Goodbye 2009.01

John McCall says goodbye to Taiwan but will remain a Taiwanese in his heart

 

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邱國榮撰 「馬約翰:我還是台灣人」《台灣教會公報》2969/2970期 2009年1月19日-2月1日 .p.3

Taiwan Church News 2969-2970 Edition January 19~February 1, 2009
Reported by Chiou Kuo-rong. Written by Lydia Ma. Photo by Chiou Kuo-rong


John McCall, an American missionary in Taiwan known for his witty humor, will be bidding farewell to Taiwan and returning to the United States because of his mother’s failing health. Sent by the Presbyterian Church in USA, McCall will return to his homeland to take care of his mother and fulfill his duties. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), West Amis presbytery, and Taiwan Theological College and Seminary organized a farewell celebration in his honor on January 18th at the seminary. During the celebration, McCall thanked everyone for 13 wonderful years preaching the gospel in Taiwan. He added that he learned and matured a lot during this period and will sorely miss Taiwan when he goes home. Though everyone was sad to see him return to the US, the celebration was nevertheless filled with joy.

“Today is the much anticipated $3,600 dollars day. I thought very few people would show up here as everyone would be out collecting their consumer vouchers. I didn’t expect so many people to come,” said McCall, drawing a hearty laughter from the crowd. His love and concern for Taiwan was evident as he continued,

“Taiwan is at a dangerous point in time. I hope that when I come back to Taiwan next time, I will still be a ‘Taiwanese’.” Like many others, McCall is worried about the new government’s China-leaning policies. He hopes that Taiwanese churches can influence and change Taiwanese society so that those who live in Taiwan can develop a healthy dose of national consciousness and proudly proclaim, “I am Taiwanese”. McCall believes that national consciousness is one of the most precious gifts Taiwanese churches can give to their countrymen. This gift will surely be more valuable and edifying than consumer vouchers worth $3,600 NTD each that will cost the nation $80 billion NTD in debts.

During his time in Taiwan, McCall belonged to West Amis presbytery. He devoted most of his time in reaching aboriginal people for Christ. According to PCT General Assembly Moderator Asing Aman, McCall was the one who began organizing aboriginal student bursaries at three PCT seminaries – Taiwan Theological College and Seminary, Tainan Theological College and Seminary, and Yushan Theological College and Seminary. His goal was to help aboriginal students who were struggling financially to successfully complete their theological training so that they would be equipped to become God’s servants in the future.

During the celebration, West Amis presbytery presented McCall with a traditional aboriginal garment and helped him put it on. McCall was delighted, “My name in aboriginal language is Lafin!” he said. Taiwan Theological College and Seminary’s Acting-President Tsai Ling-Jen presented McCall with a “Blessings Cup”, “With this cup, we hope you will always remember us. This cup also represents God’s love and grace manifested in our lives.” McCall thanked everyone for sharing God’s love with him. He asked everyone to open their eyes.

 

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