From January 9 thru 10, a forum on selecting, counseling, and caring for Chinese Missionaries was held in Taiwan, which emphasized on caring and establishing a support system for Chinese missionaries around the world, according to CCCOWE. In addition, a care for Chinese missionaries fellowship was established, and they've mapped out the long-term action plans to care for missionaries.
The scheduling of the two-day conference was different from the way that CCCOWE held their past conferences in which the emphasis was placed on four discussion topics: the special traits and selection of missionaries, the challenges and care for missionaries on the field, the challenges and care for family members of missionaries, and the work description and support system of missionaries, etc,.
For each discussion topics, two speakers gave their sharings from different perspectives. The speakers were mental health counseling specialists, experienced missionaries, and directors of mission agencies.
In the discussion of care for missionaries on the field, an English OMF missionary stationed in Taiwan urged the churches to actively provide for the need of missionaries. More than just the one-way communication, he said that there has to be communication from both sides in order to prevent the missionaries from being forgotten after going to a foreign country for many years. He also encouraged the missionaries to periodically meet with a mental counselor to speak of the words in their hearts, relieving some of the pressure from the work field. USA Care Ministries International executive director Rev. Jonathan Chiu said that every missionary needs to be touched by God and become revived.
In the conference, a pastor who is now aged and has been pushing missions shared his painful experiences on the mission field, including dedicating his son to God to walk the mission path and his son getting hurt from bombs. He said that although the sacrifices that a missionary puts forth isn’t small, comparing his sacrifices and pains with that of the Lord Jesus Christ, his separation from his son and pains is not anything. His sharing caused him to cry and also caused the attendants to shed tears.
Furthermore, the conference established the “Chinese Missionary Care Fellowship”, addressing the more urgent need of the missionaries. The fellowship plans to focus on increasing the care and understanding of churches towards missionaries and to gather Chinese Christian mental counselors to visit mission fields, and etc.
CCCOWE played the role of “bridge-builder”, allowing these mental counselor specialists to gather together and combining their professionalism with missions, and they hope to hold discussion activities for churches on caring for missionaries.