This morning I received the news about Brother William, we have asked for prayer for him in a former post. William has been struggling with cirrhosis of the liver for the past couple years and he passed away quietly this morning. I first met Brother William when he was in his mid 20’s. During that time we were still living in central China and very busy with many training events for churches we worked with. At that time some of the churches were dealing with security issues that made it unwise for foreigners to be getting directly involved so we asked Brother William to come help us train them. The house churches we were not able to go to were mostly college students and have about 80 members. He was very well received and the trainings we were able to get those churches were of great benefit to all. But there was another church out in the countryside we were about to go train that was all farmers. We didn’t have to worry about security so it was a blessing to co-train with him late one Saturday evening. Those farmers have church from about 9-12 pm on a Saturday night because it is the only free time they have. Most of the brothers and sisters in this house church of about 12 members are middle aged but a few of these farmers are in their late 60’s. It is such an inspiration to see hard working farmers in their 60’s still faithful enough to come to get God’s word on a very late Saturday night after a hard days work in the fields.
After the training I remember the long midnight drive back with Brother William on the back of my moped down those long pitch black country roads. I don’t remember much clearly but that night I do. That night it was warm out and there was heat lightning like I had not seen in a long time quietly lighting up the sky. Besides the steady hum of the engine all you could hear was still country and bugs singing in the distance. On the ride we were just talking about and praising God for how good he is and how we need to get His word out to the whole world all while watching God’s spectacular lightning show. Brother William shortly after coming to help us soon went on to be a missionary to Kenya. He served there for about 3 years, got married and had a little baby boy and returned, perhaps because of his health but I never asked why he returned. Brother William just recently turned 30 years old and is leaving behind a young wife and 1 year old little boy. We are going to try to find any pictures or videos we have from Brother William from his time here years ago to send to his wife.
Today was our last day in Malaysia. We must say that if things don’t work out here in Thailand and they are not looking great at the moment because all visa’s are getting increasingly strict we are sincerely praying about if the Lord wants us to possibly go to Malaysia. Praise the Lord we were able to get a tourist visa however it was not easy. The officer at the Thai consulate was giving us trouble about our ticket leaving the country. In Thailand when you get a 2 month tourist visa you must show your plane tickets leaving Thailand after those 2 months. We turned in tickets showing us going to China. However to our surprise the officer gave us trouble about that saying that our return tickets should be to America. Our thoughts were of how arrogant a country can be to try to dictate to us where we go when we are LEAVING their country. It is none of their business where we choose to go when we leave Thailand but thankfully the issue didn’t escalate beyond that.
On our trip to the airport we had a good 1 hour drive to the airport. Our driver was a young local girl but of Chinese descent. Malaysia is mostly made up of ethnic Malay, India, and Chinese and has a growing Christian population. Here is a Chinese Baptist church that we found during our stay and must say were were extremely surprised.
During this time we were able to get to know her some and give her a very clear gospel presentation on our way. In many ways while sharing the gospel with her felt like a type of memorial to Brother William knowing he just passed away hours before that. It made me remember talking with him on that long ride home years ago talking about how we must carry on the work of getting the gospel of Christ out to the whole world. Brother William is now free from his pain and suffering that he has been dealing with for some time now and we are sure that when he met Christ today he received a “Well done good and faithful servant”. It’s times like these that really bring back into perspective what we are doing in life and to remember that life is just a breath.
Please continue to pray for us and for our driver Caroline that received a gospel presentation that the Holy Spirit would reveal this truth to her and she would grab the opportunity to be saved in Christ. In Jesus name, Amen!