A letter from Choon and Yen Hee Lim in Taiwan
February 23, 2010
Dear Friends in Mission,
After our six months of Interpretation Assignment (IA) in the States, we came back to our mission field, Hualien Aboriginal Campus Ministry (HACM). With your prayers and the grace of God, the HACM programs continued to serve the students even though we were not there. During last summer time we had limited damages to our mission center due to the strong typhoon, Morakot.
After returning from Interpretation Assignment, the first program we did was to prepare the Winter College Retreat, which was held at the Saisait tribe village January 25-28, 2010. The Saisait tribe is one of 14 tribes in Taiwan and their population has only 5,000 people. It is located in the middle of Taiwan, yet we drove seven hours to get there by car because we couldn’t go there directly due to a high mountain in the center. We had to go around it, driving first to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, and then turned down south. After that, we drove west where the Saisait village is located on the middle of the mountain. Most of the aborigines live in the mountains. The highest mountain is Jade Mountain, 3,952 meters (two years ago I climbed it). There are more than 100 mountains that are more than 3000 meters.
We hold most of our retreats in the mountain villages so that our aboriginal students can learn from different tribes, meeting the people and experiencing firsthand the daily life there. Each tribe has its unique culture, language and beliefs. For example, the Saisait tribe wears special traditional clothes that become a music instrument. They call it “Tun-Ling” (buttocks bell). While wearing the clothes, they dance with their buttocks moving back and forth, which makes beautiful sounds from the ornaments in the clothes. Only the Saisait has that kind of Tun-Ling in Taiwan (maybe the only one in the world).
We had 72 college students for our 2010 winter retreat. This is the biggest group in our winter retreat history. It was a great opportunity to challenge them and influence their development as leaders of aboriginal churches and society. Aboriginal churches need more pastors! The Ami tribe presbytery that we belong to has 63 churches, but more than half of the churches don’t have pastors. Young people don’t want to be a pastor because of the low salary. With that salary, they say that they can’t raise their children. Aboriginal villages also need to provide a better living condition. Any time we visit their villages we ask ourselves how the children can study in this environment, furthermore how can they possibly compete with non-aboriginal children to get into college. So the college students we have are precisely the ones we must challenge and prepare them to be mature Christians to lead the church, as well as aboriginal society. Please pray for this!
The theme of 2010 is “Growing Together” in Christ (Eph.4:11-16) Through the HACM’s programs our students can grow spiritually as well as physically. Besides three retreats, our students get spiritual food through Hualien College Church on Sunday, Friday Bible Study, Reading the Bible with fasting and prayer, etc. We also have outreach programs to aboriginal young people through the Gospel Song Contest and Praise Nights in an aboriginal village. Every Sunday after the worship service we play volleyball and basketball games, and every year we have volleyball and basketball tournaments among five colleges in Hualien so that they can maintain good health and a sound body.
Please continue to pray for our programs and support HACM so that the will of God can be accomplished through us now and forever. Amen.
Faithfully in Mission,
Yen Hee and Choon Lim
The 2010 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 146