I look around me and I notice that most of the people are not paying attention to all the dancing and live music. Obviously, these Taiwanese residents around San Min Park do not know Tagalog or English, otherwise, they would all stand up and join in the revelry. The members of Higher Ground Church (NHGCC), a Filipino congregation in Nandzi, are here in central Kaohsiung singing worship songs at this public park. There are a few Chinese brothers and sisters from the New Song Church nearby. They are helping with promotion, going around telling people of this activity. They also do not know Tagalog. A few of them can understand English. But they do not seem to be "in" to this lively form of praise and worship with dancing and loud clapping. Maybe, they are just not used to an expressive way of worship. Nonetheless, the members of NHGCC are enjoying the moment and freely sing praises for anyone who has an ear to listen.
I look around me and I see my students waiting patiently. They seem to enjoy the Filipino style of music and worship. There are about eight of them. I am teaching a course in Introduction to Missiology and I have asked these students of Holy Light Theological Seminary (HLTS) to visit this outdoor event and interview one of the Filipino members. I have been teaching the need to personally meet a foreigner, in this case these Filipino contract workers from Nandzi, and learn from their experiences. I encourage my students to be ready to apply what they hear from the classroom and "get dirty" with the real issues of missions work and cross cultural ministry. What better way to experience God's love across cultures than to personally talk to one of these Asian workers here in Taiwan.
I look around and I see them. My Taiwanese students and the Filipino brethren are engaged in serious talk and heart-to-heart conversation. I will hear more from this encounter once I received the students' reports and their reflections from this one-on-one interviews. Meanwhile, I see only one local church (New Song) helping this Filipino congregation. It is okay. It is a good start. I know that this will continue and other Kaohsiung local churches will get involved. It is my dream that many more Chinese churches will partner with these Asian churches, Filipinos and Vietnamese, and eventually open new work among the Indonesians and other nationalities. God is working. I know.