A Debt to the East
“We have a debt to the East,” was my parents’ reaction when I sensed God’s call to missions in Asia.
During WW II one Japanese family lived in my father’s home town. They became followers of Jesus and started attending church. One of the sons of this Japanese family, Tom, felt called into the ministry. After his first year of seminary he was very discouraged. He told the Lord that he would not return if he couldn’t lead someone to Christ over the summer. God answered that prayer; he led my mother to know Christ. Tom became a remarkable pastor and remained very special to our family.
As a family, we were involved in camping ministry, and one year a family sent out as missionaries by our church came to help at camp. Yvonne was the counsellor of my cabin. She was fun-loving and very ‘real’. I came away feeling, “If Yvonne can be a missionary, maybe I can be too.”
God continued bringing people into my life: Don, working with Cambodian refugees, whom our university chapter of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship sponsored; Ann in Northern Thailand, translating the Bible for a tribal group, who I visited for a summer.
God used these relationships with real people to sustain my vision for overseas ministry. As God confirmed my call to Asia, he showed my parents how His call on my life fit with His gifts to our family. They willingly released me to work in Thailand.
But that wasn’t all. God had a very special surprise! My father took early retirement, and felt God was calling them to a new occupation… in Thailand. My parents served for four years, and then represented OMF in their local area. Thus our family has been paying the debt of love we owe to the East.
Brenda with Tim, her husband. She was based in Thailand from 1986 to 2017.