The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:5
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
I was a Buddhist when I got married. This is my story.
The first Sunday after our honeymoon my husband got me up and said, "We are going to church." Truthfully, the first time I went just to keep him happy. I ended up attending for two years. When a time came when we couldn't go to worship, I thought I would be happy. I wasn't. I missed it.
We found a Lutheran church in Monrovia, California. Shortly after, my husband and I learned we were expecting our first child: Sierra. She was baptized by my father-in-law, a retired LCMS pastor. In the service he read Matthew 28:19: "Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit."
I asked my husband questions about the importance of baptism. He explained in detail.
That's when I realized, all of the believing Christians will go to heaven after they die. That included my husband and my daughter, but not me. That was the day the Holy Spirit opened my heart to the forgiveness Jesus has won for me on the cross. I told my husband what had happened. He called his father and arranged for me to have instruction in Luther's Small Catechism. After that I was baptized. Shortly after that I became pregnant with Alice, our second daughter. What joy and peace I had in being a Christian mother for my two beautiful daughters.
As time passed, my faith grew stronger in the Lord. I received a deeper appreciation of God's love and His expectations of me as His daughter. Confidently, I believed He redeemed me from my sin, and gives me eternal life. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
I realized that is a message which simply must be shared. For me that sharing took place in a mission trip to Thailand with 15 members of St. John Lutheran Church. Motivated by faith in our Redeemer we did for others as Christ has done for us. By that I mean we Christians tried to help others understand everything we have, including our redemption, is a blessing from God.
That trip changed my life. We taught English to 34 adults in Bangkok and 141 kids in elementary school in Kanjanaburi last July.
During my time there I realized that 20 years ago I was in the dark. Now God had not only brought me into the light He was allowing me to reflect that light by showing others the way to Christ. I rejoice that Thai people are genuinely kind, polite, graceful, loving and caring, but I am most thankful that the world for which God gave His Son includes Thailand! By God's grace and the Holy Spirit's power more of them will learn the only way to heaven is not by just being a good person, but through Christ and believing in Jesus as the Savior.
So there you have my story. I used to pray to idols without really knowing how it would help me; I was brought up that way. I understand how and why other Thai people think and believe the way I did. I pray that God will use me and you to show His light to Thai people.
In short, my story of witnessing can be your story too.
In His Name,
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord. May Your light shine to those who are still in the dark and help us to reflect the light of Jesus into the world. In the Savior's Name I ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: My name is Jutamas Fackler, and I live in Duarte, California. I graduated from Ramkumhang University, Thailand. In addition to my major in audio-visual education, I graduated as a Royal Thai Army second-lieutenant. Opting not to serve actively, I worked for a tour agency before becoming a sales rep for a computer company. I had no idea what God's plan for me was, but I met and married my "farang" (foreigner) husband, Jim Fackler. We have two daughters, Sierra and Alice. In addition to my BA, I have a degree in fashion design and am a licensed massage therapist. In Thailand, Lutheran Hour Ministries operates locally as Journey Into Light (JIL), with its ministry center in Bangkok since 1991. It utilizes mass media technologies to proclaim the Gospel, while supporting local churches and Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod missionaries. In addition to utilizing LHM's Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) and Equipping the Saints (ETS) program, it broadcasts numerous 25-minute radio programs daily to the citizens of this Southeast Asian country of nearly 70 million.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries