If I had a thousand pounds, China should have it – if I had a thousand lives, China should have them. No! Not China, but Christ. Can we do too much for Him? Can we do enough for such a precious Savior? -Hudson Taylor, missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Mission, in a letter to his sister Amelia Hudson Taylor in February of 1860
I share a similar sentiment for the Tai Dam people of Southeast Asia. It has been almost two years now since we arrived in Southeast Asia as missionaries to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the region, particularly to our own people, the Tai Dam. While we await further instruction on what and how we should proceed with our vision, we must embrace and do whatever God puts in front of us.
We are certain that God wants us to stay in Thailand where we can form a base and reach out to the neighboring countries of Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. Most of our time is spent in Central Thailand, where we partner with established churches and assist them in teaching new believers and in leadership development.
We now have the opportunity to preach in Sunday worship services and teach Bible classes, but that wasn’t always the case. Churches in Thailand in general are resistant to the Pentecostal movement. It took us more than a year to finally earn their trust and be allowed to preach in their pulpits. We praise the Lord for this open door.
Other Christians were wary of us as well. For instance, we visited a private Christian school (for Christian families who cannot afford a regular private school) in a nearby town about a 45-minute drive from where we live. We introduced ourselves to the school’s founder and offered to teach his students English and music, but he politely declined our offer because he and the teachers had reservations about Pentecostal Christians. A few months later we received a phone call from the school’s principal telling us that the founder had changed his mind and would like us to come back and help teach. We use the Bible to teach English and Christian songs to teach music lessons, thereby reaching the children’s hearts as well. We praise God for the opportunity to be the light and salt to the students as well as the teachers.
Another heartwarming story is the transformation of the people of BorSamRan Village, a small village of about twenty homes, many of which are made of wood and have thatched roofs. The people of this village captured our hearts with their openness to the Gospel. Around a dozen of them received Christ as their Savior and were baptized. We continue to visit this village to teach new believers about the Christian way of life and to train up leaders. We hope one day to plant a church here.
We’ve learned so much in these past two years. God has opened our eyes to see what’s in His heart for His people and what pleases Him the most. Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) says,
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
That’s what we’ve been doing these past two years, living day to day by faith, doing everything God has put in front of us. We hold on to this verse:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NKJV).