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)