“WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE”
“We should be in a position where we may believe that God is willing to do for us more than we can ask or think. ST May 7, 1896
Prior to the BYT revival we had a series of problems, as you would expect.
- First of all our truck broke at the CV axel twice in a row. The second time it seemed the new part was too short, but it was the same size as they have put in before – mystery. Every time we thought it was fixed and drove back to BYT, the 4-wheel drive went out. Other large things were broken. Finally our mechanic discovered it also had an electrical problem, so we took it to a different shop and they found water and mud in the electrical box. They got that fixed in the nick of time just before we needed to drive people into BYT.
- What complicated everything was RAIN! Yes, RAIN every day right up until the Pastor came, and not just a little rain – it started to look like rainy season, we had to drive the long way with great difficulty.
- It was time for the YiPeng festival when Thailand, and the school next door released many paper hot air balloons into the air for good luck and Buddhist merit. Sometimes many monks drive into BYT for the occasion and it is a very loud time with chanting of monks into booming microphones, big fireworks, and loud music. The full moon night they would do this was Thursday evening – the exact evening when pastor Martin would have his most important sermon on the Sabbath!!
- Another thing we were praying about was rice harvesting. Many people were not yet finished harvesting their rice. The meetings were a little too early to allow everyone to attend the meetings, because we all know that they would never come if the rice was lying ripe in the field. How we longed for a huge attendance. BletJhaw helped a lady harvest and we paid other workers to help so she could get finished and attend the meetings. We knew God would push Satan back and work everything out so we just put it all in His hands.
What a treat to have Pastor Martin in our midst. I can tell you that he did not waste a minute, but was praying, studying and working on his sermons. I never saw anybody work for the good of my people as diligently as he did. I felt like a parent when somebody loves and tries to help their children! I felt such joy that this pastor would spend and be spent for our people in these isolated villages!
We had a beautiful united prayer group in the church every morning. Pastor Martin invited the village people to join us. If the people needed special prayer we would surround them, lay hands on them and pray for them.
As our own hearts became cemented together through prayer, things began to happen! An all time record was reached in attendance. Every night around 60 people came.
They sat in perfect attention for almost 2 hours! There was beautiful special music before and after every sermon.
Pastor Martin illustrated his theme: “With God all things are Possible,” by performing magical tricks and work on paper, and with fire that seemed impossible to perform. He used a balloon that did not pop when he stuck 2 pins in it. He would not explain how he did these things, but simply said, “If you want to know how I did this – come tomorrow evening!”
Every night the people came pouring in. Thursday evening was to be the most important meeting because the truth of the Sabbath and the deceit of the devil would be clearly presented. There would be an answer to the question, who are you worshiping, that would be shocking to many of the people. So on Thursday morning we again visited all the homes inviting the people to come. We told them this evening was the most important meeting that they would not want to miss it, and we prayed in their homes.
That evening was our greatest attendance of all times! The bell was rung and BletJhaw and I stood at the door of the church to shake hands with the people and welcome them in.
Unrestrained tears rolled down my cheeks as I watched with amazement the steady stream of people coming up the hill, through the gate and into the church. It was like I was in a dream that was too good to be true – they kept coming – they came – they filled the church! Half of them were not church members and many of them had never entered our church, or any other church before. Some of them were Baptist church members from WaSuTa. There were close to 80 people in our church that evening, and you should have heard the loving, yet cutting truth of our pastor’s sermon. The people seemed to be riveted in attention, there were no distractions and the Holy Spirit flowed in and among us. At the end of the sermon Pastor Martin made a call to all who wanted to follow all of God’s commandments including the 4th, to stand up. Though I could not turn around and look, it seemed like most of the people stood up. (By the way the LiPeng Festival did not take place that night – the teachers decided to go home and celebrate)! Praise the Lord forever!
The next evening was on diet and health. That night clean meats were described along with drinking water and a full message on the importance of good health for communion with God. There was a call to abandon the habits of drinking, smoking, and opium.
Then came the Sabbath with a call to surrender all to Jesus. These sermons are all recorded and I cannot wait to listen to them again. The good news is that not only will the media team will produce these sermons on video so we can show them to others, but they can cut out the English and record only the Karen part of the sermon for our audio Bibles so the people can listen to these great truths again and again and share with their friends!
At the end of the Sabbath sermon we went to the river for a baptism. SawSay and his wife were baptized who had been coming to church for a long time. SawSay is DJ’s son from BYT. He had married a girl from another village who was strong Buddhist. We felt bad about that because in the Karen culture the boy lives with the wife’s family, so this took him away from church and placed him with Buddhist worshipers, and he did not appear to really care about coming to our church services. We prayed a lot for SawSay. Almost two years later SawSay told us that when he moved back to BYT he wanted to be baptized. Now they are living in BYT and what joy to see them both get baptized on that beautiful Sabbath day!
Reaching the unreached is the most precious work us humans can experience! Let’s reach out as far as we can all around us because indeed with God all things are possible!