Mrs. Lillian Dickson 孫理蓮 牧師娘
Forever the Mother
Forever the Taiwanese
Lillian Dickson was a little lady with a great vision and big heart (as introduced by the Reader’s Digest July 1962 issue.) She was born 1901 in Minnesota. A graduate of Macalerter College, Lillian married to James Dickson (孫雅各,) a Canadian studied at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1927. Soon they accepted the missionary duty from Canadian Presbyterian Church. In her words, “We only go around once. Let’s go to where we would be needed the most.”
The place: Taiwan.
Many people knew Rev. James Dickson because he was the principal of the Taiwan Theological College/Seminary. Perhaps more people knew Lillian Dickson (孫理蓮) because of what she had done for the least of our sisters and brothers for more than 40 years.
Period One 1927 -
As a mother and wife, Lillian quietly raised kids until 1940 while the World War II forced them to leave Taiwan for South America where they continued to work with the natives as missionary.
Period Two 1947 -
Back to Taiwan after WWII where James led the theological education in northern Taiwan and Lillian dedicated her life to the mountain tribes, the children, the poor and the sick. She worked with the lepers, the black-feet patients (a disease caused by arsenic polluted water) among many others.
Lillian once helped build a chapel for the lepers. At first the lepers were afraid to come close to Lillian. So she went close to them each time after the service. Once she distributed the cookies to the kids. And she found out that some of the kids lost their fingers due to the leprosy, and could not even hold the cookie. With the dropping tears she distributed cookies using pieces of paper like paper plate.
In 1952 she founded The Mustard Seed Mission (基督教芥菜種會http://www.mustard.org.tw) The Mission is still actively helping the least of our sisters and brothers today.
Period Three 1967 -
Shortly after James Dickson passed away in 1967, Lillian worked with the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan for the Burning Bush Mission (焚棘海外佈道團) – the first of its kind - which sent mostly the aboriginal missionaries to Southeast Asia such as Sarawak, Papua New Guinea and South Borneo (1973.)
Lillian never ‘retired’ from her work. She continued to work till she died peacefully. She was buried besides her husband next to the chapel at the Taiwan Theological College/Seminary.
In Taiwan and elsewhere, Lillian is remembered probably as the most active and contributed missionary’s wife ever.
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