Eve flopped down on our lumpy green couch and looked at me with troubled eyes. Obviously, something disturbed her. The challenge would be figuring out what is was.
God brought this lovely young lady to our fellowship recently. She is a new Christian, a convert from Buddhism. The truths of the Bible that are evident to the youngest Sunday school scholar are unknown to her, as she has never before been taught. When she was assigned to our local school as a student teacher, far from her home, she asked God to provide a church for her and Christians to help her. She saw our sign while riding her motorbike by our place and visited. She was amazed and overjoyed at God’s answer to her fledgling prayer. She longs to study the Bible, but first we had to have a common language. We are studying together and she is picking up English quickly. My Thai is much slower — but she has been a big help to me.
“Many children in school not have parents,” she said that day in the mix of Thai and English we use. “Poor things.”
I nodded. There are many children’s homes in the area where we live. One is large with about 200 children. They all attend the local public school where Eve teaches Chinese.
“My God is not fair,” Eve said in dismay.
There was the trouble, and my quandary. How could I explain to her the mystery of why our good God allows bad things to happen — when we only have a few words in common? It’s tough enough to grasp when you speak the same language.
I didn’t have enough words to go into how the world is marred by sin and sin hurts, not just the sinner, but all who come in contact with him. I couldn’t manage to tell of God’s sovereignty and how He uses even the evil intentions of others for ultimate good. She has never heard the story of Joseph and his brothers, or of Job, so references to them wouldn’t help.
I asked God for wisdom, took a deep breath, and plunged in.
“God is fair. God is good,” I said. “He cares about the children. That’s why He sent a Christian teacher to them to show them His love.”
She got it and the troubled look was replaced by a thoughtful one.
Thailand is a country old in sin, and the results are evident all around us. Abandoned children, poverty, and prejudice are a part of life here. Please pray for us as we reach out to these precious people we have come to love. We need wisdom and patience. A better handle on Thai would help, too!
And please remember Eve in prayer, that God would draw her close to Himself and bless her as she begins on her Christian journey.