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Taiwan: 'A need beyond the horizon of the world'

By Marilee Pierce Dunker
Apr 15, 2014

Editor’s note: This is the last installment of Marilee’s series of stories from her recent trip to Taiwan. Read the previous stories here: 40 years later, a reunion of love, Little seeds that grew, and Sometimes faith is a blank check.

Lillian Dickson, missionary to Taiwan, once used these words — “A need beyond the horizon of the world” — to describe the suffering of the people of Taiwan when she lived there in the mid-20th century.

Working for World Vision these past 14 years, I know exactly how she felt. The needs of this world are overwhelming to me, stretching far beyond the horizon.
 
My recent time in Taiwan was a wonderful reminder of what can happen when just a few ordinary people decide to step out in faith and trust God to do what He does best — the impossible.
 
As the following pictures will show, God did not fail Lillian and the people of Puli, and He will not fail us. He will send the provision on time. He will fill the empty cupboards. He will cash our blank checks.

And He will sustain us in our “little walk of faith.”

©2013 Alan Wang/World Vision
Founded in 1956, today Puli Christian Hospital is one of Taiwan’s largest modern hospitals. It has the only Ronald McDonald children’s ward on the island.
©2013 Alan Wang/World Vision
The staff of Puli Christian Hospital welcomed me with great love and appreciation. At first I wasn’t really certain why.
©2013 Alan Wang/World Vision
To my amazement, my father’s picture was on the boardroom wall as the founder of the hospital. When I questioned why, stating that Lillian Dickson was the real founder, the hospital CEO said, “We honor Mrs. Dickson as well, but without the funding your father provided over the years, this hospital would never have been built or survived. She had the vision, but he built the buildings.” I love the fact that my dad had the “vision” to bring other people’s vision to reality!
©2013 Alan Wang/World Vision
Puli has done an amazing job of preserving their history. Bonnie Wurzburger, World Vision International’s vice president of Marketing, and I fully enjoyed the replicas on display of the original building my father built to support the growing need.
©2013 Alan Wang/World Vision
Across from the new, modern hospital stands the church my dad and Lillian built. Wherever Lillian established a project she also built a church, and World Vision helped in many of those efforts. Today there are over 200 stone chapels all over Taiwan — a testimony to God's love and faithfulness to the people of this beautiful island. And most of the facilities are still filled with worshippers every Sunday.
Courtesy Marilee Pierce Dunker
My father was there to congratulate the first graduating class of nurses in 1968. I met one of these fine ladies at World Vision’s 50th anniversary celebration.
©2013 Alan Wang/World Vision
Bob Pierce’s message in the Bible kept at the hospital. In June of 1976 my dad returned for one last time to Taiwan. He had been diagnosed with leukemia and knew that he had only a short time to live. In those last days, Daddy didn’t bother to mince words.
©2013 Alan Wang/World Vision
Part of the Puli Museum is set up like the first clinic, complete with an old bed, blankets, lights, and bedpans. Pictured behind me is Dr. Bjarne and some of the original nursing staff. I wished I could reach across the years and tell them what an amazing work they had begun!
Courtesy Marilee Pierce Dunker
It is hard to imagine that a woman who stood only 5 feet tall could cast such a huge shadow after all these years, but Lillian made an indelible mark on Puli.
©2013 Alan Wang/World Vision
One of the original buildings Lillian built of “bricks without straw” (ref. Exodus 5:7).
Courtesy Marilee Pierce Dunker
Children in the surrounding mountainous region were often struck with polio. Many were treated at Puli Christian Hospital in the 1950s.