Chirapon (female) and Chalermpon (male)

Last September, we were privileged to meet Chalermpon, a masters student at our local university. We usually are a “friendship family” for African students, but this time we wanted a different “flavor.”

God must have known my taste. Chalermpon, or Pon as he calls himself, is from Bangkok, Thailand, and coincidentally my favorite food is Thai. He has often brought us Thai food that he has cooked and I love every bite…now I just have to learn how to make it myself!

Chirapon is the head of the Office of World Missions at Azusa Pacific. She has talked so much about Chirapon, and I began to think that it would be fun to get these two together.

It finally happened last Saturday. Pon is from Thailand while Chirapon, or CK as she is called, is from Laos. They are neighboring countries and understand each other's language. It was so much fun to see Pon in his own cultural element. The two greeted each other with a small bow with their hands folded and then shared lots of laughter while they cooked dinner in the kitchen. Pon’s smile seemed a little wider to me. Now don’t go making them a couple — he is a 20 something and she is a 40 something.

As we enjoyed green curry, sticky rice, Thai tea, and other delights, CK shared part of her God story. There were 10 children in her family, and in the '70s, they escaped from Laos. They spent time in a Thai refugee camp and eventually were sponsored by World Relief to come to America. At age 15, she gave her life to Jesus. Her father, who had been a Buddhist monk for 14 years, wasn't so easily convinced. He became ill and had a vision in which he approached a man with a large book. The man told him that his name wasn't there but that he would be given more time and that his youngest daughter (Chirapon) could tell him how to be saved and have his name in the book. On his deathbed, he asked Jesus to be his Savior. What a wonderful and amazing story!

We too long for Pon, who is Buddhist, to understand his need for a Savior. His name is on our empty chair. Will you please join us in praying for him?

Marti

In his defense Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working" (John 5:17).