Roughly 22 million people live in Isaan, the northeast region of Thailand. Throughout the rural Isaan area, there are few churches or Christians to be found in each sub-district. In most villages, you’ll find people seeking hope in various practices of Buddhism and idol worship. But God is working in powerful ways to bring lasting hope to the people of Isaan.
By Jared Haechton, OMF worker in Thailand
One day, I was giving some of the new Christians a ride into town in our car. As I drove, I noticed that one of the elderly Christian ladies raised her hands and bowed as we passed a prominent spirit house that was located on the road into town. It had been set up near a particularly steep portion of the road.
She was a very new Christian and my first instinct was to tell her that she should not bow to other “gods/spirits” since she is now a Christian. However, as I prayed, I felt led to not just tell her what she “should do.” Instead, on this occasion, I should help her to know how to find answers in the word of God, and allow the Holy Spirit to bring conviction and transformation.
As I continued to pray about how to respond to this, God led me to share in that week’s gathering from Acts 17, where Paul uses the “unknown god” in Athens to disclose to them the true and Living God who can be known!
That week, as we were discussing the application and use of this passage in our lives, one of the older men of the group looked at me. He said that since they now know the True God, they should not be bowing down to any other gods or sacred objects anymore. As he said this, some other people in the room agreed. They looked around at each other and decided at that moment to hold one another accountable in this matter. We praise God for their discovery and that they as a group decided to honor God in this matter of their lives.
We have now been meeting with this group of Christians for a couple years and have often passed this spirit house and others in our travels. I have not ever seen them bow to any of these spirit houses since.
May God be honored in our lives and in this land! for more stories from OMF workers serving the Isaan people.
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