Taiwan Church News
Jan 29 ~ Feb 5, 2024
Let’s Become a Walking Tree to Proclaim the Good News
Reported by Dalul from Hualien
Youth and Campus Committee of ‘Amis Presbytery held the 4th Youth Mission Conference at Lin-Tian-Shan Forestry Cultural Park in Hualien County from Jan 26th to 28th. The assembly attracts more than 70 youth and co-workers to share and learn from each other on how to serve and care campus fellows and tribal youth.
In an interview, Rev Coko’ Panong, youth secretary of the Amis Presbytery, pointed out that the youth mission conference had been held once in the winter vacation four years ago. This year, 2024, the conference was held outdoors the first time ever, allowing young people to experience camping with tent, learn from local elders about their footprints of faith and exchange indigenous theological thoughts in the camping event.
Rev Coko’ Panong shared that this theme of the camping event, entitled as “Walking Tree” is closely related to the development history of the Mountain of Lin-Tian-Shan. In the past, due to the boom of the logging industry, about four to five hundred families of lumber workers and their family gathered during the Japanese colonial rulings. And then, there was quite a large settlement village gathered here.
At that time, Rev Coko’ Panong said, many ‘Amis people came to work in Lin-Tian-Shan and established church on the site of Molisaka. Although the decline of forestry industry later caused the local population to lose, the Christians who migrated here still continued to live a pious life of faith, he expressed. Rev Coko’ Panong encourages young people to become a brave walking tree and take root in good soil wherever they go, so that the resilient faith of ‘Amis forebears can carry on to march forward!.
To help the audience to catch the points of this youth mission conference, three main themes, specified as “People’s Gathering”, “People’s Survival” and “People’s Leaving”, were focused to explore the importance of making Christian faith to root in daily lives. During the mission assignment service on the last day, Rev Akim, director of the youth and campus committee of ‘Amis Presbytery, delivered saplings to every youth and hoped them could experience the hard works and patience needed to cultivate their faith in the likewise process of caring the saplings,
The conference also invited speakers, including Rev Hana Oping, pastor of Fata’an Church; Rev Tjanubak Ljaljegean, secretary of the PCT ecumenical ministry committee; Rev Vavauni Ljaljegean of Payuan Presbytery, and Mr Zeng Chen-en, a young indigenous ‘Amis of the Joshua Band, to give special lectures and reflect on the dynamic interactions between Christian faith and Taiwan indigenous cultures.
Rev Coko ‘ Panong called the audience that no matter where they live, they should become the ‘Amis people who pay thanksgivings God, so that young generations will not forget their ‘Amis root and identity, in order to facilitate the relations between people and people, people and nature, people and the land, and let God’s creation interact with each other to establish a closer and better relationships with his creations.
Translated by Peter Wolfe