Renewal 2027 testimony: Anabaptists today
Renewal 2027 is a 10-year series of events organized by Mennonite World Conference’s Faith and Life Commission to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the beginnings of the Anabaptist movement. This series highlights leaders in the movement from history to the present.
Health work first brought Mennonites to Taiwan in 1948 through Mennonite Central Committee’s relief work, but there was also local interest in starting a church. The Mennonite presence in Taiwan today – the Fellowship of Mennonite Churches in Taiwan (FOMCIT) – has its roots in both health and church planting.
New Dawn Educare Center is part of that legacy. This award-winning centre for adults with developmental disabilities has a vision to “empower people with disabilities to live a life of independence, holistic personal development and health.”
In 1977, Canadian Mennonite missionaries Otto and Elaine Dirks began to a centre to care for children with disabilities who had been abandoned.
Today, New Dawn supports children and adults with mental disabilities, with day care, residential care and an employment program.
“New Dawn Educare Center (NDEC) is crafted to accommodate the multifaceted needs of individuals and families affected by intellectual disability,” says director Shu-Yui (Mamie Chiu). “We believe that all people are wonderfully created. We all are different, and we all have limitations.
“In serving the mentally challenged within a Christ-centred community, we enjoy the pleasure of most fully reflecting the image of our Creator.”
A pastor serves on the New Dawn staff team, ensuring that spiritual care is part of the whole-person support the centre offers. Residents gather for worship every Friday. New Dawn’s location in a mountainous region offers opportunities for farming and conservation activities – holistic care that extends to the environment.
In October 2019, New Dawn was recognized for their quality work. They received a Presidential Cultural award for humanitarian dedication and had the opportunity to give a speech on self-less love and care at a “Next 20 Festival” forum.
Mennonite World Conference member church FOMCIT formally established its first congregation in 1955. It currently reports 1 630 baptized members in 22 congregations. The chair is Edward Lee.
—Mennonite World Conference release