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Generosity rooted in faith

“Only pack a small bag please, the car is going to be quite full.” Thus began our 3 day road trip with three church pastors and their family. The car was indeed full and David and I squeezed into the back seat for the 7 hour journey to Uttaradit. It was not, however, without many stops for a famous noodle shop, important landmarks, the best fermented fish in the country, and bathroom breaks!
We were just along for the ride. An elderly couple who lived at the end of our journey had decided to give a plot of land to our church because of a long time connection with our pastors. We were going to take a look at the land, cast some vision as to how it might be used and to meet this generous family.
The highlight of the trip was sitting down around a delicious meal (that included cashew chicken that had more cashews than chicken!) with the grandfather and grandmother who had given the land and to hear their stories. When the grandfather was still a teenager he was given a Christian tract. The words in that tract made him question everything he had been taught. All of a sudden he started to question where the world came from and what was the reason for life. He decided that the answers were found in Jesus and he began to follow Him. He also became a boxer! As a youth, he said, he could work all day as a laborer and make 30 baht, or he could win one fight and make 1000…he chose the fight and proudly told us that of the hundreds of boxing matches he faced, he only lost 12. Old photos were shown of a rather dashing young man and his soon to be wife who everyone said was as beautiful as a model with her beehive hairdo and miniskirt.
They kept growing in their new faith, growing and sharing with others. It was hard. Being a Christian back then was like a betrayal of your country. Once a Molotov cocktail was thrown into their house during a bible study. They faced much animosity from the community but they raised a family in God’s ways and eventually sent their daughter off to Bible college. Now they are retired in a very remote rural area. Their family lives nearby and all are following Jesus. They harvest and sell cashews to make a living and they want to give something to the Lord to thank Him for His faithfulness over their lifetime. Hence when they divided up their land among their children, they kept one block to give for God’s work.
So how will it be used? For the moment more trees will be planted and any profits used to help the little church plant in Bangkok. In the future? Maybe a Christian campsite or a church? Who knows? But what a privilege and encouragement to meet this family whose lives were transformed by a piece of Christian literature. Pray for Kanok Bannasan (OMF Publishers) which is a non-profit Christian publisher here in Thailand. Pray as they publish Thai Christian literature for children, students and adults with an increasing emphasis on developing Thai authors. They aim to strengthen individual Christians, to build up the church and to present the Gospel to readers throughout Thailand in forms that communicate effectively.
Written by Tina Cannon

Tina is an OMF missionary serving in Bangkok, Thailand

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