Choon and Yen Hee Lim
Dear Friends in Mission,
Five years ago we tried to go to Orchid Island, which is located on the southeastern coast of Taiwan Island, to visit a Da-woo tribe for our summer college retreat. However a typhoon developed, and we couldn’t get there. We were disappointed to have to return home.
This year in July, a group of 52 students and leaders tried to go to Orchid Island again. It took us three hours by car from Hualien to the harbor and then another three hours by boat to get to the island. This time the weather was perfect, no storm or typhoon. Most of the students had never been in a boat in their lives, so we were prepared with medicine for seasickness. Fortunately nobody got sick. We prayed fervently this time, and God gave us an unforgettable gift.
Why did we want to go there? Not only because we wanted to see the beautiful scenery and flying fish, but because we wanted to see the people and their Christian tradition. In Taiwan, this is the only place where there is not a Buddhist or folk religion temple. What is unusual about this island is that the Da-woo people are Christians. Their population is about 4,000, and there are six villages on the island. Each village has a Presbyterian church. When we look at the Christian population in Taiwan (about 4%), this is incredible. Therefore, we wanted to be there to hold a summer retreat so that our students could be challenged by their witness.
In 1951 an Ami tribe minister, Rev. En Ming-Fu, went there to spread the Good News. Many people believed his message, and they built a thatched church with a big cross on the top. A village man asked why there was a big cross on the top of the church. Rev. Ming-Fu told him that this was Jesus’s cross because he suffered and died on the cross for their sins. So the cross represents Jesus’s suffering and anguish for them. The church is the body of Jesus and is a meeting place for those who follow Jesus. Because of the hardships and sufferings on their island, somehow they had mutual sympathy and accepted Jesus as their Lord.
Our college summer retreat was held at the Yu-ren Church (fisherman’s church). The pastor’s name is Syapen Dong. He was the first minister on Orchid Island and retired this year right before we held the retreat. His mother became one of the first believers when he was five years old. Because of his mother’s faith, he went to Yu Shan Seminary in Hualien in 1962. He encouraged young believers to go to the seminary, and then he helped them to plant new churches in each village. Each village now has its own pastor. When we went there, we found out that there are a lot of non-Da-woo people on the island running tour businesses like souvenir shops, restaurants and inns, etc. But there is still no temple. We need to pray for the island to continue to keep their faith and reach out to non-Da-woo people.
To begin our new semester in September, we started with reading the Bible, fasting and praying. In October, we held our annual new student welcome service and party. Our fall college retreat was held the first of November. We will also have a special praise night in December at Bunun tribe church, and a Christmas special service and party at our mission center. Please pray for these programs.
We have a special announcement to share with you. We will have three months’ interpretation assignment (furlough) starting the beginning of July to the end of September in 2012. We want to visit your church to give a mission report on how God uses us to expand his kingdom on earth. Please let us know when you would like for us to come. We don’t have any set plans. After we receive your invitation, we will organize our schedule. Please contact us through our personal e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, we thank you for supporting us financially and praying for our spiritual support. Because of your partnership, Hualien Aboriginal Campus Ministry has borne many fruits. Last year, eight students were baptized, and this year we baptized five students. Our groups and college students’ church doubled. We give thanks and praise to God who gives us grace.
Together in Mission,
Yen Hee and Choon Lim