Trip to Taiwan
April 5-12, 2012 (Written from Mary Beth's perspective…)

On Thursday April 5, Paul & I went to the Toronto Pearson Airport boarding the EVA flight to Taipei shortly after midnight. This is my first time back in Taiwan since we returned to Canada in 1995, 17 years ago. I expect to see many changes. It was a smooth flight, shorter by an hour than scheduled, and we arrived safely in Taiwan on Saturday morning around 4:00 AM. The airport in Tao Yuan is huge and modern; ours was the first flight to arrive that morning, so it was fairly quiet as we passed through screening for fevers (airport personnel watch infrared cameras which would indicate if a passenger had a fever—they have been extremely cautious since the outbreak of SARS in 2003) and then through Immigration.
We took a taxi to Chung-lak where Yap Muk-su (Pastor Yap/Leaf) greeted us when we arrived shortly after 5 AM. "Paul's apartment" was ready for us. The apartment is simple, just what I was expecting as Paul had described it and shown me photos. We got settled and by 6:00 AM went out for a walk around town and to the park. Some things have stayed the same. People were out in groups exercising to all kinds of music from traditional Chinese to classical and modern and doing tai-chi or more modern dance and exercise. I wonder what Beethoven would think of seeing people exercise to some of his compositions...or of hearing his Für Elise being played by the garbage trucks as they make their rounds. We ate breakfast of do-jang (soy bean milk) and syau-bing jya-dan (a thin pancake with egg); this was to become a fairly standard breakfast for us. We returned to the apartment and crashed until about 4:00 PM. We had a visit with Pastor Yap and her husband Elder Liu in his office apartment which is on the same floor as their home apartment and "Paul's apartment." Pastor Yap is a retired Hakka minister, and Elder Liu is a "Mainlander" and a scholar. He loves to study the Bible. They are a very warm and loving couple.
We went out for another walk—this time the streets were much busier with people, scooters and vehicles. The street in front of our apartment building is closed to traffic on the weekends, so there were lots of people shopping and various types of recorded music blaring from stalls and stores. The weather is overcast with showers, about 20˚F. For supper Paul took me to a tse-tsu-tson (cafeteria-style restaurant) where he would often eat; people remembered him here and at other places he has frequented. We filled our trays with stir-fried dishes and soup and went upstairs and ate at a table by the front window where we watched a sea of people pass by. We returned to the apartment around 8:00 PM, showered and fell asleep again.
On the first day of the week very early in the morning, we awoke around 3:00 AM, wide-eyed and bushy tailed. It was Easter morning. Hallelujah! Christ is risen! Later that morning, we joined in a joyful Easter Sunday worship service at Chung-lak Presbyterian Church with a packed congregation of about 350. Two choirs sang anthems—the senior choir of about 20 men and women and then the young people's choir of 10 fellows and 20 young women. Paul read Luke 24:36-49 from the new Hakka Bible and preached on the proof and power of the Resurrection. He encouraged the congregation to share the Good News with others, especially with Hakka speaking people now that the Hakka Bible is available. The congregation of Taiwanese, Mandarin, Indigenous and Hakka speakers seemed responsive. This congregation purchased 250 new Hakka Bibles and has already started Bible study groups using the new Bible.
Monday (April 9—Gramma McLean's birthday) was another highlight, as the Hakka Bible translation team and the General Secretary of the Bible Society in Taiwan (BST) plus other BST reps got together. We met in the Sunday school classroom in Chung-lak PC where the team has been translating over the past 10 years. There was so much joy! Seeing two of the translators brought tears to my eyes: (1) Hui Muk-su (Pastor Hui) who helped us settle in the Hakka village of Kung Kuan when we first moved to Taiwan in 1983, then taught us how to speak Hakka; and (2) Liao Dzong-lo (Elder Liao), the 93-year-old elder whom we have prayed would live to see the Hakka Bible published. He is quite deaf now but his eyes are still pretty good. After a simple yet deeply moving ceremony of presenting Bibles to each member of the translation team, the group discussed plans to tape the Hakka New Testament for wider distribution on MP3s or whatever technology is the latest. Hosanna Ministries, based in New Mexico, has a special ministry of taping the Bible in various languages all over the world, and they will provide the technical support. They have already helped with the taping of the Taiwanese New Testament.
On Tuesday (April 10) we traveled by train to Changhua for the PCT General Assembly. The GA is being held at Changhua Christian Hospital (CCH). It is a high-tech Assembly held in a very comfortable auditorium with power point and translation into English and Japanese, but it's the first time we've ever eaten dinner in an underground parking garage! One floor of the garage has been turned into a banquet hall with round tables and chairs covered with pink and burgundy tablecloths and chair covers, and with beautiful flower arrangements flanking the head table. 

Rev. Rick Fee, General Secretary of the Life & Mission Agency of the PCC is also here. This is his first trip to Taiwan, and we think it's wonderful that he is here to celebrate the dedication of the Hakka Bible. There are also Church representatives from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, India (Mizoram Synod), USA, and other places. On Wednesday morning the international visitors had breakfast with the newly elected Moderator, followed by a tour of Changhua Christian Hospital. Our second son Peter was born in the old CCH way back in 1984. The new hospital is very impressive and would equal or exceed the major Toronto hospitals in size and services. Our dear sister Joy Randall, former Director of Nursing, is featured in several photos on a wall where significant events in the hospital's past are remembered. In the afternoon we were taken on visits to two local churches which have special ministries: to indigenous peoples and to abused girls. Both congregations are growing--actually the whole PCT is growing by leaps and bounds with about 5,000 people baptized in 2010 (the latest figures).
The PCT's theme for the coming year is The Year of Hakka Mission. On Thursday afternoon as part of the GA program, there was a Hakka cultural event at which we heard three of our friends people share about Hakka culture and how to share the gospel with Hakka people. There was a Hakka choir which sang a number of Hakka songs, and Paul sang a Hakka mountain song much to the delight of the audience. Also, on behalf of Peter (who helped raise nearly CDN$30,000 for the Hakka Bible when he cycled across Canada), I was presented with a leather-bound Hakka Bible with his name on it. Wish he could have been here to receive it in person.
Later, as we reflected on this event, we recognized that all three people who gave leadership that afternoon were first generation Christians: (1) Pastor Dzen Tsong-fat became a Christian in high school; for him, one of the most compelling things about Jesus was His words from the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." (2) famous Hakka novelist, Li Kheu, who shared about Hakka culture and the transforming power of the Gospel, came to faith in Christ in his 60s after years of study--it was Pastor Dzen who led him to the LORD. (3) Pastor Li Fung-Kieu came to faith in Christ in her early 20s, following her older sister who became a Christian. She is a dynamic Christian witness and following several years of pastoral work is now the Secretary for Hakka Mission in the PCT General Assembly office.
Friday the GA ends and we will travel by train to Miao-li to visit the Hakka town of Kung Kuan (pronounced 'Goong Gwan') where we lived for four years.


April 13-16 we were in Miao-li, Kung Kuan. We actually stayed in Fuk-ki (pronounced 'Fook-gee') with the Gongs, a committed Christian family whom we met 30 years ago. Elder Gong, now 92 years old, was part of the Hakka Bible translation team. Each morning at 7AM we joined him and his family for morning devotions where we read the new Hakka Bible together—what a joyful experience! It was wonderful to visit with the Gongs and so many of the people we knew when we lived there. On Friday evening we went to Thung-Lo to have dinner with one of the elders. In the years we knew her, Elder Vong's mother-in-law tried to prevent her from attending worship services on Sunday mornings, but she persevered. She told us that her three sons who are young men now are all Christians and one of them is a missionary in Southeast Asia.

Churches in the area are growing and, being Hakka congregations, are very grateful to God and excited to have the Hakka Bible in their hands. We attended choir practice at a new Presbyterian congregation in Miao-li and sang some Hakka duets and hymns with them. I don't know if all choirs have such fun practices! On Saturday morning we traveled by car to the mountain village of Su-tham to visit some of the Gong family relatives and deliver a copy of the Hakka Bible to the minister of the local church. In 1873 this was one of the first churches planted by George Leslie Mackay in a Hakka area. In the afternoon back in Kung Kuan, Paul spoke at the family worship service for Elder Chhi-Chong Chhai-mi who was celebrating her 92nd birthday. In the evening we shared in fellowship with a Lutheran Brethren Hakka church plant of about 10 people, most of whom are new Christians. Sunday morning it was great to see more old friends at the worship service in Kung Kuan PC where Paul preached. A group of neighbourhood kids, mostly from non-Christian families but who have been participating in the Saturday afternoon children's program, hung around after the service and thought it was pretty cool to speak Hakka to two foreigners. They ended up asking for our autographs--Ha! Ha! They were playing basketball so Paul talked to them about the Taiwanese-American basketball player Jeremy Lin who is a Christian. They all know who he is. Later our host family showed us Lin's testimony (a booklet in the shape of a basketball) that the church has been distributing to young people.

Sunday afternoon we visited our old neighbourhood where we met former neighbours who still remembered the Mai (Wheat) family after 25-30 years. They remember Syau Mai "Little Wheat" (Andrew) and Syau-syau Mai "Littler Wheat" (Peter) speaking Hakka and playing with the neighbourhood kids. We found out that one of their friends moved to Australia to study. I wonder if she is a Christian now. It's amazing how the area has prospered and how the population has grown. We used to be able to see rice paddies and mountains from our house, but now there are houses and schools blocking the view. We also visited Liu Dzip-su, an old friend and deacon in the church who is recovering from eye surgery. She has the most remarkable cat I've ever seen. It has a face like Garfield, but its fur is mottled orange and brown and black; for the warmer weather it was shaved everywhere except its face, paws and tip of its tail. More importantly, Deacon Liu is recovering well from surgery and was very happy to see us. Later we visited a couple of lovely Hakka theme parks which attract quite a number of tourists. We also walked on the country roads in Fuk-ki, past rice paddies and taro fields, flowering trees and gardens. Quite a change from the city!

We have been stuffed to the gills (a Maritime expression) as every time we turn around it's time to eat something. I thought I might lose weight on this trip, but I'm afraid that's not looking possible. The fruits in season at this time of year are pineapple, guava, melon, rose apples (aka, bell fruit or wax apple), oranges and mangoes. Because they are left to ripen on the trees then sold locally, they are exceptionally juicy and sweet. The weather this past week has been mostly overcast and rainy with temperatures from 20 to 28 degrees, and 100% humidity makes the high temperatures feel much hotter. Paul reminds me to be thankful that it's overcast because the sun would drive temperatures up into the 30's.

On Monday (April 16) we moved to Taipei where we stayed at the YMCA, bed #4 on this trip. Through the week we got around on a very modern subway system--a system which wasn't here when we left in 1995. We visited the PCT General Assembly office, a high-end bicycle parts business (as in Tour de France quality) run by a Christian couple, the Bible Society in Taiwan, Mackay Memorial Hospital and Taiwan Theological Seminary. All the visits included lunch and/or dinner with brothers and sisters in Christ. I feel very warmly welcomed every where we go. My poor language ability is a struggle at times, so I have been unusually tired as I try hard to concentrate on what's going on and participate in conversation. Flipping back and forth between Hakka and Mandarin, with a sprinkling of Taiwanese, adds to the communication challenge.

On Tuesday (April 17) Paul spoke at the morning worship service for the PCT's General Assembly office staff. Then we visited with the General Secretary, Rev Andrew Chang, who told us about some of the programs of the church. One program launched in 2010 is called "One leads One," which has challenged every member of the church to lead at least one person to Christ before 2015 which is the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Gospel in Taiwan. They have training programs in evangelism to equip the members. As I mentioned in an earlier posting, about 5,000 people were baptized in 2010. One thing that Paul and I have noticed is the number of first generation Christians we have met. The LORD seems to be doing something very exciting in this country, each new believer being drawn to Christ in a unique way.

For example, Gu Jyi-moi was doing her Masters thesis on the Hakka people of Taiwan and met Pastor Hui who was teaching a course in Hakka language. There is very little literature written in Hakka so he uses scripture portions in the classes. After some time spent with Pastor Hui and the Hakka fellowship at Sung-Lien PC, she came to faith in Christ and now is a vibrant Christian. Another man from a small Hakka village, Chen Thi-hiung, was exposed to Christianity when he was in his late teens through a caring Christian high school teacher and a memorable time when a Christian group asked his non-Christian father if they could use his courtyard to hold a village event where they sang Christian lyrics to traditional Hakka mountain songs, showed a movie and talked about Jesus. Later when he was going through a difficult time, he decided to look into the faith of his respected teacher and the group who came to his village, and he eventually became a Christian. Chen Thi-hiung told Paul that he (Paul) was the second foreigner he had ever met who could speak such good Hakka. As they shared, they came to realize that 'the other foreigner' was actually Paul who had been part of the PCT's Evergreen Evangelism Team who went to his village about 20 years ago and shared the gospel in the courtyard of his family home!

Tuesday afternoon we visited the office of the Bible Society in Taiwan where we enjoyed much laughter and celebration with the General Secretary Rev Andrew Tsai, Ms Hsu Su-chen who worked closely with Paul and the Hakka team to typeset the Bible last Fall, and all the other BST office staff. One gets the sense that they are a close-knit family of dedicated Christian workers who long to see God's Word translated and made available in all the languages spoken in Taiwan. We also had a good discussion about Paul's future work promoting the Hakka Bible, contributing to the BST's Mandarin Chinese Study Bible, and serving as a translation consultant for several aboriginal/indigenous Old Testament projects.

On Wednesday (April 18) we visited Mackay Memorial Hospital (MMH). Rev Abraham Chen gave us a tour of the hospital and told us about the various ministries to patients and their families especially through the Pastoral and Social Work Departments. Christian love is very evident through the 10 Presbyterian chaplains and the team of 1000 volunteers whom they have trained to be caring and compassionate visitors. Numerous people at MMH and the PCT General Assembly office expressed their condolences and prayers for Margie Mackay after the recent passing of her two sisters Anna and Isabel.

On Thursday (April 19) Paul gave his testimony to the students and faculty at Taiwan Theological Seminary. A Hakka minister and I sang one of my favourite Hakka hymns together as a duet (she has a lovely voice). After lunch with the faculty, we were shown around Yang-min Shan National Park by Rev Tseng Yang-en and his wife Lulu. The park is amazing with its smouldering volcanic activity which produces sulphur hot springs; walks along stone walkways through the mountains—the pathways have been there since the Ching Dynasty; and cattle grazing in mountain valleys that reminded me of Shangri-la. We ended our visit with a dinner of fresh grown local greens in a tented restaurant.

After all the activity and fatigue from our busy schedule, I came down with a cold/flu. As a result, on Friday (April 20) Paul went alone to Tamsui to visit some friends there. Tamsui is where the first PCC missionary, Rev. Dr. George Leslie Mackay, landed in 1872, and where the Mackay sisters and their brother John Ross lived with their parents, George William Mackay and Jean Ross Mackay. G.W. Mackay established the first girls' school in Taiwan and a boys' school, which became preeminent schools in Taiwan. The two schools have since become one co-ed school known as Tam Kang High School. Paul visited the principal, Rev. Albert Yao, to deliver a special gift from Margie Mackay. PCC missionary volunteer, Louise Gamble, lives in Tamsui and is working on transcribing missionary reports from Taiwan to Canada around 1872-1930. Paul was very interested in reading samples of these reports and thinks they will provide a new window on the history of Taiwan, both in the church and in society at large. Mid-afternoon, Principal Yao invited Paul to address a meeting of the school's 150 teachers to tell them about the new Hakka Bible. Several Hakka teachers were quite excited to hear this news! Paul and Louise joined Pastor Hui and his family for dinner. I was sorry not to have gone with Paul, especially as I had wanted so much to see Pastor Hui's wife who is not well.

On Saturday (April 21) Paul preached at the Hakka Fellowship which meets on Saturday mornings at Sung-Lien Presbyterian Church. Over 80 people attended. Worship was followed by their usual community lunch and singing time. What joy they have praising the LORD through their solos and duets and giving testimonies of God's grace. They usually have afternoon pastoral visits lined up for Paul, but they didn't this time. Because we had the afternoon free and I was feeling much better after resting the day before, we decided to go to Tam-sui to pay a surprise visit to Pastor Hui and his wife. It was wonderful to see Hui Muk-su-ngiong whom I hadn't seen in 17 years. We reminisced about our time together in Kung Kuan; for me one very clear memory was how she helped me dye eggs when Peter turned one month old; to celebrate we took pink eggs around to the neighbours—a Hakka custom. Later in the evening we had another scrumptious dinner back in Taipei with the Su sisters and some of the Sung-Lien PC folk.

Tomorrow (Sunday 22) we'll be heading to Hsinchu for the big Hakka Bible celebration with over 1200 Hakka Christians from around the island…

Sunday (April 22 in Taipei) we got up around 5AM, finished packing and took a taxi over to Sung-Lien PC to join the Hakka fellowship group. We travelled together by bus to Hsinchu (New Bamboo) for the big Hakka Bible celebration. On the way a microphone was passed around the bus. People shared their gratitude to God for the new Bible and added words of mutual encouragement. Some of the translators and their spouses shared stories about their translation experiences. When it came my turn, I read Psalm 118:24 in Hakka: "Yà he Song Chù sò thin ke ngìt chǜ; ngái-těu oi fŏn-fŏn hì-hì lói khin chùk!" It truly was a day for rejoicing and being glad.
The joint worship service was held in the auditorium of one of the universities in Hsinchu from 10AM-12:30PM. It began with an enthusiastic time of praise led by a group of young people on guitars, drum and piano. The Moderator of the PCT preached and the Hakka Mission Presbytery's choir sang. Bible translation team leader, Rev Pang Det-kui, gave an overview of the translation project from 1984 to 2012. His younger brother, Rev Pang Det-shu, reflected on the joys and challenges of translating the scriptures and thanked God for sparing him after a heart-attack to complete his part of the project. Paul shared words of thanksgiving to God and to members of the team. It was obvious to everyone how close the whole team had become over the years they worked together. Rev Andrew Tsai Lin-chen, General Secretary of the Bible Society in Taiwan, presented each member of the translation team with an enscribed leather-bound Hakka Bible. After lunch, everyone was sent on their way encouraged by the fellowship and challenged to read and study God's Word and share it with others. Between 1300 and1400 people from Hakka churches all around the island attended this special day of celebration. Praise be to God!
Paul and I were offered a drive to Tainan in the south of the island with dear friends, Rev Dzen Tsong-fat and his wife Linda (Dzen Muk-su-ngiong), where we stayed at Tainan Theological Seminary. Some of you may remember Rev Ted and Marilyn Ellis who served at this Seminary until 1993. On Monday morning (April 23) Paul spoke to students and faculty at the Seminary's daily worship service; Paul spoke in Hakka and Rev Dzen translated into Taiwanese. One of Rev Dzen's hopes was that professors and students would be awakened to the needs among the Hakka people who are the least evangelized group in Taiwan. In Taiwan only 5% of the total population is Christian; however among Hakka people, only 2-3 in 1000 are Christian. We rested in the afternoon, then Paul spoke for an hour to a group of students who are Hakka themselves or are interested in reaching out to Hakka people. [I was still feeling under the weather, so rested much of the time we were in Tainan. The Dzens took me to see a doctor nearby who prescribed me some medicine—the doctor's visit plus prescription amounted to CAD$15. I am feeling much better now.]
Tuesday morning (April 24) we took a 2-hour train ride north to Taichung where we stayed with Tim and Bonnie McGill on the campus of Morrison Christian Academy. Tim's brother Terry and his wife Sharon are dorm parents at the same school. They have three boys, twins in grade 10 and the youngest in grade 6. Last summer Tim and Terry's mother, Grace McGill, moved from Glencoe ON to Taichung to be with her sons and their families. Clare (who passed away in 1996) and Grace served as PCC missionaries among the aboriginal Tayal people from the 1950s to 1984. They focussed primarily on Bible translation work and the compilation of a Tayal hymnbook. Back in January 1983, it was Clare and Grace who met us at the airport when Paul & I and our toddler Andrew arrived in Taiwan for the first time. We enjoyed our two days together, getting caught up on news, playing Scrabble with Grace (who beat us handily), swinging on a 3-seater swing in the garden, and walking around campus where our boys studied for three years (1992-95). Paul was very interested in seeing the Tayal New Testament which Clare had worked on, since Paul will be serving as a translation consultant for aboriginal/indigenous Old Testament projects in the future.
Thursday (April 26—our 32nd wedding anniversary) we enjoyed breakfast with Grace and Bonnie. Tim had left home around 6AM for three meetings, one in Taipei, one in Taichung and one in Kaoshiung. When we lived here 17 years ago, this would have been impossible; but it's a new day here with high speed trains which travel up to 300 kms/hour. Our train trips were too short to take advantage of this express service. Around 9AM we taxied to the train station and caught a train back to Chung-lak (this is where we came on Day 1 of our trip). Paul took me out to one of the translation team's favourite noodle spots for a delicious and nutritious lunch—total cost for the two of us was CAD $3! Afterwards we spent several hours writing our previous blog entries (the first time we had a chance to do so). For dinner we went to the Tai-syi-hee Fan-diam (Big 4 Happy Restaurant) for jow-dzs, shredded pork in onion pancake wraps, and won-ton soup; then we walked 'home' in the rain.
Today (Friday April 27) we will travel to Chuk-tung (East Bamboo) to visit more Hakka friends. We've been invited to stay with Dr. Arthur and Susan Dzen, parents of David Dzen who boarded with us the three years we lived in Taichung. Arthur's brother, retired pastor and evangelist Rev Dzen Dzen-dzung, will pick us up shortly, so we're off on the next leg of our adventure. The only scheduled event is for Paul to preach at the local church on Sunday morning—but he has learned over the years to be prepared for the unexpected!

Friday morning (April 27) Rev Dzen Dzen-dzung picked us up in Chung-lak (Centre of the Valley) and drove us to his home in Chuk-dung (East Bamboo) where we were greeted by his wife Maria and son Daniel. We chatted over tea, pineapple chunks and rose apples. Daniel teaches saxophone and piano. He is a gifted musician and he played a couple of solos on his tenor sax. Together we went to a European-style restaurant located in the sub-tropical forested area where the owner's mother treated us to a lovely meal. The Dzens met her a year or so ago and over several months shared the gospel with her. She was baptized last July.
After lunch we were dropped off at the medical clinic and home of Dr. Arthur and Susan Dzen, dear friends for nearly 30 years. Their son David boarded with us in Taichung and attended Morrison Christian Academy with our boys. Arthur is a very gifted doctor who has had exceptional success in treating stroke patients. The care provided by Arthur and Susan is holistic, not just to the body but also the spiritual and social needs of their patients. They are well-known in the community as caring and compassionate Christians. Arthur invited Paul and me to pray with some of the patients who came to his clinic on Saturday morning. Before lunch we enjoyed a very pleasant walk at "Riverside Park". That afternoon Arthur joined a team from Mackay Memorial Hospital on an overnight trip into the mountains where they visited three Tayal villages and provided medical care to all those who came.
On Saturday afternoon (April 28) we visited Hiu Dzong-lo (Elder Hui, now in his mid-70s) who shared fascinating stories about how his family and friends became Christians. When his grandfather became a Christian in his 50's, his son (Hiu Dzong-lo's father) was very angry to the point where he burned down his father's tea fields. After the tea business failed, the family had to move from the mountain foothills to the plains. Years later several families said they were sorry but glad the tea business had failed because they became Christians as a result of Grandfather Hiu's testimony (Romans 8:28). Another testimony Hiu Dzong-lo told us was about Mr Chi, a friend he's known for years who was a strong Buddhist on the board of the local temple. They had had a mutual understanding that Elder Hiu would not share the gospel with him and Mr Chi would not promote Buddhism with Elder Hiu. A couple of years ago Mrs Chi died; after some time had passed, Elder Hiu thought he'd see if Mr Chi was open to hearing the gospel. Mr Chi told him that if his Christian God could let him see his wife three times, then he would believe in God. Elder Hiu responded that he could make no promises; he was not God and he didn't know how God would answer, but he would pray and ask God to consider this unusual request. Within two months, Mr Chi had three separate visions of his wife visiting him in his home; after the third vision, he asked to be baptized.
Saturday evening we were invited for dinner at the home of Rev Ho Bit-on who was also part of the Hakka Bible translation team and worked closely with Paul on the computerized Bible text. The Ho family lives in the same building as the church. We enjoyed a great time of food and fellowship with Pastor & Mrs Ho and their two sons, Solomon and Timothy. We also had a time of prayer and singing with Rev Ho's 86-year-old father who is infirmed and who recently lost his wife. In recent weeks he has been spending a couple of hours daily reading the newly published Hakka Bible and finds much comfort in it. On our way out, we dropped in on the youth group and shared a few words of encouragement with them.
Sunday morning (April 29) Paul preached at the Chuk-dung Presbyterian Church. A new believer was also baptised, the caregiver of Mr Chi (the former Buddhist mentioned above)! It's amazing how God calls people into His family, and so uplifting to be around new Christians. The baptism was followed by a very meaningful communion service then a community "oi-tson" (love-feast/meal). Rev Ho drove us back to Chung-lak where we dropped in on 93-year-old Elder Liau Det-tiam and his wife for a short visit. Elder Liau, always the teacher, used a bamboo rod to explain his family tree which is hung prominently on the living room wall. The highlight of our visit was reading the new Hakka Bible together with him. It is an answer to prayer that he is healthy and able to read the Bible he helped to translate. Later Paul and I returned to "his apartment" and the warm hospitality of Rev Yap Mi-fi and her husband Elder Liu Yin-thu.
Tomorrow (April 30) we fly back to Canada. But first, we are invited out for lunch with Elder Yu Yok-hon who wants us to meet a close friend of his who is interested in Christianity. After lunch, Elder Yu will drive us back to the apartment so we can see the new granddaughter of Rev Yap and Elder Liu before we pick up our luggage then go to the airport.
This has certainly been a 'chin fung-foo' (very full) trip, a Holy Spirit-led adventure!