Kristen, Sprite, and Suzy, a Servant Partners team in Bangkok, Thailand, are invested in the development of whole families. Kristen shares a story of a young woman, Muk, who was initially a part of their teen program and is now learning about Jesus with her mother, Ma Dim.
Ma Dim and her daughter, Muk, are neighbors we’ve known for many years. Muk was a scholarship student in our Youth Leadership Development program, has graduated, and is now working and going to a local university. For the past few months, Suzy, our Servant Partners co-worker, who specializes in a ministry called “storying”, has occupied our kitchen table every Sunday morning to craft Bible stories with our two sweet neighbors. She has them orally put into understandable language the stories of David, then Jesus. As these two have crafted stories with Suzy their hearts and spirits have been changed.
The week after my husband, Sprite, broke his hand in a motorcycle accident, I went to the nearest 7/11 store to buy some things and couldn’t wipe the stressed look off of my face. Ma Dim was selling homemade sweets just outside the 7/11 and asked me what was wrong. Thankful to have a familiar face to talk to, I spilled my heart out in my moment of distress, “Sprite broke his hand in a motorcycle accident and I’m so worried about him and he’s in pain and I don’t know what to do or what medicine to buy him…” On and on I went in a flabbergasted mess.
“Well, you have God so you can pray to God to heal him right?” Ma Dim asks, “You will be ok. You have God in your heart. Everything will be okay. If you have God in your heart, you can have happiness even in hard times right?”
“Right…,” fumbles out of my mouth.
And I walk away deeply encouraged to have faith amidst our small trials because “I have God in my heart”, as Ma Dim, my Buddhist neighbor, said. Ma Dim, in that moment, had more faith than I did - and she was the one encouraging me to trust God. God works in the most mysterious ways, doesn’t He?
A few weeks later, I came home from church to some good news, “Ma Dim pretty much became a Christian today,” Suzy said. I knew that day they had been studying the resurrection of Jesus and learning of all that that means. “She told me, quite straightforwardly, that she does believe that when she confesses her sins to God, Jesus will forgive her and bring her to heaven. And because Jesus died and rose again, that is actually possible. She believes in Jesus, Kristen!” Suzy went on to tell me more: how when Ma Dim began praying to God, all the aches and pains in her body she’d been experiencing for so long, went away, almost completely. And how, also when she started praying, she began to see God bless her business. She was selling more food now and financially doing okay. Ma Dim says she “wants to follow Jesus the same way Peter follows Jesus.”
Though Ma Dim still considers herself a Buddhist, we are encouraged that she is taking steps to follow Jesus and are confident that God will bless her where she is at in her faith. So we praise God for the transforming work of God’s word. It is alive and at work here in Thailand! He has changed one woman’s life and we pray she is just the beginning.