by Ruth P. Harbour
Eighty-five year old A-Pi has aged the four years we have been her neighbors in rural Taiwan. She’s looking rather gaunt and frail, but that doesn’t stop her from picking some Yam Greens for us, fresh from the garden! She says, “I never have given anything away, and the neighbors begged me for some. ‘No!’ I said, ‘I’m giving these to those long-nosed folks (the Americans!)’.”
As we work on the leaves, I tell A-Pi, “God’s Word says that He will bless those who bless one of His children! God bless you, A-Pi, for your kindness to us. But do you know that the greatest blessing God wants to give you is eternal life through Jesus?”
“I never saw Him, and He’s never seen me,” quips A-Pi. “No, you’ve never seen Him, but He sees you!”
After we finish snapping the leaves from the stems, she collects the stems and takes them back to stick them into the dark earth to sprout again!
When we first came to live in the neighborhood, A-Pi remained distant for some time. When we brought up God or Jesus in the conversation, A-Pi would feign deafness and change the subject. So we prayed for A-Pi, asking the Father to soften her heart and give her ears to hear the Good News. Now A-Pi wants to go with us everywhere, and will join us for a time of Prayer and Praise at our home, and goes to church occasionally. But it’s still hard to engage her in a spiritual conversation. This time when she answered, “I’ve never seen God and He’s never seen me!” is a step in the right direction!
God heard our prayer and softened her heart; but we need to pray more! So I am asking the Lord to break her heart over her sins and make her fearful of God’s judgement. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (II Peter 3:9) “Whoever believes the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” (John 3:36) “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16) God is glorified when we pray and believe Him for miracles! There is nothing more miraculous than a lost soul realizing their sinfulness and coming to the Savior for forgiveness, love, and eternal life!
Bible storying — slowly introducing people to the God of the Bible through telling His Story of redemption and grace, one story at a time—is an integral part of Taiwan Harvest 119’s Gospel sharing. A-Pi has heard it before, how mankind in Adam and Eve fell into sin and brought suffering into the world. What other stories could bring home these truths? How about the transformed life of Zaccheaus? Or the woman caught in adultery? God’s Word never returns empty without accomplishing that which God has purposed to do! (Is. 55:11) “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes!” (Rom. 1:16)
For people like A-Pi who still sit in darkness and need the light of Christ to break in upon their souls, God drives us to prayer and equips us with His Word! Hallelujah! What a Savior!