The fields of peanuts and corn on the opposite shore of the Mekong River shone a dim silver in the bright moonlight. The murmur of many frogs was punctuated by the mellow, deep lowing of cows to their calves and the distant rumble of monsoon thunderheads gathering their strength for tomorrow.
The muddy path tugged at our feet with each step as we neared Yusof’s house. Dim fingers of light reached out through the cracks of a dozen bamboo huts and guided us around the glistening fronds of banana trees and the fresh dung of the cows tied under every house. At one point, the mud won the tug-of-war for my shoe, and my suddenly bare foot came down on a division of ants marching over the wet leaves.
“Ii-low-ee!” (“Older Brother!”) we called out to the house, flustering several featherless chickens who complained as they settled back on their roost.
It was dark inside the house, and we wondered if everyone was asleep. Then, “Larng-mow!” came the invitation. “Come in! Sorry for the darkness. We can’t afford to connect to electricity, and our solar lamp doesn’t charge well on rainy days.”
We sat on our feet in a circle close enough to touch, the social posture of friends giving each other our full attention. We listened to Yusof’s story of abusiveness and gambling and walking out on three wives before Jesus became his master. His wife told of many nights holding their children and crying all night, waiting for him to come home. “Now he thinks about me and is gentle, and we never argue,” she said.
We prayed together in tears for their second son Alfary whose mind and attitude is no longer right after dabbling with drugs during long weeks fishing far out at sea. After doing everything we could to encourage them, we said goodnight and began our careful walk out of the village. “The way to do that is with bare feet,” they called after us. “One false step, and you’ll be doing laundry tomorrow! Try going out on the other trail. It is a little better. Salamat Jap-pagho!”
Yusof and his wife worship Jesus and want to serve Him, but they still pray five times a day in the Muslim way and fast during Ramadan. They are brand new believers, taking the steps they know to take. They faithfully attend church in our living room every week, but lately they can barely keep their composure through the service because their hearts are breaking for Alfary.
Would you join us in praying for Alfary’s healing? Also, please pray that the Bible will come alive as we study together, and the Holy Spirit will be near as we spend time pouring our friendship into this precious family.