One morning I noticed a message which was communicated to YWAM Tyler’s Facebook Messenger. This is just one platform our team works with in communicating with people from all over the world. What I didn’t realize was the conversation about to happen would change someone’s life.
The message was a simple. “Did YWAM Tyler send DTS team to Chiangmai Thailand during 1999-2000? I just want thanks the team who gave me the first bible and because of that I decided to follow Christ later on and now serving the Lord in Sydney Australia.” His name was Joshuwa.
At first I thought to myself this was going to be a goose chase, and I don’t really have time to even attempt tracking this down. You know how many teams go out from our campus every year? And this was from 20 years ago? Once I put all my personal frustration aside, I made a post on our YWAM Tyler alumni page to see if anyone had any ideas.
Within minutes, from the 2k+, several mentioned they knew of that trip or were on that trip to Thailand. The time difference between the USA and Austrailia makes chatting a bit challenging, so I just left a message for my new friend Joshuwa and asked him if he had a name so we could narrow our search down.
Becky was her name. It only took a few minutes for people in the alumni group to remember Becky and the many of them who were on that same mission trip to Thailand with her. I got her full name and private messaged her on Facebook.
This is the message I sent her: “Hey Becky. I got a message from a man from Thailand. His name is, Joshuwa Rin Buachoom. You gave him a Bible and shared with him while on outreach. It was that Bible you gave him which became the thing which helped him become a Christian. Since then, he went to Kona and completed a DTS and has moved to Sydney where he is a pastor of a multicultural church. He asked me to try and track down the team who came to Thailand then and specifically a lady named Becky. He remembered your name! He wanted me to thank you and he would like to thank you himself and I would love to connect you both. In a strange set of circumstances, I served in Thailand from 2004-10 and he and I have the same friends yet had never met until this recent message. I thought you be encouraged of what your one simple act of kindness and love in sharing your faith with him has led to. God is good.”
Her reply really touched my heart: “I am awed at God’s amazing Grace! What a treasure this story is. I have been struggling with my faith in recent months and this is the exact fingerprint of God I needed to reignite my fire. He has 20yrs later led me back to Christ! God is so good! I am so humbled! If there is anyway we can connect I would love that. Thank you so much for sharing!”
I connected our conversations and they began an exchange of gratitude and love that can only come from a truly divine appointment.
Joshuwa sent me this short story of his journey: “Back In 1999, I met a DTS team from Texas that came to teach English at the outreach centre call “The Centre” in Chiangmai Thailand. It was the first time for me to meet foreigners who believes in Christ. I did not understand English that much at that time as I enrolled myself for one month course but I do remember the name of that ywamer who taught me and gave me my first Bible during that time. Becky and her team has been planted the seed in my life even though I did not know much about the gospel. I grew up in a Buddhist family and I believed that all religions try to benefit people, with the same basic message to help people to do good thing. I respect all religions, but I am not going to change my belief. Without knowing that the Lord used Becky and her team to plant the seed in my life after they left Thailand I continued to search for the truth. I started to join bible study at the Centre and was touched by the Holy Spirit during their Friday night party activity. I decided to accept the Lord Jesus into my life as my saviour. It was a life changing experience that I will never regret. Praise the Lord for His love and mercy upon my wife. I am in tears every time I look back at what happened with my journey in the last 20 years. He is a faithful God and his love endure forever and ever. I am who I am today because of Jesus Christ who died for my sin. It has nothing to do with my power but by the power of God that empower me to do all things. The true understanding comes when we recognize that we are sinners and we can not help ourselves. In the last few days I started to send a message to YWAM Tyler and asked them if they would help me to reconnect with Becky again. Praise the Lord, he did answer my prayer and I am delighted to connect with Becky again after 20 long years. God is God as the Lord said in Jeremiah 29:1, For I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, plan to prosper you and not harm you, plan to give you hope and future. I would like to thank the team and Becky once again for your love and kindness. Last but not least, I want to thank Richard for his help without him I would not have reconnected with Becky again.”
Nothing is ever wasted. One smile, one prayer, one conversation, or one Bible handed to someone you may never see again, could be the catalyst for their destiny with Jesus. We send teams all around the world throughout the year. Our family has been on those teams. I’m thankful I can rest in the power of God to work behind the scenes to draw people closer to Himself.
Nothing you do is ever wasted.
Last week after class, a student came up to Amy and gave her a big hug. Then she said these words you don’t expect to hear from many students. “Mrs. Fish, I really love your class.”
If you ever taught anything to anyone, hearing a phrase like this can truly warm your heart. Spending hours in preparation and having her “A-game” ready every day is exhausting. However, in big and small ways Amy’s work has tremendous rewards.
This week we are heading up to Asbury University for a tour of the campus. Grace graduates this year and has applied to attend there starting Fall of 2020. This visit will help her determine if this is the right school for her. Since this is right before Thanksgiving break, we will also be taking time to see our friends and family in the Carolinas and Georgia. Please pray for our safety as we travel and of course that our car will stay in great working order.