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Reverend Chen

Posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2007.

Reverend Chen (left) came to the Booth on Monday with his son, Paul, to talk about surviving the 228 Incident of 1947 in Taiwan. He had lost his voice that morning but managed to half-whisper a remarkable life story. He was 19 when Taiwanese University students rebelled against the Chinese Nationalist forces that had been granted control (by the UN) of Taiwan. His older brother was one of the students who took back control of the of the island on February 28th (aka 228 Massacre), and continued to keep power for one month. There was a lot of bloodshed, but Chen described the day they took power of their own island as a “miracle.” When the Chinese military came back in after several weeks, Chen’s brother and fellow students hid in the mountains with the aboriginal people, who agreed to protect them. The Chinese established martial law and Chen, who worked for the weather bureau, was arrested and locked up in an old Buddhist temple, (left over from the years of the Japanese occupation,) which had been converted into a prison. He was held there for 50 days along with hundreds of others, many of whom were lawyers and academics, and tortured for 6 hours every day. On the 31st day of imprisonment, Chen said he had a vision of Christ telling him he would be released in 19 days. His name was called on the 19th day, and though most prisoners were shot when their name was called, Chen was set free. After his release he dedicated his life to spreading Christianity. He came to America in the 1950s and was one of the first Asians to minister in churches in the rural Midwest. Despite everything he had been through, Chen was one of the most loving and sweet-natured people to come to the Booth that day. At 79, Chen is retired but works everyday as the Chaplain in the Indianapolis Airport. Say Hi to Rev. Chen if you fly into Indy!

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