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Unlikely Messenger

Sak grew up in rural Southeast Asia. Like most villagers, he married before he was 20 and soon had four children. Sak was a priest, making blood sacrifices to spirits in his village. Everyone liked him; he was funny, outspoken, hardworking and willing to drink with the guys. His wife, however, bore the brunt of his drunkenness. He wasted the family income and often beat her. His smoking also used up meager funds made from selling vegetables gathered in the forest.

Then in 1995 a foreign development project was assigned to work in Sak’s village. The project staff recognized at once that Sak was a key to developing the whole village; if Sak was behind any activity, it would go over with the others.

As the project worked in his village, putting in toilets, digging wells, etc., Sak began to notice that the aid workers had something he didn’t. That something was Jesus Christ. One night he confessed to one of the staff, “I just can’t tell if this Jesus thing is real or not.” The staff worker suggested Sak go to meet some other Khamu who were Christians. Surely they could help Sak figure out the truth.

Sak left with a questioning heart; he came home a changed man. Soon his wife came to the staff worker saying, “What did you DO to my husband? Whatever it is, I want it too!”

After coming to Christ Sak told everyone in his village about Jesus. Over 40 adults came to Christ, together with their families and a church was formed that met in his house every weekend.

In this country, leaders fear anyone outside their group who has power. It wasn’t long before the district and province officials came out to warn Sak and the others to cease and desist. Sak wouldn’t listen; he kept walking with Jesus and sharing Him. So in April 1999 Sak, along with six other keen new believers, were put in prison for their Christian faith. During the months Sak was in jail he refused to turn away from the Lord. When he was released he went back to his village and kept serving Jesus.

God honored him in front of the people; a few months after he got out of jail Sak was asked to represent his ethnic group in a parade in the capital city. His ability to do the traditional sword dance made even those who opposed him willing to send him as their representative to the largest festival in the country.

Over the next few years Sak’s brave stance for Christ gave courage to many others. More people heard about Christ. Some people heard the gospel from Sak, while others heard about Jesus elsewhere. Nevertheless, Sak’s strong faith, courage and prayer life opened the spiritual door to the province, thereby allowing many others to come to Christ. By April 2004 there were about 500 believers in five ethnic groups in Sak’s province. Compared to 1993 when there were NO believers, that is an amazing advance of the Kingdom of God.

Earlier in 2004 the governor began a renewed effort to eliminate all Christians from his province.

Then a man came wanting to buy some land from Sak. Others warned Sak not to get involved due to this man’s poor reputation, but for reasons unknown to us Sak didn’t listen. The buyer told him, “Please meet me in the capital city. There I will pay you the money.” So Sak, his wife and their youngest son traveled down to the capital city. They first attended a Christian camp nearby and then returned to finish the transaction with this man. That was July 2, 2004. They have not been seen or heard of since.

Where is Sak? Some fear he is dead. The man who was involved has been arrested and put in jail for drug dealing, so there is no way to interview him. Others have made valiant attempts to locate where he is. We believe he is alive and being held against his will.

Pray that God will intervene and use Sak mightly for years to come!

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