From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Taiwan's Presbyterians See the Value of Disaster Response Training
Thu, 8 Apr 2004 14:03:41 +0800
Taiwan Church News 2719, 5 through 11 April 2004
Reported by: Yang Shu-hao. Translated and Rewritten by David Alexander
Last December in Taiwan's eastern Taitung County there was an earthquake
measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale. Many church buildings and the homes of
church members were damaged. A team from the Church and Society committee of
the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) recently revisited the area and found
Kanifangar (Long-Chang) Church still worshipping in a tent. Members of
church were living in garages and tents. One committee member, upon seeing
the devastation and misery, called for more emphasis on training for disaster
response and the establishment of local disaster aid teams and communications
The Church and Society Committee convened at the Kwang-fu Sugar Mill in
Hualien County on March 31 and April 1 to evaluate last year's responses and
disperse condolence and aid payments to families and churches that had
The Rev. Mr. Chen Fu-chhun, pastor of Ciwkangan Presbyterian Church and
General Secretary of the Eastern Amis Presbytery pointed out that damage from
the quake to most churches had been light. Repairs have already been finished
in most places. Kanifangar Church was an exception, having been totally
destroyed. Nine members of Pangaongan (Fung-tien) Church who lost their
were still in tents or garages. The presbytery had already held a fundraising
event and called on Christians to join with those who suffered from the quake
in a spirit of support, aid and prayer.
Rev Chen added that after the quake the Eastern Amis Presbytery saw the value
of disaster response training that had been conducted earlier in 2003.
Following the classes many had felt like "soldiers on paper" but never
imagined that before the end of the year they would be called upon to use
they had learned. Plans have been laid this year for two more training
In every township the presbytery has already designated one "communications
contact", usually a local pastor. When a disaster occurs, believers and
residents of the community have a person and place to which to go for
The Rev. Te* Eng-ji, program secretary for Church and Society, said that
preparation is as important as rescue. He recommends that PCT districts
nationwide hold disaster response training to enable church staff to get
organized so that believers might be able to give aid when it is needed. He
suggests that churches consider themselves as neighborhood disaster relief
centers and invite their neighbors to be trained together. This, he says, is
good way to establish better relations between churches and their
He reminds all that as summer approaches the typhoon season draws near.
Natural disasters seem more imminent. He encourages districts to hold
training for response, and suggests that those covering too large of a
geographical area divide into even smaller "sub districts" so that the
can be held.
Districts wishing to conduct training can look to the PCT's General Assembly
for guidance and monetary support.
For More Information: firstname.lastname@example.org, Te* Eng-ji: email@example.com
Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Taiwan's local languages.
Visit our web site: www.pctpress.com.tw
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