There are many blessings in the missions field… Many of them have to do with the people that I meet. For this trip, it was the creatures that the Creator made…. Elephants… I’ve seen them in Zoos, the plains of Africa, walking down highway….. and now in an Elephant Camp in Thailand. And this was amazing.. Honestly, we went back and tried our best to out do the elephants… Not possible… Self portrats are just one of what they do well….
Later, as I reflected on the Journey to the village, I hear the still small voice of the Lord….
“You are the white person with the book…” I pause quitely to try and understand what is being spoken…
For Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you…” the Holy Spirit of the Lord continued, “When I spoke that to them, I had you in mind……… for I know the plans I have for you.”
The plan for me happened to be a fulfillment of what was spoken to the earlier generations of the Karen Tribes… ”A white man with a book… would unite you with God.” I am humbled and speechless. For when I first started missions and read about this people, I thought to myself, “I wonder if I will ever meet a Karen?” All the while Father God had it planned for me to be one of “the white men with the book.” Lord, I stand in Awe of You…
Eternity in their Hearts is the book I read…. Here is a recap of what is written….
The Karen of Burma had been searching for centuries for a “white brother who was supposed to bring them a book…(whose) author is Y’wa-the Supreme God…that the white brother, having given them the lost book, will thereby set them free from all who oppress them.” Their folk religion’s hymns bear striking resemblances to God’s character and “the Karen story of man’s falling away from God contains stunning parallels to Genesis chapter 1: Y’wa formed the world originally. He appointed food and drink. He appointed the ‘fruit of trial.’ He gave detailed orders. Mu-kaw-lee deceived two persons. He caused them to eat the fruit of the tree of the trial. They obeyed not…they believed not Y’wa…when they ate the fruit of trial they became subject to sickness, aging and death.” Wow! This was a remote group of people who had never come in contact with Jews or Christians before, yet their own religion, thousands of years old, had an incredible witness of the Lord! The Karen nation was thus poised like an 800,000 member welcoming party, ready for the first unsuspecting missionary who approached them with a Bible and a message of deliverance from God.” When missionaries finally brought the Gospel to the Karen in the early 1800s, thousands accepted Christ almost immediately and “almost as quickly as Karen were converted and baptized, they became missionaries to spread the good news still further among their own people” and neighboring tribes!
I walk into the porch and Morurid smiles, in his native Karen tongue, he sings “Jesus loves me”.. I smile and sing it back in English…. He then joins me and laughs. I hand him a little beanie baby and he smiles big. I also hand him a cross on a ribbon that I brought to give others. He immediately ties it on his wrist and says, “ I will not forget you” in broken English.
“Me either” is my reply… We join the rest of the grouping the main room…. And he starts to share some more…
The question was asked, “How was it that you became a Christian?”
With a grin, and answered… “Well” he smiled big, “our forefathers taught us that a white man would bring a book that unite us to Y’wa – the Supreme God.” He shifted in his chair as he sat upright, “My grand parents were some of the first Christians – Adoniram Judson, he translated the Bible into Karen and brought it to the my people… They received Jesus and became the first pastors. My parents were pastors and then I received Jesus in obedience to what we were taught from our forefathers, The white man would bring the book that would have the answer… I simply obeyed what they foretold when it was presented to me.”
“How did you know you were to be a pastor?” was our next question…..
“That’s easy” he said with a bigger smile, “Once I had the truth, I knew I needed to share it with others.” We agreed. He continued, “ All the hardships are nothing, seeing the power of God operate through His people to reach others is something.”
Arriving at the village and there are a few people waiting for us. The rest will come as they were informed we were delayed by the mud (rains)… We wash our feet in the cleanest mud puddle so we can enter into the church.
The school children were coming for us to minister to and I was assigned to do the teaching for this service… I taught on the Love of God…. As I communicated the pages of my bible to the children and adults of this village, they eagerly receive all that I have to say. I share about the plan for salvation and God’s free gift and at the asking, they all pray to make Jesus their Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit of God is moving and filling this place. We are prompted to lay hands on and fill all who were in the building with the Holy Spirit of God. It is a glorious time…… and all are blessed.