The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the church in the areas of worship, evangelism, pastoral ministry, caring for members, and so on. Many church members have not been able to see one another face to face at a church for a long time. A church pastor has not been able to regularly visit church members whether at home or the hospital. We are now challenged to find new ways to carry out mission work, preach the gospel of God, and care for people.
But amid this challenging time, the Community Service Ministries Department of the Taiwan Conference has been able to witness God’s grace upon our work. One of the projects we have worked on throughout this current year was building a house for a person in need.
The recipient was an elderly woman who faced difficulties receiving help from her son or daughter. She has no job and lives by elderly allowance. She lived alone in a dilapidated house that ended up being auctioned. She was left with nowhere to go.
Even though she is not a Seventh-day Adventist, the Qingye Adventist Church was concerned about her and the TWC Community Service Ministries Department decided to build a house for her. To implement this house-building project, the Taiwan Adventist Hospital provided a generous amount of financial support. Also, individual and organizational volunteers worked on the project to make its completion possible.
The house dedication service was held on Sabbath afternoon, October 9, 2021. The TWC President, Tom Sun, gave an encouraging message to attendees, quoting a Bible verse in Psalm 127, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” The core value of the house is not in the physical building or the furnishings inside, said Pastor Sun, but in the presence of the Lord. He urged attendees to invite the Lord to enter our lives so that we share the warmth from Him with one another. Also, he emphasized that this world is not a permanent home for us, but we are all waiting for the glorious return of Jesus to live with Him forever. Finally, Pastor Sun reminded the pastor, elders, and deacons of the Qingye Church to continue their concern and enthusiasm in caring for this woman—to visit her, spend time with her, and continue to share the joy of life with her.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We, as Christians, are responsible for being a light to the world. Light drives out darkness and illuminates obstacles and dangers. It makes houses and cities safer and gives direction even from a distance. In her publication, Welfare Ministry, Ellen White described what God’s children should do for their neighbors: “The reason why God's people are not more spiritually-minded and have not more faith, I have been shown, is because they are narrowed up with selfishness.”
I pray that soon this woman and her family will be moved by everyone's unselfish service and the touch of the Holy Spirit, that they will know the God we know and will be willing to follow and worship Him.