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In this article “We don’t believe in the term ‘superhead’ – the disadvantaged don’t need rescuing”, Steve Chalke, founder of the Oasis charity and academy chain, wrote:
Oasis does not believe in a culture of “them” and “us”, “hero” and “rescue”. This shallow rhetoric, which sadly still creeps into the language of some educationalists is, for all its good intentions, rooted in the same soil as “poverty porn”. It leaves people feeling disenfranchised and has the power to stigmatise whole communities.
At Oasis, we often say that we never come to do things “for” people, which patronises them. Or “to” people, which disempowers them, but always “with” people – only this will empower them. We are not the hero who rides in over the hill to turn things around.
This remind me of how we serve the community — “with” people. (more…)
Since I am a layperson, I was reluctant to discuss the sermons preached from the pastors openly; particularly those involved in politics and doctrines. Now, I was retired for five years and approaching seventies, the inner voice told me that I can talk openly in a way not to offend people. So, here I am. (more…)
The world is experiencing unprecedented suffering and wounds. As followers of Christ, we are called to respond. People caring for people is not a new concept and the Bible is replete with illustrations of caring acts that are similar to what is known today as counseling. In today’s world this work is also known as pastoral care, spiritual direction, psychotherapy, coaching, mentoring, social work, crisis intervention, trauma treatment and more. Some focus on ministering to the needs of Christians. Others are using their God-given gifts to reach out to all those in need of care and counsel. (more…)
The children in Guogou Church’s nearby communities were admitted to the Church’s after-school tutoring program by a selection process because of the limited resources. The selection criteria include (1) single parent, (2) foreign spouse, (3) family heads by grand-parents and (4) low-income. Some of the children had bad behaviors and/or deviate value systems. The families of the admitted children may have other needs and problems that were unknown by the people outside. As the community church, we feel a burden to get to know these families better so that we can help them to overcome their problems.
[Written by Fanny Liao]
Shortly after I arrived at Guogou, the Principal and three teachers from I-Zhu middle school visited me at the Center. They invited me to join the School’s “Science Laboratory Program” that was funded recently. Particularly, they wanted me to design a 10 weeks laboratory classes/experiments for the 7th graders.
In a follow-up visit to the School laboratory, I found they only had limited resources — out of date instruments, equipment and glassware sets. Added to these is the limited budget. I searched the web sites and found that 2011 is the International Year of Chemistry and the designed laboratory program fits the School’s low budget. After discussing with the teachers and the Principal, we designed and implemented a 10 weeks classes/experiments. The students were in high spirits and learned a lot. Since this program is a trial and only selected students were attended. I hope the School can expand this program to all students. (more…)
These YouTube video clips were recorded during the “A Peaceful Night of July” out reach (平安七月夜佈道會) on August 13, 2011 at the town center of Guogou Village, Chiayi, Taiwan. This event was a joint effort by the Evangelical Team of Seattle Formosan Christian Church (SFCC) and the Guogou Church. (more…)