BY JULIA O’CAREY
Can you imagine how busy the angels are each day, ensuring that all the right connections happen at just the right time to fulfill God’s purposes? Wouldn’t you love to read the behind-the-scenes plans drafted in heaven? We will have to wait until we get there, but in the meantime, I want to share a story about how heaven orchestrated events far in advance to bring new light to one precious soul and a new laborer for God’s work among the Lao people in North America.
Thirteen years ago, Pr. Bounprany Vannady traveled from Laos to the U.S. to speak at a camp meeting. While visiting a friend in Holland, Michigan, he heard a knock on the door. To his amazement, his auntie greeted him with a surprised smile. “Auntie Chanthi, I didn't know where you lived in the United States. This is a big country! I’m shocked and thrilled to see you!” Pr. Bounprany exclaimed. She warmly embraced him before her expression suddenly turned serious. “Nephew, I am so sorry for the way I persecuted you when you became a Christian in Laos. Now I have become a Christian, too.”
Pr. Bounprany remembered what happened like it was yesterday. Though he had forgiven her many years ago, memories remained of his aunt yelling at him, cursing him, throwing away his Bible, and forbidding him to attend church. Tears flooded his eyes. “Auntie, I stayed faithful to Jesus and, of course, I forgave you long ago. Did you know I have become a pastor?” His auntie smiled proudly and asked him about his church. During their short time together, Pr. Bounprany shared the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs he holds so dear and connected his auntie with the local Lao Adventist group. She already knew one of the group’s faithful members, Mrs. Lampai Sihavong, the friend who Pr. Bounprany was visiting when Auntie Chanti “accidentally” ran into him.
Eventually, Auntie Chanthi got baptized, and she remains a faithful Seventh-day Adventist today. On January 25, 2020, she and her fellow church members welcomed Pr. Bounprany and his family back to Holland. Through another miraculous chain of events, God enabled ASAP to bring Pr. Bounprany to America to pastor the Lao Adventist group in Holland and support the four other Lao Adventist groups in North America. The Michigan Conference also accepted him as one of its workers (ASAP seeks your support to make this a financial reality).
While getting settled in Holland, the Vannadys stayed with Auntie Chanthi. Each evening, she drove them from house to house, visiting Laotians in the community. Both Christians and Buddhists warmly welcomed them, and the Vannadys discovered that God had already set many divine appointments for them. For instance, Mrs. Vannady met an old client from her days as a beautician in Laos. The woman cried tears of joy at their reunion. The Vannadys invited each new friend they met to church, and many are coming! Please pray for this growing ministry and thank God for heaven’s helpers, who are constantly arranging new divine appointments.