Thai Muslim Woman Converts to Christianity through Miracles
True story of a Thai Muslim woman converted into a Christian
Originally written in Thai in 2002 and translated into English in 2005
by Vachiravan Vanlaeiad
(This English version is edited by Chuanpit Kowae.)
“Is that you Plai? Sorry, wrong number! I thought it’s Plai.” Then the caller hung up immediately!
Again? How many times had my father made such a mistake, I wondered? It might have been a hundred times already since I had moved to Bangkok. “Sorry, wrong number!” seemed to be an excuse he had automatically made every time he called my younger brother and heard my voice answering the phone instead!
Did Father know that I had cried every time I answered the call and heard that same old phrase? Did it ever dawn on him that every time I heard him hang up the phone instantly he realized he had made the wrong call, I felt bitter? The sound of hung-up phone was for me like the sound of a burning bar of steel being pressed onto my heart. It was very painful. My same old wound was hurt over and over again.
I was raised up in a very religious Muslim family. My father is a businessman, doing various kinds of business. He was then a well-known and most respected person in a province in Southern Thailand. I have one sister, Ton who is older and one brother, Plai.
My name is Klang, which means “middle” in Thai. It might be true what people say, that the middle child or Wednesday’s child is the problem one. I agree so because I’m a problem person. I have felt lonely since my young days. I felt unloved. It seemed nobody cared about me. It seemed Mother loved and cared for my sister only and Father was concerned about my brother. I was grounded inside the house, being prohibited to associate with other children who were mostly Buddhists and Thai Chinese. I had hardly made any friends. The few friends I had were permitted to come and play and do their home work at my place. Going out was impossible. Even going to the movies, Father had to accompany us. I was utterly deprived of a merry and joyful childhood.
However, the chance for entry into a Catholic school in a Southern province was a miracle. Every morning, Mother had reminded me with the warning never to communicate either with the priests or nuns, not to observe or be involved with any Catholic ritual or ceremony. You know, for us children, forbidding means inviting. I often snooped around the church with curiosity. My behavior drew the attention of a priest. One day he called me into the church and I boldly and fearlessly stepped inside it. I then saw for the first time, a molded statue of Jesus being crucified on the cross. The statute was life-size with red blood stains from his head down onto his hands and feet. Out of curiosity as a child, my many questions were thus shot at the priest: Who was this guy? Why was he so terribly injured? Was he hurting? The priest then talked to me about Jesus Christ.
As usual, my family sent a car to pick me up after school. While waiting for the car, I again felt the loneliness, with all my friends having gone home. The place where I stood waiting was in front of the school and near the church. Having the story about Jesus very clear in my mind, I took those opportunities to peep inside the church and unknowingly questioned the man on the cross whether he was hurting. I felt pitifully for him, thinking he must be very painful having been crucified with nails on him. It was not until only a year ago that I had come to understand that Jesus had always been with me since those lonely times, while waiting for the family car to take me home from school.
Again! That bitter hurt being pressed inside of me, for all of my life had again popped up. It happened every time I received my father’s call. Why? This time it was hurting more than before? I could handle it before by throwing it off and pretending to be very happy. I tried to comfort myself by reasoning that I had a responsible husband and an adorable son. I had a perfect life. I had everything. That was enough to compensate all my lacks in the past, enough to fill in the wounded “hole” in my heart. I asked myself, “Klang! What else do you want?”
What else did I want? I had everything. What more do I need? But deep down, my conscience told me that I was lonely...that I needed love! All riches including my husband and son could not fill in or cover up the “hole or vacuum” in my heart.
As I thought on this, my suppressed feelings in the depth of my mind suddenly broke out with my bitter tears leaking out like a destroyed dam. I cried so much that I thought my tearpit was drying up. I sobbed so hard that I was grasping for breath. I felt tired...very tired. I moaned inside, “Help me! Anybody, please help me!” And that instant, my thoughts turned to Jesus...
Jesus whom Wanida and Thip and other Christians talked about time after time and it was always in at one ear and out, the other. That Jesus on the cross in that Catholic church, when I was young. The one whom I had often peeped and questioned whether he was hurting. The Jesus that people say was love...was everything. Jesus who could fill the “hole” in my weightless and lonely heart. Yes, yes, I needed this Jesus!
Suddenly, I felt a cool and refreshing breeze, fanning me lightly. The light breeze caused my artificial plant and leaves to move. I was very frightened. That was impossible! All my windows and doors were closed because I didn’t want my neighbors to hear my sobs of bitterness. I was the only one at home, sitting with my knees up and being resigned to my fate at the kitchen’s back. I asked myself, “What happened?” Then I felt like my body being covered and wrapped up by a piece of soft and thin silk. This made me feel cool and comfortable and at the same time strangely warm inside. I was scared as well as pleased! I’d never felt like this before. However, I made the decision to run upstairs. While climbing the steps, I heard a voice inside my heart saying, “Don’t be afraid. I am God!”
Once upstairs, I kept on asking myself what had happened. What’s the matter with me?
That night I had the best asleep in the past several months probably due to my exhaustion from doing the whole day’s house chores. By about 4 or 5 am I was in a dreamy state, still half-asleep. I saw a man knocking on the house door. I remembered vaguely that he looked familiar. Though I denied having known him before but deep inside my heart I felt intimately acquainted with him. I finally opened the door and let him in. I showed him around my kitchen and upstairs bedrooms. Then together we sat at my eating table. I also showed him the picture of Jesus having the last meal with his disciples (which I had obtained, somehow!). I was the one who talked while he kept quiet and yet, it seemed like I could hear his responses deep down inside my heart. He had a smiling face which reflected his gentle nature. He was the kind of person people would enjoy being with. I felt indescribably peaceful in my heart. I had never felt like this before. At daybreak, he prepared to leave. I asked him why he was in such a hurry. Immediately, in my half-sleep state, I saw him standing on the cliff. I saw his head covering with shoulder-long, brown hair. His face was gentle looking. He was wearing a white gown with a golden, brown rope girdled around his waist. I remembered that I liked his woven shoes. He stood there joining his hands under his waist. He smiled. There was brightness behind him. It was golden light like the rising sun. The light dimmed my eyes so that I could not see his face. I begged to see him again. I asked him to come and see me often. However, there was no answer. He smiled again. My inner feeling told me that we would meet again. I was overwhelmed with gladness.
Upon waking up, I felt that day was the most cheerful and joyful day in my life.
However, I had not yet opened my heart for Jesus Christ to be my Saviour because my idea about “God” was framed in the Islamic concept. How could the Almighty God, the Sovereign One die on the cross for human beings? He had created us from dust. Was it possible that the most fearful God would care for the feelings of a small and unimportant person like me?
For the reasons above plus my childish perspective, I started to test God’s love and power. At that time my TV set was out of order. I then challenged God that if He were existent, He could send me a colored TV set. One day, there was a phone call for my husband to go pick up a colored TV set as a reward (from a lucky draw)! I was very nervous. That could not be possible! I treated it as coincidence.
I kept on trying and testing God. I asked Him to move my husband back to Thailand (at that time he was working overseas), in order to live together as a family and he was moved back to Thailand! Still my doubt about God was not completely gone. Again, I insisted that it was “coincidence.”
I was insistently not ready to open my heart to God. How could the Sovereign God care about these small and unimportant matters? I again tested this God by asking Him to do the seemingly impossible thing and that was for our bank account to increase to a considerably bigger amount of money with no deposit made, neither from me nor my husband. One day my husband came home from work with the news that a big amount of money was deposited into our bank account. I was shocked! My husband was also perplexed. He then sent an email message to check with his boss about the increased amount. His boss replied, “I felt like giving it to you!” I was speechless. It was no joke anymore. How could this be? Still, I could not open my heart to this God.
Later, I quarreled with my husband about the plants growing around our house. He loved orchids. He had various kinds of orchid and other plants. But I didn’t have a green thumb. No matter how hard I tried to take good care of those plants, they never budded. They finally wilted and withered. My husband accused me of neglecting his orchids. I then told God that I didn’t want to have anymore quarrels about this with my husband. I told God, “If You do exist, please make all the plants in my house bud.” Ten days after that prayer, a miracle happened! Every plant was budding and flowering profusely, including the rare kinds which normally bud only once a year or not at all! Besides, the wilted and withered ones became alive and produced flowers. This time I was so excited that I couldn’t help calling my Christian friends to witness the scene. I told them that God had caused that miracle and that with Him nothing was impossible!
I couldn’t say “no” to this God anymore. I wanted to quickly invite the Lord Jesus Christ to come into my life. I wanted to receive the Holy Spirit and be baptized. I confessed that Jesus was God, that He died on the cross to save us, and that on the third day He rose again.
Jesus is indeed the living God. He is a God of love and mercy. Though we can’t
see Him with our eyes but we can feel and experience Him with our hearts. He stands by us, takes care of us, and blesses us. The Bible says He counts every hair on our head and
He cares for every sparrow.
Since then, I have realized that I’m no longer a “Wednesday’s child” or problem child. God has accepted me into His family through Jesus Christ. I have confidence that I am a firstborn child and the most beloved one, both now and forevermore.