I have been meeting with Yai for several months now. His journey to the Lord is incredible. He says that his journey to faith in Christ began from when he was a boy, but he never realized that until a couple years ago.
Yai is a middle-aged Thai man who has lived in America for more than 10 years. He is now a co-owner of a Thai restaurant in Durham. He works there six days a week, and on his day off he runs a booth in the Raleigh Flea Market. This is where Yai heard the gospel for the first time.
A church in Durham noticed that most of the flea market vendors were unchurched and couldn’t go to church because they work on Sunday mornings. So this Durham church decided they were going to provide a church service at the flea market for the vendors. They went out and shared the gospel with the vendors and invited them to the service.
One church member went to Yai’s booth. They talked about God, and the church member gave Yai a card. The card explained how someone could pray to receive Christ. Yai didn’t think much of the card and slipped it into his wallet. Years went by, and during those years Yai would listen to the Sunday services at the flea market. Yai didn’t attend the services, but he listened to the teaching from a distance.
One day, Yai was driving home from work when a hailstorm struck. The hail destroyed his car, shattering his windshield. When a Christian guy at the flea market asked him how he was doing, Yai told him the story.
The Christian guy said, “Wow that is amazing! Have you thanked God yet?”
Yai was confused, and asked what the guy meant by praising God.
The Christian guy said, “ Well, Yai, your windshield was completely ruined, and you came out totally OK! That’s worth praising God for. You should thank God for protecting you.”
In that moment, everything became clear to Yai. “It was then I thought, ‘Yes! I should be thanking God,’” Yai said.
Yai went back to his booth and looked in his wallet. The card Yai had tucked in his wallet from years before was still there. He was amazed. Yai recalled changing his wallet out three times during those years, but every time he managed to transfer that card into the new wallet. Yai prayed to God and asked Him to save him from his sin.
Yai tells me that he has now given the card to his son, and Yai hopes his son will also come to faith in Christ. Yai’s wife and son do not believe in Jesus. Yai prays and hopes that they will find the same peace and joy he has found in Christ.
Editor’s Note: Jonathan Derbyshire serves as a catalyst with the Peoples Next Door N.C. team of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. This is the first of a three-part series on reaching the Thai people in North Carolina.
by Jonathan Derbyshire / Contractor / Baptist State Convention of North Carolina
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