I have another exciting story to share. It was a great week of ministry with the team from Cedar Park as I wrote about in the last blog. We counted over 40 decisions for Christ: 30 children at the kids clubs, 10 adults at the Burmese church in Bang Sai, the 2 songtao drivers. I have to tell you about the latest one that happened on Monday. First a little background story.
Last year’s TREK team met Not and his wife Goi and became friends with them. They own a coffee stand at the train station, a short walk away from the Hope Center and across the road from where last year’s team lived and where the girls on our team now live. We often stop for coffee and conversation, and they are our language tutors. Goi accepted Christ a while ago and has recently been hired as the administrative assistant for the Chachoengsao missionaries. Although Not did not accept Christ at the time, he has had great questions and asked for a Bible a few weeks ago. He noticed that since his wife became a Christian, she has been making very wise decisions about their coffee business and every idea she has is successful. He asked her why and she said she asks God for direction and he tells her.
Monday afternoon, Pastor Naat went to talk with Goi and Not at the coffee stand. Not asked Pastor Naat about the voice that speaks to his wife and Naat told him this was the Holy Spirit speaking to her. He said he wanted that Spirit also and prayed with Naat to receive Christ. It was a powerful moment for him. We are so excited to see what God is going to do in Not and Goi’s life and so happy that our friends have found Jesus!
On Tuesday, we studied John 4 about the Samaritan woman. At the end of this passage, Jesus is talking about sowing and reaping the harvest.
Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest! Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. John 4:35-36 (emphasis added)
How many times have I overlooked the “fields” because I didn’t think they were “ripe” yet? I can picture Jesus telling his disciples with great urgency, “WAKE UP! Don’t miss the moment! ___ (name of unbeliever, in this case, Not) is ready to receive me. Please, go and tell him/her about me. Please go answer their questions.” But sometimes God calls us to sow seeds in faith. Sometimes we don’t see the end result of new life in the person we minister to. Sometimes it takes years of prayer and faithfulness. But in the end, when the harvest has come, the sower and the reaper rejoice and praise God together. This week, we are rejoicing for our friend Not who made the most important decision of his life.
There are many rice fields in this part of Thailand and many of them are full and green, beginning to turn yellow. We’ve even seen a few combines out bringing in the harvest. The same is true about the people in Thailand. Everywhere I look I see lost people. I look out my bedroom window and see a city that is less than 1% Christian. Many of the children we teach in school have strings tied around their wrists which is a symbol that calls to spirits to protect them. Almost every songtao and bus have flower necklaces draped around the rear view mirror to protect them while they drive. But at the same time, many people are searching for Truth and are “ripe for harvest.” My challenge to you is to look up and see the opportunity for harvest. Don’t miss the moment! And most of all, pray. Pray for the blinders to be lifted from your friends’ eyes, from the eyes of the Thai people. Pray that God will reveal himself to them in powerful ways.
I’d like to ask for specific prayer for our friend Dtoom, a vender who we buy food from almost every day. She is an amazing cook and very sweet and generous to us. She has invited us to her home to eat with them this Saturday (2/23). We are excited about the Pad Thai she will be making, but most of all for the opportunity we have to talk about Jesus over the dinner table. Please pray for open doors with her and her family this weekend!