Tag Archives: Taiwan Presbyterian Church

Street Art @ 淡水老街 Tamsui Old Street ~ love it!

Discovered some wonderful new (to me, that is) street art on the walls of Tamsui Old Street area 淡水老街 today ~ including this one of Dr. George Mackay, first Presbyterian missionary to northern Taiwan (1844-1901), who arrived in Tamsui in 1872 and stayed here more or less until he died.  Early photos show him going off on trips armed with dentist equipment for pulling out teeth, and Bibles to share the Gospel… wonder what he’s think of this painting done in his honour?

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Then up behind the famous Matzu Temple are some steps and walls painted with famous local scenes…..

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I like ’em!  Brightens up the place considerably ~ so do come ‘n visit Tamsui, it’s THE place to be!

鄭陳愛美姊妹追思感恩聖餐禮拜 R.I.P Mrs. Cheng Chen Ai-Mei

Our beloved church member, Mrs. Cheng Chen Ai-Mei 鄭陳愛美姊妹 (known to us as Cheng Mama 鄭媽媽) died on March 14, and this past Saturday was her Memorial Service in Advent Church.

Her cremation and burial of ashes took place a week after her death and this Memorial Service was for the church community and her wide circle of friends and colleagues to say goodbye.  It was also a Holy Communion Service, as is fitting for a family where all are Christians.  And what a service it was!  Advent Church was so full of people that we had to bring in extra chairs.  So many people had come to pay their last respects, to grieve, to bring comfort to the family, and to thank God for her wonderful life. And what a life it was. Cheng Mama was much-loved by everyone – and is much missed.

Cheng Mama came from a very big and very well-known Tamsui family. Her father Mr. Chen Ching-Chung 陳清忠校長 (1895-1960) was principal of TamKang High School, Tamsui and was responsible for introducing the sport of rugby into the school – and into the whole country.  The TamKang schools and colleges were founded by the first Presbyterian missionary to Taiwan, George L. Mackay.  Cheng Mama’s paternal grandfather, 陳火 Rev. Chen Huo (after he became a Christian he changed his name to Chen Rong-Hui 陳榮輝) was one of Mackay’s first students and converts, and became the first pastor of Xindian Presbyterian Church, Taipei.  Her great uncle, Chen Rong-Hui’s elder brother married Mackay’s elder daughter, Mary Ellen.

Cheng Mama spent most of her life worshiping in Tamsui Presbyterian Church, but her son, Paul and his family have been members of Advent Church for many many years, serving on the Vestry and in many leadership roles.  In recent years, his sister, Carol has joined us too.  We love them all so much!

Cheng Mama’s testimony is amazing.  She prayed faithfully for her husband for 49 years that he could become a Christian.  49 years!  Suddenly in 2009 at the grand old age of 86, through the ministry of our rector, Rev. Lennon Y. R. Chang, Mr. Cheng made THE decision – yes, he was going to be baptized!  The Cheng parents then both started to attend Advent Church every week as long as they were able.  Mr. Cheng died on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2013 and his funeral was held in Advent Church a few weeks later (see that blog post here). Cheng Mama continued to come to Advent Church along with her family, until she became sick a few months ago.

Cheng Mama is lovingly remembered for the way she showed such great care and concern for all those in her family, and her friends, colleagues, classmates, church members and so many more.  Even when she couldn’t go out and meet them all, she would call up and keep in touch by phone.  Always smiling and giving thanks to God for his many blessings, she was a gift to us all.  One of her great friends was Tan Mama – this is the best photo I took of them both in Advent 2015, Cheng Mama on the right, Tan Mama on the left.

So we give thanks to Almighty God for Cheng Mama’s wonderful life and witness. We pray for her family and friends, and for us all, that the faith of those like Cheng Mama, who have gone before us, will continue to inspire and challenge us afresh.

May she rest in peace and rise in glory, Amen!

Penghu 澎湖 ~ a great place for Children’s Day 兒童節 ~ and birthday celebrations!

Greetings to you all from Zhuwan 竹灣 Village, Penghu!

And Happy Children’s Day 兒童節 for April 4 from us all in Xiyu Presbyterian Church 西嶼長老教會, Penghu too!

Yes, April 1-4 this year was a 4-day weekend for us in Taiwan, officially for Tomb-Sweeping Festival and Children’s Day, and Penghu was THE place to be!  Sitting way out there in the middle of the ocean between Taiwan and Mainland China, the Penghu Islands are just screaming out to be visited ~ from the air they look like beautiful pearls glimmering in the blue sea.  Must-go, must-see!  The islands are volcanic basalt, all low-lying, and now that bridges connect the main central islands, they form a kind of horseshoe shape.  If you can get tickets (quite an achievement – much in demand), it’s only a short flight from Taiwan, flying into Magong (Makung 馬公) – the main city and administrative centre. Magong is also famous for the beautiful Rainbow Bridge….

Xiyu is the westernmost island of Penghu, and until 40-50 or so years ago, it was not connected to the other islands, so it must have been kinda isolated out there.  And windy. It’s still windy. Even on our visit it was windy.  Penghu is very famous for its winter N.E. monsoon winds ~ the kind of wind where motorbikes get blown over and you have to hold on to your hat – and children – to stop them blowing away!  Penghu is also famous for its military bases, for saying ‘no’ twice to casinos in referendums, for its firework festival in the summer, and for its tourists – it’s THE place to go for a few days in spring or summer – sun, surf and sea all in abundance.

My good friends, Feng-Mei and her family have been at Xiyu Presbyterian Church 西嶼長老教會 for the last 6 years, and this was my third visit to see them.  My first visit was in late summer of 2013, coinciding with 2 typhoons (my blog post of that visit is here – also an account of the history of Xiyu Presbyterian Church), and the second one was in July 2014 with my friends Mike and Harriet (blog post here) when the weather was wonderful!

Here we are, Feng-Mei, her husband, Rev. Lai 賴志泓, 2 daughters, a church member and us – that’s my good friends, Miao-Shia and Chung-Peng, from St. James’ Preschool, Taichung.  Feng-Mei was also one of our beloved St. James’ teachers until she left to join her husband, first in Tainan, now in Penghu… yes, we love her so much!

Miao-Shia and Chung-Peng arranged our visit, and managed to get air tickets for last Friday evening, flying from Taichung to Magong, a 40-minute flight.  Except that I live 5-hours away from Taichung Airport ha ha – so it took a while to get there!  A cold front arrived that afternoon and we took off in torrential rain.  Fortunately by the time we arrived in Penghu, the rain had gone, and by Saturday lunchtime, the sun was out and it was blue skies for all the rest of the time – with wind, wind and more wind.  Fun!

There are 11 villages on Xiyu Island and Xiyu Church is located on the hill above Zhuwan 竹灣 Village, and that is where the main services and Sunday School are held, it’s also where the Lai family live.  Being on a hill, it’s very windy on the north side, but the village itself is tucked away down the hill, out of the wind.  From a distance, the church looks a bit like a large snail!

Zhuwan Village is famous for it’s temple and for growing peanuts, hence Mr. Peanut Man sitting at the main entrance to the village.  I went down there early on Sunday, and we all early went on Monday.  Feng-Mei’s daughter goes to the village school, she came too and gave us a little tour!

There is another church building not far away, where they hold the youth group.  This church is 小池角禮拜堂 and this is the village nearby…..

And so began a busy weekend! We were honoured to help Feng-Mei with their youth group on Saturday night – some who come are church members, but most are not. It’s a great outreach. We shared with the youth about mission, and about our trip to Tanzania – Feng-Mei and Miao-Shia came with me to Tanzania in 2005. Feng-Mei’s testimony about that trip is quite amazing – and so are the photos!  The youth group were great, and the worship leader had even prepared a prayer in English!  We finished with a group photo, that’s me trying to get them into a ‘mission pose’ – whatever that might be!

And so to Sunday at the main church in Zhuwan Village. The children who come with their families for Sunday worship go upstairs for a Sunday School session after the Praise and Worship down in the church – so we sang a few songs with the children, while downstairs there was a communion service…

Every Sunday afternoon, there is a really great Sunday School outreach program in the church – with games, praise songs, prayers and activities – we shared about Children’s Day, making little people cut-outs, like I had done at Laomei Elementary School last week – and Feng-Mei shared about how God loves all the children of the world.  Our teacher, Chung-Peng is the St. James’ Preschool Most Amazing Dancer, she is just so natural, so she led the children in praise dance.  Ah, it was such fun!

Also on Xiyu Island is Erkan Village 二崁 where the houses are beautifully preserved and much visited during the summer by tourists. Many of the local people open their homes to the visitors and make the most of the business opportunities available!  This was the scene on Sunday late afternoon…. Feng-Mei’s daughter was delighted to show me the small statue with his bare tummy and bare bottom on show!

And in-between, we had a lot of meals, coffee, paddles, chat and fun, and a delicious meal on Sunday night, kindly hosted by Rev. Wu!  The family rabbit was happy too!

And on Monday, it was my birthday and they had planned all sorts of exciting things – starting with a breakfast of long-life noodles (don’t break ’em and you can live for at least 2 centuries) and a visit to the Whale Cave on Xiaomen Islet 小門嶼. The nice lady gave me a free birthday egg with my noodles too.  Oh yes, and we had yummy red cactus fruit ice-cream at the end…

And so to the big birthday event – lunch at the White Bay Restaurant 白灣景觀餐廳澎 in 湖縣湖西鄉林投村 Huxi, Penghu, where the staff were wonderful and the food was great, and all followed by cake and grand present opening.  Feng-Mei supplied the outfit…..

I didn’t realise that Feng-Mei’s husband was filming me singing and distributing sweets to everyone in the restaurant, and then searching for a mirror to see what I looked like. This is a 53-second edited version of the whole 8 minutes!

Thanks to Feng-Mei for the 3 photos above.  And so to the beach – and a little shopping!

And Tuesday morning, yesterday, we were up bright and early for breakfast at Waian, the largest and southernmost of the 11 villages on Xiyu, and a visit to the lighthouse and a few scenic spots, finishing with coffee at Erkan…

By lunchtime, we were back at Magong Airport and on our way home to Taiwan – having had such a great time!

Of course it was the in-between times that were some of the funniest.  And one of the funniest was always Feng-Mei’s youngest daughter, who just loves to dress up and pose for photos.  The 2 children are so lovely!

A big big thank you to Feng-Mei and her family for their wonderful welcome, gracious hospitality, time and energy, and to Chung-Peng and Miao-Shia for their fun company on such a great visit.  Penghu is indeed a beautiful place, and such lovely people.  Please do pray for Penghu, for the churches, pastors, church members, outreach and especially for Xiyu Presbyterian Church and all the ministry there. There’s lots happening!

And thanks be to Almighty God for His many blessings – and a fun birthday!

Such a great visit to 大禮大同部落 Dali Datong Village, Taroko Gorge, Hualien ~ Home of 頭目達道 Truku Chief Dadao!

What an amazing place, amazing weekend, and what amazing people!

Chief Dadao (頭目達道) of the Truku (Taroko) Tribe lives high up on a beautiful plateau, at over 1,100 m in altitude, way up above the steep slopes of the spectacular marble gorge, Taroko Gorge in Hualien on Taiwan’s east coast.  We went there to visit over this past weekend, and here’s us sitting with him on the bench outside his house, with THE view behind us!

The mountains of the east coast go straight down to the sea with spectacular views over the Pacific Ocean. Liwu Mountain 立霧山 (1,274 m) is the first of the range, and has the same name as the River Liwu that runs through the gorge.  The mountains also provide some protection from the fierce Pacific weather, allowing flowers, fruit trees and vegetables to flourish in the Truku (Taroko) villages of Dali and Datong 大禮大同部落 up on the plateau just behind and below the Liwu Ridge. It’s a real oasis!  This photo shows Liwu Mountain and the mountains along the east coast as seen on Saturday early morning from where we were staying in Xincheng Town on Friday night.  It’s these mountains that were our destination!

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This was our second mountain expedition of the year, the first one was back in June, when we went to Hehuanshan North and West Peaks 合歡西北峰, in Taiwan’s central mountain range. Both trips were organised by our wonderful friend, Jasmine, who kindly invited me to join her extended family on a 2-night trip to Hualien, this time to Taroko Gorge. The group included Jasmine’s husband, their 2 children aged 18 and 16, her lovely mother – now aged 76, plus 3 of her mother’s younger sisters and 2 husbands, one son, a friend, and of course our guide and leader, Lai San, who always sets the pace, leads the way, carries the heavy stuff and makes most of the arrangements.  It was a fun group, 14 of us in total. Lai San somehow managed also to carry a carton of plum wine, 2 wine glasses and ice cubes up the mountain ~ and the glasses and ice cubes were still intact when we came to drink the plum wine, sharing the 2 glasses around!

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Noticeboards along our route explained a little of the background of the Truku people ~ in essence as follows: The Taroko (Truku) people settled in the watersheds of the Liwu and Mugwa Rivers 200-300 years ago, after crossing over the central mountain range from their original home in Wushe, Nantou County.  During the Japanese era, the majority of the Taroko people were forced to relocate to lower altitudes. Only the villages of Hehesi (Dali 大禮), Shakadang (Datong 大同) and Sila-an were permitted to remain, as they were important planting areas.  After the Japanese left in 1945, the elementary school at Datong was merged with the one at Dali and served both villages.  In 1979, all the villagers decided to relocate down to the village of Fushi in Sioulin Township, but many of the people love to return to their old homes and continue to farm the land, and have restored and opened their old homes as guest houses.  This is one of them, Rainbow Guest House, beautiful eh?!

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Life up on the plateau there is precarious, remote and isolated – with no internet or telephone signal, no mains electricity or water, and only accessible by a very steep climb up from Taroko Gorge. More recently a pulley system has been built for hauling up heavy things like gas canisters, construction materials and machinery, but the people still have to go up and down on foot.

Chief Dadao is one of these remarkable people who goes up and down regularly on foot, and we were both delighted and honored to be able to stay in his guest house on Saturday night.  He is now 86, as fit as a fiddle and loves to sing!  He only speaks a little Chinese, and mostly communicates in Taroko language and Japanese. Most importantly he is a very committed Christian, and was an elder in the Dali Presbyterian Church, which is now closed as a place of worship, but open to book for very basic accommodation.

He and the 2 lady relatives who were helping him to manage the many visitors tried to teach me some Taroko language, ah it was such fun!  They were delighted to share with me about their faith, and Chief Dadao delighted to share with visitors how he has never smoked, drunk alcohol or chewed betel nut. Instead he is always thankful and praising God for His many blessings.  He’s a real witness for Christ!

We started out on our expedition from Taroko National Park Visitor Center on Saturday morning – and from 9:30 am to about 1:00 pm, we were mostly going up, up and more up. There is a slightly less steep path that twists and turns, winding its way up the mountain, but is apparently mostly steps, so we chose the shortcut, which is steeper and a more interesting climb, but of course hard work ~ ah, but it was well worth it!

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At 1:00 pm we reached the plateau, where there’s a kind of level track that runs along for miles connecting Dali and Datong and the top of the tracks leading down to the gorge, but otherwise unconnected to anywhere else.  The local people drive along on vehicles carrying themselves and all their things between the 2 villages, but we walked, and it was mostly flat, shady and of course, beautiful.

First we visited Dali Village, at 915 m altitude, where the mists rolled in, and gave it all an other-world atmosphere.  There’s the old police post, and the other old homesteads now all boarded up, but outside one of them near the church was a chair with a cross on it. This is Chief Dadao’s home village, where he was elder of the church, and where he was educated in the elementary school in the days when all education was in Japanese.

And so onto Chief Dadao’s home by 4:00 pm – high up in altitude above 1,100 m  – his home sits completely alone, but with the best view in the whole world!  Except that on Saturday afternoon, as is common at this time of the year, it was starting to drizzle.  We were so glad to get there in time before the real rain came.  Dadao himself was out clearing his land when we arrived, but the 2 ladies, 2 sisters related by marriage to Dadao, were busy cooking and getting ready for the guests.  In total there were 24 of us that night, and the ladies cooked the most delicious meal for us all, followed by Dadao singing and, when the rain stopped, us looking at the beautiful starlit night. We also had warm showers – and all slept in a long line on the wooden raised floors in quilts.  It was warm, in fact warmer than my house here in Sanzhi!

Next day, early Sunday morning ~ and by 5:30 am we were up and out, in the dark, with our headlights on, heading up about 20-30 minutes to the Liwu Ridge in time to see the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean.  Except that the sun only poked out a bit of pale orange light to have a look, and then went back in again, behind the rain clouds, only to emerge much later in the morning. Ah, but it was beautiful all the same!

And so back to Dadao’s home for breakfast, another amazing feast – and look at the views!

This is the panorama from just above Dadao’s house….

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We said our fond farewells, and headed down to Datong Village, about an hour down the hill, past a major landslide that had led to the road being closed for quite some time, but is now clear.

Datong has 10-20 homesteads, many run as guest houses, and much of the land is planted and taken good care of, a real oasis.  There’s even an ancient relic of a truck that should be in a museum, it’s wonderful!  Oh yes and a family of very lively and friendly puppies!

We headed down the steep slope.  This was hard hard work!  It took us 3½ very long and very arduous hours to reach the river, but oh, such a relief to get there, and in retrospect so grateful that it didn’t rain!

A great relief to see the water and join the Shakadang Trail 砂卡噹步道 which runs right close along by the river, and crossed the stones at several places higher up.  It appeared to have been damaged in recent floods as a key ladder was missing at one place so we had to stand on Lai San’s shoulders to get down!

By now it was absolutely pouring down with rain and we were getting soaked.  No time to get out the waterproofs, but I had a small umbrella, which was great (always take an umbrella on mountain trips!) and I could keep the camera dry ~ the marble rock formations in the river and the turquoise water were so stunning, how could I not take any photos, even in the pouring rain?!

But unfortunately time was running out, and by the time we arrived back at the bridge and the main road at 4:30 pm, all soaking wet, we were too late.  Too late for the 4:50 pm train, that is, which we were booked on to return to Taipei.  Actually, we had only managed to get 6 tickets, and the rest of us had planned to stand in turn, but, as it turned out, we missed the train completely!  By 5:45 pm we were all back at Xincheng Station, and changed into dry (or drier) clothes, and decided instead to take the slow train north to LuoDong, which took 90 minutes, stopping at every single station en route.  We had to stand all the way, wedged in among hundreds of day-trippers and cyclists, and others who were trying to get back to Taipei. From LuoDong we took the bus to Taipei (the long-distance buses do not allow standing, which meant we all had seats, yippee!), then MRT to Tamsui, arriving just in time to catch the 11:00 pm last bus to Sanzhi, and so home just before midnight!

Grateful thanks to Jasmine, Lai San and all the group for welcoming me to take part in such a great trip, to Chief Dadao and his family for their warm welcome and fellowship, and to Almighty God for safety, good health, mostly (!) good weather, and so many blessings.

For more information about the places we visited, there is a series of noticeboards along the trails in Chinese and English – these are the 3 most important, click on each and enlarge to read…

And for further reading, check out these articles on the internet ~ one in Chinese here and one in English here.

And if you do get the chance to go ~ you just must GO, it’s great!

Today’s ‪‎must-see‬ sights of Taipei!

Early this morning and a huge ‪‎inflatable Rev. George L. ‪Mackay‬ ‪馬偕博士 ‬ clutching a large ‪molar‬ was awaiting installation for tomorrow’s inauguration of Taiwan’s new president ‪‎Tsai Ing-Wen‬ ‪蔡英文‬ outside the ‪Taiwan Presidential Palace in ‪‎Taipei … ‪

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Mackay was the first, and most famous early missionary in northern Taiwan, arriving in ‪‎Tamsui‬ ‪淡水‬ in 1872 from ‪Canada ~ he started as a ‪‎dentist and helped found the ‪Presbyterian Church in Taiwan ‪(‎PCT‬) which has been at the forefront of Taiwan’s democracy movement, and actively supports the ‪‎‎Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwan’s first ever female president, Tsai Ing-Wen ….

Wonder what Mackay would think of himself in inflatable form lying outside the Presidential Palace awaiting this great historic event?!

By mid-afternoon, there was a full dress rehearsal going on along in front of the Presidential Palace, which showed the whole history of Taiwan through dance, drama and display ~ we had horses, acrobats, dancers from all the different ethnic and indigenous groups, and of course Mackay was floating up above!

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Please join us in praying for Taiwan, for the new president, Tsai Ing-Wen and her new government, and for a smooth transition of power tomorrow and in the days and weeks to come.

台灣聖公會台中市聖雅各幼兒園「給夢想一雙翅膀」愛心園遊會 ~ St. James’ Preschool, Taichung, Charity Bazaar 2016!

And this year, even more lovely people came than usual, and lots of smiling VIPs came too ~ here they all are last Saturday at the St. James’ Charity Bazaar!

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Every year on the Saturday before Mother’s Day weekend, St. James’ Preschool and Language Institute hold a great fiesta, bazaar, fair, extravaganza all rolled into one. And every year they raise a lot of money for charity.  And every year the charity is different. This year there are 2 charities, Wulai District Fu-shan Presbyterian Church 烏來福山教會outreach to local children and young people of the Atayal Tribe in the mountains south of Taipei, and Nantou Renai Township Chung-Yuan Sacred Heart R. C. Church 耶穌聖心堂 after-school classes for local children and families of the Seediq Tribe. Both very worthy causes!

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We were especially honoured to welcome Rev. Lin Ching-Tai 林慶台牧師 (Nolay Piho), who is the pastor at Wulai Fushan Church, and who played the main character, Mona Rudao (莫那•魯道) in the film, ‘Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale‘ (賽德克•巴萊) in 2011.  On Saturday, he came with his wife and daughter, gave a wonderful talk about his life and faith, and also sold and signed copies of his book.  In fact he sold the last copy to our good friends, Yasmin and her family from Germany – and her husband promises to read it!

We also welcomed Fr. Mbwi Khohi, 高福南神父, CICM (originally from the Congo) and Seediq members of the church in Nantou, and also musicians from Nantun R. C. Church, Taichung who gave a great concert as part of the morning’s events.  Wonderful!

And outside in the playground area, we had performances from the St. James children and others – singing and dancing, drums, taekwondo and a choir from a local high school. All watched by our VIPs, Rev. Charles C. T. Chen and his wife, MaryJo, Rev. Sam Cheng, Rev. Lily Chang, Churchwarden Mr. Samuel Chen and his wife, Ms. Luanne Chiu, Supervisor of St. James’ Preschool and Language Institute.  Bishop Lai and Mrs. Lily Lai came specially from Taipei.  So did Rev. Philip’s Lin wife, Linda and family.  So did I.  After welcome speeches, each person hit the big drum on the stage and put their offering envelope in the box.  Meanwhile around the playground were stalls selling all sorts of yummy things, games for children, balloons, a rummage stall, and in the classrooms, there were art activities, story-telling, hair-cutting and tons of other stuff.  Far too much for me to get around and see ha ha!

The teachers did a great job, planning and preparing for months, and all looking very bright and cheerful in their yellow T-shirts ~ and helped by the church youth group members, parents and friends!

One of the highlights was the mountain pig, also from Nantou – roasted on a spit outside, they’d started roasting at 6:00am!  Next to them was our good friends and their mountain pig sausage stall ~ Ya-ya and her husband had come down from Chungli, Taoyuan. Her sister is Feng-Mei, one of our former teachers, and I last met Ya-Ya and her husband selling sausages at the Lantern Festival in Taoyuan a few months ago.  As you’ll see in the photos, they attracted more and more people as the morning went on, until finally there was a line of about 10 people all waiting for their sausages.  Non-stop all morning ~ and I also bought 10 for everyone to try – delish!

And it was all over by lunchtime!  Thanking God for a wonderful day, good weather and lots of support from all the children and their families.  So far we’ve reached over NT$ 450,000 (almost US$ 14,000, almost £9,600!) and money is still coming in – and will continue to do so all week.  An amazing total so far ~ thanks be to Almighty God!

And as the event is held to celebrate Mother’s Day ~ wishing you all a very Happy Mother’s Day for next Sunday too!

PS May 16, 2016: The final total of the amount raised has just been announced:  NT$ 546,770.00 (about US$ 16,744 or £11,652!), and the money will be split equally between the 2 charities.  Thanks be to God again and again!

北海岸聯合詩班頌讚暨聯誼 Amazing Choir Festival @ Advent Church!

Scattered around here and further along the coast are several small churches with amazing choirs, and yesterday Advent Church was packed for our first choir festival ~ YES!

The main inspiration for the choir festival came from our church members, Sheng-Feng and his lovely wife, who between them seem to be related to, or friends with, everybody in every choir in the whole area!   Choirs were invited from Sanzhi Presbyterian Church, Dan-Nung Bunun Church, Advent Church and the Teachers Choir from TamKang High School. During the choir introductions, Sanzhi Presbyterian Church said that unlike most Presbyterian Churches in Taiwan which worship in Taiwanese, in Sanzhi they use Chinese, as they have lots of Chinese-speakers, plus lots of indigenous aboriginal people in 2 fellowship groups, Paiwan and Amis – and both sing and lead worship on different occasions.  The Amis group are mostly working at Shuang-Lien Elderly Centre – where I go often, so turns out I knew lots of ’em, wonderful!  The TamKang High School Teachers Choir is huge, and about half of them came yesterday, along with their families.  And then there’s the Bunun Church, who have been to Advent Church many times to sing at our annual community concert in the autumn, they’ve performed and sang all over the country, and each year they go back to the mountain Bunun Villages on an outreach tour.

Each choir sang 3 songs ~ starting with Advent Church who sang in Chinese, Taiwanese and English.  Then Amis, then Paiwan, then TamKang School and finally Bunun Church.

And our lovely choir festival organizer, Sheng-Feng happens to be of Amis tribe, his wife is Paiwan tribe, and they both work at TamKang School and sing in that choir as well as ours. And they’re related to / friends with everyone in the Bunun Church, and their daughter accompanied the Bunun Church on the piano too.  All amazing!

So a great choir festival, beautiful praise and worship songs, full of life and energy, followed by introductions, games and then refreshments….

Fantastic singing, amazing choirs ~ and we hope for another choir festival this time next year, maybe with even more choirs!