Wednesday, September 2
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I stood with an aboriginal church elder looking from the church door out across the high mountains. The aboriginals of Taiwan are Austronesian, and scholars think they have been in Taiwan for perhaps 10,000 years. Like native peoples around the globe, they are living on the margins in their own land.
“The first time the government built a road into our village was to take out timber. They claimed our land and took our resources,” the elder told me. “But every day, when I wake up and climb up to the small plot of land which I still farm, I give thanks to God for the privilege of living in this beautiful place.”
My aboriginal friends have given me a tribal name, Lafin, which means “to live among us.” As I spend many weekends in their villages, I learn of life and truth and resilience. I think of the family I often stayed with on the eastern coast of Taiwan.
When I arrived at their home, the church elder apologized for the simplicity of his home. Then he told me why his house was so simple. He, along with the other members of his church, were building a new church for their village. After working in the fields all day, they would climb to a bluff overlooking the blue waters of the Pacific to lovingly construct a church. “First, I build God’s home, and then I finish my home,” this elder told me. Every time I stayed with them, I knew I was sleeping on holy ground.
God seems to love to speak from the margins. I am grateful for my aboriginal friends who allow me to see God at work in daily life.
—John McCall, PC(USA) mission coworker, Taipei
Let us join in prayer for:
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan: Rev. Lyim Hong-Tiong, general secretary • Changhua Christian Hospital: Dr. Chi Tao Wei, superintendent • McKay Memorial Hospital: Dr. Yuh-cheng Yang, superintendent • Tainan Theological College and Seminary: Rev. Chongiau Wang, principal • Taiwan Theological College and Seminary: Rev. Shang-Jen Chen, principal • Yushan Theological College and Seminary: Rev. Pusin Tali, principal
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Thank you, God, for speaking from the margins. May you give justice to the marginalized people of our world, and may you use them to change us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.