山區的宣教士 難民的老師 魯瑪夫將生命奉獻給被遺忘的少數民族

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2015 / 3月

文‧彭蕙仙 圖‧魯瑪夫提供


「我在寫博士論文時,可能因為太過勞累,竟然寫著寫著就中風了。」魯瑪夫‧達麻畢瑪(漢名江冠榮)說:「那時我跟上帝說,如果醫好我的中風,我就把一生獻給上帝。」中風治癒、也拿到了博士學位,魯瑪夫決定走向高山叢林,成為傳福音給「被世界遺忘的少數民族」的宣教士。


雙料博士加青年獎章

魯瑪夫生於花蓮布農部落的一個小村莊,因為貧窮,他從小學就開始半工半讀,每天來回走6個小時的山路到山下的平地學校讀書;或許因為求學的過程如此艱難,使得魯瑪夫除了自己極為珍惜求學的機會,一路用功讀書、取得建築學與神學的雙料博士學位之外,成為宣教士後,魯瑪夫有機會為東南亞邊境的難民服務,他也特別重視孩子們的教育,竭盡心力與資源,設立學校,提供機會讓難民孩子們有機會學習。

年輕時的魯瑪夫曾認為,只要自己學識淵博,就會讓人尊敬他、也就更有影響力,這種想法成為他奮發向上、一路追求學位的動力之一,也因此讓魯瑪夫成為原住民裡極少見的建築學博士,也是第一位取得國家青年獎章的原住民。不過,他後來卻發現即使擁有博士學位,其實所知仍是極為有限;他理解到一個人擁有再厲害的能力或知識,如果心中沒有了愛,也不過就是個沒有生命的工具。

經歷千辛萬苦拿到博士學位,同時也在公務機關擁有了穩定的工作後,魯瑪夫卻對生命的意義產生了質疑,「上帝給我機會讓我取得這麼高的學歷,絕不是要讓我安安逸逸地埋沒在此,」他說:「我想到了摩西,他曾是埃及王子,有很好的學識,而上帝卻讓摩西到了曠野,以鍛練他的心智體力,未來要做更大的事。」魯瑪夫省悟到自己應該要到很少有人願意去的地方,去服務那些和他一樣在深山部落裡的少數民族,以及生活流離顛沛的難民。

太太是經濟後盾

2005年魯瑪夫加入「少數民族宣教中心」,並且在2007年正式成為一位宣教士,「我向上帝許願,要為少數民族及難民服務10年,10年是個段落,一件事總要做個10年,才能看得出一點改變吧。」這一年,魯瑪夫也和認識了10年的女友結婚。「我太太是律師,是位漢人。」當魯瑪夫走入遙遠的深山大川去傳福音時,太太不但要擔負家計,同時也要為先生募款,因為宣教士必須自籌生活費,「太太一天到晚接案寫法律文件賺錢。」

不久之後,魯瑪夫的妻子也一起投入了宣教的工作,兩人一同在邊境服務。身為原住民的魯瑪夫笑說,他算是很習慣這些山區少數民族貧窮、惡劣的環境,「因為我小時候也是這樣沒水沒電沒路生活過來的,但是太太是漢人,我擔心她適應不了。」魯瑪夫服務的山區交通不便,常常要靠「溜索」和「鐵絲橋」四處往來,「這些『交通管道』都是搖搖欲墜的,下面常常是急湍或深谷,實在是蠻恐怖的,我問太太,妳真的要跟我來到這種地方嗎?她回應說:『我是你的妻子,你到哪裡,我就到那裡。』」從此夫唱婦隨,魯瑪夫和妻子自謀生活,取得的資源全部用於宣教與幫助難民,「剛開始我們的確也會為經濟擔心和掙扎,但是宣教的路走到今天,我們發現沒什麼好憂慮的,上帝供應我們一切所需,祂的恩典真的夠我們用。」   

魯瑪夫說,他發現自己還真的很適合到位處邊境地區的少數民族部落服務,因為「第一,我自己也是原住民啊,在生活環境、價值觀和想法上,我與當地的人溝通起來,障礙比較小些。」有些生活在平地的宣教士到了山區,碰到的頭一個問題就是「廁所」,魯瑪夫哈哈笑說:「沒有『廁所』,他們都不知要怎麼上廁所了。」但是這個問題對他來說就一點也不是問題了,「山區遼闊嘛,我從小就很會『回饋』大自然。」

會蓋房子的宣教士

其次,魯瑪夫發現很多宣教士來到這些山區邊境,通常要花上一段時間才能適應當地的食物,「沒拉個十幾、二十次肚子就不算過關。」但是魯瑪夫卻沒有這方面的問題。難民營的衛生條件不佳,又缺乏醫療資源,痢疾、腸胃炎這類在平地不算太嚴重的疾病,在難民營裡卻有著致命的危險。或許是早年極為窮困的成長過程,讓魯瑪夫對這些骯髒多病菌的環境有了一定程度的抵抗力,「所以說嘛,我不來這裡,誰來呢?」  

第三,魯瑪夫是位建築學博士,對蓋房子或者更正確地說對搭建營帳有獨家功夫,「這對山區部落和難民來說,有非常實際的幫助。」由此,魯瑪夫更相信,上帝為差派他來到這些偏遠的邊境山區,早就為他預備了必要的專業能力;再加上他的妻子學的是法律,在難民營裡,這也是一個重要的專業「因為要保護難民、為他們爭取資源和權益等等,必須要懂得各種法律。」夫婦倆從來沒想到,「建築師」與「律師」這在世人眼中具有一定社會地位的「高尚職業」,到了這偏鄉之地、面對這一群失去家園、沒人為他們發聲的難民,才發揮了真正的價值。

在山區和難民營裡,大家都稱呼魯瑪夫為「魯老師」,不過這個稱呼實在是有點奇怪,因為他並不姓魯。布農族人名字的結構組成是「自己的名字.氏族之名」,所以「魯瑪夫」是他個人的名字,「達麻畢瑪」則是他所屬的氏族之名,有點類似漢人的姓氏;嚴格說起來,他應該叫做「達麻畢瑪」老師,或簡稱達老師,不過,「妳不覺得魯老師聽起來比較親切嗎?」魯瑪夫笑說,魯老師是真的很會「盧」的,在難民營裡興辦學校,他會一而再、再而三地勸說、說服家長讓孩子們到來學校學習,因為孩子們透過難民營學校可以更認識上帝,也有機會習字、學習各樣知識。「這些孩子有一天終究要走出去,我想幫助他們至少能夠建立與外界接觸的基本知識。」

「臘肉毛巾」

不過,儘管魯瑪夫似乎具備了「不怕髒、不怕苦」的「特異功能」,也並不表示在邊境服務少數民族和難民的過程中,魯瑪夫沒有遇到令他為難的挑戰。魯瑪夫說起了一段挺讓人「驚悚」的經驗。他曾經走了幾天幾夜的山路,終於來到了某個深山裡,參加一個年度的「宣教大會」。各方人馬陸續到來,大夥又唱又禱告,天氣極為炎熱,大家簡直要沸騰了,汗水不斷奔流。主辦單位貼心地為大家準備了一條毛巾,好擦拭汗水。從早晨到黃昏,這條毛巾在眾人手中傳了又傳,不知擦過了多少人的臉跟手,還有脖子跟胳膊……到了魯瑪夫眼前時,他看到的是一條「像臘肉」一般又黃又黑、扭曲縐折的長條物,當地的工作人員說,魯老師啊,累了吧,擦把臉吧。當下,魯瑪夫的心裡閃過一絲絲猶豫,「這毛巾!我能拿來擦臉嗎?」但就在此同時,他也想到了使徒保羅的提醒:「向著什麼樣的人,就做什麼樣的人。」於是魯瑪夫安心地接過毛巾,擦去臉上的汗水,然後遞給下一位說:「天熱汗多,你也擦個臉吧。」

能不帶任何懸念、自然而然地使用這條「臘肉毛巾」,魯瑪夫知道自己又過了一關。魯瑪夫想起當年剛要到山裡來時,他在台灣打包行李,放進了幾套可以換洗的衣襪、帽子、手套,還放了可以防跳蚤的樟腦油,甚至護唇膏和乳液,「聽說山裡的風可刮人啊。」如今的魯瑪夫,卻早已拋棄了這些,「省省吧,山裡的水連煮飯都不夠,洗澡?想太多了。」他說,走進山裡,「一次又一次,我卸下過重的裝備、刪除不必要的欲望,彷彿宇宙裡一顆塵埃般的活著。」

因為曾經嚴重的中風過,醫生告訴魯瑪夫他已失去了生育能力。夫妻倆對此倒也無所怨懟,說不定沒有孩子還更適合過千山萬水、四處傳福音的生活呢。沒想到在他們結婚的第7年,妻子竟然懷孕了,「這真是意料之外的、大大的驚喜啊。」他們為孩子取名為「慕恩」,願孩子一生一世渴慕上帝、活在恩典中。

魯瑪夫的另一個「孩子」是他近日出版的宣教手札《山信雨恩》,意思是上帝的恩典如山可以信靠、又如雨澤被四方。魯瑪夫以詩意的文筆、哲人的省思,記錄他7年來的宣教經歷,重點不是給自己戴上榮耀的桂冠,而是鼓勵更多人思索:「我該把自己這麼寶貴的人生奉獻在什麼地方呢?」魯瑪夫說,每當想到難民營時,總會想起那一雙雙充滿感恩與期待的淚眼,「我問自己,倘若我也跟難民營裡的人一樣,一無所有,甚至活在危險中,我還能持守信仰、還能心懷善念嗎?」當然,這些問題的答案並不在茫茫的風裡,而是在愛的實踐與行動中。

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英文

Missionary Lumaf Damapima: Serving Forgotten Minority Peoples

Polly Peng /photos courtesy of courtesy of Lumaf Damapima /tr. by Scott Williams

“I had a stroke while I was writing my doctoral dissertation, perhaps because I was overworked and exhausted,” recalls Lu­maf Da­ma­pima. Lu­maf, who goes by Jiang Guan­rong in Mandarin, says: “I promised God that if I got well I would dedicate my life to him.” After recovering from his stroke and completing his PhD, Lumaf resolved to go into the mountains to bring the Gospel to “minorities the world has forgotten.”


Born in a small Bunun community in the mountains of Hualien, Lumaf Du­ma­pima used to spend six hours a day walking to and from school. The effort involved made him cherish his educational opportunities, and may well have influenced his decision to serve as a missionary in remote parts of Southeast Asia. Though he went on to earn PhDs in both architecture and divinity, Lumaf’s particular concern is the education of young children. As a missionary, he has used all the strength and resources at his disposal to establish schools that provide refugee children with educational opportunities of their own.

A husband–wife team

Lumaf joined Minorities for Christ International in 2005, and was formally designated a missionary in 2007. “I promised God to serve minorities and refugees for ten years,” he explains. “I think of a decade as a phase or stage: it’s how long you have to work on something before you begin to see incremental changes.”

Lumaf also married his girlfriend of ten years in 2007. Missionaries are expected to pay their own way. When he went into the mountains on his mission, his wife, an ethnic Chinese lawyer, not only took charge of earning their livelihood, but also set about raising funds for him. “My wife worked day and night taking on cases and writing briefs to earn money.”

Soon thereafter, she too decided to become a missionary and serve people on the geopolitical and social margins. “We had many economic concerns and struggles at the outset, but have learned over time that there’s nothing to worry about. God provides every­thing we need. His blessings are enough for us.”

Lumaf says he has learned that he is very well suited to serving minority villages in remote areas. “First, I’m an Aborigine, too. I understand the people’s situations, values and ways of thinking, so we have fewer barriers to communication.” He adds that some missionaries from the plains have a hard time with the “facilities” in the mountains, noting that there aren’t any proper toilets. He laughs: “They don’t know where to relieve themselves.” That isn’t a problem for him. “The mountains are vast. I’ve been ‘giving back’ to nature since I was a child.”

A house-building missionary

Lumaf also learned that many of the missionaries serving in remote mountain areas have a hard time adapting to the local diet. “They go through dozens of bouts of diarrhea before they get used to it.” But Lumaf didn’t suffer from this difficulty either. The poor sanitary conditions and lack of medical resources typical of refugee camps make diseases such as gastro­enteritis and dysentery far more dangerous than they are on the plains. Lumaf believes that the dire poverty of his own childhood may have provided him with some degree of resistance to them. “If I hadn’t come here, who would have?”

Lumaf’s PhD in architecture means that helping to build homes, or more accurately, put up tents, is right up his alley. “It allows me to provide people in mountain villages and refugee camps with a very practical kind of aid.” He believes that God prepared him to work in these remote areas by encouraging him to develop what turned out to be very useful skills and expertise. His wife’s legal background is also very helpful in refugee camps because “protecting refugees involves fighting for their rights and fighting to obtain resources, things that require an understanding of the law.” The couple never imagined that white-collar professions like architecture and law would reveal their true value when put to use aiding people who had lost their homes and the standing to speak on their own behalf.

A disgusting towel

In spite of his comfort with the conditions in the backcountry, Lu­maf has still faced challenges in his missionary work. He mentions one particularly horrifying experience, an occasion on which he had hiked through the mountains for days to attend an important missionary event. Attendees trickled in, all of them praying and singing in sweltering heat. The organizers had provided only one towel for everyone to use to mop up the sweat pouring out of them. Just one towel, passed hand to hand from dawn to dusk, with which to wipe off everyone’s hands, necks, arms, and faces.... Lumaf recalls that by the time it reached him, it looked like sausage meat, a long strip of blackened, yellowed fabric twisted and wrinkled beyond recognition. The solicitous event worker who passed him the towel said he looked beat, and suggested he wipe the sweat from his brow. Lumaf hesitated for a moment, wondering, “How can I wipe my face with this!?” But he then recalled Paul’s admonishment to the faithful to be all things to all people. He therefore calmly accepted the towel, wiped his face, and passed it on to the next person, saying: “It’s hot and you’re sweating. Here’s a towel to wipe your face.”

Doctors had told Lumaf that his stroke had left him infertile. He and his wife accepted the news, and consoled themselves with the thought that not having children probably made it easier for them to pursue their vagabond lifestyle. They were therefore flabbergasted when she became pregnant in their seventh year of marriage. “It was completely unexpected. We were amazed by the news.” They named their boy Mu’en (“grace”) in the hope that he would spend his life living in God’s grace.

Lumaf’s other “child” is his recently published account of life as a missionary, Letters from Mountains Flooded with Showers of Grace. The book documents seven years of his life in the mountains in poetic prose of philosophical depth. He says that every time he thinks of the refugee camps, he remembers a pair of hopeful, tear-filled eyes. “I ask myself, if I were in the same boat as those people, if I had nothing at all and were living in danger, would I still have faith and compassion?” The answers to such questions are not “blowin’ in the wind,” but are found through the practice of love.

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