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Personal Thoughts. . . . .

The Keelung harbor, Taiwan's northern most harbor, came into view for my wife and I on the morning of May 6, 1957. We were on the British tramp steamer Szuchuan which made weekly trips between Keelung and Hong Kong.

Keelung was a dingy, colorless row of warehouses with huge signs reminding everyone (in Chinese) that the Nationalist Chinese would re-take the China Mainland.

It was the beginning of some great experiences. The Mainland has not been recovered by the Nationalists, but has been revived through Capitalism. And so has Taiwan. At the dawn of the 21st century Taiwan has one of the largest economies in the world. They (those of Taiwanese heritage) want the island to become an independent nation.

But these pages are not devoted to politics but primarily what the Taiwanese people and their Mainland cousins (who began running the island after World War II), have been doing in spreading the Good News of Jesus the Christ to their own people.

Baptists had no mission work in Taiwan until the late 1940s and early 1950s. When the China mainland was no longer a welcome place for foreign Christian missionaries, Baptists, like many other Western mission groups began to re-group on Taiwan, once known as Formosa to most of the world. Taiwan (meaning "terraced bay" has always been the Chinese name for the island).

Pictures and details of the founding and growth of the Southern Taiwan Pingtung Baptist Church (which began in our home in 1959) will be appearing on these pages later in 2003.

Chow Lien-Hwa Memoirs, published
by Lienho Wen Hsueh Publishers, Taipei,
Taiwan,1994. ISBN: 957-522-087-0(782)

Dr. Lien Hwa Chow

Dr. Chow was born in 1920 in Shanghai, a graduate of the Hujiang (Shanghai) University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. During his college days two people had a great influence on his life: Professor Xu Baoqian and Southern Baptist missionary Inabelle Coleman.

In 1957 he became pastor of the Grace Baptist Church in Taipei, across the street from the National Taiwan University. He taught in the Taiwan Baptist Theological Seminary and has served as Billy Graham's interpreter often. He is Chairman of the Trustees of Tung Hai University in Central Taiwan. He has been a speaker for numerous world Christian gatherings, including the Baptist World Alliance.

He has been pastor to Taiwan's presidents: Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Ching-kuo and Lee Teng-hui. Such exposure has made him the most recognized Christian leader in Taiwan. His radio devotionals have a great following on the island.

He was a leading force in the translation of the Good News Bible into Chinese. He has contributed to many commentaries and periodicals. His books on preaching and the Bible are widely read in Taiwan, mainland China and where ever Chinese Christians gather. His autobiography is only in Chinese with plans for an English edition. For years Dr. Chow has been researching and writing "a Chinese theology," patterned after the most ancient of all Chinese books -- the Yijing.

Since 1990 he has been invited to the China mainland to speak in the seminaries and churches several times. In 1993 he sponsored the first trip of two mainland China pastors to visit Taiwan. His family name of "Chow" is pronounced almost like the English name "Joe," and spelled "Zhou" in the pinyin spelling of mainland China.

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