Friday, March 21, 2008

Eve of Taiwan's Presidential Election

Tomorrow  is Taiwan's presidential election. For me as a Christian, it comes interestingly enough on they day after we mourn Christ's death and suffering on the cross... the full day he spent in the tomb (and Sheol/Hades- the holding place of souls after death) prior to His glorious resurrection.

With regard to the election, With the KMT's complete drubbing of the DPP in the recent legislative election, many people expect tomorrow to be a runaway. Although I really haven't been following the news as much as I could, I expect it probably will not be very close, in spite of articles like  China Tensions Could Sway Vote in Taiwan in today's New York Times.

Personally speaking, the most highly anticipated event surrounding the election for me has absolutely nothing to do with who wins. I'm counting down the hours until 10pm, when the loudspeaker-blaring election trucks will no longer be permitted to pollute our neighborhoods with their obnoxious noise. :-) If I were able to vote here, I'd vote for the party who swore off the use of those loud things.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Eternal Realities

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:

recycle lady
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)