日本基督教団 The United Church of Christ in Japan

【April 2016 No.387】Taiwan Hosts International Workshop on Disasters


The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) and the Council for World Mission (CWM) jointly sponsored a workshop entitled “Emergency Preparedness and Response” at Nanshan Educational Center in Taichung City, Taiwan, Nov.10-13, 2015. Supported by the ACT (Action by Churches Together) Alliance, the conference was attended by 34 participants who, for the most part, lead departments in their respective churches that handle communication with overseas churches. They came from all over Asia and the Pacific islands, including India, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea.


The conference consisted of several lectures given by Ms. Alexandra Segura from ACT and Mr. Sudipta Singh from CWM, together with case studies of actual disaster responses presented by the participants from the various churches represented, along with Bible studies. Though I had heard about ACT in various contexts related to donations towards relief work in disasters occurring around the world (as such donations from the Kyodan generally go through ACT), it was very helpful to be given a more in-depth introduction to the work of ACT, and we came away with a deeper understanding of the emphasis placed on its biblical foundations. As a part of the program surrounding the lectures, we were separated into small groups tasked with formulating responses to various problems within a limited time frame, as a way of fostering cooperation. There were Bible studies on each of the three mornings, led by Dr. Jione Havea from Tonga, who teaches Old Testament at a university in Australia. Using the stories of Elijah from I Kings and II Kings, along with Psalm 137, and viewing them from the standpoint of natural disasters, he also added a very interesting testimony of the historical experience of being under colonial rule. These studies led to some very interesting discussions in the small group sessions.


On the second day of the conference, we took a one-hour bus trip to the training center of the National Fire Agency of the Taiwanese Ministry of the Interior, located in Zhushan Township of Nantou District. This is where highly skilled firefighters in Taiwan go to attend a one-year training course to prepare them to work in a variety of disaster settings. There we watched a video in which the director introduced the activities of the training center, with a fascinating report on the support of NGOs in the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot in 2009. This included the work of the PCT in its role in helping the indigenous people who were impacted by the disaster.


This conference on disasters was the first time for the PCT to hold such an international workshop. Its purpose was to share in the mutual pain of disasters as members of the one body of Christ and then to build solidarity among the participant churches so that we can help each other in times of need. (Tr. AKO)


—Kato Makoto, executive secretary



加藤 誠

 2015年11月10日(火)から13日(金)まで台中市南山教育センターを会場にして、台湾基督長老教会(以下PCT)とCouncil for World Mission(以下CWM)の共催、ACT Alliance(以下ACT)の後援により「Emergency Preparedness and Response」(緊急支援を要する災害への備えと応答)と題するワークショップが開催された。参加 者は34名でインド、台湾、マレーシア、韓国、 日本に加え、ニュージーランド、トンガ王国、バヌアツ、パプアニューギニアなどの太平洋諸国から、海外教会とのコミュニケーションを 担当する者が主であった。

 会議はACT本部からの講師とCWNからの講師による講義と各教会の実際の災害対応例、聖書研究から組み立てられていた。教団事務局ではしばしばACTの名前は聞くが、(教団社会委員会では海外災害募金をだいたいACTを 通して献金しているので)その組織と働きについて時間をかけて紹介されたことは有益であった。特にその活動の根本に聖書の言葉があることが強調された。講義の中では応答として小グループに分けら れ、講師からの異なる質問に限られた時間で協力して回答することが求められた。聖書研究は3回、午前中に行われた。講師はトンガ王国出身でオーストラリアの大学で旧約聖書を教えていることから、列王記のエリヤや詩編137編を災害の観点から取り上げ、しかも南太平洋諸国の植民地化歴史なども交えながらの講義であったため興味深かった。勿論ただ聞くだけでなく、小グループに分かれてのディスカッションと発表の機会が与えられた。



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