So, this morning our team attended a Thai/Burmese prayer meeting. One of the guys there is a construction guy and he learned that I like to do that sort of thing too so he claimed me as his friend. (I know this because as I was sitting in a chair and he was on the ground beside me, he grabbed hold of my leg and wouldn’t let go for quite a while.) Since we are now friends, he wanted me to go in the afternoon with him to scout out where to put up a stage for a Christmas program. He also needed me to go as a prayer partner for something else he was going to do. I’ll tell about that in the story. Warning – this is the unabridged version of the transpiring of this evenings events and the best I can do at midnight. Hopefully its not too long or boring, but read it to the end and see how God transforms our meager plans into an exciting evening.
Cast of Characters – Myself (Kyle), Louise (missionary/translator for me), P’ Chin (my friend), Gai (pronounce Guy), Gou (Gai’s wife), Pastor Nat, two guys (Buddhists)
We went with P’ Chin this evening around 5 to Gai and Gou’s muban (village) for 2 reasons: First, to make some arrangements for the Christmas program we are going to do in the park there and secondly, P’ Chin wanted to talk to Gai about quitting his smoking. Once we arrived in the muban, we gathered everyone together and went off walking to find the muban leader. We found the leader lady and talked with her for a while. She was very accommodating and said she would get us a trailer for a stage, a sound system, spotlights, and electricity as well for our shin-dig. Cool, mission objective complete. We went back to Gou and Gai’s house for phase 2. We got there sat down and started talking about Jesus and stuff and Gou shared that if her husband stopped smoking then she would serve full time in the church *teary eyed*. Then, P’ Chin started sharing with Gai about how he stopped smoking 10 days ago. The first several days for P’ Chin were difficult and physically painful but by day 5 he was looking at a guy smoking on the street and wondered why he would even want to do that. All day long P’ Chin had felt that the Holy Spirit was telling him to confront Gai with this, so he was really getting excited. Just as we were about to gather around Gai and pray for him, two district officials walked into the house to talk about the Christmas stuff. P’ Chin wasn’t too happy about this. These two guys were interrupting his plan to get Gai to stop smoking. So anyways, we invited the guys in to sit down and we started to tell them why we wanted to do this Christmas thing and what Christmas is and they were really interested. Most Thai people want their kids to have fun things to do and to interact with English, ect. Interjection: By me saying that We do this or that, I really mean the Thai speakers were doing all the talking. I really was just sitting there cross-legged, either praying or wishing for some intermittent translation. Anyways, the conversation went on for a while as Pastor Nat started evangelizing some. She asked things like ‘Where are you going when you die?’ ‘Are you sure?’ ect. Since these guys are Buddhist, they strive to earn merit and are never sure if they have earned enough to make it to heaven. Pastor Nat shared with them that the Bible gives answers to those questions. About this time, as Louise is translating for me, she says, ‘Let’s just pray for these guys and the pastor, they’ll never know. They’ll just think I’m translating.’ So we started praying, kicking critters out of the room in Jesus’ name, and interceding, and I felt the room immediately start getting louder. Later Louise told me that the guys had really started asking some big questions while we were praying. It’s amazing to me at how open these guys were to the Gospel, something you would rarely experience in North America. After we were done praying for that time, they were talking and one of the guy’s phones rang right in the middle of the conversation. He answered it. About 10 seconds later he was still talking so I said, ‘In the name of Jesus, put the phone down’. He immediately hit the End button and put the phone away. 5 minutes later the other guy got a phone call. I proceeded to say the same thing and the response was exactly the same. He put the phone down. Neither one rang again. Interjection: Praying with authority is pretty fun. Try it sometime. Okay, after all that, we began telling them that they were welcome to leave because we wanted to pray for Gai. The guys didn’t leave and so we started to pray for Gai. Thai style praying gets pretty loud, especially when praying for deliverance, it seems. So these district leaders are sitting here listening to this crazy prayer meeting with big eyes and as we were closing the prayer down, pastor Nat started laying down the Gospel message real heavy to Gai. Gai is already a Christian and knows all about Jesus, his death and resurrection ect, but Pastor Nat was using the opportunity to share more in front of the two guys. As the guys were walking out of the house, one of them commented, ‘The hair on my arms and all over my body is standing up.” P’ Chin quickly exclaimed, ‘That’s the spirit of God!’ It was neat to see how God took our narrow focus at the beginning of the evening and used Gai and his circumstances to minister to these two influential guys. Also, now Gai has the challenge of quitting smoking ahead of him and the two guys will be watching him in light of what they saw take place tonight.
Pray for Gai as he bears witness to the God he serves as he tries to quit smoking and as he makes moment by moment decisions to fight addiction. Pray for the two district officials so that the enemy will not quickly snatch the seeds that were sown tonight. Pray for P’ Chin as his witness to God grows through being smoke free. He used to smoke a lot not too long ago. Also, pray that P’ Chin will continue to be passionate about God and about his friends knowing the Lord as he demonstrated tonight. This will be a real encouragement to the church.
Glad to see you made it down here. More stories to come. Keep praying. To God be the glory