Note: Kaleigh is no longer in Malasia, but for safety reasons she can’t share a lot of details from her current location. This post is from last month while she was still in Malaysia. It’s a long post, but the story is incredible! God is at work in the world! — Tiffany
By Kaleigh Ward
Hello from MALAYSIA!
This month, my team and I are serving as a bit of a reconnaissance team for Adventures in Missions. This is our “Ask the Lord” month, which means that AIM did not assign us a ministry contact or city or set us up with housing. We are responsible for seeking the Lord about where we should live and who He would have us meet. In the process, we are to be on the search for “Unsung Heroes,” individuals or organizations serving the Lord right here in Malaysia. Our hope is to share their stories with you and connect some of them with AIM so that future World Racers can serve alongside them.
We have done a lot of networking to find Unsung Heroes to meet with and serve alongside, but the other day, God provided us with an opportunity to meet one of His heroes without us lifting a finger. Here’s what happened…
The taxi pulled up to the curb, and I opened the passenger door to climb in beside the driver as my teammates poured into the back of the car. I smiled at the driver, unsure of how much English he would speak. As we started down the road, the driver asked us, “Are you Christians? I’m a Christian, too.” Our eyes immediately lit up with excitement. This was the first Christian Malaysian we had met!
See, Malaysia is a melting pot of ethnicities– Chinese, Malays, Indians, Burmese, Arab, and more. While most of the ethnicities enjoy religious freedom, the Malay people are required by law to be Muslim. It is illegal for them to convert, and it is illegal to evangelize to the Malay people. Government spies look for anyone breaking the laws. Malays who convert are sent to concentration camps in an effort to pressure them into abandoning Christianity. Those who are spreading the Gospel to Malays are deported if they are not Malaysian and imprisoned if they are.
Our driver, though Malaysian, was not of the Malay ethnicity, and he told us he had grown up in a Christian home. He shared his story with us, and we learned about God’s many blessings in his life. We learned about his family, his church, and his passions. I was already on the edge of my seat with excitement about meeting this brother in Christ when he dropped this bomb on us:
“I can’t travel the world to share the Word of God, but I can evangelize right here where I am. I share the Gospel every day with whoever gets in my cab. Even though it is illegal to tell Malays, I tell them anyway. I don’t care if they take me away, imprison me, kill me. God will take care of them. I will keep sharing His Word. Any time Muslims ask me questions, I pray and the Holy Spirit always gives me the right words. I always know the answers in the moment, even though I never remember what I said later. They never argue because God always gives me the right things to say.”
I sat back in my chair, eyes wide. This man is a true hero, a warrior for the Kingdom of God. He puts his life and the safety of his young family on the line every single day for the Gospel. He walks in the power and boldness of the Holy Spirit, with no fear of what man can do to Him.
As I type this blog update, my iTunes is playing the song “I Am Free.” It’s lyrics proclaim: I am free to run. / I am free to dance. / I am free to live for you. / I am free!
Those lyrics are true for me. Each day of my life, I have been free to live for Christ and to share the Good News with whomever I meet, yet for most of those days, I have kept the Gospel to myself and failed to share Christ’s hope with those around me.
On the other hand, this taxi driver does not enjoy those same freedoms, and yet he shares every single daywith whomever God places in front of him. In less than a year, he has seen four customers who were hurt by and angry at the church return to church and begin attending regularly! He is using the voice and the platform God has given him in his daily life to bring the Kingdom to Malaysia.
I am honored to have met this man of God, and I am excited to think that we will be reunited once more in Heaven as we spend the rest of eternity worshiping the one true God.
I am also convicted. I do not face any threat of harm for sharing the Gospel, and yet I so often shy away from doing so. My new friend shares the Gospel every single day, so why don’t I?
The biggest work God has done in my heart during my first week here has been planting a strong desire in me to grow in my ability to share the Gospel in one-time encounters. At home, I have the luxury of building relationships and sharing the Gospel over the course of weeks or months. Here, my time is limited, and I am only given a few minutes or hours with many of the people I meet. I want to make those minutes count.
Many of the life-change stories in the New Testament happened in a single encounter– the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the countless men and women healed. Jesus saw every encounter as an opportunity to bring hope and life and freedom. I want to do the same!
Father, thank you for this new desire. Thank you for putting a flame in my heart that burns with the desire to share the Gospel. Please fan the flame bigger and bigger until it is a passion I can’t even control. Please train me in the practical skills of how to bring up Christ in short conversations and open the door for me to practice daily. Please give me the courage to walk through those doors and boldly pronounce truth.
Please let this be a passion that I carry home with me, so that I can use my future workplace as an opportunity to bring the Kingdom, just as that Malaysian taxi driver does here. Please protect him and his family, Lord. Thank you for blessing him so abundantly. Thank you for letting me meet him. Thank you for the impact he had on my heart. May his story, here on my blog, impact countless more back in the US to share with similar boldness in their own workplaces. Amen.
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering,
do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:5