Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Peaceful July

How to bless people here with peace during the 7th lunar month, known here in Taiwan as ghost month?  We willuse a manner similar to the truck advertisements last year for Christmas and this year for Easter.

1。Written on the Truck Poster:

Peace to Everyone! Free Prayer to “Return the Soul of a Terrified/Startled Person” (this sentence would makes perfect sense to someone involved in traditional folk religion in this part of Taiwan—it is usually offered as a business transaction) No money required!

At the suggestion of a Taiwanese teacher, I asked my Saturday Children’s English Club students to draw pictures to see what ideas they could come up with. I gave them the theme “peace”:


LOL. He says: If you don’t fight (wars, etc), then there won’t be anyone die!

IMG_0570IMG_0569These last two pictures both contain apples, which was quite meaningful (there are also fish in the pictures, which in the Chinese language sounds like the word for “abundance”, but  when we tried to put them on our poster, they looked too much like beached whales to me so we deleted them).

To Chinese people, apples are equated with peace because of the same sound in the first syllable of each word. In fact, when I googled “apple” and “peace” in chinese, a number of web pages ask the question: “Why do Chinese people give away apples on Christmas Eve (literally in Chinese: “Peace Eve” ).

This is a first start. We need to make some final design decisions soon:

ghost month poster 7 23 2010

2.Taiwanese Truck Recording:

In a modern language version of Taiwanese:

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27, NLT)

Hello friends! If you as an adult or child have had your soul startled, or are lacking peace in your heart, you can come here for a free prayer for your startled soul to return, or to pray for peace. Effective! Please call… to make your appointment. (again, this makes more sense to Taiwanese in their language than looking at the English)

If the musical group “Streams of Praise” gives us copyright permission, we will also use their song “Peaceful July” in the recorded announcement.

3。When people call to make an appointment, explain that the person in question needs to come him or herself, and that Jesus is able to help them. We will also emphasize that our method of helping the startled soul to return is different than their traditional folk religion method—we are praying in the name of Jesus. If this is acceptable to them, they are welcome to come.

4. When they come, there is a CD of personal testimony in Taiwanese playing. And 5 bible verses about God’s peace will be on the walls for them to look at while they wait for a moment:

Matt 11:28-30

Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 32:17, 57:19

Phil 4:6-7

1 Peter 5:6-7

5. We have a standard prayer ready to use which can easily be customized (won’t try to translate it here).

6. If anyone asks why we are praying for them for free, we explain that the love of God is free with no strings attached. We are performing this small service to show the love of Jesus. Would they like to know him?

7.When they leave, we give them an apple, as well as one of three booklets dealing with the topic of blessing (an important cultural theme here). After people receive this kind of service in their traditional folk religion, it is expected they receive something like this.

8。Of course, for any chance of this is to come to fruition or work in the end without us coming across as absolute fools, we must schedule a time of prayer and fasting before the appointed time. We’re taking a risk here, but God seems to be leading us in this direction.

7/30/2010 Update:
Unfortunately, as I gathered feedback from various individuals, the apple idea didn’t seem to click. So here is our revised poster, with the music we have now been given permission to use on the days requested:

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