Last week I read one man's harrowing account of 23 Minutes in Hell, and in upcoming weeks will be reading in a Taiwanese language textbook about the traditional Taiwanese understanding of "Sheol", a concept very much alive in folk religion here. I plan to talk about this horrible biblical reality in upcoming months.
Along these lines, please consider the sad story below related by a Canadian coworker which transpired earlier this week:
We had a hard day yesterday (March 11/08). There was a serious pedestrian accident in our town. The little hunch-backed lady, who collected recycling items using an old baby stroller, was hit by a car. We saw her crumpled body lying on the street close to where we live. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital, but the neighborhood grapevine says that she did not survive. In the past, when I thought about the reasons I am choosing to learn the Taiwanese dialect, I often thought of her. I could not communicate with her in any of the languages that I know. I needed Taiwanese language skills if I was to be able to tell her about Jesus. After 7 months of study, I had been able to greet her and tell her whether or not I had recycling items to give to her. I still did not have enough language ability to talk about important spiritual things. Now she is in eternity and I will never have the opportunity to share with her. There are still many more people like her in our community, but she was one I had met and with whom I had desired to share. Language learning is very difficult, and will probably take a long time. Please continue to pray that we will persevere in learning this difficult language. We also need you to pray that God will send us some coworkers who already have adequate language skills to help us accomplish the task of telling the residents of Yunlin County how they can have eternal life with Jesus. (Lorne White)