Down by the Riverside
Kim was a vice president in a local area bank. Her bank provided scholarships for their personnel to keep pursuing adult education. So when I began teaching another semester of “An Introduction To World Religions” at Navarro College, Kim was one of my students. She had been raised with a little exposure to Roman Catholicism, but had left this behind, and was open to Buddhism, especially the physical disciplines of Yoga. We started with the religions of the Naskapi in Labrador, worked south with some exposure to Native American religions, crossed the Atlantic to learn about African religions, and then we studied the Big Three—the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
In the discussion of Christianity I took the students back to the primary documents that witness to Jesus, told them the heart of the Story about the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the Lord opened Kim’s heart. She was a successful businesswoman. We connected through business and education. If I had only preached in the role of a pastor at my church on Sunday morning, Kim and I would have never connected to have an open conversation about Jesus.
I learned the importance of getting out and mixing it up with others where they are by seeing how the Apostle Paul connected with a strong, successful business woman in Philippi.
“Now setting sail from Troas, we sailed straight to Samothrace and the next day we came to Neapolis. From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we lived in the city for some time.
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river. We thought we might find a place of prayer there. We sat down by the river and started talking to some women who had gathered there. A woman named Lydia from the city of Thyatira, a dealer in purple cloth and a worshipper of God, listened and the Lord opened her heart. She received the things Paul was saying, was baptized, and she urged them, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my house.’ And she persuaded us.” Acts 16:11-15
I called Kim, who has gone on to another job, to check and see how she was doing. I told her about this trip to S. Korea and she immediately said, “Be careful! I’ll pray for you.” The Apostle Paul’s example has reminded me again. He used this connection with Kim when I was teaching her college course, and I need to keep seeking out these open opportunities to connect with others.
LORD, thanks for the opportunity to spend time with Mark during my last afternoon in Korea. Thanks for how he is looking for answers and how Your Spirit has helped him encounter the Lord Jesus for himself. Help me to keep being willing to go down by the riverside and listen and talk with others.
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