Wednesday, August 14, 2013
In Remembrance of Rev. Dr. Abel Thomas
Early this morning, I received the news that our friend Pastor Thomas has gone to be with the Lord. Sean was planning to spend the day with him on Saturday during his layover in Singapore on the way home from India, but now it looks as if he will be attending his funeral instead. Another reminder that we can't take this life for granted~we are never guaranteed our next breath.
Sean met Pastor Thomas during his mission trip to Sri Lanka/India last year. We believe it was a "divine appointment" that both of them were visiting Sri Lanka at the same time. Seven months later, Pastor Abel and his wife, Glory, felt led to come to Australia and visit our church. They stayed at our pastor's house for a week, preaching both services on Sunday and then held a special mid-week service. The following night we had them over for dinner at our house. Pastor Abel began to share some of his testimony with us of how God had called him to go to other nations and how He had faithfully provided during those trips.
At that time, we had already received the call to Kenya and were actively seeking God's confirmation and receiving it in many wonderful ways. Pastor Abel told us about how God had called him to England, and then he mentioned Mombasa! Obviously, at that point he had my full attention. After sharing some experiences of God's faithfulness while visiting Kenya, Pastor Abel asked why I had perked up so much when he started talking about Africa. I was happy to share with him that God had called us to that very city in Kenya and we had been praying for confirmation. Glory began to weep and shared that they had wondered why God had brought them from Singapore...they hadn't felt like anything special had come from this trip and it was almost over.
As you can imagine, it was very encouraging for all of us. God is so good and His ways are so wonderful. To know that he would bring Abel and Glory all the way from Singapore just to answer our prayers for confirmation is such a huge blessing.
I have a picture of all of us together, but it's on the camera which happens to be with Sean in India. I will add it later. For now I will add a short encouragement straight from Pastor Thomas' website. We got to hear all the details of this story and others first-hand! We are so thankful for that blessing and look forward to meeting again in heaven. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. Psalm 116:15
"Throughout my ministry that covers over three decades, I have often been in situations where I have proved the absolutely trustworthiness of the words of Christ as found in the passage referred to: “Whatsoever things you ask in prayer, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Of course it is always possible to pray and want for an answer, but I have had times when I needed an answer instantly and got it. There is one situation that comes to mind and in narrating it I am endeavoring to encourage you to believe God for your needs.
I was traveling from Mombasa to Kisumu in Kenya in order to fulfil a speaking engagement on my preaching in that country. The bus ride was tedious to say the least. Due to the language barrier I could not explain to the conductor where I needed to get off. As a result I was dropped off at a place about 50 kms from where I should have alighted. It did not take me long to realize I was in the wrong place. As it was nightfall I decided to walk on the road hoping to find a place where I could find a telephone. I found a Petrol Station, with attendants who looked at me crookedly and behold there was no phone. Unable to speak their language I, in desperation, cried out to God. In hardly 5 minutes, a taxi pulled in with these words painted on it - “Believe on the Lord Jesus and thou shall be saved.” I knew he was a Christian and he helped me into town at his expense. If God could do that for a foreign preacher in a strange land, surely He can meet whatever needs you present to Him."
~Rev. Dr. Abel Thomas