Disciples in SE Asia have seen many people come to Christ in the past few years and have helped establish many new village house churches. A BEYOND worker who relates to that network of church planters wanted to see their experience help newer church planters in a neighboring country where people speak a closely related language.
In January, a team came to the neighboring country. Daw, a local brother, was paired up with an experienced church planter. Each day before going out, the team asked God to alert them to spiritually hungry people. Daw, in particular, wanted to experience the Holy Spirit’s leading in this regard.
As Daw and his partner walked down the village road, a young man came walking toward them. He was obviously not mentally well. Daw felt they should pass by, but his partner felt otherwise: “We have come to tell people about Jesus. I’ll talk to him, you pray.”
As the brother began sharing the gospel, Daw noticed a woman coming from a nearby house asking if he was causing any trouble and generally apologizing for the young man. Daw immediately moved to engage her in conversation, which is what he had been taught to do. In this way, the gospel sharer can continue without an interruption in the flow of discussion.
She was apologetic and worried that perhaps the young man was causing a problem. She was an aunt and the young man’s caretaker.
“No, he is not causing any trouble. We’re walking through your village telling people the good news that God, who created the universe, loves and cares for you,” replied Daw.
A few years ago, the young man’s mind had been destroyed by excessive drug use, leaving him unable to function mentally — tragic in any culture, and more so in a rural southeast Asian village with no resources to help families care for loved ones with disabilities. The caretaker aunt was exhausted and at the end of her rope.
Daw went through the gospel presentation and closed saying that God gives love, comfort, and wisdom through Jesus. Would she like this? Yes! She wanted very much the help of God Almighty to cope with her life.
Follow-up teams will visit her to start a discovery Bible study group in her home. If she is able to gather friends and family, that group could grow into a functioning church community.
Daw was surprised at how God led. He shared, “I wouldn’t have talked with [that man] but because my partner insisted, the aunt had time to come to the street. She really was God’s prepared person, but I would have missed her.”
Sometimes our “guidance from God” is nothing more than a willingness to stop and talk to someone. We can’t turn away or be afraid to interact just because we think, “Doesn’t look like they’d be interested.” It may be so, but then again, there might be someone else just out of sight seeking for hope.
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