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FISAT outreach, Taiwan

Peter Wescombe

During August 2008, a team of five volunteers from FISAT (Family International Services Association of Taiwan) conducted a two day field trip to the mountainous region of Nantou county in central Taiwan to distribute 1,000 Bible Basics reference books to local Taiwanese Aborigines. These books were sponsored by Activated Ministries and feature a topical quick reference guide to thousands of Bible verses. This book was printed in traditional Chinese and we believe it will be a wonderful source of spiritual strength and encouragement, as well as an easy way for these people to increase their knowledge and understanding of Christianity.

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. The Bunan in particular is one of the "high-mountain tribes" and had a reputation in the past of being fierce warriors and headhunters. They traditionally lived in small family units in Taiwan's Central Mountain Range and were hostile to all outsiders, whether they were Chinese immigrants or surrounding aboriginal tribes. Christian missionaries have been evangelizing the aborigines in Taiwan since the early 20th century and as a result, 80% of the over 40,000 Bunan Aborigines have now been converted to Christianity. Even though most of these people are already Christians, one of the biggest needs in these communities is suitable material to study in order to grow spiritually in their relationship with Jesus.

It was a privilege to be able to spend two days living in one of the communities and getting to know these precious people. They live simple, uncomplicated lives, but many of the basic Christian qualities were very evident in them such as joy, peace, and gentleness, as well as a childlike faith and trust in Jesus. We were able to invest the bulk of our time talking, encouraging and ministering to the pastors, youth leaders, and church elders in two of the main communities. The Family International volunteers are very thankful for the vision and support from Activated Ministries in making available an effective sponsorship program such as this which enables us to deliver God’s Word to these very appreciative remote communities and we hope we can continue to work together on similar projects in the future.