Kyle Tumberg

A Shy Seeker

“Ajarn (Teacher) Kyle, I would like to meet with you to do some additional Bible study.”

I was quite happy to get this request from Nok, one of our Thai church members. Nok had recently begun regularly attending church again after facing a season of trial in her life, and I could tell she was very serious about growing and developing her faith. We set up a time to meet and began weekly studies.

As I prayed about what to share with her, I felt impressed to share biblical principles about how to work with God and follow His leading in witnessing to others. In addition to wanting to strengthen her own Bible knowledge, Nok also desired to reach out to her friends and family. During our weekly meetings, I shared the importance of letting the Holy Spirit be the one that leads people to God and then joining Him in that work. I encouraged her to pray that the Spirit would work in the lives and hearts of her friends and that He would give her opportunities to minister to them.

At the beginning of one of our weekly meetings, I noticed that the construction workers, a Thai husband and wife team working on our building for the past couple of months, were fixing the door in the entryway where Nok and I were meeting. Thinking the noise would interrupt the study, I motioned to Nok that we should meet in the pastor’s office. However, one of the workers, Supap, started talking with us before we could move. She told us about her six-year-old autistic daughter and the challenges she was having with her. We listened to her and talked about the power that Jesus has to heal and to give help and wisdom to deal with difficult situations.
Nok and I shared with her, and we sensed that she was spiritually open. We talked for about half an hour, and before we finished, we invited Supap and her husband to church. She said that she would attend that Sabbath and told us that during her time working on our building, she had wanted to talk with a pastor but felt too shy or unworthy to do so.

As a construction worker, she felt like her status was beneath ours. Thai people are very status-conscious, and if they feel like they are in an inferior position in a relationship, they will be deferential and will not assert themselves. We assured her that we are all equal in God’s eyes and that anyone is welcome to come and worship with us.

After Supap and her husband finished working on our door, Nok told me she had sensed that Supap had a spiritual interest and had felt like we should talk with her. Nok and I both marveled at how God had orchestrated the whole encounter, in awe of how He had just given us a real-life illustration of one of the principles we had been studying.

Since our initial conversation with Supap, she has come to church every Sabbath. She has willingly volunteered to help in the kitchen with potlucks and clean-up and enthusiastically attends Sabbath school classes, Bible studies and other church events. She told us that she considers herself a Christian and wants to prepare for baptism. Pi Nok sends Bible verses and encouraging messages to her during the week and has begun taking her under her wing. And our new Thai pastor has set a tentative baptismal date for November and will conduct Bible studies with her in preparation.

As I reflect on this experience, I am reminded that people all around us are seeking more and are open to God’s Spirit. If we train ourselves to pay attention, we can be used to reach those whom God is seeking to draw to Himself. May we allow the Lord to connect us to those He is drawing. Please pray with me toward that end!

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44).

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