On Saturday, our team was in southern Thailand around a town called Songkhla. We met with a pair of missionary families there and spent the morning doing door to door evangelism in a nearby village. We drove to the village and then split up into three teams. As we got out of the cars, we could hear the chanting of a Buddhist monk from a nearby temple in the background, which seemed to add an urgency to our mission.
The Thai are generally a very welcoming and hospitable people and so we were able to talk to several of them. I shared the story of Jesus with a couple of groups and they were very engaged with us. We enjoyed a much better reception than we would have received going door to door in the States, I’m sure. We drank some iced tea at a market there and had some fantastic cookies that were being cooked outside with boiling water at one house. My doctor warned me about eating several different things in Thailand before I came and I’m sure he would not have approved of the tea or the cookies (especially since I didn’t know where the water for them came from – especially the tea) but I prayed and asked God to protect us since we were out there witnessing for him! Fortunately, he kept us healthy.
When we left the village, we drove through a Muslim neighborhood that had a completely different feel than all of the Thai places we had seen so far. There is a growing Muslim presence in south Thailand which also seemed to lend an importance to our trip. As we were driving through, we heard the chilling Muslim call to prayer from the village mosque.
That evening we visited the golden mermaid statute, which is a local attraction at a beach here. We had been told to be alert, and if someone came up and started to talk to us in English to take it as an invitation to share the gospel. Sure enough, a Muslim named Asif walked up to Pastor Robert during our time there and was eager to talk about the Christian faith and Islam. Robert shared the gospel with him and asked Asif if he could pray with him. Asif agreed and Robert prayed for him. As they said goodbye, Asif said that he would consider what Robert had told him.
Shortly after that, a couple of the women on our team were approached by a group of Thai girls from a nearby university. They were doing a project which required them to interview an English speaker (okay, God – now you are just showing off!) and so this gave them a chance to share the gospel as well. One of the girls in the group was even videotaping the gospel presentation on her phone!
One of the cool things about this day was that in the morning, we went out seeking people to share with and in the evening, it felt like God was sending them to us. Both were important. Our team has been going through Ephesians while we are here and these encounters brought to mind Ephesians 6:15 which tells us the shoes of readiness are part of the whole armor of God. I pray that I will stay alert even back in the U.S. for opportunities to share at all times.