“Little People”

Last night in Bible Study we got to talking about all the ‘little people’ in God’s Big Picture.  It was an odd conversation, because well, we’re studying Genesis, which is all about the ‘Big People’ who set things in motion that we’re still seeing the effects of today. Look at Abram, whose name meant “Exalted Father” until God changed it to Abraham, “Father of Nations”.

And here we are today: adopted sons and daughters of Father Abraham numbering more than the grains of sand on the beach. Each of us may seem insignificant at a personal level, but then there’s God, Who calls us together, commands us to “stand and hold” and we marvel to see that we can hold back the ocean. There’s a sermon if there ever was one, but in the meantime, I can’t help be feel like a grain of sand, tossed here and there, not accomplishing a whole lot, really.

Last year you’ll remember we went up to Japan for a few weeks. It turned out to be quite a nostalgic trip, but even with all the catching up with old friends, we still had a chance to get back to the coalface, chipping away at the huge challenge of helping the Japanese discover Christ.

We left exhausted late one evening on a packed-to-the-gills Jetstar plane headed for home.  If you haven’t flown a “low cost carrier” (LCC) airplane, then you can rejoice that you’ve missed experiencing the life of a sardine.  But hey, the price was right! That night, we waited in line for over an hour to board, then were finally levered into place by a team of flight attendants, surprising all grumpy old MEN, possibly retired pro-wrestlers, who shouted orders like Marine Sergeants.

We squeezed into our seats and were figuring out how we could both breathe if we could just work out a system for sharing the space. But then a tiny woman appeared, apparently assigned to fill up that last bit of space. She was pulling what looked like a full sized suitcase at least as big as her. She stopped at one of the seats in front of us and looked up wistfully at the overhead bin.

Tony, seeing her dilemma, wiggled and struggled to his feet and offered to help her.  I vainly tugged at his sleeve, suggesting we adapt an “everyone for themselves” attitude and ignore her plight, but he was determined to help, even though his back seems to play up regularly these days.

As he was trying to loft the lead filled oversized case into the locker, he spoke to her in Japanese, naturally assuming that since we were leaving Japan…….

She responded in English, “Or Solly, I no speak Japanese, I Korean.”

Then, as he got the bag into the overhead, she looked up at him and said,

“You missionary, light?”

Somewhat taken back he said, “Uh…..well, yes……”

She beamed up at him “You Pastor Tony Woods, light?”

Dumbfounded he said yes and she continued, “I hear you preach in Brisbane, my friend Tomoko you friend!”

Wow.

Tony dropped into his seat amazed and humbled at such a small world we live in, while adjusting himself to try to sleep for the 8 hours home, cramped though we were.

After an eternity of non-sleep he found himself lifting down her huge case, when she said,

“We have breakfast and talk about Rord!”

It was 4:30 AM and we were changing planes, but we did have a layover, and I’m embarrassed to say, we were relieved that at least from there we would be continuing on different planes.  We ate a muffin and talked about “the Lord”, then excused ourselves to hurry to our gate.

And what do you know, having just eased into some more comfortable seats, glad to be ALONE for a few moments, we heard the squeaking of her heavy bag.  Looking up in fear, we noticed she was practically dragging a tall bewildered young man by the arm.

With almost no hesitation she said, “Dis boy no speak Engrish, but he go Gold Coast wit you…….he Japanese and no know Jesus, so you tell him!”

What could we do?  With ‘little people’ like that, you’ve got your work cut out!

I guess God loves it when people do His bidding. And I have to admit, we felt pretty good about being part of something bigger than we were.

On that note, nine days from today we are boarding another “LCC”, this time Tiger Air; headed for Thailand. It’s a place we love, and even more so, since Tony will have a chance to introduce his Anagaion course to a couple of churches there. It’ll be a great time, meeting up with old friends, and looking around again at the place where we spent over two years, chipping down barriers and planting a few Gospel seeds. Who knows, maybe we’ll bump into our little Korean enthusiast again!

Our pastor said recently, ……………….”Faith can move mountains, but don’t be surprised if God hands you a shovel!

Have a happy Easter week and we’ll try to get a blog to you next Sunday,

Marsha

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