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.