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Fifteen Extra Years

Fifteen years ago, Guy was dying of AIDS.  His wife, Kaow, begged her neighbor to lend her one dollar so that she could take her husband to the hospital. Even Guy’s own family refused to help. 

When Kaow arrived at the hospital, the doctor told her that Guy had only days to live. 

When the nurse on duty heard about Guy, she thought about her newfound faith in Jesus. She immediately went to his room and told Guy and Kaow how Jesus had revealed his love to her through his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. Her sins had been forgiven and she received eternal life. When Guy and Kaow heard this Good News, they repented of their sins and believed in Jesus Christ. Then the nurse asked if she could pray for healing.

As she prayed, strength miraculously came back into Guy’s body. 

From that day on, Guy and Kaow and their family followed Jesus. They became a part of our first church in Chachoengsao and we started our first discipleship group in their small tin shack. 

It says in Zechariah 4:10, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.” It was because of Guy and Kaow’s faithfulness that many churches were started in Thailand. 

Last month, Guy passed away suddenly. He was 52 years old. When we received the news, we sent out word immediately to all our Thai and Myanmar churches. 

“Do not despise these small
beginnings,
for the Lord rejoices
to see the work begin.”  

Zechariah 4:10

Guy’s family insisted that the funeral be at the local Buddhist temple, but Kaow asked for special permission from the monks to have a Christian ceremony for one hour before the Buddhist ceremony, to which the monks kindly agreed. 

When we arrived at the funeral after a seven-hour drive, we fell out of the truck and into the weeping embrace of Kaow. Many believers from our Thai and Myanmar churches had already gathered and had begun to celebrate Guy’s life and to offer comfort to Kaow and their son, Golf. It was such a precious gathering. 

Joshua, one of our Myanmar pastors, shared about how Guy had saved his life when he was a new believer. A man in the neighborhood had come after him with a machete and tried to kill him, but Guy had used his skills as a champion Thai kick boxer and gently brought that man under control! 

Guy’s son, Golf, who had become one of our church planting interns, stood up with his guitar and sang a song of worship to Jesus. He also shared that his dad’s prayer for him was that he would serve the Lord. As Golf sang, many of his Buddhist aunts started to groan and cry under the weighty presence of God.  

For the next three nights, Buddhist friends and family listened as we sang songs of resurrection hope and the unconditional love of Jesus. Each night, the Buddhists and Christians sat a little closer together. Pastor Naat preached the Gospel through the powerful parables of Jesus. Everyone leaned in, eager to understand. 

On the final night, Naat invited the Buddhists to escape their endless bondage to karma and receive the free gift of grace found in knowing Jesus Christ. As several responded in faith, the whole group prayed. 

Finally, it was time for Guy’s body to be cremated. According to custom, a monk must stand and read a history of the deceased person’s life. Golf provided the written history, and the monk stood and announced, “Guy was addicted to drugs and dying in the hospital when he heard about the love of Jesus Christ. God forgave Guy’s sin and healed his body. Then God blessed Guy with a new life and a new business that provided abundantly for his family. Jesus’ healing power and grace gave Guy an extra fifteen years to live for him.” 

As I surveyed the family of God at the funeral, represented in our ten Thai churches and ten Myanmar churches, I could hear the Holy Spirit asking me again, “Louise, I know you feel weak, but If I can use a man with HIV to start a church, and if I can even use a monk to preach the Gospel in a Buddhist temple, would you be willing to serve me wholeheartedly for another fifteen years in Thailand?” 

That night, with the sound of monks chanting and the smell of incense wafting all around me, I too surrendered my life again to my Savior. 

Guy’s testimony of God’s power made perfect in weakness begs this question: What kind of amazing legacy would your life leave to the world if God gave you an extra fifteen years to serve him?

GO

Today, there are many young Thai and Myanmar believers who want to go out and start new house churches. Our pastors and leaders in Southeast Asia are urgently praying for more missionaries to come and support this effort in Thailand. How is God calling you to get involved?

To speak with a Regional Mobilizer about getting involved in Southeast Asia, call 1.866.964.7267. To learn more about current service opportunities, go to multiply.net/go

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