By a SEND worker in a secure location — I’m shy. So is Ting, a piano teacher in my community. But a close friend saw potential in Ting and encouraged me to get to know her.
I started to bring my son to Ting’s piano shop regularly; Ting likes kids and my son would help fill any awkward silences. Every Monday afternoon, as I rode the bus to the piano shop, I would pray, asking God to give me boldness and wisdom and to give Ting an open heart.
How Chen turned from Christ
Before I knew it, Ting was pouring her heart out and telling me all the struggles in her marriage: Her husband, Chen, grew up in a Christian family in Singapore. He was baptized at age 19. But, a few years ago, a business partner cheated him, and Chen needed to sell his company to pay his debts.
Feeling angry and confused, Chen came across a statue of Phra Phrom, a Hindu deity incorporated into Buddhism. Immediately, he knelt before the statue on the side of the street and made a promise: “If you help me sell my company at a reasonable price within a week, I will serve you for the rest of my life.”
Six days later, Chen sold his company at a very good price. Chen kept his promise and travelled many times to Thailand to give offerings and to receive more blessings. He even “invited” Phra Phom into his house by putting up a shrine.
Meanwhile, my friendship with Ting deepened. One day, after we looked at the Bible together, I asked her if she wanted to receive Jesus as her savior. She said, “Yes, I am ready.” We talked to our Father through happy tears that night.
We also fervently prayed for Chen’s salvation. We knew that without Jesus, their marriage was not going to work. But I remember the fears that I had when praying with Ting: “What if Chen never changes? What if they end up divorced? Is it going to be a bad testimony to a new sister?” Yet God gave me peace, and drove my fears away. “Be still, and know that I am God.”
The shrine, destroyed
A couple of weeks later, Ting texted me pictures of Chen’s Phra Phrom shrine scattered across the floor of their home. She explained that she had destroyed all the statues in Jesus’ name and threw them all away. If someone were to take a curse for doing so, she said she would rather suffer and spare her husband.
I shared with her Jeremiah 10:5b, “Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good.” She replied in tears, “Thank you so much for the freedom and peace. I don’t have to fear anymore, and I will continue to ask for deliverance for my husband.”
Ting’s salvation did not end her marriage struggles. Yet her heart has changed. She has started to see more of her own sins, and she has shown more compassion toward her husband. In response to Ting destroying the shrine, Chen has changed miraculously. He started to show love to Ting, and he even put up some verses from the Bible in their house. We don’t know what God has in store for Chen and Ting, but we have hope because we know who is in charge. Please join us in praying for Ting’s growth and Chen’s salvation.
(Names in this story have been changed.)
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- Intro to Buddhism: A three-part series covering basic Buddhist beliefs, symbols and traditions, and how to engage Buddhists in meaningful spiritual conversations.
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