Part 2: Persecuted From The Womb- The Story Of A Christian From Burma
Here is the second part of the story “Persecuted from the Womb” (the first part was published last week). This is the story of one persecuted Christian from Burma (also known as Myanmar).
“The thick book was beginning to make sense. There, I read about Jesus Christ; that he was God. I was confused. I was also excited. Something in me was stirred. Could this be what I was looking for? Perhaps it was not a thing that I desired… but a person… Despite what I was learning from the Bible, I was also experiencing frustrations… Eventually, I slid into depression.
“One time, I was so confused. I didn’t know if I still wanted to believe in Buddha and be a strong Buddhist like my family. But something in me was saying that Jesus was the way; that He would give me the answers; that He was God. In my desperation, I thought of ending my life. So, I went deep into the jungle to hang myself from a tree. I was certain there was no one around. I cried. I screamed, ‘Jesus, if you are truly God, speak to me! Tell me what I should do. Tell me what I should believe in. Buddha, if you are God then you speak to me. Whoever speaks to me now I will believe in him!’
“If you saw me that day, you would think I was crazy! Maybe I was! But I kept challenging God to speak to me that day. That afternoon, I heard God speak to me. I knew it was Him. He said, ‘My son, I have heard your prayer.’ I felt that only the true God can call me son. And only He can save me from taking my own life. Jesus has heard my prayer. He is the true God!”
“I was so excited about my new faith in the true God that I finished the whole Bible three times in one year! I understood how Jesus forgave all my sin and how He loved us all so much that He died on the cross to save us. I was eager to share my faith to my family and relatives. So I decided to go back to Myanmar. But instead of a warm welcome, my father met me with fierce anger! He disowned me and threw me out of our house. He even had my name erased from the family registration. I had to register on my own so that I could be listed in the government’s records.”
“I struggled. It was painful to be without a family. But it would have been more painful without Jesus. I decided to go into a Bible school so I could learn more about God and how to serve him.”
“At present, my wife Esther, and I together with our four children are serving the Lord here in Myanmar. It is amazing how He provided for us, healed our illnesses, and enabled us to plant and nurture churches. We are currently taking care of churches in five villages, managing a child development center, which also serves as an orphanage and school for the less fortunate children, and hosting a small Bible school in our compound. We are training future missionaries.”
There are so many others in Myanmar, like Elijah, who are from staunch Buddhist backgrounds. In a culture where tribal and clan affiliation is a very strong integral part of one’s identity, these brothers and sisters pay the high price of separation from their parents, family, relatives, and community to follow Jesus. And yet, they choose that seemingly lonely road to journey with their Savior. Indeed, our role is to stand with them in prayer, that together we will all remain faithful to Him who has never forsaken us.
When asked what his prayer requests were, Elijah only asked for the grace to remain in Christ. “Just pray that we will be faithful. God has given me so much. He saved me and redeemed me. He has been with me and my wife. He has given me wisdom and power to do His will. He has even given me the gift to speak different languages and now I can talk to friends from other countries like you! All I ask is that you pray for us to remain faithful to Him.”
*Name changed and other details withheld for the believer’s protection