Wednesday, March 13, 2013


We met him 3 ½ years ago in Taiwan.  He was our driver but quickly grew to be our friend.  And this morning, my heart is breaking for his soul.

Here he is showing us the Martyr's Shrine in Taiwan.  According to their beliefs, humans may enter by the door at the left and exit out the door on the right.  The middle door is off-limits to humans, because it is reserved for ghosts and spirits to come and go as they please.

Our tendency as people is to not want to step on toes…not want to offend.  What if a Buddhist or animist stumbles upon this small blog and feels slighted by these words?  But, it's really not my beliefs pitted against their beliefs like a game to see who is stronger or wiser.  And it wouldn't be worth mentioning, except that I know something that simply won't allow me to be silent.

There is a hell.  People who have had near death experiences have seen it.  Mark Cahill travels the world and speaks to as many people as he can about the reality of eternity.  When we heard him speak last fall, he said that in his travels, he had run across 29 people at different places in the world who had had near-death experiences and had seen hell.  Every single one of them described hell the same way…the smell of sulfur, the piercing sound of incessant screaming, the darkness, the agony.  Surely, even if someone chooses not to believe the Bible, they might just stop to consider these 29 eye witnesses.

Hell is real, and when that truly sinks in, it makes it impossible for us to be quiet.  Souls are at stake. And our dear friend will one day see this reality and will beg and plead to have one more chance to trust in Jesus as the ONLY way to Heaven.  And that absolutely pushes me to share with him and with others this reality that they cannot see now but will one day have to face.

Here he is buying us lunch on the coast in Keelung.
We had shared the Gospel with him a few years ago but had never heard anything from him.  Then, some of our sweet friends in Texas recently traveled to  Taiwan to adopt their daughter from the same orphanage where we adopted our daughter.  He was their driver, so we sent along some gifts for him and his wife, along with a little booklet of Asian believers giving their personal testimonies of how Jesus had changed their lives.

He loved the gifts but rejected the booklet.  As always, he was very kind about it.  But, he told our friends to tell us not to waste our time on him, because he is a Buddhist.  And, as I thought of his soul, I fell asleep praying and crying last night.  I agonized over the reality of his soul.  It is not a waste of my time…it is the reason for my existence…to share hope for his soul. 

We don't mind that he's a Buddhist.  It doesn't change our friendship with him.  He is simply our friend, no matter what his beliefs are.  I could let this go as simply a difference of beliefs…the modern viewpoint of "let everyone have their own beliefs…COEXIST."  

But I cannot get out of my mind the true account Mark Cahill gave about 2 atheist EMS workers who were trying to save a man who had been in a car accident.  He flatlined several times, and each time they would bring him back to life, he would scream about the burning and the flames (though the accident scene had no fire, no smoke).  The final time that he flatlined, they could not bring him back.  And the smell of sulfur and smoke rose from his body.  The 2 EMS workers were speechless, and it absolutely rocked their atheist beliefs.  They got a glimpse of the reality of hell.  

Because it is real.  Heaven is real.  Hell is real.  And our eternal destiny is real, no matter who believes it or not.

Last night when my husband arrived home late after having dinner with out-of-state businessmen, he recounted a conversation he had had at the restaurant.  The subject of beliefs came up, and he found himself the only professing Christian at the table.  One man asked in disbelief, "Do you really believe the fairy tale in the Bible?"  It was a pointed discussion about souls and beliefs.  My husband didn't want to be right.  He didn't want to win a religious debate.  He looked at that man in the eyes and felt deep, deep concern for his lost soul.  Because when you know the reality of hell and heaven, you simply cannot help but feel urgency for this soul…this one soul who will one day realize that the hell you warned about is indeed real.  

The reality of an eternity of suffering is surely enough to snap us out of our complacency…out of our you-believe-what-you-want-and-I'll-believe-what-I-want mediocrity.  As one atheist put it, "If you really truly believe in a hell of eternal burning, then why aren't you banging down people's doors trying to warn them?"  Even the atheist can see clearly the complacency that grips us as Christians.

Visit this site for more information.  Your soul and the souls of your family and friends are so precious and worth the time it takes to at least consider this.  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Wanted : Just Seven Percent of Christians

This one matters.

This boy on the other side of the globe matters to God.  He is not a mistake or a statistic.  He is a living, breathing child who lives in an orphanage and is in desperate need of a loving forever family to step forward and jump through a million hoops and sign a zillion papers and run a gazillion places to notarize this and authenticate that and fingerprint this and overnight that.  Because. He. Matters.

Statistics drive me crazy.  They really do.  For one, they shift, depending on who is doing the research. And numbers just tend to change over time and according to exact specifications of research.   So, let's cut through the chase on this.  There are millions of orphans...whether you want to say it's 143 million or 169 million or 190 million or 200+ million...all of which are numbers I've heard.  Whatever the number...let's just call it like it's A LOT.  And the number of Christians in the world is another statistic that has variables that change, so we won't mess with it.  But let's just spotlight one statistic that absolutely hangs in the air like a lead balloon.  This is one number that I pray never ever becomes "just a number" to me.  I pray it will always hit me square across the face: 7%.  Statistics say that if only 7% of the world's Christians would care for ONE orphan, there would effectively be NO MORE ORPHANS.  Only 7%.  

I cannot ignore that number.  I cannot get the dumb thing out of my head!!  7%. 

Is the church really that far off here?  Really...think on it seriously for just half a minute here.  If only SEVEN PERCENT of those who say they follow Jesus would care for ONE orphan, we wouldn't have a single orphan in the world. 

And yet, the numbers instead float somewhere in between 143 and 200 MILLION orphans.  We technically only need 7% of Christians to show up in order to rid the world of orphans.  And I cannot help but to ask, "Where is everyone??"   

This has been bothering me for quite some time.  The number just flashes in my mind, and try as I may, I cannot explain it away.  And I refuse to forget it.  

Because it matters to this one...

And this one...

And this one...

And these 2 little guys...

And this one...

And this one...

Just this morning, we were listening to a message from Eric Ludy.  He was calling Christians to consecrate their homes to Him absolute authority in our home, doing whatever He chooses to do with it.  And one point he hit on was allowing God to place orphans into our homes, even if it means more work, less control and more sacrifice on our parts.  Are we willing to allow God to use our home to be their home?  Are we willing to let go of all our agendas and just say, "God, WHATEVER You want, please do in my home"?

Eric Ludy's young son said to him one day, "Dad, if we adopted that orphan, he wouldn't be an orphan any more."  Out of the mouths of babes comes the purest simple and understandable.  That one orphan would no longer be an orphan if I adopt her or him.  But I have to show up and step out.

It only takes 7% of Christians to alleviate the world of orphans.  Cannot just 7% be found to follow Jesus in this?  

Or do we honestly truly believe Him when He says that whatever we did not do to the least of these we did not do to Him?  Will He one day look us in the eyes and say, "I needed to be adopted, and you did not step forward to take me in"?