Friday, January 02, 2015

The Five Year Plan

It's Ray's birthday. The overwhelming majority of you don't know her. She's a young lady in the church in Vietnam where I have been welcomed very kindly for the past four summers. Ray teaches English free of charge in the congregation's community outreach, trying to bring souls to Jesus. She's very creative and diligent with her classes- I've seen her in action. Ray is part of the largest extended family I know and the narrative of her clan is worth a book in itself but that will have to wait. She's now studying the Bible and English concurrently in Singapore and will graduate much more knowledgeable in both. So Happy Birthday, Ray, and may the Lord bless you with many, many more.

But this entry, while about Ray, has nothing to do with her birthday. It goes back to a conversation I had with Tom Tune, the American missionary I worked with in Vietnam. Tom told me Ray had spent five years in Malaysia working, some time before I came to Can Tho. Tom described her experience as slave labor. It was my understanding she never came home during that half decade. When she returned to her native land, she bestowed an unbelievable gift on her family. Ray had saved all her money from those five years and built her family a house, a nice house. Ray's family is not wealthy and I've heard their former abode was not nice. I've been in the new place; it's a wonderful place. I would only have one question. How do you say thank you for a gift like that?

Many of you probably have heard the preachers' story about a poor boy who sees a guy with a brand new car and asks the gentleman about it. The man replies it was a gift from his brother. The kid's reply is not the expected, 
"I wish I had a brother like that!"

No, instead one word is changed so his answer in fact was, 
"I wish I was a brother like that!"
So do I. In Psalm 68:6, David wrote that,
"God sets the lonely in families....."
Sometimes He sets the generous in families, too. Happy Birthday, Ray- you deserve it.

Applicable quote of the day, # 1:
"The family is the nucleus of civilization."

Applicable quote of the day, # 2:
E-mail me at

No comments: