As a teenager in Myanmar, Maw Maw was known for stealing, drinking, smoking drugs, getting into fights, and running around with women. He was not interested in loving or caring for others at all. He was never willing to apologize or back down.
When he was eighteen, Maw Maw moved to Thailand in search of work. He came from a very poor family and only went to school until the third grade. He could not read.
When he arrived in Thailand, Maw Maw met Yanai, who was a part of the church in Bo Thong. The two became friends and Yanai brought him to Bo Thong to find work.
Still, Maw Maw’s problems continued and he was very unhappy. He had no passport, no visa and no work permit. His employers always cheated him and stole his salary.
One day, Yanai started to tell Maw Maw about Jesus and, after seeing his sincere interest, Yanai brought him to meet Sue and Htoo, a Burmese couple that was leading a small house church nearby. Sue shared the Gospel with Maw Maw and they started to study the Bible together.
Eventually, Htoo invited Maw Maw to move to Bangsai where he helped him find a job on a fishing boat so that he could be close to the church and learn more about Jesus. One day, they invited him to an evangelistic outreach. But before agreeing to go, Maw Maw really wanted to know if God was real.
At the time, his father was very ill in Myanmar. He had no money to send him to help provide medicine. So Maw Maw prayed to God and asked him to heal his father.
That same week, Maw Maw received news that his father was miraculously healed! Maw Maw went to the outreach, gave his heart to Christ and was baptized.
After he was baptized, Maw Maw felt like a different man. He no longer felt the guilt and weight of his sin. Immediately, he started to tell all of his friends on the fishing boat about Jesus. Each week on Sunday, he would bring his friends to church to experience God’s love. Eventually, every person on his fishing boat became a believer in Jesus Christ!
“I guess I need a new boat!” Maw Maw said. He couldn’t explain his transformation. From the moment he gave his heart to Jesus, he had a burning passion to tell everyone about Jesus. Every night, he would go out into the streets and share with others about the love and power of Jesus Christ.
Soon after, when Maw Maw saw a wedding taking place in the church, he felt convicted by the Holy Spirit that he needed to marry the woman he had been living with. For the first time in his life, he learned the meaning and significance of covenant and how God wants to make a covenant with us in marriage so that we can be faithful to God and empowered by the Holy Spirit to love our partners.
After Maw Maw was married, his wife began to teach him how to read. They read the Bible together every day and Maw Maw grew confident in reading for himself. Today, Maw Maw is grateful that God chose him to be his child. He loves to tell others about how the love of God changed him from being a hard-hearted, selfish man into a person who feels compassion for others and loves to serve. As he continues to study the Bible, he is being equipped to be an evangelist, teacher and leader in the church.
To all of his Buddhist friends, Maw Maw says, “No idol or god can compare with God’s great love and power to forgive our sins, heal our hearts and give us eternal life!”
To support church planting among the Burmese in Thailand, go to DONATE and reference project C0702.