“Can I help you with anything?” As I looked up, a girl, with a smile that seemed to brighten the whole room, was looking at me. “No, thank you. We are just looking, but your English is so good,” I replied. She bashfully told us, “Oh, no, no. My English is not good.” She then covered her mouth and giggled as she got back to work. I continued to push my baby along in his stroller. Before I knew it, we were halfway across the store when I heard a faint voice amongst the hustle and bustle say, “Umm, excuse me.” I turned around and saw the same cheery faced girl standing there. “My friend and I think your baby is very beautiful.” I looked down at my son and with a “proud Momma smile” said thank you. I felt prompted by the Lord to make more conversation with her. I asked her where she learned to speak English along with her name and other questions. She shared that she worked in Singapore and had learned some there. Quickly, it became clear that this was a meeting the Lord had orchestrated. I asked her if she would like to meet with me for lunch on her next day off. She agreed and we setup a lunch date before she returned to work. I was so excited about meeting with Joy (this is the English name I’m giving her for security purposes). As my husband and I left the store, we were amazed at how God had used our one year old son to be the icebreaker to meet not just one Chinese friend, but two.
The awaited day to meet Joy arrived. Manuela, who is one of our DTS students, joined me for lunch. Oh the irony, Joy took us to good ole’ Kentucky Fried Chicken, or as most Chinese only know it as “KFC.” Yes everyone, we can be from Kentucky, travel to the other side of the world and find a taste of home away from home! We talked with Joy over lunch getting to know one another. I didn’t have much time to meet with her because I needed to return to our hotel to lay Landon down for his nap. As I hopped on the bus to leave, I was torn. I knew that while I was called to serve in China as a missionary, I was also called to still be a mother. I felt the Lord remind me that taking care of my child was just as much of an act of worship and ministry unto him. God was faithful to remind me of truth like this throughout the outreach.
Our time in this city was drawing near and we knew we needed to schedule our last visit with Joy. Manuela and I wanted to share the gospel with her and had been praying and asking the Lord to give us open doors to share. After getting ice cream, we went to the park. We talked with Joy about all sorts of things, but all the while Manuela and I had this yearning to share the truth with her. The Lord had previously shown us that she was searching and needed to hear his truth and to trust him that he would give us an open door. We also knew, based on prior conversations, that she was raised in a Buddhist home. As we were meeting with Joy, we would get to a perfect place to share the gospel and then it seemed like the subject would change.
Finally, a door seemed to open wide! Joy was talking about her time in Singapore and she eagerly pulled out a piece of Singapore currency. She showed us the money and written on it appeared writing that looked like Arabic. I asked her if they were Muslim in Singapore. She told me that most people are actually Christian. We shared with her that we were Christians and asked her if she had ever heard of Jesus. She said she had, but wasn’t familiar with Christianity or Jesus. Joy seemed interested after we shared the gospel, but her interest increased once I said, “Our God speaks to us and we can have relationship with him through Jesus.” She said, “Your God talks to you?” I said, “Yes, he speaks to us in many different ways, but we can talk to him and he to us anytime we want. He created us to have a relationship with him.” Astonishment was written all over her face. “This is unbelievable! I’ve never heard of a God who speaks to you and you can hear him!” The look on her face was one I will never forget, full of joy and excitement. I felt the Lord prompt me to be bold and ask her if she wanted to hear from him in her own language. She replied, “God can speak Chinese? You mean he will speak to me in Chinese?” Manuela and I smiled and chuckled then we told her that he could. I asked Joy if she would like to hear from him and she said yes! She kept saying over and over, “This is amazing! Unbelievable!” We shared with her some different ways the Lord could speak and then we waited on the Lord. Almost immediately after walking in boldness, I was filled with doubt. And as if this wasn’t enough, loud music started playing in the park. I began praying against doubt and distractions and I was hit with the truth that God speaking to Joy is not in my hands, but his.
When we felt it was time to ask Joy if she heard anything, she said, “No, I think maybe I can’t hear from him. I think maybe I need to learn how to hear or maybe I am distracted by the music.” We told her that we were confident that God would speak to her and if she was having a hard time that she could ask him to speak to her when she went home and didn’t feel as distracted. She eagerly responded, “Yes, when I get home the first thing I will do is ask him to speak to me!” I felt the Lord give me words to speak to her. Her response was amazement. She continued to be blown away that our God speaks.
We shared with her about how she could get a copy of the Bible and study to learn more about God and hear from him through his word. We asked her if she would like to receive Jesus as her savior, but she said that she should like to learn more about him first. By the time our conversation had wrapped up, it was night and I knew I had a baby waiting on me to return home. We said our goodbyes and committed to keep in touch. While we’re not there to keep meeting with her, we know God is faithful to continually pursue her. I was reminded that Jesus is always pursuing me in my role as a wife, mother, and most importantly as his daughter. He desires me to be bold in sharing his truth because, he not only wants none to perish and all to have everlasting life, he also wants my faith in him to grow. I am constantly learning to embrace the situations that help me to “Trust and obey….” just as the old hymn declares!
Heather Tyler is a prayer warrior, During her time on staff with YWAM Louisville, she has served in many different areas, including our accounting department and training schools. In everything, Heather brings joy and faithfulness. Currently, her primary ministry is to her family and seeing her son raised to be a man of God.