Does personal evangelism work? Let me tell you about Om. Om’s mother worked at Asia-Pacific International University, but her father worked in Bangkok, and that was causing conflict in the family. Om was going to high school in Muak Lek. Pradeep Tudu and his wife Nola and a small group of students went to Om’s house every Sabbath for branch Sabbath School, and they prayed for her by name for two years. Unbeknownst to the Tudus, Om decided to study with our Thai pastor and was baptized here in this church as a surprise for them.
About that same time Om’s father quit his job in Bangkok and joined work at AIU. Meanwhile, Om’s brother was going through a difficult time of rebellion. He wasn’t speaking to his family and they were very worried about him as he seemed to be destroying himself with drugs.
Om’s parents asked Mr. Pradeep and Dr. Boonrat if they could try to help their son. The parents wanted their son to go to Chiangmai Adventist Academy and requested Mr. Pradeep and Dr. Boonrat to talk him into going. These two prayed for the boy for several weeks, and one Sabbath talked to him during the Branch Sabbath School, and asked him if he would like to go to Chiangmai Academy.
To the surprise of everyone, he agreed. He went and his parents were amazed by the transformation that they saw when the son returned after a year at Chiangmai. He was respectful and joined the family again. They found out that he was taking Bible studies. Last year, the parents were also baptized here in this church after seeing so much blessing being received by the family. Their family was together again, and there was much joy and happiness.
The story doesn’t end there—it is still going on. Om’s cousin, who had also been attending the branch Sabbath School at Om’s house, decided she wanted to go to Chiangmai Academy too. Surprisingly, her parents agreed, and put together 20,000 ThB for her fees (about $600). One Sabbath her mother decided to take her shopping in Muak Lek to buy her some things to take with her. For some reason they carried along with them a purse with the 20,000 ThB in it. When they returned home from the shopping trip, they discovered that the purse was gone. They rode back towards Muak Lek on their motor bike, looking for the purse. It was in vain, for they did not find the missing purse.
After searching fruitlessly for a while, the young lady said, “Wait a minute. We need to pray about this. That’s what Christians do.”
So they prayed. I want you to picture this—two women who are just starting to get acquainted with God, praying there on the road to Muak Lek. Can you see the angels hovering over them, and over the missing purse which was several meters away down the road? Quite a few bikes and vehicles passed that way, but no one saw the purse in spite of the fact that it was very visible on the roadside.
Praise God—Jesus’ method of evangelism still works.
*This was written and shared by Dr. David Ekkens, a volunteer Science Lecturer at Asia-Pacific International University in Thailand, through the NAD Office of Volunteer Ministries and Adventist Volunteer Service. His wife, Sharon, also serves with him as a volunteer at the university.
**Author’s Note: This story was part of a presentation at the AIU Church June 21, 2014. Elements of the oral delivery have been retained.