The Hakka District of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) celebrated the second anniversary of its formation on November 11th with a service of thanksgiving and commissioning two overseas missionaries: Rev. Mr. Yu Jer-hong and his spouse, Chuang Shiou-yu. Chuang is the first layperson officially appointed to foreign missionary status by the PCT.
Mr. Yu and Ms. Chuang served Hakkanese churches in Northern Taiwan before going to the Philippines to join the work of the Wycliffe Bible Translators. They are back for a short time after three and a half years in a mission compound where they served as chaplains to the staff and coordinators for overseas Chinese students on short-term mission trips. The compound is a community of 250 people, including pilots, teachers and computer technicians. Through the cross-cultural experience (they are the only ethnic Chinese living full time there) they have overcome feelings of strangeness and learned the love of God and the nature of their calling.
He said, "The experience in the Philippines has broken open my cultural shell. I thank my colleagues who lovingly tolerated and forgave my cultural insensitivity and helped me overcome my loneliness."
In his address to the Hakka District's leaders he said that his overseas experience helped him to see how much God has loved Taiwan, a nation of 12 languages where the New Testament or entire Bible is available in 10. He contrasted this with the world situation, which he described as having 3,000 or more groups of people who do not yet have the Bible in their mother tongue. He thanked the PCT General Assembly for the support he has received, which he characterized as generous.
He cautioned people about expectations. "Over there, from year to year one does not know what the result will be. We are forced to rely on the leadership of God." He plans to return for another three year term, and asked all present for their prayers.
The District's newly installed moderator, Ho Bih-an reminded all present that support donations for Rev. Yu and Ms. Chuang could be sent directly through the Wycliffe organization in Taiwan.
Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Chinese.
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By David Alexander