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2024/1/2
Ms Hsiao Bi-Khim, VP Candidate, Blessed for the 2024 Taiwan Election

Taiwan Church News

3747 Edition

Dec 18 ~24, 2023

Weekly Topical

Ms Hsiao Bi-Khim, VP Candidate, Blessed for the 2024 Taiwan Election

Reported by Lin Wan-ting from Tainan and Hong Tai-yang from Taichung

Having served as a Taiwan’s legislator many terms since 2002 and Taiwan’s ambassador to the United States from 2019, Ms Hsiao Bi-khim, the daughter of Rev. Hsiao Ching-fen who was a former dean of Tainan Theological Seminary and College (TTCS), was recruited to run for the 16th Vice President of Taiwan on behalf of the Democratic Progressive Party. On December 16 and 17, the Church and Society Committee of Taichung Presbytery and the Alumni Association of TTCS jointly organized a blessing and thanksgiving service for Ms Hsiao, and many pastors came to bless and pray for her.

On Dec 17, a service entitled as “Thanksgiving and Blessing for Sister Hsiao Bi-khim’s Vice Presidential Campaign”, hosted by the TTCS Alumni Association and co-organized by the Tainan Presbytery was held at Song-in Hall of TTCS. The service was moderated by Rev Pan En-sheng, vice secretary of the PCT General Assembly. Quoting the scriptural verses from Ephesians 6:10-20, Rev Pan delivered a sermon entitled as “Stand Firm”.

Rev Pan En-sheng(Photo/Lin Wan-ting)

He stressed to the audience three significant reminders from the scriptures: the first is our inherited cultivation and training. He explained it further that everyone has his own experience, but people with faith will always pay tributes to the legacies of their forebears, society, church and country; the second is to give trust in God and pray for each other; the third is “Stand Firm”, which means to fight audaciously amid challenges and yet keep the faith resiliently to the end. He wished Ms Hsiao will not forget her calling to serve Taiwan society after being elected, and also encouraged the audience to stand firm on their faith, care for Taiwan society and other church missions for the public good.

After the sermon, Rev Peng Chi-hong, moderator of the PCT General Assembly, introduced Hsiao Bi-khim’s extraordinary contributions, including how she helped Taiwan build a rock-solid and reverberating diplomatic relationship with the United States during her service as Taiwan ambassador to the United States, and enhanced the geo-political roles of Taiwan international visibility. Rev Peng Chi-hong mentioned that Ms Hsiao’s mother, Mrs Peggy Cooley, had been also an immigrant in Taiwan, so Ms Hsiao also belonged to the ethnic group of the second generation of immigrant. He hoped that government policies to pay more attention to the rights of the immigrants and their second generation in Taiwan. In the assembly, a fifth-grade young student, born as a second generation immigrant and from Yen-Cheng Elementary School, was arranged to present a gift to Ms Hsiao.

(Photo/Lin Wan-ting)

Ms Hsiao Bi-khim opened in her speech that in her childhood she attended the Sinlou Kindergarten just nearby and performed on stage at the Song-In Hall right here, therefore she was heartfelt thankful, especially seeing many pastors and TTCS alumni like the family coming to see and encourage her. She also appreciated to being able to serve Taiwan as a diplomat, as she had been the translator for her American grandmother and Taiwanese grandmother since she was a child of three-tear-old.

Remembering the days when she was in Oberlin College, the first college in the United States to admit African American student, she emphasized that the vocation of politics is not an easy road to tread, but she knew that there is God who will always accompany her in dark hours. Giving thanks to many people offering support to her in the days when many difficulties and even despairs lying ahead, she witnessed to the audience that there is always a light shining ahead!

Ms Hsiao took her campaign failure for a legislator in Hualien County as an example to explain that God had taught her to be more humble and close to the land and the people. Because of her experiences in serving the people in different regions, across city and town in Taiwan, she knew how to promote Taiwan when she served to consolidate diplomatic relationships in the United States. Her experience gave her a deep understanding of Taiwan’s difficult international situations, and she learned different diplomatic ways of negotiation and advocacy.

(Photo/Lin Wan-ting)

She emphasized that Taiwan’s diplomacy is a genuine power that connects the world together to protect Taiwan’s democracy; and these diplomatic experiences in the field of politics are not only God’s training and equipment for a journey to faith, justice, peace, and also let her know how to win international support from around the world.

She hoped to build up a peaceful, dignified and influential Taiwan for the next generation of Taiwanese people, in spite of warfare harassment, economic intimidation, and military threats from China. After her speech, all the attending PCT pastors came on the stage to pray and bless Ms Hsiao Bi-khim. Representing the PCT members, Rev Chen Hsin-liang, general secretary of the PCT General Assembly, gave a sincere blessing to Ms Hsiao to serve Taiwan.

Thanksgiving Service at Song-In Hall of TTCS, Tainan(Photo/Lin Wan-ting)

On Dec 16, a service entitled as “Thanksgiving Service for Ms Hsiao Bi-khim’s Campaign for Vice President” was jointly hosted by both the Church and Society Committee of Taichung Presbytery and the Justice Action Church in Taichung. During the service at Shiang-San Church, Rev Peng Chi-hong quoted Luke 3: 1-6 to preach a sermon with the theme of “Welcoming the birth of the Lord in faith”. He encouraged the audience to pray “in the name of the Lord Jesus” from the teachings of John the Baptist. Rev Peng urged the assembly to follow God’s words, that is, the Bible, to meditate the revelations and walk on the right path in life.

Thanksgiving Service at Shiang-San Church of Taichung Presbytery(Photo/Hong Tai-yang)

Ms Hsiao Bi-khim shared in the service, when her mother brought three children back to the United States amid 1980s, she was often asked “where are you from”, but then very few Americans knew where “Taiwan” was exactly located. Nowadays, Taiwan gradually becomes to be seen by the world, as it adheres to the correct path of national development, she said.

Talking about why she entered into the politics, Ms Hsiao said that when she was a college student in the United States, she worked part-time in the library and found that the library collected the books and magazines such as “Formosa” and “Taiwan Youth” that were unfairly banned in Taiwan in that era. This encounter made her deeply aware that Taiwan is mistreated by the world without justice, and she decided to do something for Taiwan, and it kept calling me to carry on till now even running for vice president.

She believed that her journey up to date is God’s best preparation for her and always provide guidance at the crossroads of her life. She pledged and praised that her running for Vice President was to protect Taiwan’s democracy, freedom, and the amazing grace God offered to Taiwanese people!

Translated by Peter Wolfe


Submitted by:Taiwan Church Press
 
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