Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Asia: Do You Know What Your Shirt Means?

“Christianity is beyond the experience of a Christian-professing-but-not-practicing population.”[1]

Carl, the founder of HELP Thailand, met Mam the first time he came to Thailand. She had on a white shirt that said, “I hate life.” She had very little English, so he asked her:

“Do you know what your shirt says?”
“Because people are very mean.”

Over the next two years he and Laurie (his wife) became close friends with Mam. They prayed for her and eventually helped her go to English school so that she could work with mission teams that came over to Thailand.

HELP Thailand was looking for houseparents at the time, but they require that all their houseparents be committed first to God and then to the children under their charge. So one day Carl sat down with Mam and an interpreter to be sure she understood. He shared the gospel with her, spoke to her about the love of Christ, and asked her if it was something she was interested in.

“Oh, I already am a Christian,” she said. She didn’t need to be preached to; she didn’t need the gospel laid out on the Romans Road in front of her. She’d already seen Christ’s love—knew it and wanted it. P’Mam and her husband P’Ton are now the houseparents of one of Thailand’s girls’ homes. They love God and they love the girls and they are now the people showing Christ’s love to their new charges.

That is Carl’s goal for all the girls that come under HELP Thailand’s care. Many of the children come from a Buddhist or Animist background. Many girls the group comes into contact with have been through hell and back already. Even though the organization is committed to Christian values, their goal is not to. It’s to love.

“Christianity is beyond the experience of a Christian-professing-but-not-practicing population.”

[1] Quote by Saul Alisnky, an author with whom I disagree with about nearly everything moral, but who is occasionally, as seen here, very right.