Estranged for the Gospel
By an OMF worker in Thailand
It is incredibly difficult for a Shan person to profess Christian faith in an entirely Buddhist society. Take the three new Christians in Huay Phaa, for example: Tim*, John* and Melissa*.
Tim, a young guy, is due to harvest his family’s rice field in two days. In order to get the job done, he needs help from other villagers. But no one is offering. Some suspect it is because of his faith.
John faces difficulty of another kind. He’s illiterate. Originally from Burma, he can speak Shan but cannot read or write. He longs to read the Bible, but as of yet he cannot.
Perhaps the most heart wrenching story is that of 13-year-old Melissa. Like many Shan children, she lives with her grandparents while her parents work in another town. When Melissa excitedly shared how she received faith in Jesus, her parents were furious. They told her if she continued in the faith, they would no longer give her money to go to school. Melissa now struggles with the intense fear that her parents are going to disown her completely. Such a horrid fear for a little girl!
Please pray for all Shan Christians, especially for Tim, John and Melissa. May they not be ashamed to testify about our Lord! May many others in Huay Phaa come to faith in Christ, that they may have fellowship together and encourage one another in the difficult times.
*Names have been changed.