Krabi Boats 8

                What’s so special about a name? Well, we once heard that in the past Thai’s would give their children ominous nicknames to ward off evil spirits. But now, most Thai nicknames are cute, one-syllable words (many are even adopting English words like: First, Apple, Cream, Coke, Milk, Big, and Boy). Yet, recently God used Corban’s name for me to share about our faith (by the way, Corban’s Thai nickname is “salapao,” which means pork bun in Thai!).

                 After our return from our annual field conference at the beginning of July, we started Corban at the local Thai preschool across the main road from our house. We had a few objectives for this, including Corban having the opportunity to make friends and learn Thai. I already help teach English at this school once a week to the older children, but we felt that enrolling Corban would also create opportunities for us to build relationships with the parents and other children. Our main hope was that this would simply be another way for us to build relationships with the people in our community in order to eventually share the gospel.

             One of the rules at this preschool (which is true for all Thai schools actually) is that students are required to wear uniforms. Corban has three uniforms that he wears, depending on which day of the week. On Wednesdays he wears his blue “sports” uniform, and on Fridays he wears his “traditional Thai” uniform. All other days he wears his red and white “student” uniform. Each uniform has his full name “Corban Lucas Chang” embroidered on it in Thai.

            On one particular day, our Thai house helper (Mai) was ironing Corban’s uniform, and she asked me how to read Corban’s name (since it was a Thai transliteration of his actual English full name). She is expecting her first child and perhaps thinking through what name to give her child! This led into a conversation on what Corban’s name means and why we gave him that name.  

            I explained that “Corban” means “a gift devoted to God” and that when he was born we were reminded of God’s love and grace as a gift to us (Eph. 2:8). And in turn, we pray that one day Corban may devote his life to God in response to this amazing grace (Titus 3:4-8). I also explained how “Lucas” means “light”. It wasn’t a long conversation, but it was such a blessing to have this moment to share with her about our faith. I often have conversations with Mai when she comes, and I pray that we may develop a closer relationship so that I would have more opportunities to share Jesus Christ with her.