Across Pacific & Asia

Taiwanese churches are reaching out to their neighbors
in rebuilding their lives and homes

By Michael Ireland  -  Contributing Writer  -  ASSIST Communications

TAICHUNG, TAIWAN (October 7, 1999) -- American missionary David Dolan of
the Evangelical Covenant Church has issued an appeal to American Christians
to reach out in support of Taiwanese believers after the massive 7.6
earthquake that hit the island nation in the early hours of September 21.

Dolan, a veteran missionary in Taiwan for more than 20 years, said: "We
have been so grateful that God allowed us to be here in Taiwan at this
time. We have seen many of our friends and have had the chance to listen
to many of the experiences people had during the Sept. 21st quake. In
spite of the terrible destruction of many homes in Taiwan, we have much
to thank the Lord for."

Dolan and his wife Judy were in Taichung, Taiwan, when the earthquake
struck. "We are THANKFUL -- that not one person in our Covenant churches
on Taiwan was badly injured. Some people did lose their homes but rather
than complain, most people were just grateful to be alive."

David and Judy Dolan are the Chinese Ministry Coordinators for the
Evangelical Covenant Church. He reported that two of the 30 Covenant
churches on the island were in the disaster area. "Both churches are
still standing and able to be used even though surrounding buildings had
been destroyed. Several of our Covenant churches have been designated as
relief centers."

Teams from the HsinTien Covenant Church have been putting on evening
services in the Puli area which was near the epicenter of the
earthquake, Dolan said. "0ver 300 people have been attending each night.
All hospitals in the Puli area were destroyed except for the Puli
Christian hospital. McDonald's in Taiwan gave a large monetary gift to
the Puli Christian hospital to aid in their continuing medical work.

"0ur Covenant churches are continuing to raise money for earthquake
relief. They have raised U.S$85,000 at this time, but much more is
needed considering the thousands of homes that were destroyed. The
Chinese Covenant church has chosen to focus its relief effort in the
area of the two Covenant churches that were affected by the quake.

"Small groups within our churches are being encouraged to each sponsor
one family that has lost a home, with the goal of sponsoring 200
families. Church volunteers are also cooking in tent communities,
helping with clean-up of destroyed areas, and providing children's
programs," said Dolan.

On October 3, Dolan spoke at the 5th anniversary of the Filipino
Fellowship that meets at the Fengyuan Covenant Church. "Close to 100
Filipinos came to attend the service and join in the very lively
celebration," said Dolan. He said that missionaries Don and Lillian
Dwight have been doing a good job in leading this group of laborers and
factory workers from the Philippines.

"We would encourage people within our churches in the US to consider
participating in the relief effort being done by our Chinese Covenant
Church. Donations are much appreciated and can be sent to the Department
of World Mission and designated for Taiwan Earthquake Relief Fund." You
may contact David Dolan at e-mail <> for the
department's address.

"Thank you to all of you who wrote us during our time here in Taiwan. We
have greatly appreciated your words of encouragement and the prayer


Michael Ireland is a British freelance journalist in Minneapolis,
Minnesota. A former reporter with a London newspaper, Michael is the
Midwest representative of ASSIST Ministries and ASSIST Communications of
Garden Grove, CA. Email: <>.

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