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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Moments In Thailand

I thought I'd post some entries from Thailand on here so ya'll can read about some of our experiences. Here they are!

July 16, 2008

We returned to Chaingmai University today. There were five of us. It was very quiet on the University Campus because many students had returned home for the Buddhist holiday the following day. We were about to give up when we saw a student sitting alone near the cafeteria. His name was Gow. He was a student in his fifth year at the University. He was studying Social Studies. We told him we were students from America and we would like to ask him a few questions. First we asked him if he was Buddhist. He said yes. We told him we were studying religion and this week we were learning about Buddhism. We asked him if we could ask him some questions about Buddhism. After about 20 minutes of basic information we began to ask him some deeper questions. We asked him where he thought he was going to go when he died. He explained that he believed in heaven and hell and nirvana. He said if you do bad thing you will spend some time in hell, but once you pay for the bad things you do, you will then go to heaven to be rewarded for the good things you do. Then you will return to the earth. We asked him what nirvana was and he told us it was the ultimate state, that state of non-existence. We asked him what he felt about not existing any longer. He said he didn't like it so he wasn't trying to get there. Heaven was good enough for him. We then asked him how he thought the world was made. He said he didn't know but he didn't really care. He cared more about the future and what was really going to happen to him when he died. We then asked him if we could share with him what we believed will happen to us in the future. He said yes, please do. We used the evangecube and went through each step and explained it to him. Mrs. Eitel also talked about her being a nurse and seeing people who didn't believe have fear when they die, while believers have an overwhelming peace when they die. I think this impacted Gow very much. He then told us he was meeting with a Christian group on Saturdays because he was looking for the truth. We asked him some questions about the group and found out that he was meeting with Jehovah Witnesses. We told him that we were not the same as Jehovah witnesses. He seemed relived because the Jehovah Witnesses seemed to be "very pushy". We asked him if we could meet with him again because he had to go. He said yes. He asked if we could bring a guy with us and we said yes. We will be meeting with him again tomorrow at 2:00pm. We plan to leave with him a devotional, a bible and possibly get his contact information to get him plugged in with a local missionary.

July 17th

Today we spent our evangelism time at Waa-Wee coffee shop. We met Gow there and five of us sat down with him. I felt like we had too many people talking to one person, so Lindsey and I broke off to speak to other people in the coffee shop. We started by talking to Wanna. She was a woman who was in Chaingmai for the holidays. We asked her if we could interview her about the Buddhist faith for a class. She agreed and we asked her several questions about Buddhism. When we asked her what Buddhism meant to her she would always start her sentences with "Well, the book says". We would then ask her, "What do you believe though." I could tell by her comments and facial expressions that she realized that she did not know what she believed. We then asked her if we could share with her what we believed. She happily agreed and listened quietly. We share the gospel with her using the evangecube and focusing on the relationship God wanted to have with her. She seemed a little overwhelmed when we were finished so we asked her if she had any questions. She said not at the moment. We then gave her contact information in case she had any questions or if she wanted to meet again. We also took her contact information and I plan on emailing her a few times to keep contact with her. We then said good-bye and reminded her to call us with any questions and we also reminded her that God loved her and wants to have a relationship with her. We then took the time to pass out several tracts around the area of the coffee shop, and told each person we had a
"gift" for them. Everyone we came in contact with was very grateful and took the tract. Then we went back to the coffee shop to check on how the conversations with Gow was going. It seemed to be going well so we found two students who speak English from Chaingmai University in the coffee shop. One was a male Buddhist named Pom, and the other was a female named Jip, who claimed to be a Christian. She explained to us that she was a Christian because her mom was a Christian. We explained to her that becoming a Christian is a personal decision to follow Christ. We then shared the gospel message with an emphasis on having a personal relationship with Christ. We asked them if they had and questions and they said no. We asked if they would like to meet again, they said no but they would like to have their contact information in case they changed their minds. We also took their contact information. We asked them if there was anything they need us to pray for and they told us they needed prayer for their finals. We told them we would everyday next week. Gow came to the conclusion that he wanted to go with us to church on Sunday. I am praying that God will speak to Gow during Church.

July 21, 2008

Today we went to a mosque with a school. We met women named Maria Ampone. She is a 50 year old woman who is a native of Thailand. She works a teacher at the mosque. We asked her if we could interview her about Islam and she said yes. We asked her about prayer. She explained to us in Islam they pray what the prophet has asked them to. Five times a day you must pray facing Mecca. Preferably, this is to be done at the mosque. We talked to her about prayer and the relationship we have to God. She said that she too can talk to God like we can. That she feels God when she is alone. This frustrated me a little bit because I wasn't sure where to go with that. I knew she couldn't possibly feel God but I also knew I couldn't tell her that because it would offend her greatly. We didn't get much farther with her that day because she had to go. But she did introduce us to another teacher at the school named Noriah. She will be meeting with us the rest of this week. I am really excited to be spending some quality time with one person this week. It gives us a chance to get to know the person so we can get to deeper issues. I am praying that the Holy Spirit will speak through us in the next few days.

July 22, 2008

Today we went back to the mosque to speak with Noriah. We planned to meet her at 2:00pm but we couldn't find the mosque. It was very frustrating because for once we did not have a translator so we could not speak with our driver. We had to backtrack and we didn't get there until three. Luckily, Noriah still had some time to talk with us. We began by asking her what God was like. She told us he was the creator. He wasn't like man. He can see us but we cannot see Him. He is loving, because he sent the prophet. She also described him as merciful, compassionate, mighty, all-seeing, knowledgeable, and everlasting. We then asked her about paradise and how she knew she was going there. She explained to that no one knows whether they will be in paradise or not. It is God's decision once we die whether we deserve heaven or hell. I wanted so badly to talk to her about what we believed but I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to wait. We then asked her about prayer. She said it was a ritual. It's to show that they have faith. Again, we decided to listen instead of speaking. We also asked her if humans are good/bad. She explained when we were born we were clean and pure but then we have to decide whether we will be good or bad. Once she was finished explaining these things she said that she had to go but she wanted to leave us with some questions. She asked us "What do you think about Islam?", "Does the Christian accept Mohammed?", "Is the God of Islam the God of Christianity?", and "What do you think about the Quran?" When I heard them, I was a little nervous to answer these questions. Would answering these questions make her not want to listen to the gospel message? I know that after this meeting time our team would have to sit down and pray about what we needed to do. We told Noriah we'd answer these questions but we would also like to share what we believed in. She seemed eager to know and said we would meet again at 2pm. Hopefully we will be there on time!

July 23, 2008

We met with Noriah again at the school and this time we made it by two. This made me excited because we would have more time to spend with her today. It was interesting when we got there because she didn't ask us right away about her questions. She wanted to listen to what we believed in. We then got to share the gospel story with her using the evangecube. After we were finished she explained to us that she had six brothers and sisters who were Christian in her family and she hadn't heard the story exactly like that. We told her the story about Jesus and the two thieves on the cross. She kept asking us if the men on the cross were friends or disciples of Jesus. We explained to her that they were just common thieves who were serving out there punishment. She was amazed by the story and didn't understand how anyone could do that for someone, especially a thief. She had brought a Bible with her that her sister had given her and we showed her where to read the story from on her own and she highlighted it. We challenged her to read John in the bible and told her we would answer any questions she had. She was more than willing to read it. She said she was a seeker of the truth and that she would be willing to take the time to read it. After that Hana shared her testimony and it was very powerful. We left her with that and told her we would see her again tomorrow. Now that we have shared the gospel, we will have to answer her questions tomorrow. I feel much better about it now.

July 24, 2008

Today is the last day we will meet with Noriah. I hope that we will be able to answer all her questions. We arrived at the mosque again at 2:30, ready to talk. She had read three things that she wanted us to explain to her- The Passover, John the Baptist, and Atonement. We explained to her what these things meant by showing her scripture passages and challenging her to read along in her Bible. She was fascinated with the stories. I shared my testimony at this moment. She then asked us if we could answer her questions. I told her that first off, we love the Muslim people, especially since Jesus loved them, but we believe that the Bible is the only Word of God and if we don't read it in the Bible then we can't believe it's true. She asked us if that meant we believed the Quran is true. We told her we could not believe it because it is not the Word of God. She was quiet for a moment and then thanked us for being honest with her. She said she didn't have much time left but she had one more question for us. She asked us if she did want to get saved how she would do that. At this moment I felt so excited. This was the perfect way to end our time together! We explained to her that she had to admit she was a sinner to God through prayer, and ask Him to forgive her sins. She also had to confess to God that she believed in her heart that Jesus was sent as a gift for our sins and that she accepted the gift. We gave her a tract with a sinners prayer in it to make sure that she understood what we were talking about. She thanked us for our time. We took a picture with her and wrote down her mailing address so we could write her. Before we left we asked her if there was anything we could pray about. She said she wanted to have us pray about seeking the truth. Although Noriah did not come to know Christ while we were there, I believe we planted a seed so deep in her life that she will never be able to ignore it again. We left her in the hands of the Holy Spirit. I pray that he will continue to pull on her heart and that she will continue to seek the truth because if she does she will realized that what we have shared with her is the only way, the truth and the life.

Amy Perry