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Bilingual book sponsorship for the children of Taiwanese aboriginal communities

Peter Wescombe

FISAT is a Taiwanese social service charity association committed to regularly assisting the mountainous aboriginal communities in Taiwan through various aid distribution and sponsorship programs. During December 2008, a team of three adult FISAT volunteers and two of their children conducted a two-day field trip to the Bunan aboriginal communities in Nantou County in central Taiwan. The location was the remote Dong Pu village area – famous for its hot springs and local aboriginal lifestyle. The Bunan aboriginal tribe is one of 12 main tribes of native Taiwanese Aborigines now scattered throughout the mountainous areas in the central and eastern region of the country. Many of these aboriginal communities are Christian believers and live off the land in peace and simplicity. They are also naturally very gifted in the arts and it is quite common to see beautiful paintings and artistic handmade artifacts adorning the villages. The locals and their children also sing and dance beautifully.

The main purpose of the project was to distribute over 600 Grandpa Jake Christmas storybooks to children in the region. The beautiful hardcover storybooks are comprised of four meaningful Christmas stories in both English and Mandarin Chinese and have an accompanying narration of the stories on CD. The books were eagerly received by the children and their families.

Aside from distributing the books and spending time interacting with the children and their families, our team was also able to speak at the local churches and invest time encouraging and ministering to the pastors, youth leaders, and church elders in three of the local communities. They were all very thankful and appreciative for some Christian fellowship as well as the words of encouragement and support that we were able to give to them. This was the third of three very successful field trip projects to the Taiwanese aboriginal communities that FISAT volunteers made during 2008.

These projects would not have been possible without the active support and generosity of Activated Ministries who sponsored the books for these projects. We are very thankful for the vision and support from Activated Ministries by making available an effective sponsorship program such as this which enables us to meet an important need in this country of providing very needed and valuable Christian material to such simple and appreciative people. We hope that FISAT can continue to work together with Activated Ministries on similar projects in the future.