“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”– Isaiah 6:8 NIV
God knows what we need
Under the impulse of spiritual prompting, we head off again for another mission. We woke up at 5:00 AM in order to catch the early morning train. As we were trying to organize our transport to the train station, we decided it would be best to travel separately as we were carrying a lot of things. We brought our personal belongings and the gift packs for the passengers on the train which included bottled waters, biscuits and gospel books.
Just as we were waiting, an empty “Songthaew” stopped in front of us and the driver kindly offered to bring our group directly to the train station. What a great relief and what a thoughtful gesture from this kind Thai driver. We felt God’s providence at that moment. He knew our need for transport to get to the train station and He sent this kind man to help us on time with all our bags and belongings. Sometimes, we don’t always realize how God can have a hand in the little things that we are in need of. We didn’t expect such a kind gesture from him, yet there he was, just in time to help us all. What a great way to start the day! It could have been a stressful situation for us but God knew our mission plan for this day and made sure that someone was there to help us.
With joyful hearts, we set out on our journey. We arrived at the train station filled with eagerness to board the train. Our mission for this trip was to share God’s love and to extend His invitation for salvation among the Thai people.
Train to Chacheongsao
All aboard as we travel through the old railways from Klongtan train station to Chacheongsao. Again, God’s providence was revealed to us by touching the heart of the train inspector. We all watched the inspector as he went about checking each passenger’s ticket. He had a stern and strict look on his face which made our team leader feel a bit skeptical to approach him.
It was still appropriate for us to politely and respectfully request the train inspector’s approval to be able to hand out the gifts and gospel books to the passengers. With silent prayers, we directed our thoughts to the mighty “One” who can touch a heart of stone and soften it. And, lo and behold, the train inspector replied, “Yes, please go and distribute all the books and gifts along the train carriages, give them to the people”. What a swift and wonderful response to hear. Praise God! More so, it boosted our courage and confidence to quickly go and accomplish the group’s main goal for that trip.
“Manna-to-go” on a train ride
No matter who we are or what we do in life, we can still be a blessing to others. We may feel that we’re not doing anything great by just giving away gospel books to strangers, but the Holy Spirit can work wonders, touch a stranger’s heart and prompt them to read about the gospel news. The impact may seem less visible at the time and the result may not be known to us, however, if we remain steadfast while faithfully doing the work that God assigns us to do, we will end up being a true blessing to others. For sure, God will work it out, bless the ministry we started and use it to draw the unbelievers unto Him through the inner workings of the Holy Spirit.
Our train left the platform to begin its journey. We stood facing the passengers who were all settled into their seats. We all wondered, how many of these passengers could be brought unto the feet of Jesus? God must have prepared some souls to receive His message. Who knows?
Our group divided its members into four, assigning each team to serve and minister within the four carriages of the train. We went in pairs passing through the train aisles distributing a bag to each of the passengers. It’s manna-to-go time! And all went with gleaming smiles greeting each passenger with “sawadee ka” and at the same time handing the books.
To give or not to give?
Same question, same feeling of doubt and hesitation! To give or not to give?
While the group was engaged in our active literature distribution, we felt energized as most of the passengers we approached were friendly, accommodating and were happy to receive the gospel books we handed to them. But there were instances that we felt uncomfortable with our conviction to whether or not give the gifts to a few people who appeared detached and not at all open or friendly. They appeared preoccupied as if they didn’t want to speak to us and wanted to distance themselves from us. But we reminded ourselves that our goal was to give the books to everyone! We could not afford to miss this opportunity. We thought to ourselves, “This is it. They are here and we may never see them again.” We composed ourselves, facing our doubts and proceeded to offer them the gospel books and gifts.
There was someone special that we met on the train. It was an experience that we will never forget. She looked like someone in her early 50’s and she was having her breakfast the moment our group members approached her. As we tried to offer her the gospel book and gifts, she immediately motioned that she’s eating and that she’s not interested in receiving our gifts. With smiles, we let her attend to her meal undisturbed while we decided to sit nearby. Curious, she started some conversation after her breakfast and inquired what the books were all about. Our group members patiently explained the content of the book and we hoped that maybe she may be interested to know more. Suddenly, she asked for a copy of the book and our group gladly handed it to her.
The joy that filled our hearts was overflowing as we watched her flip through the pages and start to focus on reading the material in the book. God uses ordinary people just like us to reach the souls of those people who will yield to His promptings.
Outreach ministry is about our willingness to go
As faithful Christians, we have the responsibility to tell others about Jesus and the unfailing love of God. Jesus commanded us to tell others about Him. We are all asked to be missionaries and to go and share the gospel.
Why me? Why us? Aren’t there others who are more equipped to do the ministry? We are not preachers, we are just ordinary people who sometimes doubt and wonder whether we can be effective at being evangelists. As followers of Christ, we don’t have to hesitate, we don’t have to fear anything, just go with willing hearts and believe that we have been commanded to tell others what we have seen and heard. We need to tell the people about the wonderful experiences we have had in our personal walk with the Lord.
The greatest part of telling others about Jesus is the opportunity we get to affect the lives of many for good. Through the books that we are distributing, they will have the chance to come and to know Christ as their living Savior. That is a blessing and a great hope that we are sharing with them.
Our Savior Jesus commands us to tell others of His great salvation. The truth must be brought and proclaimed everywhere. He wants to reach every soul. He wants His people to get the chance to know about Him. He suffered the most painful and terrible death for all of us and sacrificed His life so that the whole mankind could be reconciled to the Father. The gospel news must reach every nation, tribe and people, and the only way for that truth to be known is for someone to tell it. We are that “someone”. This is a direct command from our Savior, let us all go and bring many unto the feet of our Savior! The heartbeat of the gospel is really about going and sharing it with others. That’s ministry, and that’s part of the manna-to-go that we are doing.
Upon reaching our destination, we got off the train filled with inner joy and headed to the Chacheongsao SDA Church to join our brethren there for the Sabbath service. We had a wonderful day and participated with the Sabbath program, then later boarded the train to travel back to Bangkok.
It was quite a successful ministry that I hold dear in my heart.