Another Taiwan story-- seven minutes--GO:
Around this time of year, lots of people (Taoists to be official, I think) in Taiwan believe that it's Ghost month. It's according to the Lunar Calendar, so the time changes each year.
People believe that the during this time, the gates of hades are opened and the ghosts of their ancestors are free to roam the earth and do whatever they please. Pretty much everyone burns paper money, paper cars, paper everything in order to ensure that when the ghosts visit them, they won't harm them.
The air is thick with smoke from thousands and millions of hallway fires, all burning paper in cylindrical metal wastebaskets. Each window is eerily red from the light of idol shelves, and incense slowly wafts out into the night.
Night seems to last a little longer.
One of my Taiwanese friends in school had been a Christian for years, but during ghost month, she crawled into her parents bed because sleeping alone was too scary.
When she told me this I remember being a bit surprised and then, later (years later?), angry. How dare satan ravage the little children of an entire wonderful nation with fear of ghosts' vengeance.
How dare fear hold dominion for generations upon generations.
How dare it be that missionaries work and work and see so little profit in the harvest.
Ok 7 minutes is up.
God be in Taiwan; be within her so that she will not fall; help her at break of day. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God be in Taiwan.
I've been trying to consistently pray for the nations using a EHC prayer map. There's also a 10/40 prayer map for those nations in that geographical location, and it provides a persecution ranking, and percentages for those in corruption and poverty. Lemme tell you, it's the best thing when I feel poor and scared about money. How can it be that 70% poverty exists anywhere? Unbelievable statistics.
The world feels so vast sometimes. But God You are still there...and you care so you can help me care too, and you are still joyful, so I can still leave the scars of the world with You, too.
Help us hunger and thirst after righteousness... for Your shalom to cover the earth.