Monday, November 3, 2008

Dying and living

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. -John 12:24-25
Okay, so I said that I would blog about the talks that I had on the way back home. I'm not going to tell you all that we talked about but I'll give you some of it and if you want more you have to call me or we'll have to get together.

The first conversation that I had was on the flight from Chang Rai to Bangkok. I chose a empty row of seats and sat in the one by the window. Soon after I sat down there was a man who chose the aisle seat and then the last person to sit down chose the one by me.
I soon found out that he was a German who has been living in Bangkok for somewhere around the last 6 yrs. He said hello and I think I told him that I was there in Thailand for some ministry. We got talking and one thing lead to another and we ended up talking for the length on the flight.
I believe he grew up Protestant but I'm not sure about that. He is an intelligent man who knows several languages including Thai, German, and wonderful English. I got the impression that he's well read in what he's interested in, and he was very polite but very straight forward. I also got the impression that we was a very unhappy person. I think he told me that he doesn't like Germany, I know he doesn't like Bangkok, and he didn't seem very happy with his marriage either.
So if I remember right, he asked me what I believed or what I was teaching on this missions trip. So I started to tell him. It was probably one of the most intense conversation that I have ever had with someone about spiritual things. He said he used to be a Christian but he had a spiritual breakdown (that wasn't the way he said it but it was the idea that he realized all he had been believe was wrong) and now he doesn't buy the it. You know I'm not really sure all of what he believes but we spent a lot of time debating. He told me he thought my arguments were somewhat lame and based on emotions and that I shouldn't be paraphrasing (I was paraphrasing verses that I didn't have memorized word for word) a book as important as the bible.
Over all I am very thankful to God for the conversation for my sake and for this man's. He really did listen pretty well when I was talking and I used some of Ray Comforts illustrations like the parachute one and quoted the bible. So even if he doesn't believe that this is truth he listen to the truth and God promises that his word will not return void. Also, I'm glad for me because it showed me more of where I'm lacking and that I can be better prepared.
During the conversation I felt somewhat attacked by satan but I'm so glad that my God is greater and he is the one who is my Protector! At the end of the flight we ended on good terms and we both said that it was an honor to talk to one another which it really was. That God would let me talk to someone like him is amazing because I am so unqualified but our Jesus is humble and mighty!

The next flight that I was one was to Tokyo, and I sat next to an Indonesian woman and her adult daughter. I felt like I should talk to them about Jesus but I never did. I think that if was okay though because what I was able to do was just get to know them a little and be a help to them on the flight. The mother of course invited me to stay at their home if I was ever in Indonesia. Towards the end of the flight I gave them my home address and phone and email (which I debated about doing since it's world4jesus) and then they gave me their info. I think that it really meant a lot to them that I would invite them to stay with us if they were ever in Iowa especially the daughter. So maybe I'll send them an card, and I guess if I'm ever in Jakarta I'll have to give them a call.
During our conversations I did tell them that I was coming back from a missions trip and they said "oh missionary" or something like that. So I'm hoping that since they knew that I was a Christian, Jesus will use our time together for his glory. And you never know this might just be the begin of a friendship.

The last conversation was in the MN airport. I had gotten myself a hot cocoa and had sat down in a comfortable arm chair to write, eat my cookies, enjoy my warm drink, listen to my music, and wait for my flight. After a while there was a middle aged women who sat down in the other chair across the table from me. I offered her some of my cookies since she had a drink as well. She took one and we started talking.
I told her where I was coming from and she told me that she had been as well. She had come from this religious conference in DC. I asked her a lot about it and what she believed. I forget the name of the religion right now but basically if I understand right they have some set things they believe but then everyone just decides what they believe for everything else. I think it's kind of like however you can find your "connection" with God and gaining high consciousness maybe?
After a while of her telling me what she believed she asked me what I believed. I did want to tell her but first I asked her a few more questions. I wanted to know what her thinking was and why. I think that God worked it all out that way so I would know better about what to say.
We talked for at around an hour, maybe more? I was tired by that time. At one point I quoted something that Jesus had said I think it was "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except though me" she told me she didn't believe Jesus had really said that. She said that the people who wrote the New Testament didn't even know Jesus and it was written thousands of years after him. I pointed out some of the people who did know Jesus personally who were some of the authors of the New testament.
In the end we left on good terms as well. She said that she appreciated how we could just talk about these things and it wasn't that I was trying to convert her or her me. She didn't realize that yes I was trying to share the Truth with her but I wasn't doing it in a pushy or offensive way. I gave her the way of the master website name and ask her for the website to her religion.

God really worked these conversations out and I know that it was Him who had these planned. Like the German man, from his own lips he told me that he wanted to fly home another day but it didn't work out and that the seat by me was the last one in the whole plane (very flattering don't you think? :). And the lady in the airport came and sat next to me, I didn't sit next to her and she was the one who asked me what I believed. It's just really cool to see that God works it all out. He really doesn't need our help we just need to be willing and die to ourselves so we can live for Christ!

1 comment:

Caitlyn Doris said...

I really enjoyed reading this post! God works in amazing ways!