Pray for Our World: Pacific

The Pacific region only consists of 6.3% of the world’s land surface, as compared to the other regions we have been praying for: Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe.  Yet it has more ocean space than Africa, Asia and Europe combined.  It is comprised of Australia, New Zealand and Papau New Guinea, and 25,000 other small islands scattered about, including Christmas Island, Midway Island, Fiji, French Polynesian and many others.  Most of the Pacific Islanders are of European descent and the rest are mostly Asian.  Based on the strategic location, there are several military bases there.

The Pacific was one of the first areas to be evangelized in the modern missionary era, though missionary casualties were high to due disease, violent death and even cannibalism.  Today, the islanders face many of the same problems of the rest of the world – crime, unemployment, lack of opportunity and education, disparity of incomes, and a general decline in interest of traditional forms of Christianity.  The gap is being replaced with atheism, Mormonism, Islamism, and Baha’i-ism.

Just like the popular European phrase, “mind the gap”, we should be praying that in all of our world, people will find the truth and joy that Jesus spoke of to fill the gap in their lives.  We should be showing them what Christianity is – a place of hope, truth, real love and forgiveness.  When you get to know the real Jesus, you will see the same attractiveness that His followers first saw in Jesus.  It doesn’t need to be fancy or showy.  The truth is attractive enough.

Pray for Our World – Region of Asia

I remember stepping off the plane in Bangkok a few years ago.  I had never been to this far-reaching and culturally different region of the world called Asia and did not know what to expect.  What I did know was that it was less than one percent Christian and held the majority of the world’s most ancient civilizations, a stark difference to my American Southeast culture.  But I’ll never forget the young Thai girl I met in one of the shops.  She had a framed picture of Jesus on one of her store shelves, and the store was noticeably lacking of any of the numerous Buddhist statues you would see in any other shop.  She had the most beautiful smile, and beamed with radiance when she proudly told me in broken English, “I am Christian.”  Later that night in my Sheraton hotel, where the locals treated us like celebrities because they thought we were rich, I found a Gideon’s Bible tucked away in the desk drawer of my hotel room.

God is everywhere, and God loves the people of Asia.  It is God’s plan for all the world to know Him, and to know about His Son Jesus that he sent to this region of the world 2000 years ago.  Asia spans a wide geographic area from the Middle East in Western Asia to China, India and Japan in central Asia, to Southeastern Asia of Philippines and Indonesia.  Asia is where the birth of the church started with Peter and Paul, and it is where the End Times is prophesied to take place.  The last 100 years have shown a remarkable resurgence of Christians in the area, increasing by over 150 million. Lands that were previously cut off from Christianity have been opening up, and there is an increase in Muslims responding to the Gospel.  There are many stories of Jesus appearing to Muslims in dreams and visions, which is the only way Muslims believe God can talk to you.  God is meeting them where they are.

It is in the individual acts of the missionaries that have gone before us, the Gideons, your prayer and donations to missions, Satellite tv, and internet Gospel, that has continued what Peter and Paul started in this area of the world.  It has given this one young Thai girl and many others the hope of a Savior and has shown them the Light of the World. 

The One Percent Christian


Before leaving on my trip to Bangkok, Thailand, I asked God to show me His people while I was there (“I have many people in this city”).  Bangkok is a Buddhist city of 8.5 million people and less than 1% are Christian.  A couple of days into my trip, I wandered into this shop.  I had found the 1%.

I asked the young Thai girl in the shop about the Jesus picture hanging on the top shelf.  With very broken English, she told me she was Christian. Wanting to know more, I asked her if she attended the Catholic church I saw down the street. She said no, she was Christian (probably indicating Protestant) and she gave the name of her church but I couldn’t understand.  There are a total of 2 Protestant churches and 4 Catholic churches in all of Bangkok.  I asked her if I could take a picture of the Jesus picture in her shop, but she misunderstood and thought I wanted to take the actual picture.  She offered to take me in a taxi to a Christian shop where I could buy one.  Finally she understood that I did not want to take the actual picture, and then she offered me a smaller one that she had stapled in her notebook.  I told her thank you, but no, I wanted her to keep that one.  She told me  “God bless you” as I left the shop, and I was very humbled by her generosity and eagerness.

The first Christian church in Bangkok was founded by Portuguese missionaries in the 1780’s and was provided through a land grant from the Thai King.  I wonder what made the King give the land to a group of people who probably seemed very strange to their customs.  For the thousands of years prior to that, Thailand had only known Buddhism.

I thank God for that beautiful young Thai girl who proudly said, “I am Christian,” with a smile on her face.  It made me realize just how important our missionaries are to the world.  They bring beauty and smiles and hope, in the name of Jesus Christ.

“I am the light of the world.  Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” Jesus (John 8:12)

feet with waves cropped