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
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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
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。
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。