【October 2017 No.394】PCT Hosts “I Love Taiwan” Mission Event

Again this year, the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan’s Youth Ministries Committee sponsored the “I Love Taiwan” (ILT) mission event, June 28-July 15, under the theme “Thy Name.” PCT General Secretary Rev. Lyim Hong-Tiong was instrumental in setting up this program, which began in 2002 to deepen PCT’s relationship further with overseas churches.

 

Including the staff, about 120 persons attended this year. The distinctive feature of ILT is that the youth plan and carry out the program. During the first three days, youth from both within and outside Taiwan participate in an orientation gathering, and for the following ten days the young people are sent to churches in various districts of Taiwan. Afterwards, they all gather together a second time and share reports. The churches to which they are sent have diverse backgrounds, so there are differences not only between city and country churches but also ethnic and other differences. Through service in the local churches, youth from both within and outside the country are given stimulating opportunities to encounter the churches, culture, and history of Taiwan as well as further opportunities to get to know people.

 

Since 2009, the Kyodan has been sending youth through its Committee on Taiwan Church Relations. This year two youth were sent: Kakihara Kiho (Hiraoka Church) and Okuyama Takane (Takatsuki Hiyoshidai Church). Everyone’s continuing prayers and support are much appreciated. Below is a summarized portion of the two participants’ reports.

—Hironaka Yoshimi, staff

Kyodan Commission on Ecumenical Ministries

 

I. I was sent along with three youth from Malaysia, Hong Kong, and the US to Tek-Tung Presbyterian Church in the city of Changhua in central Taiwan. Rice paddies abound in the area around the church, and both an elementary school and a middle school are located nearby. Including children from the church, there were over 80 elementary children who participated in the summer camp. During the camp, following completion of the daily program, we held an evaluation and prayer meeting for about an hour, and we were also given time for Bible reading before going to bed. We each read our Bibles, jointly shared our faith, and read the Word together.

 

Due to this deep, rich interaction and through holding a common faith with other youth who gathered because of their belief in one God, I felt deeply that they were really my brothers and sisters in the Name of Christ and that Tek-Tung Presbyterian Church had become for me my home in Taiwan.

 

I am presently living by myself away from my family, where I attend a Kyodan church near my college. Compared to my home church, there are few people—especially since there are only two or three youth, and I am the only college student. Following ILT, I have come to read the Bible everyday, and even if I am alone, praying out loud has given me a lot of strength. So we have been able to have our first youth meeting. Reading the Bible together, talking together, and praying for one another has become a significant matter for me and the other youth, and for the church as well. Up to now, the church I belonged to never felt like my home. I think this is because I had very little faith-based fellowship. From now on, on the basis of the abundant grace and love that I experienced at ILT, I want to work actively at youth meetings so that the church will become a home for Japanese youth.

—Kakihara Kiho, Hiraoka Church, Osaka

* * * *

II. I served in Lo Siong Church in Changhua City in central Taiwan and took part in two activities at this church. The first of these was delivering box lunches to elderly persons nearby. In this vicinity, a lot of young people from farm families have moved to other areas. As a result, many aging people are living alone. The church combines checking on them with its visitation to the various homes.

 

After purchasing box lunches from the hospital, church youth deliver them to the homes of elderly people and bring greetings. So this can be considered a new way for the “church” to become connected with this community, with seemingly good results for them not only physically but spiritually as well.

 

The second activity at the church was helping children with their homework. Since there are few places for small children to play in this district, the church has opened its doors and created a place for them. After church youth help them with their homework, the children can play on the premises. During the play period, a Bible message is sometimes included, so the children are coming into contact with Jesus’ teachings naturally in the midst of their play. Also, during the prayer time before a light meal, the children are naturally encountering God.

 

For the first time, I recognized how difficult it would actually be to do these kinds of activities in Japan. However, I realized through our youth activities that what is important is having a heart to serve God. And also, the continuation of these kinds of activities depends on the young people’s willingness to serve. Have we become distracted by worldly troubles and forgotten a very important thing? (Tr. RT)

—Okuyama Takane, Takatsuki Hiyoshidai Church, Osaka

今年も台湾基督長老 教会(以下PCT)青年委員会が主催するI Love Taiwan Mission(以下ILT)が「君 の名は」(Thy Name)というテーマで6月28日―7月15日に行われました。ILTは海 外教会との関係を更に深めるために、現在PCT総幹事である林芳仲牧師を中心に2002年 に立ち上げられました。

今年は参加者とス タッフを合わせて約120名。ILTの 特徴は青年が企画、運営を行っている点です。始めの3日は国内外の青年が集いオリエンテーションを行い、その後10日間台湾各地の教会に派遣されます。その後、再度全体で集まって報告会を行います。派 遣教会の背景は様々で、都市や地方の違いだけでなく、民族等も異なっています。現地教会での奉仕を通して、国内外の青年が台湾の教会、文 化、歴史、人々を更に知り、大きな出会いが与えられます。

教団も台湾協約委 員会を通して2009年から青年を派遣しています。今年も2名、垣原希帆(Kakihara Kiho)さん(枚岡教会)、奥山京音(Okuyama Takane)さ ん(高槻日吉台教会)を派遣することができました。いつも皆様のお祈りとお支 えに感謝いたします。

以下、お二方の報告を一部抜粋してお伝えします。

 

私は、マレーシア、 香港、アメリカからの3人の青年たちと共に、台湾中部彰化市(Changhua city)にある竹塘基督長老教會Tek-Tung Rresbyterian Churchに派遣されました。教会周辺は 田んぼが広がり、近くに小中学校があります。夏季キャンプには教会の子どもたちを含め、80人 以上の小学生が参加しました。夏季キャンプ中は毎日プログラム終了後の反省会と夜の祈祷会が1時 間程ずつ持たれ、毎日就寝前には聖書の時間も与えられました。聖書を読み、信仰を共有し、御言葉を共に読みました。

これらの深く豊かな 交わりを、同じ一人の神様を信じる信仰により集まった青年たちと共に持つことで、彼らは本当にキリストの名による兄弟姉妹だと実感し、本 当の家族のように受け入れてくれた竹塘基督長老教會は、私にとっての台湾の家となりました。

私は今、実家を 離れて一人暮らしをしており、大学近くの教団の教会に通っています。ここは母教会に比べて人数が少なく、特に青年は2,3人で、大学生は私一人です。ILT後、毎日読むようになった聖書と、一人でも声に出して祈るということに、大いに力付 けられ第一回青年会を行うことが出来ました。共に聖書を読み、語り合い、祈り合えたのは私や他の青年や教会にとっても大きな事でした。私 は今まで自分の所属する教会を家だと感じたことはありません。それは信仰による交わりが少なかったからだと感じました。今後はILTで得た沢山の恵みと愛を基に、教会が日本の青年たちの家となるように、青年会での働 きを積極的に行っていきたいです。(垣原希帆)

 

私は台湾中部彰化 市の路上教会(Lo Siong Church)で奉仕したが、この教会では二つ の活動に参加した。

一つ目は地域の高齢 者にお弁当を届ける活動である。この地域は農家が多くの若者は他の地域に移住する。その結果、一人暮らしの高齢者が多くなっている。教会 は見回りを兼ねてそれぞれの家を訪問している。

教会の青年たちは病 院から買い取ったお弁当を、高齢者の家に届けて、挨拶をしている。こうして高齢者の小さなコミュニティーへ新たに「教会」を加えること で、彼らの体調面だけでなく、精神面にも良い効果があると思われる。

二つ目は教会で子供 の宿題を手伝う活動である。この地域には小さな子供が遊べる場所が少ないため、教会を開放して子供の居場所がつくられた。ここでは教会青 年が子供の宿題の手助けをし、宿題の後は敷地内で遊んでいる。

ここでの遊びに は、時に聖書のメッセージが込められており、遊びの中で子供は自然とイエスの教えに触れている。また、軽食の前には必ずお祈りをささげて おり、子供たちは自然に神に出会う。

実際これらの活動を 日本で行うのは難しいと初めは考えた。しかし、大切なのは神に奉仕する心であることを、青年たちの行動を通して気づかされた。これらの活 動が続いているのも青年たちの奉仕する意欲にある。私たちは、世の悩みに気を取られて大切なことを忘れてはいないだろうか。(奥山京音)