A Story from Asia

At the end of a long day, with my face covered in shaving cream, I turn on the tap - and there’s not a drop of water!

Now I suppose you’re a lot more organized than me, and have never had an experience like this. But if you’re juggling quite a few things in life these days, perhaps you can relate? Sometimes getting everything organized - pulling all the pieces together – can be a little messy. You know you’ll get there in the end, but it’s a bit of a crazy process.

Lately, amidst the mayhem in pulling it all off - the dash to the bus stop; the credit card not working; the sudden headache that puts me in bed – there have emerged some genuine surprises. For me, it’s usually a significant conversation - signs that something important is happening in someone’s heart (or my own) – and reminders that someone better and more organized than myself is cultivating good things behind the scenes.

Recently I had the chance to travel to my local friend’s hometown. I was the first foreigner that had been to their remote village, and they gave me a warm reception, treating me to the local wheat, garlic, and wildlife - the latter being large, juicy bugs (which were also quite chewy).

One day my friend walked with me through the village, the place where he had grown up. He pointed out an amazing old empty building; “that was my grandma’s house,” he said. Further along the road, another old place came into view. “That was my grandfather’s father’s house,” he added. What a remarkable sight, to see several generations of family history alongside a single road. What happened next was very surprising.

As we approached the house I noticed it was covered with the customary decorations – inside and out – but with a unique twist – a special symbol, which you and I know well, and messages about The Carpenter. It appears that someone in his extended family is part of a much bigger family – something that my friend had not known until that day.

Another significant moment came during an outing to a nearby city, when I was chatting to my friend’s cousin in a hotel room. He pulled up his phone to show me an English song that he had been listening to, explaining that there was something powerful about it. I was surprised to see that it was a song I recognized well - one we might sing on the weekend. Something about it had grabbed him, even though he didn’t know what it was about. We had a good chat about what the song meant.

Back in the big city, when a group from our club went to watch a movie recently, my friend came along. Someone unwittingly invited him along to our weekend thing when they asked if he usually came. He replied “no, but I’d quite like to!” and for the past couple of months he’s done just that – coming along every time. He got himself a copy of the book, and started going to a session to go more in-depth. Please remember my friend with me – that he will continue to be warmly welcomed, and make new connections as he learns.


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