Mali is the Thai word for jasmine, a beautiful fragrant flower. Mali is also the name of a disabled woman who lives in Khok Sam Rong district, Central Thailand. Mrs Ong, Mali’s mother, has made life very hard for Mali and her health has deteriorated in recent years but even with all her problems, Mali has faithfully come to study with the Home Bible Seminary group (HBS) over the last 15 years.
Mrs Ong was especially against Mali coming to church, and at one point brought Mali to the pastor, with every HBS book and her Bible, saying that Mali would no longer be coming to the church, as she believed the spirits were angry, and it was for this reason that Mali was sick.
Mali’s father, who had been a Buddhist monk for several years, one day appeared at the church, having left the monk-hood, and said he wanted to become a Christian. Just over a year ago Mrs Ong also came to the church and said she wanted to believe, she even disposed of her idols and the spirit shelf but as she lived next door to the temple her friends persuaded her to turn back to Buddhism and she went back to mocking and making life difficult for Mali.
During June, the Lopburi Churches held an evangelistic event and many members of Mali’s family went, including Mrs Ong. On the Wednesday night she responded to the challenge at the end of the meeting, saying she wanted to believe. Four days later Mrs Ong had a heart attack and died. Many of the HBS group went to the funeral, and because her friends were all Buddhists and she had only just become a Christian it was decided that they would give her a Buddhist funeral. It was amazing to see, that out of her seven children, and with all the grandchildren, nephews and nieces, there is only one of Mrs Ong’s daughters that remains a Buddhist.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere” – 2 Corinthians 2:14