Taiwan Presbyterians Open Mission Center in Malawi

Jan 06, 2003 10:27 PM EST

The Presbytery of Seven Stars, which is located in and around the city of Taipei in northern Taiwan, has jointly established a mission center with the Nkhoma Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyteiran (CCAP). In the past, mission projects of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) have been managed through the church's General Assembly which, through the Council for World Mission, is in partnership with the Churches of Christ in Malawi. This is the first time that a local presbytery has taken the initiative to have a direct foreign mission relationship with an overseas partner.

The Rev. Mr. Tony Lo, pastor of Ta-an Presbyterian Church, has visited Malawi several times on projects instituted by his congregation. He says that the Nkhoma Synod is the largest in the CCAP. It, like the Seven Stars Presbytery, is located in and around its national capital. It is comprised of 1116 churches with nearly 800,000 members.

According to Mr. Lo, the greatest current need of Malawi is for medical services and resources. The Taipei municipal government has sent two used ambulance vehicles, and hopes that the hospitals owned by the PCT and pharmacies owned by believers can supplement this gift with medical supplies. The Nkhoma synod has asked Seven Stars to aid in spiritual growth ministries among its members.

To respond to the request the Presbytery has set up a mission service center in Lilongwe. The center will facilitate Spiritual and medical ministries from Taiwan. Assistance with agriculture, construction, utilities, computer and other services is envisioned in the near future.

A piece of land of about 200 ping (660 square meters) has been purchased for construction of a house, assembly hall and workshop. The presbytery hopes to staff the center with three to five persons, serving rotating terms of service of no less than three months. On this basis the center can be operational with an income of 1.5 million Taiwan Yuan (42,860 Euros) per year. Seven Stars Presbytery's Campus Ministry Committee Chairman, the Rev. Kho Seng-to, said, "The first step is to set up the center. Administratively we have appointed Rev. Lo to oversee the work from this side for three years. We will seek volunteers from the members of the Presbytery's churches."

Rev. Kho says that the project began in the Presbytery's executive committee, but is seen as a channel through which all churches and members of the presbytery can be involved, for the first time, in overseas ministry. It does not just exist for the sake of training, but is a sign of hope for the churches of Taiwan in outreach and service.

By Gu Hao-ran, translated and rewritten by David