Written by the Rock Valley Bee, Published in September 4, 2019

What does someone from Taiwan, Northwest Iowa, and a former United States President have in common? The two agree with former president Ronald Reagan’s statement, “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”

Rock Valley’s Greg Van Peursem recently approached the Rock Valley City Council with a request to have a community-wide focus on the dinner table. The council agreed, and Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo has proclaimed September 11, 2019, to be Family TABLE Day in Rock Valley.

The Family TABLE program was first introduced by Brandon Chang who is from Taipei, Taiwan. Chang, a marriage and family counselor in Taiwan, has some connections to northwest Iowa. During high school he was a foreign exchange student in Orange City, hosted by Van Peusem’s family. Chang later received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern College in Orange City. He created HAPPY HOME WORLD ALLIANE (HHWA), a charitable organization that is working hard to promote family values as a foundation for a strong and prosperous society.

Working as a marriage and family counselor really opened Chang’s eyes to the continuing decay of the family unit. “As the family goes, so goes the nation,” former United States President, Ronald Reagan, once said. Seeing people struggle, Chang began to ask himself what he could do to help families. This question led him to introduce the Family TABLE program.

“Change and world peace starts in the home. No government can force us to love each other like the Bible tells us to. It has to start in the home around the table,” said Chang.

Rock Valley is taking part in the Family TABLE Day 2019. Although the date, September 11, is significant in America and throughout the world, it isn’t associated in any way to Family TABLE Day. It just happens to be the date set for the first Family TABLE Day in Rock Valley. Sitting around the dinner table with your loved ones around you will likely stir up memories and feelings of the events of September 11, 2001, but the hope of Family TABLE Day is that conversations will be centered around loving neighbors and eliminating hate. The sole vision is to transform the “Family Table” to become the foundation of love, hope, truth, unity, peace, health and growth.

Some suggestions for Family TABLE Day are as follows:

  • Turn the TV off
  • Keep all cell phones out of reach
  • Ask each other about their day. “What was good?” “What was hard?”

Family TABLE Day is a part of the “World Peace Initiative/Happy Home World Alliance” (which Change is serving as the general secretary), and is based in Taiwan, but their ideals are spreading throughout the United States and the rest of the world. For more information about HHWA, go to happyhomeworldallianceintaiwan.com or wpifoundation.org.

T = Talk Together in Truthfulness and Trust.
A = Atmosphere of Affection and Affirmation.
B = Building Blessings in each other for generations to come.
L = Listen in Love with the hope that everyone can become their best.
E = Enjoy Each other and be an Example for Everyone.


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