Western Territory musicians spend ten days in Asia.
by Sylvia McCaw –
Bob Gregg conducts the band during the Mission of Praise tour.
Having heard us rehearse, a sheepishly tentative boy remanded to the Army program in Taiwan entered the room in which we were eating our box lunches. Holding up his harmonica, he said, “I play.” This seemed to embody the essence of the trip.
“We ministered among them, not beside or in front,” was the consensus of many of the members of the Mission of Praise team. Led by Captain Ted Horwood and Robert Gregg, the Western Territory’s 19-member Mission of Praise team recently returned from 10 days of exciting and direct ministry opportunities in Taiwan.
After a warm welcome in Taipei, the team traveled to the central region of Puli. The Army initiated work in this area only four years ago in response to a devastating earthquake. We ministered to the public and dined with the mayor, who gave a generous contribution to The Salvation Army. We also joined in prayer and play with the boys from the corps shelter. These troubled young people lifted their voices in prayer for their families, corps, city, country, and for our country.
Moving north, we stopped in Changhua, where we ministered to approximately 600 inmates of a youth reform school. Larry Lycan spoke to these young people, effectively challenging them to change their lives.
Back in Taipei, we packed food boxes for the homeless and gave them to the 150 needy people who lined the park. In Taiwan, all homeless people are registered with the city, with a reason for their plight. Most are homeless because of lost jobs or failed businesses.
At the Taipei Central Corps we held a music workshop for the youth, and at St. John’s University in Danshui we met with students before our concert. Major Warren Dabis led a young person to Christ during this time.
Our final weekend brought us together with General John Larsson and Commissioner Freda Larsson, who brought straightforward and inspiring messages. A highlight was the enrollment of 16 senior and 11 junior soldiers.
While Christianity is not embraced in Taiwan, we found people were very open to hearing about Christ.
General John Gowans (Ret.) wrote, “They shall come from the east, they shall come from the west, and sit down in the Kingdom of God.” How true for this trip—we came from the west to meet with those in the east, and together we worshipped and sought to spread the uniting love of God.
One of those who came from the east was the boy with the harmonica. He joined us on the platform with his harmonica choir and performed, “I want to be a soldier of the cross.”
If you know one of members of the team, be sure to ask about the impact of this mission. The team included:
Sierra del Mar Division—Major Warren Dabis; Northwest Division—Carl Darby, David Gregg, Gina Singh; Southwest Division—David and Bridget Doughty; Southern California Division—Mike Garrett, Jim Gebhardt, Bob Gregg, Robert Gregg, Captain Ted Horwood (THQ), Larry Lycan, Dennis Sibley, Jim Trebilcox, Jon van de Klashorst; Cascade Division—Sylvia McCaw, Mike McVicker; Golden State Division—Major Judy Smith; Southern New England Division—Ken Kirby.