Monday, July 18, 2016

Tales from Taiwan #17

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Dear sisters,

My trip back to the States was quite eventful - having an allergic reaction on my 12 hour flight and realizing the only thing I could do was lean on Jesus and ask for Him to intervene.  He did and I was fine.  It's moments like these when I realize that He's really the only One I can hold onto, the only One I can trust - then and now.  He proved himself faithful again.

Then I was sitting on the runway for 1.5 hours because there was no open gate, running through the airport only to miss my flight by minutes and trying to convince the airlines I needed to get another flight booked ASAP.  I found myself in the restroom, sick from the airline food.  Then another run to my newly booked flight and almost missed it, too.  Made it with a minute to spare!

When I arrived at my final destination, of course my luggage hadn't made it.  But I wasn't really thinking about that - I was thinking how God had guided my day, even through all the mini disasters, and brought me back to my family safely.

Recently a conversation I had with one of my village boys, Jerry* (name changed), keeps playing through my mind.  My friends and I decided to go swimming in a nearby village.  But when I asked one little boy, he told me he was too scared to go swimming.  It was the first of July, which means it's the start of "ghost month" in Taiwan.  I had forgotten about that.  People believe that you cannot go swimming during the month of July, because if you do, the ghosts might snatch you away from the water.  If I didn't know the culture, I might think it's just a myth.  After living on the island for awhile,  though, I know my little village buddy and everyone else in the area is serious - they will not go swimming!

The great part about all this?  I had an opportunity where I got to share how we have Jesus and don't need to be afraid.  Jerry was surprised and asked me if it was really true.  I told him we can pray to Jesus and then no ghosts will snatch him.  He was skeptical but agreed to give it a try.  All was fine until we got to the edge of the water.  Then Jerry stopped and looked up at me, his eyes showing he's nervous.  I smiled reassuringly and said, "Jerry, remember, we already prayed.  You're fine.  Jesus is watching over you!"

I practically held my breath, wondering if Jerry would actually take this literal step of faith and walk into the water.  He did.  We had a blast splashing and jumping in the crystal clear water.  Afterwards when we were drying off, I asked "Well, Jerry, are you okay?"  He looked a bit surprised, as if to just realize that he was still there and smiled, "Yes, I'm fine."  I told him it's because Jesus protected him and he didn't need to be afraid of ghosts but to always ask Jesus to protect him.

Rejoicing because our Jesus is working in one little village boy's life!

For Taiwan,
Joanna

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