Bruce believed in Buddhism and in 1994 he was ordained as a novice monk. Even though he was relaxed at peace, there were no miracles, or great spiritual awakening in his life. At last he turned to Jesus Christ and his life changed for the better after his conversion to Christianity.
BUDDHIST Monk turns To JESUS Christ
After I finished high school, I decided to find my own identity by researching my Laotian background. I read many books on Laotian history, religion and philosophy. Besides researching my ethnical background I also wanted to find out more about the belief I had been born into. Buddhism with all its rules and regulations was not satisfying me spiritually or emotionally. By the age of 30 the problems in my life were almost crushing me. I thought if I worked harder at Buddhism, I might find the answers.
In 1994 I was ordained as a novice monk. There where several reasons for doing this; to gain spiritual experience and merits, but also to pay respect to my parents, especially my mother. The parents of monks receive honour and status in the community, so by my becoming a monk, I also raised their status. My family and friends prepared the initiation ceremony. My head was shaved and I was dressed in a white robe, which was later changed to a yellow one. The next 3 weeks were spent in a Buddhist temple learning to obey very strict rules.
My day began at 6.00am chanting and praying the TRIPITAKA: the Triple Gems: the Buddha, the teaching and Sangha Monk community. Then I would sweep the floor and tidy up. As a novice monk I had to cook breakfast and lunch. The remaining time was spent washing, meditating, teaching and studying the Buddhist scriptures. Since there is very little written Buddhist scripture recorded, the teaching method is passed on verbally and memorised. Even though I was relaxed and at peace, there were no miracles, or great spiritual awakening.
My conversion to Christianity
I finally left the Buddhist temple none the wiser, or more able to cope with my problems. Yes, for a while in the monastery, away from every day problems I felt at peace, after all I didn’t have to cope with reality. However, I didn’t feel satisfied, nor was I taught how to cope with life outside the monastery.
I didn’t find the answer as a Buddhist monk so I decided to look elsewhere. I spent many months of continually reading books on different religions, including the Bible. Some of my Christian friends even invited me to their church. I also attended a church camp. None of the above however made a difference until on Monday 27th Dec 1999 I met a lady who told me about Jesus Christ. On this day I made Jesus Christ my Lord, Master, Saviour and God.
I met her while visiting my best friend, Zlatko. She listened sympathetically to the problems and struggles in my life, emphasising that ONLY GOD could help remove the burdens from my shoulders. I could not work for my “”Salvation””. As I listened I felt different, warmth had crept into my heart, and finally I said a short prayer to welcome the LORD Jesus Christ into my heart as my Saviour. I didn’t know it then, but found out later, that Jovanka my friend’s wife had prayed intensely in “”tongues”” while I was being witnessed to. God later told her the following: “”Marlies, you think it was your good witnessing skills that led Souk to Jesus! No, when Jovanka prayed in tongues she bound the demon sitting on his head that had stopped him from turning to the Lord Jesus Christ.””
When the prayer was over I felt totally at peace and relieved. I was not even afraid of what my parents might say that one of their children had changed from a religion that had been in the family for centuries. In fact, within a few weeks I told them that no longer did I follow the Buddhist religion, but had become a Christian.
My life changed for the better after my conversion to Christianity. I was taught the basic Bible principles and gradually the Holy Spirit opened my eyes and heart to see and understand the “”TRUTH”” about GOD. I saw miracles, received revelations from God via dreams. Also my prayers were answered. As well as, there was a visitation by the Lord Jesus Christ. One very important change was that slowly God had helped to erase my past sadness, heartache and worries and replaced them with His warmth, healing, love, joy and peace.
During the first 4 years of being a born-again Christian, I learnt how to fight spiritually and to overcome the tricks and temptation of the enemy–satan. Despite my sincere efforts though, there still remained old habits such as laziness, gambling, lust, rebellion, stubbornness, pride and childish behaviour – tantrums. There were also major issues of confusion in speech and writing and depression.
The Break Through
I thank God for Christian friends who put up with me. Gradually life was getting so bad that I gave in to the prompting of my friends and on the 13th July 2004, we sought God in order to have the root cause revealed, which had hindered my walk with Jesus. Yes, I knew Jesus loved me very much and that I was his child, but there were blockages that were hindering me from a closer walk.
That night we praised and worshipped the Lord Jesus and waited upon Him. During prayer, 2 events from my childhood came to mind. One night my parents went out and my younger brothers and I were looked after by the maid. Looking back, I now know that she was performing witchcraft. We were sitting on the floor around a burning candle. Suddenly she said “”something””, then threw a rag-doll at me. This frightened me so much that my spirit nearly jumped out of my body. In fright and anger I retaliated by throwing a nail cutter and file at her which hit her near the eye. She had a sore left eye, but was otherwise ok.
The 2nd event happened at the age of 8, when my father gave me a small job to do. I had to offer water and food to an ICON among other Buddhist statues inside the house shrine. One night I forgot to bring the food offering and the spirit, became angry. That night, my family and I were woken by constant knocking on the floor and wall. When my dad returned from police duty, he told me it was a spirit of a dead boy who had been called upon to come and protect the family. I was punished for not doing my job. Now, I know that the dead boy would have gone straight to heaven, because all children belong to God, regardless of what religion the parents are. The ’spirit’, asked to protect my family in fact was a demon and a bone from the dead boy’s body gave it the right to be in our home.
I shared these two events with my friends. The first thing that came out during prayer was that my name had to be changed from Souk-SonKhan to Bruce. Souk-SonKhan in Loation means war on Friday. All my life I remembered strife and conflict, especially during my school days when other children would tease me about my name, calling me ‘cry baby’, for that is what Souk means in English.
In regards to the curses, of a ‘befuddled mind’, poverty, depression and suicide, spoken out by the maid, Marlies broke these and asked God to turn them into blessings. Interestingly, when we looked up the word ‘fuddled’ in the dictionary, it described my attempts at speaking perfectly — foolish, confused and muddled. Then she commanded the ‘boy demon’ to leave my body. Because I had forgotten to give the demon its offerings it had come into my body as punishment. This explained my childish tantrums considering I am now 38.
When Mendo, Marlies and I met again the next day she had an interesting story to tell me. Apparently the ‘boy demon’ had followed her home after leaving Mendo’s place that night and just as she was about to go to sleep it stood by her bed and told her to invite it into her life. In no uncertain terms she told it to go back to the Laotian village where it had come from! As it couldn’t go into Marlies it decided to force its way into my life again.
After the prayer session on Monday night I expected a spiritual battle and was ready for warfare. I dreamt that I was in a house with a teenage boy. Not until what appeared to be sunrise did I realise that my dream had become reality, because as I was pushing the boy out of the window I noticed that he was wearing my white and blue striped flannelette shirt which ended up in my hand as he vanished. Then I realised that the boy in my dream had not been a human being but the spirit of the dead boy who my father had asked to protect my family over 30 years ago. Instantly I rebuked it and commanded it to leave in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, I had evidence that the spirit impersonating the dead teenage boy had been living in my soul and had been holding back my life’s progress and joy.
The next night the demon tried, but did not ucceed, to come back into my soul while I was sleeping. I was woken up when the evil spirit tried to touch my legs; so I commanded it to get lost and never return.
For those reading my testimony you might ask yourself the question, “”why did it take 4 years for me to get properly cleaned out?”” Extreme stubbornness and pride, on my part, prevented God the Holy Spirit from getting through to me. Every time I was told that there was something wrong I threw a tantrum and didn’t mix with my friends for a few weeks, or months. At one stage I had a friend staying with me. God gave him a dream and in that dream Rey saw Jesus Christ sitting on my bed. Tears were rolling down Jesus’ cheeks as he looked at my sleeping body.
Stubbornness and pride are major sins. In Buddhism, with the wheel of reincarnation, you simply try to be good, but as you might come back as an ant, or tiger, it doesn’t really matter. By the continuing process of reincarnation you are not held accountable for your actions, even though your conscience tells you when there is something wrong. In the Bible however it is written: Hebrews 9:27 “”Everyone must die once and after that be judged by God.”” I became a monk, because amongst other things this would give prestige to my family. Buddhist monks might have a higher standing in society, but ultimately they will stand before God and be accountable for their sins. The Bible says: Romans 3:22 God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: 23/ everyone has sinned and is faraway from God’s saving presence. 24/ But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free.
I look back now at how much I’ve learnt from the Lord Jesus through his Holy Spirit. Jesus won the victory over death at the Cross ( Luke 24: 7) and set me free. God is so kind and loving that He entrusted His faithful followers to use His Name and power for genuine purposes such as healing the sick and casting out demons, so that His Father might be glorified. (Luke 1:19..) So, people have the freewill and choice to accept Jesus Christ by Faith to be their Lord and God Then they also have a choice of being “”totally”” cleaned from sins and denouncing all previous masters.
Even though I am longing to go to Heaven to be in God’s presence, I realise that there is so much work to be done on earth. I am very grateful to God who knows that I try very hard to please Him, but it is only through His Grace and the Blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ that I am accepted to be worthy, not good works.
I must thank many people who have shared their love and devotion, guidance and prayer with me to get to know and come closer to the Great, Living God. My parents and family have raised and fed me, but I see my Christian brothers and sisters – as my extended spiritual family. It is my heart desire to follow the Wonderful Lord Jesus and to fulfil His commission which is to preach, pray, share God’s love and the Good News to all nations regardless (Matthew 28:19)
No other philosopher or religious leader could ever guarantee their followers the assurance that their names will be written in the “” Book of Life”” (Revelation 20:12) and that they will live for an eternity in heaven with Almighty God. I will always give praise, glory and honour to Almighty God the Father, through his Son Jesus for the ransom of my sins on the cross.
If you have never asked Jesus Christ into your heart then pray the following prayer.
“”Oh, Lord my God, I come to you today and I ask you to forgive me for my sins. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died and rose again to set me free from my sins. I ask now Lord Jesus that you would come into my heart and be my Lord, Master, Saviour and God. I also ask that you Heavenly Father would give me the Holy Spirit. I welcome you Holy Spirit into my heart and I pray that you would teach me and guide me in the way I should go.
Oh Lord my God I ask you now to forgive me for the sin of having served the devil (name the areas eg Buddhism, witchcraft, Satanism etc.) in the area of … and that you would wash me clean with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ from that sin.”” Then say: “”Devil the Lord Jesus Christ has forgiven me for serving you …. He is my Master now, and I tell every foul demonic spirit to get out of my life now and stay out. I take the Sword of the Holy Spirit and cut off every association with the devil once and for all. Amen
(If you have further questions you may contact me on my e-mail address.)
E-mail: [email protected]