Do you think God can have fun? We learned about it at dinner in the dining room at Haus Edelweiss where we were just serving. Jim was teaching Marriage and Family for TCMI (a training/educational mission to Christian leaders primarily in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia plus other places, including Kenya).
We had such a good time hearing the story of how a couple (she is a student and he is a graduate of TCMI) became Christians in their native country, Kyrgyzstan. Each told their story, coming to faith before meeting each other. The wife became a Christian at an evangelistic crusade, invited by her mom who was a new Christian. Both she and her mom had been atheists. Missionaries from South Korea had come to teach Korean and had invited them. (They were Korean by ancestry.) They not only learned the language, but they came to know Jesus. (I’m leaving out many details – partly because the story is involved, partly because of language differences.)
Now, about God having fun – the husband told his story which was even funnier because he laughed as he told it. His sister had become a Christian, then his mom but he WAS NOT interested, working in the police department, which was not a Jesus-friendly place.
Finally, his mom talked him into coming to just ONE church service. He finally said just one. He went and when he was sitting there, he looked on the floor and there was a Montana watch. He said all he could think about was finding the owner of this watch. He didn’t listen to the sermon nor the music. He went home and asked what time the next service was. He went back to that service to find the owner of the watch. He did not find the owner. He went home and wanted to know when the next service was so he could go back to find the owner. Repeat. After four times, he set the watch aside at church and started listening. He said it was like the words were shooting straight at him. Then the preacher asked for anyone for prayer to come to the front. He thought, “Not me” but his feet just walked to the front (which he explained in hand motions while he laughed). When he came up front, tears streamed down his face but he said he didn’t know what was going on. That was the beginning of his walk with Jesus.
There is much more to the story including how his job ended because he had become a Christian, how he and his wife met, started a family, moved to Russia where he is now pastoring a church and getting ready to plant another church. God had fun enlisting another disciple maker.
The pictures above are left to right – 1. he is on the far right with other students from TCMI, 2. he is on the right on the middle row in a ministry opportunity, 3. Christmas family photo.