Taiwan Church News
August 23~29, 2010
Ecumenical Youth Exchange Program inspires youths to take up missions
Reported by Sam Lee
Written by Lydia Ma
PCT held its annual Ecumenical Youth Exchange Program (EYEP) during mid-August this year and hosted youths from Japan and Canada simultaneously. The program lasted 2 weeks and attracted 8 Japanese youths and 9 Canadian youths.
Youths and their leaders visited PCT headquarters in Taipei, participated in Typhoon Morakot commemoration services, saw the much-hyped “Formosa Betrayed”, visited 228 Memorial Parks across Taiwan, attended a worship service at Yi-Kuang Presbyterian Church (site of the Lin Family Massacre in 1980), and visited PCT organizations such as Taiwan Church Press and Chang-Jung Christian University for a glimpse of PCT’s commitment and involvement in Taiwanese society.
Sato Takafumi, a United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) elder and youth leader, remarked that visiting TsouAborigine churches in Alishan Mountain left a lasting impression on his youths. They were particularly moved by the resilient spirit, courage, and multiculturalism they witnessed during a service held in memory of Morakot victims.
EYEP also helped youths from different cultures exchange ideas and encourage one another. Though Christians in both Japan and Taiwan are minorities, they’ve been entrusted with the same important mission of sharing the gospel with their own people. Japanese churches hope to emulate PCT’s passion in preaching the gospel and reaching youths for Christ.
Naomi Stright, a youth leader from Canada, was especially taken aback by Taiwanese people’s passion and hospitality. She remarked that in the past missionaries like Rev. George Mackay left their homes in Canada to preach the gospel in Taiwan. Now, it’s Taiwanese people’s turn to use their passion and ministry experiences to help Canadian churches.
Besides hosting youths from Japan and Canada, PCT also sent its own youths abroad to countries such as India, US, Japan, Thailand, and South Korea through EYEP.
PCT Youth Ministry Committee Secretary Itan Pavavalong said the committee hoped these exchanges would help other countries gain some insights into Taiwanese culture and life, help Christians practice loving one another with Christ’s love, and strengthen mission partnerships between churches.