Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The wind blows wherever it pleases...

Some of you might remember my friend L, whom I got to share my life with for a little while. I miss his great cooking! You might remember me reading the Bible regularly with him and getting to share the gospel. I share a little bit about that here. He's now back in his home country, and I hope and believe, still thinking through Christianity.

Another friend I've made more recently is a guy I'll call HH. HH has already been thinking about Christianity and reading the Bible even before he came to England. He started off based in Oxford at a language school, where he ran into some Christians, including the ones who just might be my future boss and colleague at a certain church where I'll soon be at! They showed him great hospitality and also read the Bible with him. He then moved to London to go to another language school here, where he happened to run into another person who happened to have Oxford ties. Er, that would be me. I got to know him a bit, more formally as he came to the evangelistic Bible studies I was co-leading, and as we chatted and spent a little bit of time outside formal settings. I wasn't the only one, of course; Christians who could speak his language would immediately have some advantages over me, and they could engage with him at a level I couldn't possibly hope to attain. But HH and I got along well, which was easy since he was quite a likable guy anyway, and hopefully continued to be a friend and witness. I remember in particular the one night when he talked honestly about his problem of anxiety attacks and me trying to think through how to help him as best as I could specifically as a Christian.

There was no doubt God was working in his life. He couldn't stop bumping into Christians! Last night, as we were both going to be going our separate ways soon, he to Bristol to start a Masters, me to Oxford, I gave him this book, which I hoped might be of some use to him - I even wrote a message in it in which I express hope that the book might a stepping stone in which he would get to know and trust Jesus for himself.

Tonight, another friend invited HH and me over for dinner. On his way here, HH said he had some good news. I thought, "Maybe he's bringing more food!" (Yes, I really did think that! I'm obviously Malaysian). Obviously you readers can see where I'm going much better than I did. I was caught flat-footed when he announced, unambiguously, that after a long chat with yet another Christian, that he had now put his faith in Jesus! Didn't see that coming at all. In fact, he thought that we would have twigged something by now and had, rather hilariously, expected us to have some sort of long speech prepared to tell him how to live as a new Christian. We sort of stumbled our way thru what were some of the things to expect as a Christian, and some of the privileges as well, and a little bit on the place of doubt in the Christian life and how to break the news to his family.

But it's brilliant news to see God at work regenerating those he has called. I know this doesn't quite make sense - but I always feel astonished when somebody I know actually decides to be a Christian, as in "really? We didn't put him off it? So he actually believes the Bible?" (I know, somewhat paradoxical in light of my recent blog posts on Scripture as well!) But Jesus surely knows what he's talking about when he says: "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." (John 3:8)

Anyway, yes, just thought I'll share.

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