In this Taiwan trip, I saw the blooming of community self-reliance projects. With the new government planned policies, I am filled with hope of Taiwan’s future.
I attended RCDA (路得關懷發展協會) annual meeting, RCDA and Guogou Church has been operated since 2009.
I attended Program the World 協會成立大會 and joined as a member. Professor Alvin Su started Program the World 「兒童與少年程式教學計劃」2-years ago in Chiayi, including the youth from Guogou. “Program the World 協會” will expand the 教學計劃 which includes “3D Printing”. This article was just published recently (3/29/2016) by 遠見雜誌。走入偏鄉教程式 成為孩子生命的光 —《遠見雜誌》2016年4月號。 Most of the kids in the video were my violin class students. They had completed Suzuki Vol. 1 but now they switched to computer class with Professor Su. I don’t blame them. I may choose the same path as they did.
Professor Su also used flying -V to raise funds for his projects. flying-V service is a platform for people to raise capitals (funds) for their project in Taiwan.
I met Dr. 胡湘玲 and her husband Dr. 韋仁正 in Taiwan. They live in Germany and come back to Taiwan regularly. They are members of 台灣汗得文化協會。And they started 一人一千瓦社會企業 。We discussed the installation of Solar PV panels in Chiayi countryside.
The New Taiwan Government plan to expand “Green Energy” (綠能)。I watched this report “數字台灣HD94綠能產業新未來“。It focus on Solar Energy – – history, future, technology, and economics. 值得一看。太陽能應往地面型發展 (佔 75%)、太陽能系統可用30 – 50年 [屋頂型使用期較短]。需求是每年2位敷的成長。Another business direction – 聯結太陽能和智慧型架構、物聯網是一個關鍵技術。
I taught Evergreen Class (長春課程), a community class at Guogou Church. My topic is 『生命的四季』– How we view death and birth.
Here is a book I strongly recommend to read — The Zero Marginal Cost Society (物聯網革命) by Jeremy Rifkin. Taiwan has the potential of becoming the leader of the world on this new technology.
Have not posted for several months but kept busy in missionary works.
Joined Amazing Grace Choir for Taiwan jail mission in October, 2014 and stayed after casting my vote on 九合一選舉 (Nine in one election). In the almost 3 months stay in Taiwan, I spent most of the time in Guogou Church for missionary works, doing the same tasks as before and adding a few, including teaching ukulele classes. I returned to Taiwan in late February this year, for another 3 months stay to continue my missionary works. This time, Guogou Church asked me to add English Bible study, seminar for Youth Group and Elder Group as well as music teaching classes on violin, ukulele and Cajon box. (more…)
Do you know why, as Pope Francis rightly noted, proselytizing doesn’t work? Elizabeth Scalia asked this question in her article ” Why Dolan, and Francis, and Benedict are Right“. Her answer;
Proselytizing doesn’t work because confronting people as walking categories of sin quickly communicates that one is only seeing people as units of fault and failure.
Proselytizing has an agenda, to convert people’s believing. This intention will quickly be discovered and worse yet, repelled if our approach is seen as confrontational. This is what I believed since I joined the Taiwan missions. (more…)
I-Hon, a Chinese bride married to a Taiwanese elementary school teacher, borne a beautiful daughter and a smart son. She is a faithful church member, and a choir member. On her way to Thursday choir rehearsal, she was hit by a motorcycle a few hundred feet from the Church, broke her legs in three places and suffered a heavy bruise on her head close to her eye. We rushed her to hospital emergency for treatment several miles away. The next day, she went through a successful surgery and her eye and head were found in good conditions. (more…)
The Q-Questions of this week is “What is the Future of Evangelism?”
Pastor Jon Tyson responded this question with his post “Cosmopolitan Evangelism“. I was attracted by two of his view points:
- Evangelism is kind of aggressive and how do we communicate our faith in a way that resonates and does not offend, and
- Evangelism in religious pluralism environments isn’t the work of a moment and it cannot be about counting “how many” we were saved today or this month or this year. This is to say, it takes recognizing a long-term view.
A few years ago, Patheos has assembled a collection of essays addressing the “Future of Evangelism”. The scope of the discussion covered a wide range of themes, e.g., “Transforming the Church”, “Transforming the Culture”, “Transforming the Society”, and “Transforming the Evangelical Ministry”, etc. These discussion tried to answer the questions on how evangelicals shape the future of American Christian, influence culture, engage in politics, and respond to the fast changing life styles. (more…)
Mike Bell from Internet Monk has this blog “Where do I belong?” which is the first of a series on the subject of “Community”. This blog focused on how we can find a church community that is a good fit theologically. Through answering the questionnaires recommended in Mike’s blog, I found that: (more…)
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…)
We chose Gospel of Mark as the weekly reading for the Out-Reach Small Group. Why? Here are five reasons:
- The writer of “Mark” who first put the words, works and last week of Jesus’ life into a coherent whole.
- It is the earliest of the four Gospels and is the closest to Jesus’s time.
- It is the rawest of the gospels. It is the most unpolished, with a lot of rough edges.
- It is the most focused of the gospels.
- Mark is the shortest gospel.
The focus is to portrait Jesus as the “suffering Messiah”, and the “servant savior”.
Jesus said “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believe and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” Mark 16: 15-16.
It is the duty of our Christians to go out, reach many non-believers and let them know the good news so that they can be transformed and saved from the sins of this world. With this in mind, Ruth asked me to co-host an “Out-Reach Small Group” in Sunday night from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. She also asked three Church sisters to join so that they can learn how to host a small group in the future. (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.
“Ever Green” small group in Guoguo Church consists of the elderly villagers from the local community. The group had grown to over 20 members and meet weekly to engage various activities, including art crafts, drama, painting, flower arranging, baking and outdoors, etc. Most of them are not baptized and this group is an out-reach effort of the Church.
On Wednesday (5/15) morning, the group visited a fishing pond in Augo Wet-Land Forest Park, north of Donshih Township. The 16 elders, Ruth, her son Carl, the tour guide and myself traveled with four cars. I drove the Camry with the men. The weather is warm and breezing with some clouds. (more…)
The remarkable accomplishment of a great humanist, José Antonio Abreu, who dedicated his life to set up the ‘Sistema’ in 1975, an extraordinary music and social project which has been running in Venezuela in an attempt to transform the lives of the nations poorest children. (more…)
[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…)
Yesterday morning (8/27) was sort of cloudy and mild temperature. The movement of typhoon “tembin” 天秤 is still uncertain. I decided to try a bike ride to Budai. On the way to Budai, I took some photos of the landmark sites, government buildings and the temples. On the way back, I did not stop to take photos in order to estimate the time of the biking. It was a short ride of about 30 minutes with a moderate speed. There were not many people or vehicles on the road and the ride was pleasant.(more…)
By God’s grace and blessing, the violin class was started at Guogou Church. We purchased six violins (four ¾ size and two ½ size) from Classic (經典樂器), a music shop and studio at Putze (朴子), Chiayi (嘉義). I am deeply appreciated the financial contributions from Amy and Dr. Carl Chen, Dorothy and Ed Hsia, and Mr. & Mrs. Chen (陳銀河先生和夫人) that helped this missionary work. Special thanks to Dorothy, our spiritual teacher for her praying and blessing on our mission. I am also grateful to Elder Tsai (蔡明憲長老) at SongShan Presbyterian Church (松山長老教會), who donated two violins. The last but not the least, Ruth Young and Steven Hsu from Ruth Care and Development Association (路得關懷協會) provided the classroom, the students and my teaching assistant, Ms. Fanny Liao. (more…)
Violins are delicate instruments that need good maintenance and repairs from skillful luthiers. In my childhood, my father bought a violin that was stored in a warehouse for decades. The body was separated due to the high humidity and it was without strings, bridge and the pegs. (more…)
Amazing Grace Choir just completed the afternoon performance at Tai-Dong Wu-Lin jail and were waiting for the bus to come to pick up for dinner. We were scattered around, enjoyed the surrounding scenery and tried to relax. (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…)
Last year, I visited Guogou church for one month in June. There were festivals to celebrate the local deities. One day, I watched eight buses loaded with tourists drove by and curious about what happened. The villagers told me these tourists were from other towns, some were from far away to join the celebration. Later, I saw parades in different days on different streets. They told me each parade was for the deity in that surrounding area. I took some pictures without knowing what are those deities
Teaching and learning occupied a large fraction of my retirement life: after-school tutoring, church bible schooling, church counseling, small group studying, chamber music rehearsing and choir practicing, etc. My children had graduated from the universities and are working now. Thinking back on my parenting, it could be better. Reading “Time” magazine on January 31, 2011 issue, with the cover page – “The Truth about Tiger Moms”, my already archived childhood memories were brought back fresh, almost. (more…)
[2 ] Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda, which has five roofed colonnades. [3 ] In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. [5 ] One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. [6 ] When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” (more…)
Saddleback Church has an excellent church counseling program and offered training for the members who wants to be church counselors. My wife, Betty and I attended the 30-week long counseling class and received the certificates in 2008. We have not pursued afterwards to actually practice counseling because of time requirement and uncertain of our abilities.
My NTU classmate, Dr. Tu encouraged me to involve in the counseling programs whenever I visit Taiwan and got me connected with Sulian Chen, the secretary general of an association actively operating a jail ministry (中華民國矯正機關收容人關懷協會). Though jail ministry is not my original intent in counseling, I was attracted by the enthusiasm, the professionalism and the Christian love radiated from Sulian. Consequently, I worked with Sulian in jail ministry for three weeks, two whole days per week mainly in Yunlin jail. (more…)
I traveled to Taiwan on May 19 to visit my mother and to take care of personal matters. Along with it, I visited Guogou Center again. During Ruth and Steven’s tour of Southern California in March, they visited the families of our Saddleback P.E.A.C.E. team members. At that time, we planned another Gougou visit in May/June 2010. (more…)