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Seminary team reaps eavesdropping harvest

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) — A university student in Thailand was eavesdropping.

“Are they talking about trusting Christ?” the young man whispered to fellow students who were interacting with a team from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In the university’s food court, the Thai student explained to the team’s translator that missionaries had visited his village several months earlier and shared the Gospel with him. In the following months, he could not stop thinking about what the missionaries told him.

Chris Collier, a student at the College at Southwestern, the seminary’s undergraduate arm, recounted, “As we were talking to him, he expressed what we were considering a calling. God was calling him to Himself, but he did not know what to do or how to act upon it.”

Hoping that God would send Christians to help him, the student was excited to find the Southwestern mission team sharing the Gospel during his first week on campus in Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand.

“I knew when the missionaries came to my village that I needed to make that decision,” the young man told the seminarians from Texas, “but I resisted. Today, I don’t want to resist anymore.”

After the Southwesterners walked the student through the Gospel to ensure his understanding, he submitted his life to Christ with eagerness.

“After talking to us, there seemed to be a joy and a happiness about him that was not there before,” Collier noted.

“We were all just shouting that day, along with all the angels,” said Keith Eitel, dean of Southwestern’s school of evangelism and missions and leader of the mission trip.

“This young man had every way to avoid [the Gospel]. But he intentionally stayed around to ask,” Eitel said. “It’s not every day that someone comes up to you and asks you how to be a Christian.”

The team of 18 Southwestern students and faculty traveled to Chiang Mai in Southeastern Asia to share the Gospel for three weeks in July, during which 26 people came to faith in Christ and one believer reaffirmed his faith.