Everyday stories

 In All


Before making a one day visa run to Bangkok, I prayed that I would have an opportunity to share Bible stories with the Thai I encountered that day. The first was a retired civil engineer in his early 50s who was going on vacation. The story I told to him was the Tower of Babel with an emphasis on the shoddy construction materials they used and the scattering of the nations.

The next was on the way to the Labour Department with a taxi driver who had never heard about the resurrection of Christ and so I told him both the crucifixion and resurrection account. The return trip gave me an opportunity to share with my 64 year old chauffeur. As often happens when they hear me speak Thai they say, “Oh, so you must have a Thai wife”. I revealed to him that I am a widower and have lived in Thailand for 30 years, and he inexplicably replied, “I had a wife, with also 3 minor wives in the past … but now I’m down to just one.” I ended up telling him the story of David and Bathsheba with all the repercussions that flowed into David’s life afterwards.

Finally, I sat next to a tall 27 year old Chinese/Thai business man named “Boat.” Boat grew up in Bangkok but had studied in China and now ran an export business to China. He showed me pictures of his beautiful Korean girlfriend who he has visited four times a year for the past seven years (he said they communicate in Mandarin). I asked him why he hadn’t gone ahead and married her and went on to show him pictures of my family and a bit about how my children had found their mates. I decided to tell Boat the story of Isaac and Rebecca, because it seems to be the clearest story in the Bible about the “dating” process.

In each meeting with these men, I handed out a gospel tract and encouraged them to pursue more stories and information from the Bible. Some had Christian friends and I urged them to talk directly with those who were believers.

My basic approach is to seek to start a winsome conversation and then insert a Bible story that fits their felt need or situation. Of course, in an hour long conversation we end of talking about lots of things and I am sometimes led to use a more apologetic approach. But mostly I go through my database of Bible stories and ask God for the one that fits best. My goal is not to force the entire gospel message into the conversation, but to at least present the Word of God accurately (which will not come back void…my own words do not have that same guarantee).

Then I pray that the gospel tract I leave with them will be read and they will follow up on my admonition to talk with a Christian they might know, search for information on the internet or attend a church. If I sense genuine interest then I may try to arrange another meeting with those that live near me.

There are many unreached people in Thailand. Telling Bible stories is one way for Thai Buddhists to learn who Jesus is and turn to him in repentance and faith. Many who hear the gospel in story and song then go on to tell others.

Larry Dinkins

Showing 5 comments
  • Joyce Swan

    Hi Larry that is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  • David & Sue Pickard

    We admire your expectation, perseverance and ability to make each conversation link up with a Bible story
    We are prayer partners with Christine Dillon who you know in Taiwan
    May you see fruit in this ministry as well as the director of CBS

  • Mr. Birman

    What is linking one story to another in the Bible, even linking one book to another? Did you include the other gods in your story?
    There would have been nothing more commonsensical to the ancient Bible writer than the reality of an unseen host of gods ruling over the affairs of men from the heavens, and for this reason there is no more commonsensical place to start for understanding the larger story of the Bible.
    We have been taught to ask what the Bible means to us instead of asking what it meant to them. No ancient document, not even the Bible, can be understood without first drawing it through the lens of its original authorship and readership. Other wise its a “kool story bro”.

  • Mr. Birman

    “The story I told to him was the Tower of Babel with an emphasis on the shoddy construction materials they used and the scattering of the nations”.
    Really is that what the emphasis of the story is about, shoddy construction materials. The scattering of the nations is one of the events. The famous story of the building of the Tower of Babel is about much more than an ill-fated construction project and language confusion. The episode is at the heart of the Old Testament worldview. It was at Babylon where people sought to “make a name (shem) for themselves” by building a tower that reached to the heavens, the realm of the gods. The city is once again cast as the source of sinister activity and knowledge.

    You’ll notice right away that there’s the same sort of “plural exhortation” going on in verse 7 as we saw in Genesis 1:26. The verse has Yahweh proclaiming, “Let us go down and confuse their language.” As was the case in Genesis 1:26, the plural announcement is followed by the actions of only one being, Yahweh: “So Yahweh scattered them” (11:8).
    It’s at this point that most Bible readers presume there’s nothing more to think about. That’s because other Old Testament passages that speak of this event tend to be omitted from the discussion. The most important of these is Deuteronomy 32:8–9 (ESV):

    8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind, 
    he fixed the borders of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God.
    9 But the LORD’s portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted heritage.

    Deuteronomy 32:8–9 describes how Yahweh’s dispersal of the nations at Babel resulted in his disinheriting those nations as his people. This is the Old Testament equivalent of Romans 1:18–25, a familiar passage wherein God “gave [humankind] over” to their persistent rebellion.

  • Mr. Birman

    The statement in Deuteronomy 32:9 that “the LORD’s [i.e., Yahweh’s] portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage” tips us off that a contrast in affection and ownership is intended. Yahweh in effect decided that the people of the world’s nations were no longer going to be in relationship to him. He would begin anew. He would enter into covenant relationship with a new people that did not yet exist: Israel.
    The implications of this decision and this passage are crucial to understanding much of what’s in the Old Testament.

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