Rev. Dr. Bettina Opitz-Chen(陳胡美娜牧師)2011年請安函

Dear Sek Iong,

Our greetings from Mainz on the eve of the Chinese New year. May your family be blessed and your work be fruitful.

We spent a very intensive time to follow the elections in Taiwan and my husband Chu- Hian was hopeful for the recovery of Taiwan and I was really moved to see the brevity and style of the election campaign of the DPP candidate, and a wave of awakening went over Taiwan. But the despair was also deep to see that the majority of Taiwanese finally was entangled with the present government and brain washed for so long time. So, speaking of Taiwan daily we see that it takes a lot of work to prepare the path for fairness in election and a true political insight of the majority of the Taiwanese. In March Chu- Hian will return to Taiwan for a month for a family event which is healthy for his soul.

My work in the St. Johannis church in Mainz is very tough concerning the renovation duty of this old church building. The outside is finished. And this summer the renovation inside will start. We spent a lot of energy for fundraising in our poor downtown congregation and among the citizen of this heavily katholic city and raised 210 000 Euro and still have to raise another 50000 Euro as our share of the costs. The rest up to 2 million is paid by the church government. And it is finally a restorations and the church will look like before, no special art is possible, it will be only the preservation of the old treasure from the 10th century.

It is not easy to keep the spiritual life of the congregation as the priority in the middle of all the practical construction business, not to talk much about money but raise funds. But if the spiritual life of the congregation and the personal presence of the pastor decreases, the people immediately go to other churches, the sense of belonging is not strong, the sense of receiving and consuming spiritual nutrition is stronger. This is normal in the German church.

In these days of christmas until New Year we had a special guest, a relative of my husband, Tzu-Yi Chen from Taipei, a very excellent young pianist who finished her Konzertexamen in Karlsruhe, Germany, and is now an assisten /student in the Music faculty in Columbus, Georgia. I had the great joy to baptize her in the New Year´s serviceon the 1st of January in St. Johannis church.

Coming from a christian family but spending her study time in France and Germany she had a long way of searching her religious ground, and there were obviously no christians around in her music world to bring her to the fresh water of Christ. And then, suddenly in her new surrounding and very competitive hard life in Columbus, which she describes as hell, a small group of Taiwanese-Chinese christians, who help the new students in practical life and give them a spiritual home, could touch her heart, and she did very serious bible studies with them.

They did a great work, prayed for her decision to become a christian, the holy spirit worked on her clearly, her decision was claer and easy after two month of studies and prayer, and we continued here in Mainz to feed her great hunger of bible knowledge, and she was really mature to receive baptism. For my congregation it was very moving and a real ecumenical event.

The other good news of the christmas time was that my son Ikki in Berlin wants to marry here in St.Johannis in this year. He is working in a leading position as a violinist in the Berlin Opera and his wife Anne Salie is a very warm hearted solid person, a pianist.

This generation in Germany is so very much hesitating to marry, as so many of them experienced broken marriages, so we are double happy as we could not take it for granted. It is really a phenomenon just of their generation.The much younger ones dare to marry. You know, pianists have even more difficulty to live as performing musicians as there are so incredibly many on highest level. . So our doughter in law (Anne Salie) founded a Trio on one piano: Three pianists, six hands on one piano and the literature is mainly composed for them. The ensemble is called "Some handsome hands", you can find them in the internet. That is how they try to have a chance in the music world, which is hell, as Tzuyi describes it.

These are news from our present situation in Mainz, Chu- hian is diligently writing his book of introduction to comon sayings and I do my daily pastoral work until summer 2014, then I have to retire.

Dear Sek-Iong,we thank you so much for your friendship and we thank the community so very much for the christmas greetings and the present. I receive the news letter ot Tainan college and Taiwan and the church are daily our minds and hearts, and our eating is Taiwanese style anyway.

My sincere greetings to you and your family

Bettina Opitz-Chen