Right now, I am having a difficult moment. This third wave of COVID-19 has us limiting some of our regular interactions with others and, as I stare at the computer screen, I am reminded of the reality of our Christian journey. Not every day is a “perfect” day, but every day can be a good day with the Lord. Yes, I know this might sound cliché, but it is true; it is the one and only reason we sold our things in the United States, left our family, friends, and air-conditioned house, and moved to the other side of the world! In other words, life can be hard, cruel and hopeless for all the people that do not know Jesus. But, for those of us who do know Jesus, while life can be hard, it does not have to feel hopeless. This is why we are here in Khon Kaen, to bring a message of hope and salvation, to teach people that when they are feeling tired and discouraged or going through sickness or financial or family difficulties, God is with them. They do not have to journey alone.
So, while today I just need to take it easy and soak in God’s promises of hope, wisdom and restoration, I realize that, unfortunately, millions do not know that they can do the same. They don’t know there is a loving Savior that wants to give them hope of forgiveness, eternal life, and protection. We must tell others that when they are going through difficulty, our God wants them to be assured of these promises:
“The Lord gives strength to His people and blesses them with peace” (Psalms 29:11).
“I cried to You for help, O Lord my God and You healed me” (Psalms 30:2).
“But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his eternal glory in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation. To Him be the power forever! Amen” (1 Peter 5:10).
“Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart, and God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
“For God did not send His Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior” (John 3:17).
Imagine the contrast: recently, Rene had the opportunity to attend a Buddhist funeral where the hope of the resurrection morning was absent, while I had the opportunity to attend a Christian funeral where people had the hope of eternal life. About 97 percent of the people here do not know this good news and, in a day like today, when I am not in the most cheerful mood, I find strength and motivation in remembering that it is to share this good news that we are here. I find peace in knowing that, though rainy days come, there are always sunny ones, too, and that, even on the rainy days, I have God and I am not alone.
I am confident that many people here will discover this peace, too. Even now, in the local congregation, we have former Buddhists who are now Adventists. Because of your prayers and support, they have come to know hope after years of knowing despair. We appreciate your partnership in making a difference in the lives of people such as Mai, who expressed to us her great joy in knowing God and how her husband was filled with peace before he passed away. She said it was his wish that their entire family would become Christians. Yes, for this reason we are here, and with this reason I have found my inspiration to write!