to lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Chiang. They are leaving tomorrow for Southwest China.
After lunch, John and I practiced for the recital at Guogou church. The acoustic sound of the living room is so good that it seems that I am playing in the concert hall.
Annie’s brother drove us to Nantou city to meet Pastor T.J. Hsieh. We found a restaurant just across the street of T.J.’s church. It is an all you can eat buffet. After dinner, we went to T.J.’s church for a prayer meeting. We met T.J. and his wife, Pastor Aman. The worship songs were Israel music and the theme was the returning of Gospel to Jerusalem. The worship was highly charismatic.
Later, T.J. gave us a briefing on his ministry. From 2002 to 2009 is his first seven year cycle which focused on “education” and his next seven years will include “economic development”.
There are three major categories of his “education” cycle:
- Camp – to invite school children to join the “bilingual English”. This was completed with many successes. Children participated in worships and built the desire to learn.
- Cram – to tutor school children in English and Math. With help of a teacher, this work had progressed very well.
- Centers – to establish Gospel centers including hardware (buildings, PC, books, etc.) and software (teachers, coworkers, etc.) This work had some progress but needs more efforts. Recently, a missionary couple (husband is aboriginal and wife is Hakka, both graduated from Seminary) joined this work. A lot of children need counseling due to hurts and abuses. Trained counselors are badly needed.
There are also three categories of “economic development” for the coming seven year cycle:
1. Relief Efforts after 88-Flood:
- The first stage with NT 1,150,000 had been distrusted to six villages (Donpu/Luona, Hsinyi/Dongquan, Jioumay/Wangshieh). These villages are ministered by Presbyterian churches.
- The second stage will need NT 1,200,000
- The third stage will need NT 800,000.
2. Transformation Centers:
- Payshean, a location built on an inherited land of a missionary with NT. 200,000.
- A grapevine farm – owned by a widow; church loaned her NT 300,000 and the business still in debt.
- An old clinic at Tongfu – still in planning.
3. Vocational Skills Training
- A loan of NT 35,000 to a “massage health clinic” was successful. The loan was paid-off which can be loaned for another needed business.
Pastor T.J. Hsieh recommends “Perspective for World Mission” for further readings in our missionary works.for further readings in our missionary works.