Mature Camp (From November 10 to November 15, 2009)
This week from November 10 to 15, I attended the Mature Camp held by Village Gospel Mission (VGM) at Tongshih village, Chiayi County, Taiwan. The purpose of this training camp is to get familiar with the missionary works of VGM, tour four other centers besides Tongshih and propose personal mission.
On November 10, I departed Taipei by HSR and arrived at Chiayi. Paul Ling from VGM took six of us by van to Tongshih. After settled down our luggage, received the briefing and distributed the work load, we went to shop for the groceries of the whole week. Sister Pon was elected as the kitchen coördinator and the team cooked a nice meal. After enjoyed the dinner and rest, our group of 15 plus Pastor Chen and Paul Ling gathered together to share our backgrounds which helped us to know each other.
Next morning, we started early. Actually, I almost had no sleep because of noises and the new environment. The breakfast had many varieties. Then, Pastor Chen led the Bible study. He shared his study method – to read a complete chapter quickly and come back to read the details. We studied and shared I- Samuel, chapter 1 through 7. Praying and worshiping was after the Bible study.
Around 9:40 a.m. we left in two vans to visit four VGM centers. The first one is Guogou center 過溝福音中心 which is only minutes away from Tongshih center and which I have visited twice, in June and October this year. Ruth and the coworkers welcomed us and Ruth gave us a briefing and a Power Point slide show of the activities. Ms. Chen answered many questions about the after-school tutoring. The group was very impressed with the facilities and the well-organized programs.
Next, we visited 蒜頭 center which is east of Guogou center. We had the “Bando” box lunch meeting to save time. The center has two locations and one is managed by Pastor Wu while the other is managed by Mrs. Wu. There were a few member baptized in the last year. The difficulties of operating the center is that there is not enough coworkers to handle the after school tutoring. They rely on the volunteers to fill the vacuüm. And they have standardized teaching materials for the volunteers. Many of the member families are well educated and this is an exception of the VGM centers.
In the way back to Tongshih, we lost directions near Putze. With some efforts, we reached our destination at the Historical market to enjoy the traditional Taiwanese spring roll and ice-fruit bar. In the night, we shared our impressions of the different centers and discussed the missionary programs and directions with question and answer session.