Aunty Em was at the end of hope. The priest at the local temple hadn’t helped. The traditional medicine healer (witch doctor) hadn’t helped. The local medical clinic said they couldn’t find anything wrong. The pain in Aunty Em’s shoulder was still excruciating at times and annoying all the time, what else could she do? She was desperate. They thought that since the shoulder was not a medical condition it must be a spiritual one from dark forces.
Aunty Em lived in a shanty, at the end of palm tree lined laneway, made of bits and pieces with wooden slats for walls and a corrugated roof. She had a bamboo verandah at the front with a grass thatched roof. In her shanty was a little fridge and a bed with a hanging mosquito net over the top, along with an assortment of other bits and pieces.
Aunty Em was a mother, grandmother and great grandmother in her late 60’s. She was a widow, her husband had died many years before (probably of alcohol related illness). She had two daughters and a son all with names relating to her love of the moon.
Aunty Em lived in a small country village in the middle of Central Thailand.
Aunty Em had lived a hard life as a labourer in the fields and of course as a mother as well. Her skin was very dark and wrinkled from a hard life in the sun. Her teeth were also a very dark red colour for she liked to chew on the addictive betel nut mixture she ground up in her little mortar for this purpose. She was poor and lived each day on what little earning she could muster. She did have family around and they all helped one another and often ate together.
Aunty Em’s son in law made extra earnings as a singer in a band that would hire out at weddings and funerals and other events. In this musical group was a Christian man who was friends with this family.
Aunty Em’s daughter and son in law asked the Christian man if he could help with Aunty Em’s shoulder, they were desperate! The Christian man made a series of phone calls and that eventually saw a group of 5 Christians, including an OMF missionary, visit at about 10 o clock at night.
The Christians talked with Aunty Em for a few hours that evening, each sharing their faith in Jesus Christ. Aunty Em listened attentively and asked questions about faith in Christ Jesus. Aunty Em repeated one particular question a number of times. The question was, “If I believe in Jesus, do I need to leave my old beliefs?” The missionary saw that this was an important spiritual question and stated that there would need to be a turning from old beliefs to follow Christ Jesus.
The group of Christians prayed with Aunty Em, including for healing for her shoulder, then all went home to bed at about midnight.
Two days later the Christian friend of Aunty Em’s family telephoned the missionary and said that Aunty Em’s shoulder was much better and that she wanted to believe in Christ Jesus. He wanted the missionary to go out and lead her to belief in Jesus. The missionary told the Thai Christian man to explain the Gospel to Aunty Em himself and show her the way to faith in Jesus. He did.
This wonderful miracle of God’s love and power happened about ten years ago and Aunty Em continues in her faith in Christ Jesus and is a witness for Christ to her family and community. Some others have also believed in Jesus and there is a small group of Christians that meet together in that little village in Central Thailand. Pray that many more will believe in this small, needy community.