Tag Archives: taiwan

witnessing to the love of…joyce

photographic timeline of Joyce’s life

Her name was Joyce McMillan – an ordinary enough name for a woman born in the United States in 1914.  Though her life began as many begin – growing up, finding a profession (nursing), and getting married – it hardly ended that way.

Upon her death in 2007 Joyce, called Granny, despite being a childless widow, not only was remembered by the hundreds whose lives she had touched, but was also eulogized by the President of Taiwan, who commended her devotion to the nation’s disadvantaged children.

Pastor Hau-Sheng Chng shares with our PCUSA delegation about the life of Joyce

Widowed in her 30’s, McMillan, when in her mid 40’s, answered a call to Taiwan to volunteer her nursing skills after learning that many Taiwanese children were suffering from tuberculosis.

But upon arrival in Taiwan it was not only the suffering from tuberculosis that made an impact on her, but the children suffering the literally crippling affects of polio.

We heard one such story from Chen Jung Sheng, now a grown man.

“Encouraged by Joyce we tried to stand up and search for our life,” he said, in sharing his own story of overcoming the challenge of being born crippled.

“When we were young we crawled on the earth – and had no hope. Joyce opened the door for our hope.”

He literally crawled on the earth. He described the feeling of having his face so close to the earth that it was literally all he could see – until, through the love of Joyce, as a young boy he was helped to his feet and taught to stand on his own.

Pastor Hau-Sheng Chng with Joyce Agape Director and polio survivor Chen Jung Sheng

Not only did that young boy learn how to stand on his own, but he is now helping to lift up others.

Chen Jung Sheng is the director of a company he founded, called Joyce Agape, that seeks to provide both dignity and financial sustainability to those suffering from mental and physical handicaps. “We see it as a love without boundaries,” he continued.

“We do this because we want to be a witness to the love of Joyce, and also of Christ,” he explained to us.

A witness to the love of Joyce. And also of Christ. But Joyce first – Joyce, the one whose tangible, flesh and blood love made a direct impact on his life, on their lives.

Joyce Agape, founded in 2003, now employes a staff of 61, more than two thirds of whom are disabled, either physically or mentally.  Joyce Agape now in its 10th year, brings in $61 million annually – $1 million per staff member, pointed out Chen Jung Sheng – and supports 43 families.

“We don’t just offer a job – we believe that when we pass on love, we give new possibility,” said Chen Jung Sheng.

“We always remember Joyce.”

And also Christ.

 

For another story about Joyce’s life, from a visit while she was still alive, take a look at Rick Ufford-Chase’s post Joyce McMillan – a life well-lived

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photo: taipei, from above

 

Taipei 101 was the world’s tallest building from its creation in 2004 until, in 2010, the inevitable happened and a taller building was built in Dubai.

On our first day in Taipei our PCUSA delegation was taken to the top – the 89th floor inside, with the optional climb to the 91st floor for an outdoor view, which was stunning on a fairly clear day.

Taipei, from Taipei 101
© 2012 erin dunigan

photo: candy cane flower

As we walked down the streets of Taipei with our hosts, the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) Pastor Andrew pointed this flower out to me, growing like a ‘weed’ by the side of the road.

candy cane flower, Taipei, Taiwan
© 2012 erin dunigan

photo: a toast to laughter

One of the many “toasts” (cranberry juice) which include looking each other in the eye, bowing, then offering the toast – along with a lot of wonderful laughter amongst new friends and old. What a gift these few days in Taiwan have been to us all!

toast, Taiwan
© 2012 erin dunigan

photo: weaving the old and the new…

Old woman in the Taiwanese mountain village of 烏來 practices the aboriginal craft of weaving (the sign of a ‘good woman’) while, on stage, young men and women perform native dance, but with a modern aesthetic.

weaver, 烏來 Taiwan
© 2012 erin dunigan

photo: temple prayer

temple prayer, Bangka Lungshan Temple Taiwan
© 2012 erin dunigan

Bangka Lungshan Temple

noodle shop

There was something about the symmetry of this that caught my eye – I loved the lines and the colors. And the food was not bad either!


noodle shop
, Taipei
© 2012 erin dunigan