Juney had just come back from his brother’s funeral in Seattle. As Eh K sat down with him, Juney sadly said, “Guht, geh, jep, daay.” It’s a well-known Buddhist saying in Laotian that means, “You are born, you get old, it hurts, and you die.”
Eh K wondered what to say. He’d only been studying the Bible with Juney for about four times. How do you teach a Buddhist about salvation who has just started learning there is a Creator God?
Eh K thought back to how he had first met Juney because Hurricane Harvey destroyed his house. Eh K was helping this Cambodian immigrant community rebuild. Sometimes Eh K ate sticky rice and vegies with Juney and his wife. Slowly the door opened to share stories about God.
Eh K turned to his Bible study partner. They whispered together and decided to go right to the most important truth. They shared the death of Jesus and His power to forgive and clean hearts. Juney heard, “You don’t have to be afraid of death if you trust in Jesus. Would you like to pray to God and ask him into your heart?” Juney prayed a simple prayer doing just that.
Eh K’s experience is what the missionary training center called Reach the World Next Dooris all about. Students spend three mornings in the classroom deeply studying the Bible and learning how to share its end-time message with Buddhists, Muslims, and others. They study cross-cultural mission methods and health outreach. In the afternoons they learn vocational skills like carpentry, cooking, and agriculture, always with an idea to the mission work they may do in a city or on an isolated mountain.
At least two days a week the students and staff at Reach the World Next Doorare in the city of Houston, Texas caring for immigrants and refugees who have just arrived. Houston has received over 4000 new refugees a year from countries like Afghanistan, Nepal, and Somalia where it is extremely difficult to go as a missionary. The staff believe that that God has brought the world that could not be easily reached to America’s neighborhoods so they can in turn more easily share with their people back home.
Students spend nine months in this training program and are viewed more as missionaries than students. The purpose of the length is to allow sufficient time to significantly help people, share Christ, and nurture the individual before the student moves on. The Reach the World Next Door team frequently promotes this mission in the Houston churches and takes members out to meet their refugee neighbors. Many become excited, finding it very easy to make new friends with people of another culture and religion. They frequently use the MyLanguageMyLife.com card in their evangelism because it links to Biblical radio, television, and Bible study resources in over 150 languages.
Young adults who would like to attend can apply at ReachtheWorldNextDoor.com. There is also an online training program for those who would like to learn how to befriend refugees, immigrants, and international students right where they are living.
Scott Griswold is the Director for Reach the World Next Door