By Carson Vogt
There’s a saying in Thai that describes people of authority and influence; they’re called “big-signature people.” They are people of power in society like government leaders and business executives.
I met a single lady in Thailand named Ba-Welaba who was definitely not a big-signature person in the eyes of others. She was very quiet and ran a small orphanage in Phuket next door to MB Mission’s Life Center. She was a humble woman with a big heart and a strong faith in Jesus.
She was also a prayer warrior, and she took seriously the Biblical command to pray for kings and for all those in authority. In fact, Ba-Welaba had been praying fervently for the Prime Minister of Thailand for some time. She had also started writing letters to him to encourage him and let him know that she was praying for him.
One day, Ba-Welaba received a phone call. It was the Prime Minister of Thailand asking her, “Who are you?” Ba-Welaba took the time to explain to the Prime Minister why she had been praying for him. The Prime Minister replied simply, “I want to meet you.”
Ba-Welaba granted the Prime Minister’s request and went to meet with him. She shared further about her faith and then had the unique opportunity to pray for the Prime Minister in person.
In Psalm 113, it says,
“The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children.” (vs.4-9)
Ba-Welaba’s story is an example to me of how God’s ways are so different than the ways of the world. God looks at people so differently than we do. In our societies, we view some people as more important than others; we honour big-signature people. But sometimes God turns things upside down and reminds us that our faith in him is really what makes the difference, and that there is no greater authority than in the place of humble prayer.
Carson is a 2014 Intercultural Studies graduate who did his 3rd year internship in Thailand with MB Mission’s Global Servants program.