WE JUST WALKED OVER TO A TEMPLE…
We felt like we weren’t supposed to be there. We were unwelcomed. The minute we stepped in, a coconut fell from the tree and splatted on the ground, increasing our feelings of “we aren’t supposed to be here; leave.” That’s when it was like God grabbed my hand and ushered me in. He had something for us to do.
That morning I had asked God desperately to tell me exactly what we were supposed to do that day. He teasingly told me, “Wait, just come and see.” Just come and see. That meant we had to walk in trust and faith. We found this temple by just walking around aimlessly. As soon as we saw it, it was over, we knew we had to go inside. Like a magnet, we felt the presence of God driving me to it. Both of us felt it. The further we walked in we saw a temple like any other we’ve seen, covered in idols, and the grass filled with tombs and burnt offerings filling the air. On the sides were living quarters of the monks; they dressed in their orange robes walking about the almost silent temple grounds. What were we doing here? We started to pray.
We saw five young boys in monk robes sitting by the water. They looked so picturesque; the bright orange against the brown Mekong River with the grey rainy sky encompassing everything. I looked at the background and thought “What a perfect picture.” I urged Morgan to take the shot. We could hear the chants from the temple, causing us to feel more nervous to be there. It was like a forbidden feeling. Dark forces didn’t want us there, but by the Father’s coaxing we approached the monks and asked to take their picture.
We then began to talk. We found out they ranged from ages 14-17. There was one who covered his face with a towel so we couldn’t see him, but asked me simple questions. We never saw his face. There was another who stood taller than the others. His face will forever stand out to me. Our father pressed him on my soul. Morgan and I both started fervently praying for his heart.
We asked them why they chose to live here, and what they were seeking. They replied that they wanted to know truth and follow Buddha. The conversation progressed into sharing that we loved Jesus.
THEY TOLD US THEY HAD NEVER HEARD THAT NAME. THAT I SPOKE NEW.
Morgan and I got excited but didn’t know what to say after we told them how much we loved Jesus, we thought about ending the conversation and leaving due to fear and doubt. Would we get in trouble? There were people around. Maybe saying the name of Jesus Christ was enough? Then all of a sudden this beautiful rainbow appeared behind these five monks…I can’t explain it fully, but it held the power and presence of God. It was God saying, “Mookie, I am with you, you aren’t going anywhere.” We knew we couldn’t leave. I looked at Morgan, we both felt the same thing, I said, “We are going to be here awhile.” That’s when we went for it.
“Do you want to learn about Jesus?” They replied, “We want to, but don’t have anyone to teach us.”
Scripture reassures us, “No one who trusts God like this—heart and soul—will ever regret it.” It’s exactly the same no matter what a person’s religious background may be: the same God for all of us, acting the same incredibly generous way to everyone who calls out for help. “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.” But how can people call for help if they don’t know who to trust? And how can they know who to trust if they haven’t heard of the One who can be trusted? And how can they hear if nobody tells them? And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? That’s why Scripture exclaims,
A sight to take your breath away! Grand processions of people telling all the good things of God!
But not everybody is ready for this, ready to see and hear and act. Isaiah asked what we all ask at one time or another: “Does anyone care, God? Is anyone listening and believing a word of it?” The point is: Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.
Morgan and I said, “We will teach you right now.” We shared the gospel. I kept second guessing my language ability, but they eagerly responded, “We understand we understand what you speak.” And I kept looking at that rainbow to give me strength. I told them that the Father led us to them and chose them to hear the Good News. After we had talked awhile, two older ladies that had been worshiping in the temple came out and told us to get away from the monks, “go look at the Buddha then leave.” I felt God say it was ok to go. We were beginning to really not be wanted by everyone except the monks. We left them with a DVD to explain more. I never saw the ones face.
Morgan and I felt that a war was raging in the one who stood tall. We believe he wants to be confident and at peace that Buddha is the truth, but this was messing all of this up for him. I felt dark things trying to eat away at him. I can’t stop praying for him. Morgan and I left that temple feeling filled with the Holy Spirit. We couldn’t believe we had been chosen to do that, and how powerfully we both felt Jesus in our urge to go inside, and his presence in the rainbow, and the soul of the one who stood tall. We both worked together in such unity because truly…God did it all. We believe that moment, that meeting, is one of the most important things that have happened this whole trip.
I DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL COME OF IT, BUT I KNOW IT WAS SOMETHING BIG.
I don’t think we have stopped praying for these monks. We are asking God to do big things in this temple and in the lives of those young monks. We are praying it be torn down, and replaced with a house of our Father. That’s a crazy thought, but we serve a mighty mighty Father.