Have you seen the #firstworldproblems hashtag floating around Twitter? It’s for things that “first world” people have to deal with – things like, “My new iPhone is too thin and I keep dropping it!” Well, there’s also one called #missionaryproblems, and Wesley and I encountered one on our recent trip to Asia….
“OK Buttercup, we’re going to baptize Lion [an Asian friend],” Clive motioned to me as worship ended. “Can you start filling the pool?”
I rounded the corner and saw the inflated kiddie pool waiting on the kitchen floor. I grabbed the plastic tubing, headed to the sink, and held it up to the faucet. It didn’t fit.
Wesley joined me in the kitchen and said, “No problem, I’ll just hold it in place as the hot water runs through.” Great idea, except we couldn’t mix in cold water, and soon he was reduced to hopping around the room in pain from the scalding hot water in the tube, and we were desperately looking for a plan B.
We started filling pots and pans in the sink and dumping them in the pool. But it was slow going, and Wesley calculated we’d be done in about 90 minutes – long after everyone would have gone home.
But then, as we wondered if we’d see a baptism at all that night, Clive’s roommate breezed through the front door, deftly disassembled the shower head in the bathroom next door, inserted its hose into the plastic tubing, and a steady stream of hot water filled the pool in 20 minutes. We were saved!
Actually, it wasn’t just our pool-filling responsibility that was saved that night. In the delay created by all our shenanigans, Clive had a group member share the Gospel with Yong Qing, a guy who was visiting the group but hadn’t made a decision to follow Jesus. As he heard the message that night, he knew he had to respond, and gave his life to God.
We baptized Lion that night as scheduled, with the added bonus of our new brother Yong Qing looking on. And the best part is that this night was not an isolated event, but gatherings like it are happening all over our two main cities this year. We were so encouraged by our visit with the team – they’re learning the local language, sharing the Gospel, and starting fellowships for new believers.
Thank you for partnering with us! God is doing great things in Asia!