While attending the First Cross Strait Seminar on Joint Combating Human Trafficking 2012 organized by the Taiwan Government, the speaker from Mainland China was delighted to interview me. He was doing research on overseas Chinese. He found me unique because I am a Catholic Sister involved in anti-human trafficking work and a Chinese born in overseas Malaysia in 1936. I realized that this was also his first contact with Christianity. I shared briefly what Catholics believe.
My parents were both Catholics and my paternal grandmother made a big impression on me by her life of prayer. After Secondary School my father sent me to Singapore for Pre University studies (now called Junior College).
Here I began to stray away from God. One time while travelling by car back to Singapore the car plunged down a steep ravine. The car was later condemned for further use, but we climbed out, badly shaken. Later my grandmother passed away and in my grief, I reflected deeply. I felt very strongly that I must give my life to God. I realized that I could have died in the accident and I thanked God for his goodness to me in so many ways. I joined the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in 1956.
As a Good Shepherd Sister I served in the residential Home for troubled girls and family work, first in Singapore later in Kuala Lumpur. From 1976-1984 I was Province Leader of the newly structured Indonesia/Singapore/Malaysia Province. I learned much as Province Leader, I listened to 'the cry of the poor, the marginalized, rejected, abused…' with a bird’s eye view and I saw the great need for Good Shepherd Mission and Charism.
I have been in Taiwan for 26 years. Initially vocations recruitment was my priority, but more people needed help. By October 2013 we had 259 workers and over 1,000 volunteers having served tens of thousands in residential and non-residential shelters yearly.
It was a consolation to me to see the importance placed upon the need for partnership in every field. I could see that we definitely needed partnership to ensure future sustainability of the ministries, and at Province and Congregation level this was also emphasized.
With training sessions at Asia Pacific level, and in Taiwan we provided opportunities to supervisors to exercise leadership, to improve in professional expertise and to live Good Shepherd values.
After I stepped down as Chief Executive Officer in September 2013, I realized we need to plan for the formation of our lay Mission Partners.
We need an organizational chart suitable for today’s Mission Partners where authority and responsibility are shared and expertise acknowledged and used for mission. I look at us as Good Shepherd Sisters and the way in which our formation has been continuous throughout our lives. We are at the beginning of a new era and the way is long and challenging.
However, among our staff we have committed talented and capable persons. Our Board members are mature persons who have lived successfully. They now only want to serve God and persons, and they have become very actively involved. They believe in Good Shepherd Mission and Charism. I feel strongly God is guiding and leading us.
In Taiwan Good Shepherd services are well established throughout the country - all developed since the sisters arrived in 1987. Learn about significant restructuring which has happened since 2015
Foreign spouses in Taiwan may be isolated by lack of knowledge of the local language, and other factors. Since 2003 Good Shepherd has set up 6 Service Centers
Ms Yen-Chu Chen speaks about her participation in a Vatican Youth Symposium and other aspects of the anti-trafficking work in Taiwan
Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region