See this lovely lovely, VERY lovely couple in the photo?! They are Pastor Yasala Hola and his wife, living in Taoyuan County, Taiwan ~ he is a minister in the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan ~ very special people. They are from the indigenous Atayal tribe (so they use their Atayal names rather than Chinese names), ministering in a Hakka church, fluent in tons of languages!
A year ago I was in the UK visiting my wonderful CMS friends, Adrian and Jill Chatfield. They showed me their visitors book from years long past ~ and photocopied for me one entry – the names and address of their 2 dearest former long-lost Taiwanese students from St. John’s College, Nottingham 18 years ago……..
Ha! Found them (with a bit of help) living just down the coast YA!
Fast forward to last night and here we are meeting up for the first time and having dinner together in Taipei. Turns out that Pastor Hola is also a friend of our bishop ~ gosh, it’s a small world!
What is especially interesting is that as there is no Anglican Theological College in Taiwan, our clergy all train locally either with the Roman Catholics or Presbyterians instead. Only once they’ve been ordained a few years do they have a chance to go overseas, but rarely to the UK. And yet here we have a Presbyterian Minister in Taiwan who has trained for a year with the Anglicans in the UK!
And today is extra-special because in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, the whole world is praying for the Diocese of Taiwan – we even had an e-mail from Lambeth Palace telling us so ~ yippee!