A few months ago a new lady joined our Tuesday night fellowship group, Mae Lop. I had no idea who she was. She was introduced by one of the church members as her neighbour. Mae Lop was quite interested in the gospel, but still saw it as the new faith of her neighbour: ‘her God is helping her, her God has changed her’.
I was wondering if I had to visit Mae Lop with this church member for a more personal conversation about Christ. But soon I realised that I wasn’t needed. This church member, who herself became a Christian half a year ago, looked after Mae Lop: praying together, pointing to God’s blessings in their daily lives and encouraging to read her Bible daily. Weeks passed,
but one Tuesday evening Mae Lop changed her wording to ‘Our God is helping us and answers our prayers’. Mae Lop takes steps to trust God more and more. She watches her Christian neighbour in her daily life and is encouraged by her. Mae Lop also develops a hunger to see other people getting to know the Lord. One of those people is her son. She started to pray for his salvation and turning to the Lord. In his thirties he has some health issues and lives with his mother. Mae Lop prayed for her son and after that he felt much better – they both saw God’s hand in this.
There are many people to reach in Thailand, and we try to reach as many people as possible. But actually with our physical limitations we can only reach some. We try to work through the model ‘Model, Assist, Watch, Leave’. We try to model to the Christians how they can reach others, after that we assist them doing it. With praying hearts we encourage them and watch them reach out without our actual presence. With more Christians involved in the evangelism and discipleship part we can reach many more who never heard the gospel before. Hopefully one day the church is able to reach out to others without our help. Then it will be time to leave.
This model sounds wonderful, but after 4 years we hadn’t been able to go beyond the ‘Assist’ stage. We are still involved in a lot of assisting and coming alongside Christians to reach out to others. But by God’s grace we are now reaching the stage that we can ‘Watch’ new believers bringing non-believers to the Lord, like the example of Mae Lop showed. This is a blessing for us all!