Monday, July 14, 2014
Tales from Taiwan #9
My trips to my favorite aboriginal village continue every Saturday. Again and again, God speaks to the children in ways I never imagined. So many times He's working behind the scenes, in ways invisible to my human eyes. Truly, He continues to show Himself strong and faithful and amazing!
Like the other week when I shared the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and how they refused to bow down to the statue that the king put up. My ten village boys crowd around me, intently listening. These boys grow up rough. They are often neglected or have broken families. They use cuss words, get into fights, and have bad manners. Yet when I sit down on this particular day, they scoot closer as I share the Scriptures.
I am praying the whole time. I don't want these kids to leave saying this was an amusing story. I don't want them going home thinking that Teacher Joanna is a good storyteller. I want God Almighty to reach down into their hearts and work on them. I want His truth to shine brightly into their lives and change them.
Continuing with the story, I realize that this is the first time these kids have heard this classic Sunday School story. The boys are convinced that the three friends will give in to the king's demands. When I inform them that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood firm in their faith and didn't bow down, these village boys simply stare at me. Their amazement continues to mount as they find out that when the king threw the three guys into the fiery furnace, God protected them and they lived, with not even the smell of smoke on them!
When I finish, I ask them what they can learn from this account. I'm not sure what I'm expecting they will say but it's definitely not what I hear. One boy speaks up: this Bible story means we shouldn't bow down to our Taiwanese idols. It means we should instead only worship Jesus, the one true God.
I try to imagine a kid in America giving the same answer but I can't. When I had prepared to share this particular story, I never realized the significance it could have in this culture or the way God would use it to open their eyes to His truth. For kids in Taiwan, worshipping and bowing down to idols is a common practice. So when I shared this Bible story, God used it in a special way in their culture. Truly, He continues to awe me and make me realize how powerful and wise He is!
~ pray for these village boys. That God will continue to work in their lives and their hearts, that He'll break down their Mr. Tough barriers they put up and shine His love and truth into their lives.
For Him in Taiwan,