BY LINDSEY MILLS
I sat in the living room and nervously watched the clock, waiting for 7:30 p.m. when I could make the call. It had been over 10 years since I had last seen Binh* and so much had changed.
In 2008, Binh was a university student in Sydney, Australia. I was serving as a Bible worker for a year at a nearby church when I met her while knocking on doors. We started Bible studies and developed a friendship, but Binh’s interest fizzled when I returned to the U.S., and she went back to her family in a communist closed country.
Fast forward to the spring of 2020. I had married a pastor and just pulled back on church involvement following the arrival of our first baby and the global pandemic. It was during this time when I noticed that Binh had started regularly liking and commenting on my Facebook posts. I suggested that we catch up with a video chat, which is why I found myself nervously waiting for our designated meeting time in my living room.
At the end of our call, I asked the question - would she like to study the Bible together again? She immediately said “Yes!” and we started the studies the following week. Over the next year and a half, we became close friends. We compared notes on how our countries were handling Covid-19, talked about parenting, jobs, and personal challenges. Binh had learned about the state of the dead at our church in Australia, and she told me stories of how people were deceived by the workings of evil spirits in her country. The Lord blessed our time together, and she eagerly consumed the spiritual food.
Binh shared that when she returned home after university, she attended an Adventist church for a while but faced significant pressure from Buddhist family members and friends. She finally returned to worshipping at the Buddhist temples; however, she felt the services had been largely commercialized. Disillusioned, she gave up on worship altogether. After having a child, going through a divorce, moving to a new city, and starting over with her job, Covid-19 shut everything down. She was at one of her lowest points when I messaged her asking if she would like to catch up and start Bible studies again.
Through Julia O’Carey and ASAP Ministries, I was able to connect Binh with local Adventist home churches in her country where she started Bible studies with another young woman her age and is planning to get baptized as soon as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. Binh and I have often marveled at how God connected us at her lowest point and gave her hope through Jesus.