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Americans in Taichung, bike-riding missionaries(2008-05)

Two bikes coming and going for evangelization, showing great passion with true emotions

For more than 50 years, in every street of many cities in Taiwan, we have often seen pairs of foreigners dressed neatly and with tall noses and big eyes riding bikes to preach their religion, from rural villages to cities, day and night, no matter whether it’s hot or cold. It has becomes one of the special street scenes in Taiwan. Next time when you happen to meet these adorable and respectful missionaries, please do not hesitate and make friends with them. It is believed to be a forgettable memory in your life.

Professional Manager- Chairperson Michael A. Hoer

With an energetic butch haircut, the chairperson of Taiwan Taichung Evangelism Department, Michael A. Hoer is a humorous, talkative and friendly elder. Before he came to Taiwan to serve as the chairperson, Chairperson Hoer used to be the president and executive director of the China business division of Continental Grain Company, the biggest material supply of McDonalds and KFC, and had worked in Hong Kong and Mainland China for 18 years. He is fluent in mandarin, and when the church invited him to Taichung to serve as the chairperson for 3 years, he thought a little bit and decided to quit the job and sacrifice for his firm beliefs. His company not only respected his decision, but also wanted to keep his talent. Therefore, he was allowed to take a leave of absence for 3 years to complete his mission.

Leaving his job temporarily, Chairperson Hoer and his wife came to work in Taichung. For Chairperson Hoer, it is the second time to Taiwan, because he used to be a missionary riding a bike in the street 30 years ago. He had stayed in Taichung for a long time and made many friends in Taichung. Coming back to Taichung for him is a very cheerful thing. Chairperson Hoer said, he stayed in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung before when he came to Taiwan 30 years ago, and Taichung is his favorite city. Great climate and complete facilities are of course two of the reasons. But he mostly liked the feeling of intimate interaction among people. When he came back to Taichung again, several old friends that he met 30 years ago came to get together with him and he was very touched.

For the question why the position of chairperson takes 3 years compared with 1.5 to 2 years for other missionaries, Chairperson Hoer answered with humor “maybe it’s because a chairperson’s ability is not as good as theirs, so it takes 3 years.” As for the question of why missionaries of Mormonism always preach their religion on their bikes, Chairperson Hoer said “every missionary preaches voluntarily on their own cost. So to prevent too much economic burden for these young missionaries, they all ride their bikes to preach.”

Basketball player-- Spencer Christensen

With a height of 206cm, handsome and tall Spencer Christensen is from a family of tall people. His father and two older brothers are all taller than 2m. At the age of 20, he still has a childlike face. This big boy from Boston, USA was a basketball player at school. There were many famous basketball schools that hoped to have him enter their schools, so when he went to college and he chose Brigham Young University to study economics.

Studying in a school famous for basketball, Spencer Christensen has bright prospects in professional basketball. However, he chose to stop his basketball career and came all the way to Taiwan. Christensen said, he is from a big family of loyal followers who all fulfilled the obligation of Evangelism. This gave a good example to him. In such an environment, it was very natural for Evangelistic Spencer Christensen to go on this holy road and temporarily gave up his basketball. “To serve as the volunteer of God and preach is the best decision I could make.” Spencer Christensen said.

Spencer Christensen praised Taichung culture and Taichung people. Not to mention the good environment and weather, food especially gave him big satisfaction. Besides traditional Chinese food, there is a lot of exotic food available. He especially mentioned that McDonald’s in Taiwan provided great food, much better than the other countries out of the origin, USA. Moreover, he can almost accept traditional Chinese food such as stinky eggs and stinky tofu which keep most foreigners away.

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  • Data update: 2019-03-15
  • Publish Date: 2009-12-17
  • Source: Taichung City Government
  • Hit Count: 1251
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