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ใว้วางใจ “Wai Waang Jai”

As Christians, we often spend years working, praying, and waiting in the hope that God will act. Only sometimes do we see what God has been up to, but when that happens, He is so good and glorious we can hardly believe it! On a recent Saturday evening, I witnessed the most glorious kind of act: My new friend, P’Manao, gave her life to Jesus! Hallelujah!

P’Manao grew up in a well-respected Thai family and attended an international Catholic school. Perhaps she heard stories about Jesus there, but her ears were deaf to it all. However, 20 years after her high school graduation, P’Manao picked up a self-help book, the kind that mentions God but has nothing to do with the cross of Jesus or trusting Him. Still, it sparked her interest in God. She began researching various religions outside of her Buddhist-Hindu background. She listened to podcasts, read books, and visited religious sites. Her search led her to the website of a Christian couple, Dave and Oy, who translate Christian books. When she asked for their advice, they suggested she attend our church.

I met an uneasy P’Manao that first Sunday. We invited her to return to church and attend Wednesday night Bible study. Despite the hour-long drive in Bangkok traffic, she came back every week. I have never seen an individual hungrier for the truth of God.

Almost every Sunday evening, P’Manao ate dinner with Dave, Oy, and me.  She asked dozens of questions. Soon, she began reading the Bible and praying for little things, like help with her work. God answered her little prayers and increased her ability to trust in His care for her.

Dinner

Both P’Manao and her father noticed the increased peace of mind she had as a result of joining us. Our hospitality surprised her. She witnessed the love of the Body of Christ while she grappled to understand His message. Truly, as Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another (John 13:35, NIV).” Over the following months, P’Manao began to desire be part of this family.

One Saturday night, P’Manao joined a Bible study group with our pastor Ajan Natee and his wife, P’Bee. Ajan Natee, a native Thai man and trusted leader, answered her many questions with clear love and gentle truth. Her last question was this:

“What do I need to believe to be saved?”

“Trust God,” Ajan Natee answered. “Trust what He says is true: We are sinners, yet Jesus died for our sins in our place.”

One of my favorite words in the Thai language is trust. “Wai waang jai.” Literally translated, it means, “release heart [in/to].” “Wai waang jai” was all P’Manao needed to know.

To “wai waang jai” in Jesus is something all Christians could do more. P’Manao’s journey reminded me how simple “wai waang jai” can be. I can ask God questions, but I must trust His answers. I must let go of things I cannot control or see the end of.  I can “wai waang jai” in the Person on whose word the world turns, for He will take care of it all.

Prayer

How little we truly contribute! I simply went to church and ate supper, two things I do whether or not someone’s salvation is at stake. Dave and Oy created a website and answered P’Manao’s messages. Another believer welcomed her to an event. Another invited her to Bible study. Now she will live forever with Christ! We all had such small roles to play, but each was significant. It is truly God who directs life-paths.

As for P’Manao, she prayed with us that night and continued investing in her understanding of God. She began reading the Bible with us to aid that understanding. We started with Creation, read about the first sin, and are continuing with the three major Old Testament covenants; then we will read about Jesus. We eagerly await the day she is ready to be baptized! Please pray for our time together, for her growth in Christ, and for “wai waang jai” in God to lead us.

Rachel Stugart serves with MTW in Bangkok, Thailand.

Rachel Stugart, Bangkok Thailand Apr 5, 2022
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