2015: Year of the Sheep

I like sheep.

2014-12-14 14.32.39   2014-12-14 14.33.29

There is the photographic evidence.

This little sheep friend came up to Bai Fern and I at this coffee shop and just let us hold him the whole time we were sipping on our coffees.  As we held this sheep, he rested in our arms.

In those moments, I was reminded of all the times Jesus refers to His followers as sheep–I was being reminded to be like a sheep; to know my Father’s voice, to follow Him where He leads me and to rest in His mighty arms.

(Unfortunately this particular sheep past away a couple weeks later…which is really sad and traumatic and I don’t like talking about, but there it is.)

***

Meet Sonya.

2014-12-06 14.25.29

Sonya is Chinese, hilarious and has recently become one of Jesus’ sheep.

She is a university student and as part of her program has come to Thailand, teaching at Debsirin High School with Caleb for the last five months.  Pretty early on in her time here, after listening to Caleb and one of their colleagues discussing spiritual matters, Sonya started asking Caleb questions.  Having come from atheist China, she had no prior knowledge of Christianity or the spiritual matters they were discussing.  Caleb invited her to church one Sunday and she has continued to come from that point on.

After church on her third visit Sonya decided to become a follower of, as she calls Him, The God.

Since becoming a sheep, Sonya has not held back in sharing how The God has provided for her and answered her prayers and has even told the head teacher at Debsirin High School that she wants to stop teaching Chinese and begin teaching the Bible as she is just so passionate.  🙂

Here are some stories

***

One evening I invited Sonya and two other girls to go to a ‘blind dinner’.  This dinner is served completely in the dark in order to give you the experience of being blind and help you understand how trying simple tasks are without our ability to see.  Three of the four of us were having a great time…haphazardly eating our pasta and salad with our hands, as we had given up all hope trying to eat in a more ‘civilized’ way, Sonya, however was not enjoying herself.  The three of us would hear mumbles of her saying things like, “I would never do this in China,” or “I am so glad my friends can not see me, they would be so ashamed.”  We just laughed all the more and continued eating in the dark.

That is, until the owner of the restaurant’s daughter opened the door to ask her mom a question.  Opening the door ruined the effect of the dark as light was able to enter the room and we were, for the first time, able to make out our surroundings.  The owner was slightly mortified, but quickly got her daughter out and the door was shut and we were back to dining in the darkness.

As we were re-situating ourselves in the pitch blackness of this room Sonya speaks out,

“Sisters, do you know why that little girl came into the room?”

“Why?”

“Because, just then, I was praying to The God and I asked Him to let me have some light because I hate this.  So The God sent that little girl into the room.”

It was hard to know what to say to her in that moment, so I laughed.  I laughed not because I didn’t believe her, quite the contrary, I completely believe her and completely believe that God probably did send the little girl into the room as an answer to Sonya’s prayers.  No, I laughed, rather, at her childlike faith and God’s complete awesomeness.

***

Sonya has also had a problem with rats in her dorm room.  She hates the rats. Who wouldn’t hate the rats?

Sonya started praying and asking God to keep the rats out of her room, and He did… and then something strange and funny happened… but I’ll let Sonya tell you herself.

(In case it was hard for you to understand, Sonya was having trouble with the rats, so she prayed to The God to have the rats disappear, which they did for five days, but one day they did come in, but instead of being scared of the rats, The God helped Sonya to feel as if the rats are her friends.  She lives alone in her dorm, no one accompanies her, but the rats can come and accompany her!)

Laughter is an appropriate response to watching this video.  Yes.

But at the same time, I think we can learn something for Sonya’s sheep-like faith.  While Sonya hasn’t studied the Bible and isn’t learned in spiritual doctrine, she trusts The God to do what He says He will do.  She trusts The God to love her, to protect her and to give her what she needs… even if it comes in unexpected ways, like helping her befriend the rats.

As 2015, the Chinese year of the Sheep, begins, my prayer for all of us is that we may become even more sheeplike in our relation to our Father.

“My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow me.”  John 10:27

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  Luke 12:32

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “2015: Year of the Sheep

  1. This is really great:)
    Thank you for sharing the stories and the reminder for sheep-like faith

  2. Hi Samara, what a powerful story about the rats. “The God” is truly “God”. May the Lord bless and keep you all as He keeps His sheep. May we all share the joy of sheep-like faith with others.

  3. Randy y Gina Gilbert

    I love the simplicity you bring to Jesus. He longs for childlike kids and it seems so natural that Sonya’s faith is such a beautiful reflection of your own . People need to hear what God is revealing thru you Samara ! We make it way to complicated ! Shine on precious daughter of the Most High ! Know you are loved and covered in prayer ! Randy y Gina

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