Taiwan Church News
13 ~ 19 March, 2023
Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong
Translated by Peter Wolfe
The PCT Church and Society Committee held a ministry seminar at Yu-Shan Theological Seminary on March 7 and 8. One important program in the seminar is “A Training Practice of Civil Defense”. Prominent civil groups, Forward Alliance and the PCT Boy Scout Society, are invited to share their experiences in the event.
Rev Hsiao Ruei-chiao, minister of the PCT Church and Society Committee and pastor of Lin-Ze-Nei Church of the Chiayi Presbytery, says that the main reason for holding a drill of civil defense is due to China’s reckless military maneuvers have showcased their determination to invade Taiwan in recent years, and Russia’s irrational excuses and brutal warfare to confiscate Ukraine has also affected and aggravated the international tensions ever since.
“The problem, what Taiwan is facing now, is an aggressive China, which boasts to annex Taiwan whatsoever”, said Rev Hsiao, and if we want to cripple or eradicate China’s ambitions from continuing to harass Taiwan, “the only way is to ‘make Taiwan stronger’, i.e. through the enhancement of Taiwan’s civil defense and the expansion of our international relationships.”
After the PCT Church and Society Committee had held a civil defense drill at Garden Villa Hotel in Kaohsiung City on 29th September 2022, seven churches since then across the country decide to support “KUMA Academy” to hold civil defense training from February 2023.
Rev Hsiao Ruei-chiao expresses amazingly that the online registration for each drill session is almost booked full immediately, and the responses after the training are very good. Some churches are even willing to carry on hosting such drills of civil defense.
“Why is it so important for local churches to involve in the civil defense drill?” asks Rev Hsiao Ruei-chiao. She points out that Taiwan church has to think about this problems, especially it is now the season of Lent.
When the church uses devotional reading, prayer, and meditation to contemplate the suffering of our Lord Jesus, Rev Hsiao reminds that the question needs to answer was “Where am I in the very night Jesus is betrayed?” and “Where am I when our Lord Jesus is crucified?” In the same vein, as today’s situation in Taiwan, what the church needs to reflect and respond is “Where is the church on February 28, 1947?” remarks Rev Hsiao.
Rev Hsiao Ruei-chiao poses some hypothetical but urgent questions, “ if one day, the warfare in Ukraine happens in Taiwan: Is the church ready to become a refuge for the people? Are church co-workers ready to accompany people in panic, pain, and suffering? Do we have the basic survival knowledge and skills?”.
Under the chaos of the invasion warfare, practical techniques of civil defense can be well applied as a great help for individual and communities, just like first aid and survival training could offer first aids to emergencies in earthquakes, fires, floods and traffic disasters.
“Not only the church should be the light and salt to offer help in the sunny days, but also she should be prepared to play the light and the salt in the suffering, chaos and conflict encountered by the society, the country, and the people” says Rev Hsiao Ruei-chiao.
Further, in order to be fully prepared to protect the people, and be God’s available servants in every challenging situation, she stresses the church not only needs to build resilience in Taiwan, among Christians and the church, but also needs to dedicate themselves to serve this land created by God with a devout, humble, and loyal heart.