On March 9, 1872, Dr George Leslie Mackay arrived in Danshui (left - the landing site; time of landing: 3PM). His first residence arranged by John Dodd, now 24 Mackay St (lower right - in the the far background is the bell tower of the Presbyterian Church), was described as:
"The only available house [that] had been built for a stable into the side of a hill with the [Danshui] river in front, and for this $15 a month was charged. Two pine boxes with their contents constituted his entire outfit. A chair and bed were loaned by the British Consul, and a pewter lamp was presented by the friendly Chinese. The house was whitewashed, and the walls were decorated with newspapers. Then he settled down to work with the consciousness that, as recorded in his diary, he had been led thither by the Master as directly as if his boxes had been checked for Tamsui."
And during the Sino-French war in 1884:
"The invasion of Formosa by the French was the occasion of much suffering and loss to the mission. Chinese hatred of all foreigners immediately asserted itself, and the missionary and his converts were in the public mind associated with the French invaders."
Many churches were destroyed and many converts slain. Mackay later filed a claim for the property losses and received a compensation of 10,000 Mexican silver dollars from Governor Liu Ming Ch'uan. With the sum, he built three magnificent stone churches in 艋舺, 新店, and 錫口 (now 松山) [Note: the original text was Sek-Khan which should have been Sek-Khau, the Hoklo pronunciation of 錫口].
After the French blockade of Taiwan was lifted in April, 1885, Mackay returned from Hongkong and went on an inspection tour of the churches that he had built in the eastern part of Taiwan. And the unexpected encounter with the French in Keelung:
"There were 8,000 French soldiers at Kelung, and they were harassed by twice as many Chinese troops who were drilled by German officers. The French mistaking him for a German spy, he and his [two] companions narrowly escaped being shot. The soldiers blindfolded them, led them through the lines and sent them on board a man-of-war. As soon as he was identified, courteous treatment was extended, and the next morning they were set at liberty."
The French evacuated from Keelung two months later.
Today, 81.3% of the total population in Taiwan admit to having a religious belief. The vast majority, 68.1%, are Buddhists or Taoists. And less than 4% are Christians. The missionary work has started in the 16th and 17th Century by the Spaniards and the Dutch, respectively, and has continued by others even to this day. Strictly speaking, Dr Mackay had not been able to achieve a large-scale conversion as he had set out to do. On the other hand, a long tradition of the Presbyterian faith has been firmly established. And along with preaching, Mackay had introduced medicine/dentistry, education of women, and structured higher education into the northern part of Taiwan. His personal adventures are no less inspiring. As he, many from Danshui have also traveled to foreign lands, worked feverishly towards a set goal, settled down, and contributed to their adopted homelands despite covert or overt discrimination. Perhaps this is all a common human experience and its paths only governed by fate.
[Quotes above, highlighted in blue, verbatim from: Effective workers in needy fields, by WF McDowell et al, Student volunteer movement for foreign missions, NY, 1902]