by Kishi Hikari, member Chiba Honcho Church, Tokyo DistrictFrom Aug. 8 to 17, I participated in the joint Youth Mission event jointly sponsored by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) and the Kyodan. The exchange program has generally been held once every two years, with each country serving as host in alternating years. This time it was held in Taiwan. I learned a great deal from the experience and feel that we all bonded together as youth of the world. I would like to express my gratitude as I give a brief report.
Our tour from north to south along the east coast of Taiwan began in Taipei and proceeded through Yilan to three locations in the Taitung region (Zhang Guang, Hong Ye, Xin Xiang Lan) then to Tainan. There were five persons from Taiwan and three of us from Japan in the group. Three of these eight people, including myself, had also participated in the previous exchange program.
beginning with the evangelistic work of Dr. George Mackay. In addition, we visited the Taiwan Electric Company for one day to study the issue of nuclear power generation; another day we studied issues surrounding the natural environment by helping to plant sugar cane on an organic farm. In the three regions we toured in Taitung, we visited three villages where indigenous tribes reside: the Ami tribe in Zhang Guang, the Punon tribe in Hong Ye and the Paiwan tribe in Xin Xiang Lan. We learned about each culture and its surrounding environment and had fellowship with each group in its own church there. In Tainan, we stayed at the Tainan Theological College and Seminary and learned about the legacy of Dr. James Laidlaw Maxwell, a pioneer evangelist in that area, and also studied Christian theology while we were there.Kyodan-PCT Conference participants
After adjourning to have lunch on the campus of Hokkaido University, we gathered again to hear reports on mission to youth. First to speak was Rev. Chou Tsou-Wei, PCTchaplain of Taipei University Student Center, followed by Sato Takafumi of the Kyodan’s West Tokyo District and Rev. Noda Taku, a member of the Taiwan Cooperative Committee. After these reports, PCT General Secretary Lym Hong-Tiong and Kyodan General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo jointly presided over a lively discussion of the various topics and issues mentioned in the reports, in preparation for the joint proclamation to be ironed out the following day. As they had done the previous night, the Hokkaido District Women’s Society provided a delicious dinner, which was followed by a time of fellowship.On the third day we went by bus to Asahikawa, where we visited the Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Memorial Center, the Asahiyama Zoo, and the Miura Ayako Literature Museum. There, even though the time was short, we were fortunate to have a chance to hear a presentation by the curator, Miura Mitsuyo (the husband of Miura Ayako).On the final day, back in Sapporo, Akiyama Toru, chairperson of the Commission on Ecumenical Ministries, presided as a joint declaration was crafted from the statements by participants from both churches. Kyodan Secretary Kumoshikari Toshimi preached the sermon at the closing worship. (Tr. GM) —Kato Makoto, executive secretaryThrough this program we learned a lot about Christianity in Taiwan, the current situation in this country, and how things should be in Japan. We were encouraged by the way the Taiwanese face their own difficulties and felt that we had a really significant exchange there, particularly with the young people. Even though we live in different countries, we could share together the thought that we belong to the one Kingdom of God as fellow Christians.Following this program, three of the Taiwanese participants came to Japan to participate in a youth conference here, for which we were particularly grateful. One remark made during the devotional time on the last day of the conference was: “Youth Mission will further deepen interchange in the future toward becoming a fellowship for the world church.” This indeed is the mission of this program and that of all of those who participated. (Tr. KY)
Participants pose by the bronze statue of Dr. George Mackay
In Taipei, we learned about the PCT General Headquarters, along with the history of Christian evangelism in Taiwan,