Title: Taiwan’s Presbyterians Seek to Prevent Blind Hospital from Slipping Away
Taiwan Church News 2846 11-17 September 2006
Reported by Lin Yi-ying. Written by David Alexander
Fifty-two years ago Lillian Dickson, a missionary of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, established a rehabilitation centre for blind people in Hsinchuang City near Taipei. The facility and its outbuildings cover 9,600 square metres of land near a major highway. A new rapid transit metro planned to open in 2011 will make the facility easily accessible to all, but the centre is in trouble. Like many privately founded organizations from Taiwan’s past, the main services it was designed to provide have not been taken over by the government. Ms. Dickson did not found it as a church connected agency, but as a private non-profit in which Christians held significant leadership and control. Over the years that leadership and control have devolved onto concerned persons whether or not of Christian faith. Without a direct church connection, the search for a funding and support base has widened. With an increase in social consciousness among large Buddhist organizations, funds are available from them, and one or more groups have expressed an interest in taking over the facility and its ministry to the blind.
The Executive Committee of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) recently appointed three Presbyterians to form a task group to look into the possibilities of bringing this organization more closely back into relationship with the church which its founder served. PCT Moderator Chen Yu-chuan told the committee that the rehabilitation centre now houses 10 long-term clients, but has a staff of 30! Every month’s financial losses exceed one million Taiwan Yuan (Euros 23,888). The centre’s board of directors has 15 members, five of whom are church members. In the hope that the PCT might affirm the original social rescue and rehabilitation mission of Ms. Dickson, the moderator asked his church to get involved.
The three whom the committee appointed will meet with the five Christian members of the centre’s board to study the situation and learn from the superintendent and staff what role the church might play in the future of this agency, hoping that its leadership and spirit of service can continue to be Christian, and its identification more closely linked to the church.
For more information: Executive Committee, PCT email@example.com
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