Wednesday, June 07, 2006

489: He Will Direct Your Paths

Bear with me to the end on this one, or, if you are pressed for time, just skip the first two paragraphs.

An absolutely essential component of missionary work is flexibility, so when my supervisor told me yesterday afternoon that the trip to Pattaya had been bumped back to Thursday, and that today I would get to hit Burapha University again, I said, okay. Looking back, I can see God's sovereign control of my circumstances even in this little detail because simply being here today has changed everything. Here's how the story goes.

I arrived on campus this morning and began to gather to do some research. Namely, I suceeded in tracking down an English language map of the univerity, (which is a huge improvement over the Thai one I used yesterday), and overjoyed at my new prize, I decided to head to a campus copy center, had ten copies made, and then got one of them laminated to boot. I headed into a stationary store, and was in the middle of purchasing markers for use in making specialized maps (i.e. a campus bus route map, etc) when my cell rang. It was my supervisor, Rick, asking where I was. I told him where and asked me to meet him in a nearby parking lot in 9 minutes. Sure enough, not to long after the call, his white Toyata Hilux pulled up, and I hopped into the back seet, as at the front was occupied by Ohm, my new Thai acquaintance and partner in reaching out to the campus. We needed to drive Ohm to the bus station, which we did, but this part of the story isn't much more than one dominoe striking the next. As Derek Webb said, God can't plan the ends without planning the means (derived from Jer. 29:11). Anyway, after taking Ohm to the bus station, Rick and I had lunch, attended to an errand, and then, it was around noon, the time of the day where one doesn't want to be outside, so, I decided not to be. Long story short, I felt the pressing need to just take some time to stop, pray, think, etcetera, and there wasn't a chance in heck I was going to do this outside. I headed into Laem Thong mall and made a beeline for an ice cream parlour named Swensens, that was advertising this three scoop ice cream sundae for 59 baht (less than $2), and that was where the path directing became more readily apparant.

After placeing my order, I cracked open my Bible, and read some psalms. Psalm 67 came up after a minute or two, and it spoke to me.

May God be gracious to us and bless us;
look on us with favor Selah
so that your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, God;
let all the peoples praise You.
Let the nations rejoice and shout for joy,
for You judge the peoples with fairness
and lead the nations on eart. Selah
Let the peoples praise You, God,
let all the poples praise You.

The earth has produced its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us.
God will bles us,
and all the ends of the earth will fear Him.

I flagged down the waitress for a refill glass of water, and she asked me, "Are you a Christian?" I thought for a moment that perhaps she was assuming I was a Christian be virtue of being a farang (foreigner) but I decided that it was probably because I had been reading my Bible. I answered her question in the affirmative, and she replied that she was a Christian too. Her English was good, but I wasn't able to learn much more than that she goes to a Christian school and that her name is Nennie. I told her that it was nice meeting her, but as she walked away, i was struck by the thought that God didn't send her to my table just so I could meet another Christian, he wanted me to do something with this contact. I flagged her down again, told her that I have a Thai friend who is starting at Burapha this semester, and that I wanted him to meet some Thai Christians. I got her phone number and e-mail address, and hopefully Ohm and I can follow up with her.

Nennie is not the first potentially strong contact. Two days ago while at the Forum Mall, a young woman named Orm (pronounced Ahm) came up to Rick and myself, and it turns out that she too is a Christian, and on a later date, I will post her story here. Nennie, Orm, Ohm - perhaps these could be the start of a Thai (house) church. When you factor in Aw and Athit, two lost Thai students, this could definitely be the start of something. A phrase I read once comes to mind: "His army is being assembled." Only God knows what will become of what happens here in Baen Saen, but I definitely know that the work has not finished. It has barely started and it must continue.

I struck out from there and long story short, ended up at a Mahayana Buddhist student club, talked with them in broken English for a while, and to shorten the story further, was invited to join them for meditation at 6 p.m., an hour and 15 minutes from the writing of this post. After receiving permission from them just to observe and not participate, I told them I would come back, which I will. They know I'm a Christian, but I don't think they know that they are going to be prayed for while they meditate. But that said, it is back to the battlefield, for this really is a war. Give me cover fire through your prayers.


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