Krabi Boats 8

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Like much of the world’s population, during the height of the Covid-19 global pandemic the Thai government urged all non-essential employees to stay at home to halt the spread of the virus. This meant our family, like so many others, immediately had our schedules cleared and for the first time in a long time we were left wondering what we should do with all our extra at-home time.

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Currently I can't watch the news or go on social media without hearing about the Corona Virus. It has certainly caused global panic and I completely understand as the spread of this virus is clearly alarming due to the fact that despite quarantine, disinfecting whole city blocks, and restricting travel of literally billions of people the number of cases just climbs and climbs.

If you are a follower of Jesus think about your story for a moment. If you are like me you fully acknolwedge that you didn't "figure out" the gospel, but rather God opened your eyes. Like the story of the Lost Son in Luke 15 where it describes that the young man "came to himself" or "came to his senses," I believe this event is a Supernatural one and that God the Spirit is behind it all (see also John 6:44, 15:16; Ep 1:4-5; Rom 8:29; 2 Thes 2:13). If this is true, that we really didn't/don't choose God, but God chooses us, how does this affect our ministry toward others- specifically our great commission call of making disciples? In my experience it frees us from the burden of thinking that it is our actions, our words, our presentation, or our relationship that wins someone to the Kingdom of God. Instead, it is God's work. So does this mean we are absolved of any responsibilty in the call to make disciples? To answer this question we read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, which describes the humbling reality that God uses us (as imperfect as we are) to be His heavenly ambassdors as He gives us the message and ministry of reconciliation. How are we to be faithful to this message and ministry of reconciliation? I submit we obey what Jesus called His first discipels to do in Matt 4:19, "Come follow me Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men."

Follow Jesus. Fish for men.

In all this may God receive the glory.

May his name endure forever,
his fame continue as long as the sun!
May people be blessed in him,
all nations call him blessed!
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
Amen and Amen!
-Psalm 72:17-19

Please pray with us that God prepares the hearts and opens the eyes of Thais as we seek to follow and fish.

pon homepageIn October Simon participated together with Pon, a young man from the west coast of Thailand in a football coaching course in Bangkok. On the last day of the training they organized a “festival” for kids from the surrounding areas. One of the boys was a bit overweight and Simon saw that his shoelaces were not tied. Once the boy was at Simon’s station he was close enough get the impression, that he was not able to tie the laces himself. So Simon offered to tie them for him. Even it might have felt a bit awkward, that this farang (foreigner) knelt down and tied his shoes, he still seemed more happy about the fact that he could now run much easier. At the very end of the two hours, Simon suddenly realized that the shoes that he tied, didn’t have any studs on it. So basically the sole of the shoe was missing. 

Having seen this, Simon asked his friend Pon, if they should do something about it. Pon looked down on his shoes and said, if they fit him, he could give his shoes away. After the program finished Pon went to him and asked to try his shoes on. They fitted like they were tailored for him. So he was able to keep them. Simon just learnt that Pon got these shoes from his uncle as a present not long ago. Hearing this, Simon felt bad and said, that he would buy Pon new ones. But Simon had no clue, that they were top of the line. Simon was not even able to find them in the normal sport stores in the city and had to order them online. Then normally nobody would buy them. Knowing the prize of these football shoes, it made Simon admire Pon’s reaction even the more. While handing the shoes over to the kid, Pon was sharing, now with words, that God loves him very dearly. 

What a testimony. My young friend, owning just this one pair himself, not having much money either, was willing to give these costly shoes away. Even dough he cleaned his shoes every evening in the room, they were not too precious to him. No, he was willing to give it up for His glory. 

Let’s make sure, that stuff is not becoming too important. But rather let’s always see it as an entrusted good that we can be a blessing to others with.