Keith and Elaine* had enjoyed the past two years. Living in Thailand had its challenges and the language was not simple to learn, but they had grown to love the country and its people. They also appreciated the pastoral leadership Chaow gave to the Thai church and enjoyed building relationships with the Thai believers. As their understanding of the language progressed, they were able to participate more in the work Chaow and his wife, Lawan, were doing.
But Keith wasn’t sure how to respond when Chaow approached him about leading a Bible study. It was an intimidating thought. Yes, he had put extensive hours into language study and yes, he would love to come alongside the church’s discipleship program, but he did not feel ready for the responsibility. Where would he start?
It was then that Keith and Elaine came across By This Name. They were both surprised and pleased to find it had already been translated into Thai. Well, that would be straightforward enough, Keith thought. All he would have to do was show up, read aloud the chapters and facilitate. Yes, he could do that.
Chaow and Keith decided to have the church members read each chapter at home and then, when they all met, to read it aloud together. It was a simple approach, but one that took off for the Thai believers. Keith could barely keep up with them! They were all having such good discussions. Chaow himself loved the book so much that he actually cancelled a lunch appointment at one point when he was reading. He simply couldn’t put the book down.
Lawan, too, found By This Name gripping and helpful. On one of the final study nights, she shared her journey.
“I have been a believer for 20 years, but reading this book was like having someone finally turn on a light.” She went on to say that she finally understood the message of the Bible.
Another class member said that it was like finally having all the pieces of a puzzle put together. All of the participants loved the clarity the book had brought to them.
By the time the study had come to an end, Keith and Elaine’s time in Thailand was also over. It was time for them to head back to the States. They would leave with many good memories and these studies would remain as some of their favourites. As Keith and Elaine said their goodbyes, one question kept resurfacing: “How can we get more books? We want to have more copies.” The Thai believers were excited about the message of the Bible and wanted to share it with others.
And now they were equipped to do just that. No longer holding random puzzle pieces, they had the whole picture to show to their friends and neighbours. As we at GoodSeed like to say, “An understood gospel is a powerful gospel.” It will be exciting to see that powerful gospel continue to do its work as these believers share the truth of Jesus’ salvation.
(* All names changed as per GoodSeed policy.)