The Taiwan Conference (TWC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church held a family retreat for church workers August 7-10, 2022, at Yoho Resort in Pingtung, Taiwan. It had been six years since the last retreat due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other reasons.
A total of 220 people signed up, including Pioneer Mission Movement (PMM) pastors serving in Taiwan and other pastors, staff members, spouses, and children. “This retreat aimed to achieve physical and mental relaxation through beautiful nature, to promote friendship among staff and pastoral families, to share spiritual experiences with one another, and to be ready for better service to God,” organizers said.
At the opening ceremony, TWC president Tom Sun offered welcoming remarks, followed by greetings from Steven Wu, field secretary for the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD) in Taiwan. Participants then enjoyed a meet-and-greet time with games, poetry reading, and dinner.
On August 8, James Wu, director of TWC Health Ministry and CEO of Sanyu Health Education Center, shared God’s Word with participants in a morning devotional. Participants then divided into groups and joined the training sessions on evangelism led by four pastors and their spouses. “During the sessions, participants received lessons, were inspired by the experiences of others, gave answers to questions, and gained a better understanding of evangelism,” organizers said.
During the group training sessions, the children in attendance were led by Joyce Chen, director of TWC Children’s, Family, and Women’s Ministries, and teenagers enjoyed seaside activities led by Harrison Wan, director of TWC Youth Ministries.
On August 9, after the morning devotional by Jacob Ko, director of NSD Health Ministries, participants visited the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium in Pingtung. The exhibitions allowed them to learn the geographical features of Taiwan, its ecological environment, and the rich biodiversity of marine life while discovering God’s amazing creation.
In the afternoon, participants were divided into 10 groups based on their mission district and they participated in various competitive and recreational games at the beach. The inclement weather could not dampen their positive determination, and it was a time to exercise the spirit of God’s teaching about unity and cooperation. Despite getting wet in the rain and being covered with sand, participants worked hard, laughed, and enjoyed their time together.
Later that evening a talent show brought joy and excitement to those present. PMM families performed special music with violin, cello, flute, ocarina, and other instruments. Vocal performances, a play, and games also immersed all participants in an exciting party.
At the closing ceremony on August 10, TWC’s President Sun offered an encouraging message to all participants. Citing the book of Acts, he urged them to be filled with the Holy Spirit and carry out God’s commission to proclaim the gospel. “When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the disciples, they were no longer ignorant, separate, discordant, conflicted, nor were their hopes in worldly greatness. They were ‘of one heart and one soul,’ [Acts 4:32],” he said. “Their purpose was to advance God’s kingdom. They became like their Lord in mind and character, and ‘they had been with Jesus’ [Acts 4:13].”
“All participants thanked God for leading the TWC family retreat filled with enjoyable, helpful, and inspirational moments,” organizers said. “It is expected that the blessings of the gospel will spread to every corner of Taiwan through this time together.”