|Kari with English Club girls (Summer 2013)|
It was two years ago, and I remember it well because I've shared the story many times. My teammate and I were in this beautiful small town on the coast of the South China Sea. Our mission: share Truth with all English speakers we encountered. And so we did. We met countless friends, drank coffee together, laughed together, shared life together, and in the end, we all cried together. We fell in love. We fell in love with these people, and our hearts ached at the reality of their lostness. So we did all that we could do to "compel them to come in."
She has a big, beautiful smile that decorates her face quite often, and the sweetest of spirits. I can't tell you how many times we shared Truth with her that summer, and every time we saw her a few days later I would ask, "do you remember the story of the Son we talked about last time?" She never failed to reply (with a smile on her face and confusion in her eyes), "um, no I don't remember. I don't understand." How frustrated I was!
It was the last week. (Read the original story) The end of the summer was drawing to a close, and this was our last chance. Our friends were meeting us for our weekly "English Club" and we were preparing to tell,in gruesome detail, the death of the Son on the cross and his glorious resurrection. The day came, and it was pouring rain. Despite the confusion due to the rain, we had quite a few of our friends show up. The rain was loud, hitting the tin roof we were under. "Can they even hear the story?" I thought, "Do they understand it?" (Before, we would often have to stop to explain confusing words and answer questions.)
I interrupted the story to make sure. "No Kari, we understand. Please don't interrupt again." They all scooted closer to hear. Jesus died, and then I saw the tears. "Don't you know he did this for you!" I wanted to scream. Then, he came back to life. The girl with the beautiful smile came to me afterwards with tears in her eyes and said, "Thank you! Thank you for sharing the story with me. I did not understand before, but I understand now, and now I can tell others."
That is not the end of the story. A year later, I received a Facebook message from the girl with the beautiful smile. "I love him like you love him," it said. I rejoiced! But I also doubted. I wanted more than anything to go there, to talk to her. This last week, I did. I saw her beautiful smile, hugged her neck, ate two meals at her house, and asked her about her message. "Yes Kari, of course I am a believer. Remember, you shared the story with me," she said with a huge smile. "I have told my family that I am a Christian and I read the Book you gave me." My heart rejoices! I am reminded that "those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy."
Please pray for the girl with the beautiful smile. She needs opportunities to grow in her faith, and people to help her study the Book. Thank you Lord for the harvest!