Most farmers in rural Isan are rice farmers. Besides regular rice, they also produce sticky rice. Sticky rice is steamed in an unusual way which makes me think of church planting: After rinsing the sticky rice (a grain that looks just like normal rice) the rice is put into a wicker basket. This wicker basket is placed on top of a pan with boiling water. After 20 minutes the rice is well-cooked through the steam of the water and the rice sticks together as a big chunck. The sticky rice is served in another wicker basket or on a plate. The people will gather on a mat. If a lot of people join the meal, the rice will be shared on different plates. So what has this to do with church planting?
Imagine the sticky rice in the wicker basket, uncooked. A few of them are black, all the others are white. The amount of black ones is small. Very small, presenting the number of Christians in Isaan. We hope to see that these loose rice grains become a group of Christians. Indeed: the steamed sticky rice – the chunck. We live among the Isaan people to see that become a reality. Our life is the wicker basket. It needs to be at the right place. The basket needs to be carried to the pot with boiling water for the rice to be well-cooked. The hands carrying the pot are praying hands. The steam in the pot is the Holy Spirit. Through God’s Spirit and prayer our work gets the right focus and will bear fruit. And if the rice is well cooked and a big chunk, we hope to see this chunk to go to different places. We hope to see churches that reach out to new places, that are sticky, atractive and will become an unstoppable movement.