At the University

Miriam Bernstein January 31 2018, 6:29 am

It was a Friday morning, and I waited to meet with Pii Bee at the nearby university. I had been introduced to this professor through a church member, and Pii Bee and I usually met weekly to practice English conversation. This day she arrived accompanied by a student. I was not too surprised as she had often invited other professors to join us; however, this time was different. We talked briefly, and moments later a few more students arrived. As it turned out, she had invited her entire class to join us in the cafeteria. More groups arrived until we were surrounded by about 15 students. This was certainly taking an interesting turn!

I quickly realized we would not be able to talk as planned, as her students had varying levels of comprehension. I shared briefly with them about teaching English, with Pii Bee as my translator, and passed around my business cards. Students began asking questions about me and my family and where I was from. I was so thankful for Pii Bee and her ability to translate for us all. I learned what the students studied and what they did in their free time. I noticed that as we talked, Pii Bee would always emphasize that I was a Christian when she would respond to her students, even when this was not at all part of my answer. The students were very curious what I was doing in Thailand and how I could teach English for free. They were not surprised to learn I was a missionary, although a nun was their first guess.

What struck me most was a student I sat beside. She could understand some English but was too shy to speak to me directly, so she directed all her questions to Pii Bee. Almost all her questions were about Christianity. She wanted to know more about how I could hear God. Does He verbally speak to me? What do we learn in church? What is the difference between Protestant and Catholic? Question after question. She even noticed that I don’t wear makeup and thought that was a good thing. By the end, it was just the three of us left, after everyone else had gone. I was so thankful that God, through this Buddhist professor, had opened the door to share about Christianity with these students.

The next week, Pii Bee told me some of the students wanted to meet with me twice a week to practice English. I am happy that the student with all the questions, Fon, is there every time. I pray that as we talk, read Bible stories, and pray together that God will continue to answer the questions of this sincere seeking soul. And I praise God for the influence of Pii Bee and how she is drawing students to join this group.