Never Too Late
Posted by danneker on August 4th, 2019 | 3 comments
We were out doing errands in Bangkok on Thursday morning when Nun’s call came through with the news. Noot, she explained, had been in a coma for more than 20 days. Her family had decided to take her off life support, expecting her to die right away. To everyone’s surprise, she kept breathing on her own. It had been several days now. The family had done all the traditional ceremonies already. Everyone thinks she’s holding on for something. “The friends in the market here asked me to take my group to visit her,” Nun continued, “they know Noot came to church on occasion. Maybe she’s waiting for us to visit her?” We told her we’d be back in the afternoon to visit her. Meanwhile, Nun called our missionary colleague, Hydie Aguilar, to visit Noot with her that morning.
Noot had been coming to cell group and later to church off and on since we started outreach in Baan Paeo four years ago. She responded to the invitation to receive Jesus as her Savior three or four times over the years, only to fall back into her addiction to drugs and disappear for a while. When she was dry, she seemed hungry for Jesus.
That afternoon, I went with Nun and Bale (another church member) to visit Noot. Nun was excited about the morning visit when she took Hydie to see her. “A tear rolled down Noot’s cheek when Hydie spoke about Jesus.” Otherwise, she was unresponsive. I then spoke to Noot, encouraging her to repent of her sins and to remember that Jesus can and will forgive her and that it’s never too late to commit her life to Jesus. “It doesn’t matter if you come to true saving faith years ago or for just a few minutes. Jesus will welcome you to heaven,” I encouraged her. We saw just a slight response with her eyes. We prayed for her before we left.
Saturday morning during worship practice, Nun came and told us Noot, only 48 years old, had passed away the night before very peacefully. The family had arranged for the cremation that evening following a traditional Buddhist funeral at 7:30 pm. “I asked permission to have a Christian ceremony for Noot at 6 pm. The family welcomes us!” Nun exclaimed. So, we quickly made plans. Ed began working on what he’d share. We started contacting the church members.
That evening at the Buddhist temple, Noot’s husband, daughter and six friends joined the church members for the memorial service. A microphone was set up for us so everyone else at the temple could hear what we were doing. “Amazing Grace” and “Nearer, My God to Thee” were led by Bale, her sweet voice loud and clear over the PA system. Nun shared testimony about Noot’s interest in the Lord even though she fought so much sin in her life. Ed then shared about the thief on the cross and how Jesus can forgive even at the last moment of your life, if you repent and trust in Him. We gave everyone who joined us some Christian literature. I encouraged Noot’s daughter to come to church to find out why her Mom has hope in Jesus. Praise God – never too late.