Serving God’s Strangers

Serving God’s Strangers

Fear and uncertainty shone through dark eyes, framed by a panic stricken face.  Unable to concentrate on her friends’ conversation, she bid them a distracted good-bye and climbed to her place in the open truck bed.  Though pressed tightly on all sides by others sharing her fate she traveled alone – leaving everything she knew for nothing familiar.

A few weeks ago that truck carried Dah Ku Say to the Bangkok airport where she boarded a jetliner bound for America and resettlement.  With only three months to repay the UN for her plane ticket and other services, she needs work.  But who will hire anyone with such a limited knowledge of English?  And if she does find a way to pay her debt, then what?  Where will she go?  What will she do?

And what about the others we know – Mu Aye, Soo Sah, Mulah, their families – and the others we don’t know?  Who meets them at the airports?  Who helps them find work, food to eat, a place to live?  Who teaches them English and how to live in a culture and country so different from their own?  And what about their spiritual needs?  Who loves them enough to draw close to them, to understand their hearts, and to feed their empty souls?

If I were in America, I would go to the airports, teach English, assist physical needs, and show them Jesus.  But I’m not in America.  I’m here instead – where God placed me.  What about you?  Can you bow before God in earnest prayer and rise confident you are exactly where He wants you to be?  If not, then it’s time to wrestle with Him until you’re certain.  And what about the work God has given us for this day?  Is it the same as yesterday’s, last month’s, last year’s?  Or is it completely different from anything we’ve ever done before?  One thing is sure – we each have a work to do, and we must be ready at every moment to do His bidding.

Dah Ku Say’s baptism.

“Hark! The voice of Jesus calling, ‘Who will go and work today? Fields are white, the harvest waiting – who will bear the sheaves away?’ While the souls of men are dying, and the Master calls for you, let none hear you idly saying, ‘There is nothing I can do!’”

I often found it hard to know what to do in America.  I think I’m not alone.  This year as we visited friends and family we heard the same request over and over again: “Please, tell us your needs so we know how to help God’s work.”  So we will do our best to keep you informed of ways you can help.  This is our first needs report.

God is placing before His church a wonderful and unique opportunity to simultaneously engage in His work overseas and at home.

Soo Sah.

Mu Aye and I – She and her family are America bound, soon. God doesn’t send everyone overseas, but He does send everyone to someone – and sometimes He sends them to us.

God has always provided for “strangers” through His church: “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest….  Thou shalt leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.”  “But the stranger that dwellers with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.”  Leviticus 19:9, 10, & 34.  Today, more than ever, our work for “strangers” in America is part of God’s plan to rapidly finish the work.  “God would be pleased to see far more accomplished by His people in the presentation of the truth for this time to the foreigners in America than has been done in the past….  If we were quick in discerning the opening providences of God, we should be able to see in the multiplying opportunities to reach many foreigners in America a divinely appointed means of rapidly extending the third angel’s message into all the nations of earth.  God in His providence has brought men to our very doors and thrust them, as it were, into our arms, that they might learn the truth, and be qualified to do a work we could not do in getting the light before men of other tongues.”  “Among the foreigners of various nationalities who would accept the truth, there are some who might soon be fitted to labor among those of their own native land.  Many would return to the places from which they came, that they might win their friends to the truth.  They would search out their kinsfolks and neighbors, and communicate to them a knowledge of the third angel’s message.”  Review & Herald, October 29, 1914.

Dah Ku Say is the first to be thrust into our arms.  Before leaving, she asked us to find someone who would teach her English and train her to be a missionary.  She plans to return and work among her own people, teaching them the gospel she has learned.  What will we do?  Will we set her aside, or will we recognize the privilege God has given us and help prepare her to minister to her own people in places we cannot so easily go?  And she is only the first – we believe there will be others after her.  Time is short…we must work while we have opportunity.

Those of us overseas can do the work God has given us here.  But we cannot do your work there.  So what do we need?  We need people – in America.  People to meet these precious ones at the airports.  People to help them find work, food to eat, a place to live –  even take them into their own home and family.  People to teach them English and how to live in a culture and country so different from their own.  People who love them enough to draw close to them, to understand their hearts, and to feed their empty souls.  People to show them how to live as Christians through their daily lives (studying the theory of religion or giving them a book to read will have little impact unless they see the difference in our lives).  People to equip them to become missionaries to their own people – and beyond.  People who love God and His lost people with every fiber of their being.  People so consecrated to His work that it will be finished in this generation.

What will you do?  Will you recognize your Savior and serve Him through the least of His people?

“I was a stranger, and ye took Me in…” Matthew 25:35.