It seems that the trend of declining birthrates and an aging population in Taiwan is irreversible. The National Development Council predicts that Taiwan will enter a super-aged society in 2025 in that one out of every five people will be an elderly person over the age of 65; By 2034, more than half of the country will be well over 50 years old. The "50+ Senior Empowerment Program" is designed to encourage middle-aged and elderly people to re-enter the labor market and social services after retirement, to develop a new kind of retirement life together.
In the movie "Soul", there is a soul No. 22 who cannot feel the spark of life and has been in the life prep-class for billions of years. He is afraid of taking risks, afraid of rejections which leads to him unwilling to move on to the next stage of life as failure will hurt his self-confidence. Do you also fail to realize your dreams because of your fear of taking risks?
Have you ever thought that after retirement, you can still do work exchange like young people do?
Have you ever dreamed of, after retirement, leaving your home for two weeks to live in a different place?
The Mustard Seed Mission Hualien Vocational Training Center launched the "Work Exchange for the seniors" event, to invite our silver-haired friends for a soul adventure, to transform the fear in the heart of a middle-aged and to bravely pursue the dreams their hearts so desire.
For the first time, the seniors saw off the extra branches by themselves as well as removing the distracting thoughts from their heads.
This year, as soon as the event was launched, our phone started ringing off the hook by the flooding inquires! On the day of the briefing, there were even friends who came to Kaohsiung by car from Chiayi, Nantou, and even Taichung despite the searing temperature brought by the noon sun!
Many of these seniors were puzzled by the fact that they are invited to work at such an advanced age. Among them, some decided to retreat because their children said: "Why would anyone want you to work when you are so old? " However, they eventually summoned up enough courage to make phone inquiries; in addition, among the participants there are also couples and friends. We gave credit to those who are willing to take the first step and get to know more. Even though everyone is 50+ years old, we feel their excitement and expectation during the process of interaction; we also feel the energy they radiate which shows they are ready to realize their dreams.
Bend to discover God's treasure in the earth
When serving the seniors, we often hear them talking about the first half of their lives, which most of the time were spent satisfying the needs of families at the cost of sacrificing the need of themselves. They look forward to living for themselves after retirement, to realize the dreams they had in their youth. A life free to do anything whenever they like.
Our "Work Exchange for Seniors" program has been launched in Hualien Training Center several times. Every time we see photos and words shared in the group, the true joy of them are infectious which made others in the group want to go as well. Through the heartfelt sharing, a social support network for each other was established which is one of the achievements our 50+ program desires. We hope that our silver-haired friends will dare to pursue their dreams with open arms, live their lives to the fullest and strive to make the most out of their retirement age.