I am sure you have heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, “It takes a village to share the gospel.”
God has asked all of us, individually, to share the good news. However, He often uses a group of people to reach one soul, as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:6-9 (NLT):
“Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
This truth has most certainly been the case with our sweet, young European friend Melissa, who attends Khon Kaen University and is studying the Thai language and culture. Claudette met her at a vegan restaurant and invited her to sing at the children’s care home, where she volunteers each Sunday morning, along with Emma, one of our church members. After helping at the children’s home, they went out to eat together. Emma then invited Melissa to our house for our ladies’ Bible study on Wednesday evenings. We just happened to be studying the Sabbath at the request of other new Christian (non-Seventh-day Adventist) participants in the group. That first time she attended, she was full of questions.
We invited her to our house church (because of COVID-19 restrictions) at 10 o’clock on Sabbath morning and for lunch afterward. She gladly accepted and promised to come and bring something for lunch. I explained that we usually serve plant-based meals and hoped it would suit her. She was most excited about that because she wished to switch to a mostly meatless diet but found very few places where she could eat that way. She even asked for recipes and menu ideas.
After the Sabbath meal, I was touched when she came to me and excitedly shared that she was so glad she had kept her first Sabbath with us and was so blessed.
Now that the church is open, she has come almost every Sabbath and is amazed at all the surprising new Biblical truths she is learning. We have enjoyed her company at our game nights, Sunday morning breakfasts, birthday celebrations, and more recently, our church campout weekend. We sat together at our Christmas party last week, and I witnessed such delight in her. She said, “I feel so much at home here, and I am so glad I found a home-away-from-home this holiday season.”
Melissa will be going back to her country soon, but we know that one plants the seeds, another waters, but God is the One that makes things grow. As I pray for my new friend, the Lord has prompted me to ask for a Holy Spirit-guided Seventh-day Adventist person to come along beside her in her home country.
I am also praying that God will bring more transient, international (English-speaking) people to our fellowship so that He can plant more seeds here in Thailand.
It takes a global village to share the gospel.