What was spoken in the light
By *Lilly | South Asia
Representative image by Vidal Balielo Jr, via Pexels.
The day a Malaysian man spoke to a crowd about the work God was doing in Southeast Asia, he had cause to doubt. Scanning the faces in the crowd, he was feeling discouraged, afraid his message had fallen on deaf ears and his time had been in vain. There was so much work yet to be done. Who would respond to the call? When Nathan* and his wife Emily* approached him with their hearts moved and their feet willing to move too, the spark of hope was kindled.
The reality of those living and dying without Jesus stuck with Nathan and Emily and started to influence every decision they made. But the road hasn’t been easy. It’s been looking for light that’s helped them stay the course. Thirteen years after becoming convinced of God’s invitation to join his work in Asia, Nathan and Emily moved with their son in faith to learn language and culture. Then a pandemic halted their progress. Returning to their home country to apply for a new visa, they were delighted to be welcoming a new miracle baby, but they soon discovered some scary news that their son would have special needs.
After all this time and effort to serve in Asia, they found themselves far from where they wanted to be, learning the depth of their infant’s disabilities, and recovering from an intense few pandemic years. There seemed to be lots of reasons to doubt. But the encouragement was still ringing in their ears from their early days at seminary, “Do not doubt in the darkness what was spoken in the light.” So, they held on. They held on to the dream of living in Asia again and the conviction that no one should live and die without hearing the good news.
Nathan and Emily have witnessed the surprising work of the Lord when they had come to the end of themselves. Small, daily miracles piled up until they were headed back to Asia with a new visa, new strategy, and new hope.
On returning, Nathan began an import-export business focusing on fairtrade handicrafts from the region. He’s networking locally, seeing God weave the story of the lives of people in Asia with those in his home country. He’s finding unique opportunities to connect with artisans, businesses, and other cross-cultural workers. It’s not been easy, but every day brings new opportunities to be faithful with the work of the day and to trust all that was spoken in the light.
Nathan will tell you that this business venture isn’t all God is inviting them to. With his coaching certification, he’s mentoring and encouraging local believers. With his passion for least reached peoples, he’s connecting with leaders in people movements in this area. With his commitment to living a life of purpose and calling he’s helping others discern God’s voice and his call on their lives. With his compassion and care, he’s standing with friends who are being persecuted by their family for their faith. All this too has been the surprising work of the Lord.
Nathan shares that he’s walking a road that others have paved before him. He’s thankful for the training he received in seminary and in cross-cultural training. He’s encouraged by teammates and local believers standing in solidarity with him. He’s ready to welcome new people on this journey of calling and hope. If your heart is moved by least reached peoples and your feet are feeling restless to step on the road, Nathan will tell you, “Come as a learner with curiosity, and be sure of your calling, because it will be tested.” He’ll repeat what was said to him at the beginning of this journey; “Do not doubt in the darkness what was spoken in the light.”
•For Nathan and Emily as they continue to trust God with every moment.
•For more people to respond to the call to bring the gospel of Christ to least reached peoples.
•That all who are facing challenges would have the faith not to doubt in darkness what was spoken in the light.
*Names changed for privacy.