Kingdom First

The spiritual warfare is real on the front lines of the battlefield, and you can either fight the good fight of faith or surrender and be defeated. I have seen first hand how the gospel is spreading throughout Thailand, but also the enemies are at work to counter-attack the gospel. Therefore, on the front line you can either be powerful or be powerless. The choice is yours.

I met a retired principal, Elder Choi, from Korea. He is a true spiritual warrior serving in Thailand as a missionary. He came to Chiang Mai and used his retirement fund to purchase a land deep in a mountain village called “Pong Sa Mit.”

The elder wanted to purchase a land that was literally on a mountaintop, and at the same time a local Buddhist monk was planning to buy it to build a temple. I can imagine the spiritual warfare that took place, like the prayer battle between Elijah and the Pagan worshippers on Mount Carmel. God intervened powerfully, and the elder was able to procure the land with his retirement fund, and he built a Church.

He first started the ministry by taking a group picture of the village pre-school children. Then, he made enough copies for every child to take the picture home. The tribal people were amazed with the pictures and each family started to invite the elder to their homes. After a meal, they would request the elder to take a family picture in front of their home. Thus, through taking family pictures, the elder was able to visit everyone’s home in the village.

One morning, he pulled out a file that had a hand drawn map of the whole village. He knew everyone in the village by their names. Although he didn’t speak their language well, he invited the people to the Church where a native pastor came on Sundays to preach. And, every Saturday, he and his wife would cook chicken soup and rice to feed the children, caring for them like their own.

The elder’s wife is now in Korea fighting cancer, but he relentlessly fights the spiritual battle for the lost. He told our team, “Life is like a pencil. You use it until only a little stump is left, and most people throw it away. However, if you attach a long stick, you can still use it till the very end.” Then, he said that most of his peers are taking vacations and preoccupied about taking caring of their health, but he wanted the last part of his life to be used for God’s kingdom, like a small pencil held in God’s hand. Kingdom first.

While I was in Thailand, I got a call from my wife, Kathy. She told me that my mother would under go an open-heart surgery. The doctors didn’t know that my mother’s liver was almost non-functional. Although the five bypasses to the heart were successful, her liver failed and she had internal bleeding. Over a month after that surgery, she is still in the ICU fighting for her life.

Her last request to my father was that I not be told about the open-heart surgery or the outcome of the surgery, because I was on the mission field carrying out the Lord’s work. My mother’s last spoken words and concern was for the Kingdom First.

P. Tae

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