“We would like to thank Hsin-hsing Presbyterian Church for their loving reception,” said the Rev. Kaynwane R. Madarape, Moderator of Ngudra Drekay (Rukai) Presbytery. The Hsin-hsing Presbyterian Church of Tainan Presbytery lets Drekay Presbytery (one of the indigenous presbyteries) use an old church building to establish a Drekay congregation in the City of Tainan so that the people of Ngudra Drekay tribe, who live or work in Tainan will have a church of their own. On August 1st, 2010, nearly 500 people witnessed the signing of an agreement by the representatives of Hsin-hsing Presbyterian Church and Drekay Presbytery. In the worship of thanksgiving, the first fruit of “Partnership in Mission” was dedicated to God.
“Partnership in Mission” is one of the mission strategies of the PCT. Since 1965, there has been a steady population shift in Taiwan; people from countryside have been migrating to big city centers, especially among indigenous people. 80% of indigenous people age 18-45 are living in the cities. Naturally, the tribal churches are affected. It creates another pastoral concern for the church to those indigenous people living or working in the cities. Many of them, because of work schedules, cannot go to church. Some of them, because of language barriers and other reasons, stop attending Sunday worship. “Partnership in Mission” encourages the city churches to help provide places of worship, such as using their sanctuary on Sunday afternoon for these migrant indigenous Christians. By doing so, the city indigenous Christians can save on rental expenses, and they will have a regular place for worship and fellowship. For the tribal congregations affected by the migration, “Partnership in Mission” also encourages city churches to adopt a tribal church and support their ministry and finance. Many have done so and have enjoyed the fellowship between city and indigenous churches.
Hsin-hsing Presbyterian Church in Tainan had just built a new church. They are still carrying a mortgage of $26,000,000 TWD ($1 USD is about $32 TWD). Selling their old church building would lighten their mortgage considerably. But their minister, the Rev. Ker-shun Wu and the Session decided to use their old building for mission. Upon learning about “Partnership in Mission,” they contacted the General Assembly Office to see if there was any group of people could use the building. After some fervent prayers and consideration, they decided to let Drekay Presbytery establish a Drekay congregation in Tainan in the old church building, so that the people can worship in their own language. It will be totally free for three years. A church in Taipei, Liou-chang-li Presbyterian Church, heard of the kindly deeds of Hsin-hsing church, offered to lend them $5 million TWD, with no interest charges.
The name of the new congregation is “Nan-kai,” (TainanRukai) Presbyterian Church.
The Rev. Andrew T. C. Chang, General Secretary of the PCT, commended the spirit and generosity of the Session and members of Hsin-hsing church. “You have doubled your joy by sharing.” He then told the congregation that they were an example to the whole church in that “you can share what you have even you are still in need. Such is the spirit of ‘Partnership in Mission.’” The Rev. Hon-tiong Lyim, one of the Assistant General Secretaries of the PCT stated that the PCT firmly believed in preserving the culture and language of the indigenous people. We promoted “Partnership in Mission” so that “the city indigenous people still can worship in their mother tongues.”
After the signing ceremony, the induction service for their evangelist, Mr. Palripilripi R. Madaralape followed. In his induction speech, he said, “Nan-kai church started by worshipping in members’ home. As the number of worshipper grew, we worship in a simple house with aluminum roof on a piece of land we rent. Now, we have this church to worship in. We give thanks to God. I will do my best, with God’s help, to minister to indigenous people in this city.”
The PCT is going to celebrate the 150thanniversary of the arrival of the gospel in 2015. A mission project, “One-leads-one Doubling Movement,” is being promoted in all Presbyterian congregations, Presbyteries and Districts to encourage all PCT members to lead at least one person to Christ in the coming five years. By doing so, the total membership will be doubled. The goal is, by 2015, to have 300,000 members; to plant 150 more churches; and send 15 more missionaries to serve churches abroad.