This morning my wife Sun had a good chat with one of the neighbor ladies and as they talked about this, that, and the other thing, somehow my wife ended up lending her a Christian book. Like my wife, this neighbor is also a young mom with a little boy. One of the things that this mom likes to do at home during the day is read. The book that my wife lent her is called “Songs from the Heart”, the life story of a Thai traditional drama performer and musician who became a Christian, and eventually a well-respected pastor in Central Thailand. Also significantly, Pastor Song San used his excellent musical abilities to compose many original Thai Christian hymns, using traditional Thai, Chinese, and Cambodian tunes. Unfortunately, these traditional hymns are not used much anymore in Thai churches but they are a wonderful example of the Christian message being expressed using indigenous music and lyrics, rather than merely being translated from English.
Personal testimonies are not the Gospel but many Thai Christians say that hearing testimonies of people whose lives God changed were significant in their coming to faith. God can and does use all sorts of means to pique people’s interest enough that they want to hear the Gospel. Things like personal testimonies, Biblical principles for parenting, practical helps, or the love of the Christian community are distinct from the Gospel message itself, but they are wonderful results of the Gospel that adorn
the Gospel and can be used of God to make people interested enough to hear the Gospel message itself. We are not pinning our hopes of people coming to Christ upon any one tract or piece of literature that we hand out (except the Bible perhaps), but we do whatever we can to share with others those stories and those truths that point to the Gospel and the truth of the love and power of God. In the case of our neighbor, we hope and pray that as our neighbor reads the story of this pastor’s life, the LORD will be pleased to make her more interested to hear the Gospel which changed his life, and can change hers.
My wife and I particularly like to give people tracts or books with the testimonies of Thai Christians because we ourselves are not Thai. Christianity is perceived as a foreign white man's religion so if our Thai Buddhist friends and neighbors can meet or read about Thai people who are Christians, than perhaps a bit of that misperception can be broken down.
Audio CDs of Pastor Song San's Traditional Thai Hymns are available from Voice of Peace.