As we sat down in their little living room Mr. Li said, “I want to ask you a question.” He grabbed my hand with his left, pointed at my white hair with his other, started laughing, and asked, “How old are you?” “61,” I answered. He was disappointed. He thought he had me. I was now the younger brother.
Then the next words came out of his mouth, “You’re a Christian, right?”
“Yes, I am.”
“You know, I’ve always thought it was interesting that history is divided by the birth of Jesus, into BC and AD. What do you think about that?”
Really? He just said that? He just asked that?
Wow, God – talk about “teeing it up!” The Holy Spirit had definitely been doing some advance work in Mr. Li.
“. . . do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” Matthew 10:19-20
I flashed a quick smile at our team that shouted, “Pray!” Mr. Li and I began a conversation that lasted for the next 40 minutes.
Confessions spoken. “I have lived a bad life. Can God forgive me?”
Forgiveness promised. “That’s what Jesus came to do for you on the cross.”
While there was not a specific moment of confession of Christ as Savior – there was no doubt that God was at work in Mr. Li. The transforming power of the Spirit through the Word was certainly to continue!
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
As we concluded we asked Mr. Li if he would like a Bible, he eagerly responded, “Yes.” We promised we’d return in the morning to give him one. We did, along with the village pastor who had proclaimed the John 3:16 sermon Mrs. Yang had heard the day before. (I had first met this pastor in 2007 and he actually has a photo of Kathy and me in his phone from that event). Mr. Li gratefully received the Bible and a hymnal and welcomed the introduction of his new pastor.
It was awesome. God at work! Always.
Before we left, Mr. Li asked to take a picture with me. As we stood side by side he made me promise that when I return to Yunnan I will visit him again. “Of course I will. I am your little brother now.”
This is why we keep returning to the same region of Yunnan over and over – relationships! God uses every opportunity. He is always working to advance His Kingdom.
Please pray for Mr. Li and Mrs. Yang. I kind of think we’ll see them in Heaven some day!
If you missed Mr. Li and Mrs. Yang, Parts 1 and 2, or any earlier blog postings, please take a look at the archives.
Watch for the next post on “23″ and Other Stories of Faith – “Reflections from a Convention.” I’ll share my experiences and thoughts from being elected President of the Pacific Southwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.