Last year, Dean* took his son, Andy*, to the international school every morning. Each day before Andy entered his classroom, they would stop to pray.
One morning, Andy’s Thai friend, Bun Ma*, came by just as they were about to pray, and Andy invited her to join them.
“What’s [prayer]?” Bun Ma asked.
Dean explained that they prayed to Jesus and asked for His blessing over their day and to help them be kind.
“Oh,” Bun Ma replied, “I’m not Christian; I’m Thai.”
Dean shared her response with his wife. This new cultural insight shook them.
Bun Ma did not say that she was a Buddhist or give any reference to religion. Rather, she verbalized that if she were a Christian, she would not be Thai. At seven years old, she already “understood” that she could not be both.
This type of “understanding” is true of many peoples around the world. They associate their ethnic or national heritage exclusively with one religion. The two are inseparably tied together. Pray as our field workers live out a shema lifestyle — one where speaking about spiritual matters is a natural and regular habit. Pray they find many who are willing to listen and share what they learn within their relational networks.