The Tayal People
We love our time with the Tayal people! They are the second largest tribe among Taiwan’s 12 tribes. When the missionaries first came to the mountains many years ago, God had uniquely prepared the Tayal to accept the gospel. Though they worshipped the spirits of their ancestors, their traditions taught them that there was one great God above all the others, who was, all seeing and all knowing. When the missionaries came, bringing news of the one true God and described Him, they knew that this was the truth.
They have been so kind to us and generous, sharing all they have. Would an American clean his house to the point you could eat off of the floors and then move out their entire family to give us more space? Our friends even sacrificially bought special foods. They were more concerned for us than they were for themselves.
Two Mountain Schools
We climbed so high that it seemed we would touch the sky. The roads wound round and round the mountains, often narrowing to a single lane because the other half had fallen down the mountain. In some places, rocks and dirt were sliding down the mountain on the inside of the curve and the other side crashed to the river below.
On this trip, we visited 2 schools deep in the mountains. At one school, we could feel the darkness. The children did not respond as children should and the principal’s welcome was less that enthusiastic. Most of the leadership of the school were temple worshiper’s who despised our faith as western culture. When we explained that our Tayal friend, Taiwanese friend, and us all believed the same because we believed in God’s book, the Bible, their argument dissolved. They were not happy.
We had so many problems at that show. The easel blew over 3 times (hitting me once) even though it was taped to a piano stool. Heather was so sick, but still managed to stand and do puppets for 1 song. The translator had to be replaced during the program. It was the only mountain show where the children did not pray out loud asking Jesus to be their Savior. Our friends told us that it has long been a very dark place.
At the second school, every single thing was different. The welcome was so warm and all of us found it difficult to leave. Best of all, many, many children could be heard calling on Jesus. All of us were reminded that we are at war fighting a battle for the children’s hearts.
The puppets need the right music in order to do the best job for the children. We have good Chinese Christian music, but now God has provided Tayal tribal Christian music. Praise God! Ironically, a Buddhist family provided us with Hakka Christian music today. In Taiwan, the Hakka are an un-reached people group. Less that 1%, believe in Jesus. Now, we have better tools for our return trip to Taiwan in 2007. Pray!
The team has enjoyed pigs feet, ducks feet, and chicken feet. What’s next? Moon cakes with ice cream inside are a wonderful treat as is chicken with tangerine sauce. Some foods are strange, but some are delicious.
In 3 shows, we shared with over 1100 mostly Buddhist teachers and students. Amazingly, they invited us to return each time we are in Taiwan.
Working with one of our Chinese puppet teams, we made a very good plan that did not work. The first program was not bad but we knew that we had failed to share with the children in the best possible way. We quickly made many small changes and the next 2 programs were awesome! God reminded us to be sensitive to the needs of the children and listen to His Holy Spirit. After the 2nd and 3rd program, many Buddhist children and teachers rushed forward to thank us. We saw, felt, and heard the difference as we listened to our father.
Prayer and Praise
1 Praise God for all that we have seen Him do!
2 Thank God for Heather’s return to health.
3 Please pray for me. I’ve caught a cold and we are much too busy for even this small problem.
4 Pray for our last day of shows tomorrow. Ask the Lord to bless these last opportunities to share with Buddhist children. Pray that they hear with their ears and their hearts.
For a look at the latest photos: www.smugmug.com/gallery/1135712
Sam Shaw Assistant director
Mykayla Kelley – USA team
Heather Kelley – USA team