I was born into a family of devout Buddhists, and was raised in a village. Though my family was very religious and went regularly to the temple, I used to drink and gamble. When I reached high school age, I moved to another area. When I finished school, I did not want to return to the farm to work but instead went to Yangon to look for a job in the city. While there, a man approached me and asked if I wanted to go abroad. Some of my friends went to Malaysia as migrant workers, but my parents could not afford to send me to work abroad. But a Christian pastor saw me and ask if I would like to go to Korea. If I gave him $400, he could get me to Korea for work.
He said, “Now if you go to Korea, it is a Christian country. Do you know anything about Christianity?” “No, I only go to the monastery and I know about our religion and the laws and beliefs.” I even stayed as a monk in the Yangon monastery. Even though I was quite versed in Buddhism, I didn’t know anything about Christianity. The pastor said, “Well, if you go to Korea, you will have a short training about Christianity to see if you’re ready or not to go.”
My parents said that it sounded good you and encouraged me take the short training.
It was the very first time I’d ever met a Christian. They did not worship at all like Buddhists. Buddhists bow down before an image; instead, they just sang songs, smiled, and seemed very happy. A very strange feeling came to my heart. The pastor urged me to study for a few more months so I would really understand Christian-ity. So I attended the training and became very interested. One of the teachers during the training said, “Jesus is not just the God of the Christians. He is the God of everybody. You can test him and see that He is the God of all.”
I learned about two different kinds of gods: one that is the Creator who created different things in the earth and the other god was created by human hands. The teacher made it clear to me that there were many gods under heaven, but in heaven there is only one true God. And this true God came down from heaven in Jesus Christ to save sinners. When I heard about the Savior Jesus, I believed that He was my real father, my heavenly Father. I had known many stepfathers, but this father was real. This was the God who had made me. Before I finished the training, I knew that I was a citizen of heaven and I no longer wanted to go to Korea to work. I was born again by His spirit and became baptized.
When I went back to my village and told my parents that I was so glad that now we can go to a heavenly kingdom. If we know Jesus, through Him we can get to the heavenly kingdom. But my mother was very angry. “I wanted you to go to Korea but you did this silly thing and believe these silly beliefs.”
All of my former friends and relatives gave me a new name. I was a former Buddhist in the priesthood, so they called me ‘So-lo-que’. It means ‘a little Christian dog.’ My family was very embarrassed of me. I was a disgrace. My parents ask me to leave the house. I told them, “You may be able to feed me here on earth to keep me alive, but you can do nothing for me after death. But Jesus said that if we believe in Him, He will take care of us after death.” I gladly left my parents and continued to study the Word of God. After some time, I went back to my village, and I tried to witness to them again. By this point, I truly understood my faith in Jesus Christ. I did not talk about religion to them, but about my relationship to Jesus Christ. And I tried to introduce them to the living Savior. At that time, they were more open and receptive to the Gospel. I shared about the changes in my life. Slowly, they understood and changed their attitude toward me. My friends began to ask me to share my life-changing story because they remembered how bad I used to be. By the grace of God and my persistence, one after another, the other people began to received Jesus.
I believe I have sowed the eternal seed into their hearts. I have become a true son of God and now many of them also have become followers. I planted the church near the market with two other families. There are about 15 of us. My wife and three daughters are all believers. One of the ways I share my faith is through my hands. People with ailments especially the older people appreciate my skills in massage. As I relieve their pain, I share the Gospel with them. I have reached many people that way. Please pray for our new congregation—that each one will become a true disciple of Jesus Christ and take the Gospel back to their own areas and their own families.