The Amis tribe is the largest of 16 official tribes in Taiwan, and the Western Amis Presbytery of The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), where Rev John McCall from PC (U.S.A) serves, includes most of the urban Amis churches. Every year, this group of urban aboriginals leave the city to join in an intergenerational thanksgiving and celebration of the Amis culture, with traditional song and dance by the river. Rev McCall had served as mission co-worker for over 20 years, and was invited to speak and conduct baptism at this event.
Reflecting on his experience, he said: “As marginalised people in Taiwan, they embody dignity in their identity as indigenous people and as God’s children. Their natural sense of belonging and community is powerful in our isolated world.”
Recognising the oppression of the indigenous people, one is working on a PhD in Political Science in Hawaii, with a focus on the self-determination of Taiwanese aboriginal people, including the issue of land rights.
The tribal chief told youths who had grown up in the city about traditional ways of fishing and hunting, passing wisdom and faith from generation to generation in authentic ways. Throughout the weekend retreat and Sunday service, Rev McCall was witness to the love they share with one another, with a depth of joy worshipping, praying, and responding to God’s Word.