Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Two Birds, a Locked Car Door, and a TV Channel

1.The First Bird

As I’ve written about elsewhere, on the afternoon of May 13, 2008 I let one of my three clip_image002pet birds, a yellow love bird I hand-fed as a baby 6 months earlier, out of its cage.

With the bird on my hand, I walked two houses down as I had many times before to ask my neighbors’ grandchild if she wanted to play with the bird. Then, to my surprise, the bird flew a few centimeters up off my arm and returned again. Then it flew about a meter up and returned again. The third time, it lifted up about 5 meters and got swept away by the strong wind!

clip_image004I watched in disbelief as in about 10 seconds the bright yellow bird was carried about 300 meters by the wind. Finally, it landed on top of a duck barn very far away. I quickly drove over on my motorcycle but I could not find the bird. I was very sad because I knew I would never see it again. My Canadian friends Lorne and Kathy-Lu prayed that God would help me find the bird.

Three months later, on Monday, August 11, I received a telephone call from a family whose two children came regularly to my house to study English. The family who had locked their car keys in the car. They called to tell me that someone had given them a bird that had flown into their yard the day before. They told me it looked like my bird. So I went to get it.

Was it the same bird? It was very tame, just like my bird. And since this community is not large,  I thought the possibility was very high that it was the same bird. Perhaps God arranged for this family to find the bird. But only He knows for sure!

What do you think of this story? Was it the same bird? Why or why not?

2.A Locked Car Door

On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 11, 2008, a friend of ours whose two clip_image006kids sometimes came to my house to study English got out of her car to give me a piece of Mother’s Day cake. She left the car keys in the car with the engine running since she only planned to be there long enough to give me the piece of cake. However, when she tried to open the car door, she discovered that it was locked! She and her husband looked for an hour for an extra set of car keys. clip_image008But they could not find them. So the husband came back with a friend. They brought a coat hanger with them in order to pick the lock.

They tried to pick the lock for at least 10 minutes but could not unlock the door. So I asked if I could give it a try. I stuck the coat hanger down one time into the door window, but I could not open the door either. Then God led me to say a prayer out loud. I prayed that in the name of Jesus Christ that God would open the door in order for people to know about Him. Do you know what happened? As soon as I pulled up on the clothes hanger, the door lock came right up! The men were amazed. As soon as the man and his friend got their car back home, the family called on the telephone to ask me to say thank you to God for them. I told them they could do it themselves!

Two days later, on May 13, the bird in the first story above flew away from my house. It was found 3 months later by this same family.

What do you think about this story? Is it possible? What do you think about it being the same family who found the bird?

3.The Second Bird

clip_image010Over the next 2 years, I got 3 other birds, including 釋迦 (Sek-khia). One day, Sek-khia flew into the schoolyard at a school in Taichung where some friends of mine work. They called me on the phone to ask if wanted a bird. I said yes!


Sek-khia is very funny. He is also quite talented and can speak many languages. He can say:「你好可愛!」and 「你好」(Chinese), “I love you” (English), and 「不要睡」and「阿!有蟑螂!」( Taiwanese). In the summer of 2010, Sek-khia’s neck developed a ring. So I knew that Sek-khia was a boy and not a girl.

Early Wednesday morning, March 30, 2011, I was putting Sek-khia back into his cage when he slipped out of my hand and landed at my feet. We were outside so I knew I had to be very careful. I had to act quickly. But before I could grab his chain, the bird flew away.

I watched as he flew higher and higher and faster and faster away from my house in a north-easterly direction. I followed by foot, and then by motorcycle. After looking for him for at least an hour, I was very sad. I knew I was not likely to see him again. I left the cage door open in case Sek-khia should return.

The next day in the afternoon I got a call from a friend. He called to say his sister’s son at Four Lakes Elementary school to the west had seen a bird in the schoolyard that looked like my bird! But when he tried to catch it, the bird flew away. However, later that afternoon they saw the bird in the schoolyard again and this time the young boy and his uncle caught the bird. Many other kids at Four Lakes Elementary School were there watching.

I believe that God, who made the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents, arranged for my friend to find the bird. I believe this because God wants more and more people to know of His power, and of His love for them.

Do you think it is a coincidence that the second bird was found by my friend? Do you believe in a God who made the world, and who arranges circumstances in our livesWhy or why not?

4. A TV Channelclip_image016

We have a friend named Peter who comes to help us at our church every Saturday and Sunday. I bring Peter with me often when I go to visit people in Four Lakes. clip_image014Many years ago, Peter used to do bad things (he was a big gangster who did drugs). He had to go to prison. But now he is a changed, new man.

We have some other church friends from northern Taiwan who from July 24-25, 2010 ran a bilingual summer camp for elementary school students here in Four Lakes. While the rest were teaching the classes, I clip_image018took 2 or 3 other teachers to drink tea with friends in the community. The second day, we went to visit a man in Four Lakes who knows my friend Peter. Almost every week I bring Peter to drink tea and have conversation with this man. He is very hospitable and loves to talk.

The pastor’s wife from northern Taiwan friend told my friend that if he wanted to learn more about Christianity, he could watch the GOOD TV channel. So clip_image019the man picked up the remote control and turned to GOOD TV. Guess what? There on the TV was Peter, who drinks tea with the man almost every single weekend! Good TV was showing a short program about how Peter turned from a life of drugs and how changed him into a “new creation”.

A week or two later I went to visit this man again. We joked about how funny it was that last time he switched the TV channel only to immediately see Peter on TV. As we were talking, the man took the remote control and turned on the TV. Once again he turned to the GOOD TV channel. Guess what? Peter was on the TV a second time!

The man in this story is the same person who found the second bird in the story above.

What do you think of this story? Was flipping the TV channel and seeing the same person (not a famous movie star) twice a coincidence? Why or why not? What about it being the same man who found the second bird? How does God arrange circumstances in your life? How can you ask Him to do so?

A year ago last spring, I bought yet another baby bird-- a Ducorps Cockatoo I later named “Frank-Frank.” “FF is one bad dude! He is even more intelligent than the 2 mentioned above. As mentioned elsewhere, so far he can wave, shake hands, and turn around in a circle all upon command! But how will God’s Spirit connect him in supernaturally with what He is doing to cause His Kingdom to come to this community? I hope Frank-Frank doesn’t have to fly the coop before he can be used by God!