By Goldie Frances
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is You, O LORD our God. Therefore our hope is in You, for You are the One who does all this. (Jeremiah 14:22 NIV)
ââ¦ And Lord, please do not let it rain, so Kyo and I can go enjoy our picnic at the waterfall.â
As soon as the prayer left my lips, I wanted to take the words back. I was terribly lacking in faith. I did not want God to appear uncaring, and I did not want to look foolish before my Japanese guest.
I had met Kyo two and half years ago on an airplane to Bangladesh. Kyo is from traditionally Buddhist Japan, but while at university, she married an international student, a Bengali Muslim from Bangladesh. When we first met, Kyo was on her way to visit her in-laws and her husbandâs grave. He had had a fatal heart attack eight months earlier.
That day, Kyo explained that she has a different god from those of Buddhism and Islam; she believes in herself. I shared with her that my source of strength and joy is Jesus. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she contemplated how belief in self falls terribly short when it comes to holiness here and security in the afterlife.
We exchanged e-mails sporadically for the next two and a half years, and now Kyo was visiting Thailand. We had 48 precious hours together in my city, and I so very much wanted opportunity to tell her more about Jesus.
Our two days were so busy with traditional Thailand touristy stuff â elephant riding through the jungle, bamboo rafting down a lazy river, admiring orchids in a garden, watching woodcarvers at work, and learning about silkworms â that we had had little time to talk on a deep, personal level. The picnic would be our last chance!
And I just knew God wasnât going to come through, that He would ignore my little prayer asking Him to hold back the rain.
Sure enough, as soon as we stepped out of the sandwich shop to head toward the waterfall, the rain began to fall. As it quickly escalated to a downpour, Kyo and I darted into a coffee shop.
For the next two hours, we talked about our lives, our beliefs, and our hopes. With tears, she expressed that she felt she had not deserved the love of her husband. I know that feeling. I do not deserve the love of God! Her story of loss allowed me to share my story, to tell her how I had gained the undeserved, yet unconditional love of God.
The rain stopped, and we left the coffee shop to head to the airport. As we did, Kyo turned to me with a big smile across her face and said, âMaybe God sent the rain so that we would have this time to talk.â Oh me of little faith!
Kyo, age 61, did not make a decision to follow Jesus during our visit. Godâs story of love is very new to her. She did leave, however, with more understanding of His love for her, as well as a copy of His Word in Japanese and English.
Please pray for Kyo. Ask that the Holy Spirit would give her an insatiable desire to read Godâs story and that she would receive the undeserved, unconditional love Jesus longs to give her. Pray also for the salvation of her sons, Ray and So.