This story comes from SE Asia about a man we call U Tun. You may have read it in our last newsletter, but we thought it was so remarkable, we wanted to share it as a blog too!
Since 89% of the people in U Tun’s SE Asian village are born into Buddhist families, it was unusual that he was born into one that was Christian. Even with that heritage, though, early in his life U Tun chose a path that enslaved him to alcohol and violence. In fact, he did whatever he had to do to get liquor.
His choices became criminal, and eventually led him to prison. Even as he found himself at a low point, things got worse. While in prison, U Tun’s wife passed away. When he was finally was released from prison, U Tun found himself at an important fork in the road. He described the situation.
“After I got out of jail I had nothing to do. I got throat cancer. I went to a monastery and the monk gave me medicine for my throat. I did not even remember to pray to God. My previous boss knew my weaknesses: that I had no money, I had cancer, nowhere to live, and my wife’s death. He offered me a large sum of money to kill his rival. I felt that I had no choice.”
Having decided to follow through with the unthinkable, on the night he entered the home of this man to murder him, U Tun heard him praying. He listened for a while; then he put his knife away. Surprisingly, instead of calling the police, the man welcomed U Tun, and they talked about God.
U Tun didn’t use his knife, but his heart was pierced. He began attending church with this man he had planned to kill! A desire to tell others about God was growing in his heart, but he was fearful because he didn’t know how. TP, director of GNPI-SE Asia, came to his church one Sunday and taught about how to evangelize the unreached. TP gave U Tun one of the booklets produced by GNPI in SE Asia. After reading it, U Tun felt empowered to speak about Christ. Since then, he has brought 40 people to the church and 10 of them have been baptized.
“I am not afraid to preach the Gospel now,” U Tun said. “When the Holy Spirit works inside you, you do not want to be just quiet. You want to speak. I will be preaching the Gospel of Jesus until I die.”