Persevere

My family and I returned to Bangkok about 10 days ago.  We had went to visit the States to see our family and friends.  Before we went to the States one of our church members, Dylan, came to me with the idea to start a College Ministry.  This is something we had been trying to do since our church started here, but with no success.  Bangkok University is across the street, but it is a private university. Therefore, it was very difficult to get permission to do anything on campus.  So Dylan and I talked about starting a college ministry.  We thought we might get 5 to 8 students because the truth is their might only be 5 Christians on the whole campus of thousands of students.  This campus is made up of Thais, Vietnamese, Korean, Nepalese and many more.  So the chances of getting many people to show up to a Bible study was slim to none.  But God calls us to be willing to share His story and His truth with people, so Dylan started it.

I am happy to tell you that Dylan has had some Sunday nights with over 40 students.  Absolutely crazy what God has done.

I think this can really teach us something about how God works and what our responsibility is in His work.  About 6 months ago we were really wanting to start something on campus to get to know more college students.  The campus had always told us no in the past because we are Christians.  But we got introduced to an Irish man who had been given clearance to have a class every week on campus.  He pitches his class to the administration that he is going to teach the students about Christianity so they can understand Westerners and Western thought better.  The university is all about helping its students understand the Western business world, so they gave him permission.  Well we came along side him to help in any way possible, and we started to make some relationships with the students.

At the same time Dylan had started a service club for students at the university.  So they would go and feed the homeless or play with the kids who live in low income housing.  We would join Dylan in this at some events and get to know more students.

With all this, the most important factor, is that God had connected Dylan to our church about 2 or 3 years ago.  He wanted to attend a church that was a Gospel centered, Bible teaching church.  So he has been regularly attending our church for a few years.  We have been able to encourage him with God’s word, and he has been faithfully serving our church.

So when Dylan had over 40 students show up for Bible study it was truly an act of God.  But God had been preparing this for the last couple of years; actually before time He planned this.

We can learn two things from this: One of them, I am sure you already know, but I hope to help you realize the second aspect.

First, God is moving for His own glory.  If God wants something to happen nothing will stop it. I MEAN NOTHING.  The fact that a university is less than half a percent Christian or the fact that over 99% of Bangkok is worshipping idols, cannot stop God’s plan.  His will be done.

But the second piece to this is encouraging to me, and I hope it will encourage you.  Anything that happens is because of God, but God does use us to bring about His will.  You see, the end result of many steps was that over 40 people came to a worship service, and that is encouraging.  But the steps before this left us to wonder if we were really making any headway.  The once a week class would usually only have 4 or 5 students there, one named Satish, which I will tell you about in a moment.  We were not seeing much fruit from this ministry.

Dylan has been a student at BU for 3 years, and even though he has tried many different things to see movement, nothing has sprung into fruit.  Also, we had joined with his service club, but we really didn’t have anyone from it come to our church.

So all these steps were showing little fruit, but we kept trying.  We trusted that this was what God wanted us to do, and we continued to pursue His plan. Dylan continued to be willing to be used by God.

All of the sudden in January, BOOM, we have a college ministry that is alive.  You see God’s plan was this all along.  He wanted us to take the necessary steps to build relationships and to work with His plan. Then, in God’s timing, He brought about glory for Himself.

So I want to encourage you all to persevere; keep plugging away at what God has called you to.  You might not see immediate results, and you might wonder if God is really doing anything.  But just keep trusting Him and following His will.  God is the one who makes everything happen, but remember that He uses us as His tools.  If we want the people around us to know the love of Jesus, then we need to get to work.  Don’t sit around and expect God to reward your inactivity.  Lay yourself at His cross and sacrifice everything for Him and see if He uses it to glorify Himself.  He will.

I want to end this by telling you that last Sunday Satish, a Nepalese guy with a Hindu and Buddhism background,  came to believe in Jesus.  This is the same Satish that started coming to the once a week class that we thought was showing very little fruit.  He was led to Christ by Dylan who has been sacrificing himself for years at that campus for God’s glory.  So when we are working hard for Jesus, and it doesn’t seem that anything is happening, remember Satish-a guy from Nepal, who now knows the love and saving grace of our Lord Jesus.  Praise you Jesus; You are amazing.

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