Meeting the Neighbors

As we peered over the fence for the first time at the house that would become our new rental in Khon Kaen, Phii Pen, the maid who lives and works in the house across the street, noticed us and came to greet us. “Are you going to move in here? That would be great, because then I would have a friend.” She told us that her employer family traveled a lot for work and left Pen home alone. When she learned that we were Christians, she told us that her father, before he died, had also become a Christian. Who knows? I thought. Maybe Pen will someday become a Christian. Imagine her father’s delight at the resurrection!
But there was another amazing surprise waiting—one that revealed itself at a funeral more than 50 miles away in the neighboring province of Kalasin. One of our Adventist church members, Paw Sii, had died, and I was called to assist with the service and outreach to his Buddhist family members. Our church had prepared a little memorial booklet about Paw Sii along with some Bible verses about the blessed hope. On the morning of the cremation, I was in a photocopy shop printing these booklets, when up walked Phii Pen! “What brings you here?” I asked in surprise.
“I’ve come to attend a funeral,” she answered.
“Me too!” I said. “Paw Sii’s funeral?”
“That’s my uncle! My father and he went to the same church!”
“No way! What are the chances?” I exclaimed. But this was not chance. I believe God has once again intentionally placed us in a neighborhood among people He has been wooing for years. Once again, I stand in awe of His providence.

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