July 9-15, 2012
Church Ministry News
Reported by Chiou Kuo-rong
Written by Lydia Ma
Due to a severe rainstorm last month, Bazi Presbyterian Church’s building was severely damaged. This indigenous church in Atayal Presbytery found that its roof needed urgent repair as a lot of water was leaking into the building. As soon as Bazi Church’s sister church, David Landsborough Memorial Presbyterian Church, heard about this, it sent NT$50,000 to Bazi Church to help repair the leaking roof.
The alliance between these two churches is the latest example of a big church helping a small church meet its basic needs. In recent years, the PCT General Assembly has been encouraging urban churches to partner with indigenous churches in rural areas and become their sister churches. Such a partnership not only helps indigenous churches advance their ministries, but also enables churches to support one another.
But according to Bazi Church’s pastor, Rev. Pehu Torih, the church’s partnership with Landsborough Memorial Church began long before the General Assembly began promoting such partnerships. The two churches have been partner churches for more than 50 years. During this time, whenever Bazi Church encountered insurmountable challenges, Landsborough Church always helped by lending a hand and providing some material resources so that Bazi church could continue ministering to its community and sharing the Gospel.
Last month, a combination of plum rains and a typhoon resulted in floods in many parts of Taiwan. Many sections of highways traversing steep mountains were destroyed because of mudslides. Consequently, many indigenous reservations were cut off from the rest of the world and Bazi Reservation was among them. No material supplies could be transported into this town for 2 weeks. This time of trial brought the whole town together as they leaned on one another for support.
“If you exclude the 2 families that already left, there are currently 9 families living in this town. The people here are either seniors or children or people with mental or physical disabilities,” said Rev. Pehu Torih, adding that Bazi Reservation is the smallest Atayal reservation in Taiwan and there are only 12 people in his congregation. Despite of the church’s small size, or perhaps because of it, Bazi church members have become a close and cohesive group.
Pehu Torih underscored that partnership between indigenous and urban churches is very important because it supplies indigenous churches with much needed help and resources and urban churches also get to experience indigenous culture and way of life. Such an exchange not only enables Christians to experience Taiwan as multicultural country, but also deepens their understanding of the Christian faith.