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Jesus Lifted Up at Thai Kitchen

February 4, 2008

My church, the Augusta First Seventh-day Adventist Church in Augusta, Georgia, had a great speaker on Sabbath, Dr. Philip Samaan. He’s a professor of theology at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. Dr. Samaan spoke during Sabbath school, church, and in the afternoon about prayer. Wow, did he ever tell some great stories about answers to prayer! One of the stories was about meeting a Redneck in Ringgold, Georgia (know any?). Another story was about how he lost—and found—his wallet in Switzerland. It was one of those times when everyone was listening so well, you could hear a pin drop in the sanctuary! Throughout the day Dr. Samaan urged us to talk to people about Jesus and to let the Spirit direct what we say. I had no idea I’d get a chance to do that in a restaurant a few hours later!

After the meeting my husband Karl and I invited Pastor B.J. Boles and his wife, Migdalia, and their son, Westin, to go out to eat with us, since the sun had set and we were all hungry. After checking out P.F. Chang’s, which still isn’t open yet at the Augusta Mall, we decided we’d eat some Thai food at Thai Kitchen in Evans, Georgia.

At dinner we talked about several things, including how soon Jesus is coming and how the gospel is going to the whole world via the Internet. The restaurant emptied out, and soon we were the only ones sitting at a table, except for a 60ish-looking Asian woman sitting by herself a few tables away from ours. Suddenly she said in a thick Asian accent, “Don’t stop talking about Jesus, preacher!”

Well, that was kind of surprising—at least it’s never happened in a restaurant to me before. I invited her to pull up a chair to join us at our table. She came right over and sat down. B.J., a former evangelist, broke the ice and got her talking about her experience with Jesus.

Kim (not her real name—I had to choose a pseudonym because I’m not sure how to spell her real name), told us that she grew up in the jungle in Cambodia near the Mekong River. One day while swimming at the river when she was about 12, she met a couple of missionaries. She said it was the first time she’d ever seen Caucasian people. She begged to touch the woman’s hair, she thought it looked like silk. The woman, Elizabeth, became Kim’s friend and gave her tracts to read about Jesus.

Kim explained that she lived with her grandparents, and her grandmother was a strict Buddist, very much into witchcraft. Kim had to hide the tracts about Jesus and read them on the sly. She described disguising them in her school textbooks and reading them while hiding under her bedcovers. She believed what she read—she began believing in Jesus.

Years later when Kim was about 24, she needed to escape her country because of the Vietnam War. Stuck in a hotel room, racking her brain for a way to get out of her country, she called on Jesus for help. “If you are my Creator,” she prayed, “please get me out of here!” By a miracle, Kim found a seat on a plane that wasn’t supposed to land at the local airport, and she snuck away to a new life. You should’ve seen her face as she described her love for Jesus. “He heard me, and He saved me!” she exclaimed as tears threatened to spill out of her eyes.

We invited Kim to visit us at our church on Sabbath. I have no doubt that she would’ve come to church, but she explained that she doesn’t live in the area, she was just checking on her rental property nearby. “But,” she said, “I’ll see you in heaven!” and she clapped her hands in delight.

On the way home Karl and I remarked that our experience at Thai Kitchen was one of the wildest Holy Spirit-inspired experiences we’ve ever had. It definitely showed me that when Jesus is lifted up, He really does draw people to Him (John 12:32).

- Re: Jesus Lifted Up at Thai Kitchen from April, February 8, 2008

Wow! This is amazing you never know when Jesus will lead you to tell someone about him and his love for everyone.

- Re: Jesus Lifted Up at Thai Kitchen from jen*, February 5, 2008

what an awesome story! you really never know where or when Jesus will use you to encourage someone else. {and I might have to try that Thai kitchen place]

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