Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tri-focals? by Mike

I recently got tri-focals. I never knew there was such a thing. You may think that change comes easy to me…after all, I just packed up my family and moved to the other side of the globe. I struggle with change like everyone else. After two weeks of wanting to throw my new glasses in the garbage, I now wonder how I got by without them. Being far-sighted, there was a whole world in front of me that I was missing.

Jesus modeled this. Loving the one in front of us. I was reminded of this yesterday while curtain shopping (it’s cool—I still have my man card). Our bi-lingual friend Ellie, took Dawn & I to an older part of Taipei yesterday to pick out fabric for our curtains. That’s how they do it here…you walk through rows and rows of textile vendors until you find the fabric you like, and they make your curtains. Part of my problem about missing “the one” in front of me is I get so task oriented. I was obsessed with getting our apartment set up before we start language study. Task for the afternoon---buy curtains! God had other plans. Mr. Wang (who will be sewing and hanging our curtains), was very curious as to who we were and why we were in Taiwan. Through some interaction, we eventually found out that Mr. Wang was interested in finding out more about Jesus. He pulled out a little Gideon Bible that a missionary had given him. Some of the pages were marked and you could see that he was reading it...but he admitted to us that he was having problems understanding.

The Holy Spirit immediately reminded us of Philip’s question to the Ethiopian eunuch…
"Do you understand what you are reading?"

As a missionary, this is what you pray for…a captive audience, someone asking you about your faith, someone obviously seeking. Dawn & I shared some basic truths with him and even though we were in his place of business, he didn’t seemed concerned with the other customers. I asked him if I could pray for him and that I would pray that God would give him 'understanding' of the scriptures. “ méi wèntí” was his reply, which means “no problem”. So there in the middle of the bustling textile mall, we asked in the powerful name of Jesus, to open this man’s mind to the scriptures and for God to reveal Himself to Mr Wang.

We don't know how but we believe that God will answer that prayer. I think we are praying bolder, more confident prayers than even a week ago. It was a week ago that we found out that after years of prayers, Dawn's dad accepted Christ only days before he passed away. We continue to be amazed by our "above & beyond" Father. We are excited that Mr. Wang will be in our apartment next week measuring our windows and we will get another chance to interact with him.

I almost missed this one in front of us. I think having a vision is crucial to ministry…but I was reminded in a strong way yesterday that bringing God’s Kingdom doesn’t necessarily need a formulated plan, detailed strategy or spectacular ministry…that His Kingdom is breaking through here and now! We only need to look through the bottom half (or third) of our glasses to see it.


Steve Spinella said...

Great post. May you have many more chances to "interrupt" language study!

Cam and Elisa said...

Glad your back and I love hearing about how God is using you already! Praying for your work here. May God give you more opportunities with Mr. Wang!

angiejean said...

Reminds me of a powerful message I heard earlier this year: What does God want you to do TODAY? Love the one in front of me. Thanks.