Spiritual Warfare -- seen first hand in TaiwanJun 10, 2002 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line We thought it was just a normal church retreat -- didn't realize how important our prayers were. Originally posted to Written by Me
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Living in Taiwan we learned more about spiritual warfare than I think I would have in the states. The Chinese seem to admit and understand that there is a spiritual world near ours. Many Buddhist parents would allow their kids to attend church to learn English but would draw the line at Baptism because they knew that was the spiritual point of no return. However, at one church retreat I saw first hand spiritual warfare occurring.
The week before we were to head back to the states my husband, eight month old daughter went on a church retreat at a Buddhist camp. In order for us to sleep together as a family, we camped out. Our monkey girl woke up about 1:30 hot. I couldn't get her back to. She was up all night. We spent about an hour going "mom, where am I? This is a wall but it moves. See. Did you see? Let me try again!!! See it still moves." Then it was an hour of mom I'm so cute. Then mom lets play.
Finally about 4:30 it stopped raining so I put the monkey in the stroller and we went for a walk so my husband could sleep. The camping site is on a beach that if you swam across it long enough you'd end up in Mainland China. Therefore no one can be on beaches from dusk to dawn so you aren't signaling for an invasion. So I had to be careful where I was walking. Three young soldiers with machine guns were patrolling the camp. I took my flashlight and we went walking. We met the soldiers about 10 times. Every time the conversation was the same:
A loud"Hello how are you."
"Shhh! Baby is sleeping!"
While I walked around I prayed for the safety of the camp and the weekend. I had no idea why, I just did.
That day was a normal retreat type day. We thought the highlight was a girl from a long line of Buddhists getting baptized in the Taiwan Strait.
At one time when monkey was being vocal we went and joined the kids in the office/dorm building. One of the dads was making balloon animals for all the kids. We were there until 6:15. This building was about 15-20 feet from the meeting room building. The building basically had a C-shaped hallway with all the dorm rooms holding 5 to 20 people in each. We had that placed packed last night. So we left there and went to the other end of the camp to the cafeteria for dinner.
Monkey girl and I headed back to the meeting room about 6:40 to give her some bananas. My kid who usually doesn't eat baby food straight ate the whole bottle. Soon afterwards my husband and the other leaders came to take down the sound equipment. The other girl I was doing registration with came in and asked if I had gotten a receipt from the camp yet. I said no. She said she had gone into the office and found an electrical fire -- small -- and told the camp and it was being taken care of.
So by this time Faith had finished her bananas and was thirsty. I nursed her to sleep. Reports of the fire began trickling in. The fire was going on. It was being taken care of. The fire department was on the way. So I really wasn't concerned.
Then an elder and his wife came into the building complaining of the smoke. My husband handed me the keys and I was going to get to the car with monkey girl. I opened the door. Visibility was about 1 feet. We went back inside. By this time the smoke was coming into the meeting room. Those with breathing problems and babies went into a back room that was still breathable. The front door was the only exit
One of the other deacons came in and said the fire was getting going massively and we needed to get out -- now. People wet towels and t-shirts (that somehow (?) had been left behind) so we could breathe with as we went out to get into the car. By this time I couldn't see past my nose. It was scary. I had the big thick towel over my daughter and a smaller one on me.
Remember that she was asleep so she really wasn't moving. It was bothering me but I couldn't take the towel off in the smoke to check. All I could do was pray.
To my right I could see one car's lights flashing so I knew the parking area was there. I sloshed through the 2-inch puddle we had avoid all day cause I figured that at least if I walked along the row of cars I would run into ours. This was the best thing to do -- the row of cars was shielded by the meeting room building. It was like a veil being lifted
All of a sudden we were in a pocket of fresh air and I could see the car. Monkey and I got to the car and hubby was right behind.
My former volunteer fireman hubby said based on the smoke and smell there were lots of plastics and other chemicals burning. That was making everything so much more fun to try to keep breathing
When we got to the car we shut all the vents and I didn't want to put my daughter into the car seat cause I wanted to still keep the towel on her. (Plus I needed to hold her. My husband drove quickly but slowly and safely. He could only follow the taillights of the car in front of us.
As we passed the building one of the deacons was checking to make sure everyone had gotten out. The pastor and another deacon were leading the first car over the narrow bridge to the exit.
You could feel the heat from the building as we drove past. We had to go right past it cause it was between us and the only entrance -- unless we went out via the ocean. But by then it was past dusk and the soldiers would have stopped us. "I don't care if the whole world is on fire. We must follow orders."
The wind was blowing in the direction of the meeting building so it was very breathable in the parking lot. Flames easily reached 100 feet into the sky. Since it was a one-lane road we wanted to wait until the fire department got there so they could get past us.
They sent two pumpers but there were no fire hydrants (keep in mind that most building in Taiwan are illegal and not up to code.) The meeting building and the office/dorm buildings were destroyed.
There were two busloads of church members praying for the safety of everyone inside. Everyone inside was the deacons, elders, and pastors. I know it was only their prayers that allowed us to get out without ANYONE hurt.
It was later determined that the fire started on the god shelf in the camp office. This is the shelf where the local god is placed and offerings are made to him. Folks later realized that the local god was upset with our weekend - the baptism, the prayers, the praise and worship that he just exploded and the place went up in flames.
If it had occurred 12 hours earlier (when I was praying for the camp); the entire church would have been inside the dorms and lost. If it had occurred one hour later, the kids were near the god shelf and would have been the first to go. If the church members hadn't been praying when they did, the deacons, elders, and I would have gone up in flames.
This was as close to the gates of hell as I ever want to be-and to me it proved spiritual warfare is real and we do stand in the gap with our prayers!
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