Tuesday, January 03, 2006

terrified of whistling What sound sends shivers down your back, makes your heart beat faster, and speeds your breathing? Is there a sound that strikes fear in your heart of hearts? Is it the sound of a sliver in the grass when you are gardening? Is it the screeching of the brakes of the car right behind you? Is it the scream of one of your children when they are in pain? Is the sound of footsteps behind you in a dark parking garage late at night? What about a praise song being whistled at dusk? Would that sound strike terror in your whole being? Would it give you goosebumps and make you fearful for the rest of the night? If you are American, you are probably thinking right now that I am a little crazy saying that. But, if you are Taiwanese, you know exactly what I mean. The sound of whistling after the sun sets is terrifying to the Taiwanese people who are lost. They believe that hungry ghosts follow the sound of whistling much like a dog trails a scent in the woods. Hungry ghosts are terrible, scary things in Taiwanese culture. They bring curses and evils to people; they hunt for people to prey upon. Thus, there is no whistling at night in Taiwan. However, I often sing and hum when I am on my moped (those things don't come with radios--go figure). When I dismount and walk in the underground parking garage towards the stairwell to my apartment, I tend to continue whatever I had been humming or singing by whistling--often enjoying the echo of the underground cement box and the sound of my voice. If it is night, as soon as I do, I recall that whistling scares my neighbors. Most of the time, I stop whistling and pray for my neighbors the rest of the way to my apartment. Sometimes, I just change to singing and proclaim aloud the praise of the true God. And, at other times, like tonight, I whistle louder, a proclamation that I do not fear the evil of this world. The next time you catch yourself whistling at night, would you please remember the Taiwanese people and pray for their salvation?
yeah, but why TAIWAN? (part 1) If you wanna know why I live in Taiwan, this post tells you the answer. The post below begins a multi-post series on why Taiwan (as opposed to anywhere else overseas or even Amercia for that matter). In 1996, I started college classes at Dallas Baptist University. At that time, I was planning to be a freelance journalist (with the hopes to marry and be a stay at home mommy with a great felixable "at home" career). I also wanted to live in an inner city apartment in order to do ministry in my apartment complex. So, to prepare for the life path I had planned, I was a communication major and very involved in an inner city after school program in the heart of downtown Dallas. Somewhere near the beginning of the spring semester (1997), I began to desire to go on a mission trip overseas. In my head, of course that meant going to Africa or South America. I talked it over with my mom, and she ok-ed the idea under the condition that it wasn't for the whole summer--she wanted to spend a little time with her college girl during the summer vacation time. Her stipulation actually made the decision quite easy. Every summer since 1996, DBU has sent a team of students to Taiwan for an English teaching mission trip. The trip lasts one month. Perfect. Does Amanda even know where Taiwan is? Nope. Does she care? Nope. She just wants to tell people in a different country about Jesus. So, summer comes and Amanda goes to Taiwan. Uh . . . wow! What a "wake up" moment! Life is so different on the other side of the planet. It was actually a love/ hate relationship at first sight. I hated the traffic. I hated the neon lights that flashed all the time all over the place. I hated not understanding everything that was being said. I hated not being able to read. I hated the fact that my neighbor's dog knew more Chinese than me. I hated the food. I hated feeling stupid because I couldn't communicate with the people around me. But, I loved the people of Taiwan. I loved teaching. I loved sharing Jesus with my new friends. I loved experiencing new things. I loved having my ideas of the world be shattered. I was on a life-altering trip. I didn't even know it. Well, my 15 min of writing time are up . . . so the story will continue later. :) The pic above is of me in Taiwan in 1997 testing out musical water bowls.

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