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A letter from Leith and Carol Fujii in Thailand

June 2012

Dear Family and Friends,

“B” began to share her journey with us: “My husband’s father was an imam, a religious leader in my community.  I too wanted to be trained as one of many religious teachers at our local mosque.

Mosque of the Islamic Centre of Thailand

"I really didn’t like Christians. I felt they were always handing out tracts about their faith.  I was working for a sales company, and one day my friend and I were waiting in the office to purchase our supplies.  A woman, a fellow salesperson, approached us and began talking to us about Jesus.  I thought to myself, Why is she so bold? Doesn’t she know that we are Muslim? We’re wearing our head coverings. Then the woman asked if she could come by and visit me at my home.  I reluctantly agreed but warned her not to bother our neighbors and not to pass out any literature as we lived in a Muslim community.  After I said 'Yes' I regretted my decision.  The following week she came over with her pastor to greet us.  I don’t remember what they said now, but I remember being upset when I found out that while they were talking with us, members from her church were doing the very thing I had warned them not to do.  They were passing out tracts about Jesus in my neighborhood.  I was so angry and upset, but I managed to contain myself until after they had left.  This pastor prayed a prayer of blessing over me, but I was so angry I don’t remember what he said; I just wanted to kick them out!   When they left, they gave me a Bible.  I didn’t want to read it and tossed it up high on a shelf to collect dust. I never wanted to see those people again!

A group of muslim women in Thailand

"Four years later our family hit a low. We had no money and to make matters worse my husband decided to add a new wife.  Our religion allows a man to have at most four wives.  He moved out of our home to his new wife’s place. I was left to take care of our four children.  I remember praying and worshiping at our local mosque faithfully, but my life did not improve. I came to such a point of desperation that I decided to take my own life.  At least, then, the children could live on the money from my life insurance policy.   I began to plan my accidental death, and one day I walked out into a busy intersection during rush hour traffic hoping a passing car would hit and kill me.  But, nothing happened! I cried out to God and asked, ‘Who are you, God?  Show me the true God.'  A voice in my heart said, 'It is Isa [Jesus in Arabic].' ‘Isa,’ I said…I don’t know anything about Isa and what I know about Christians, I certainly don’t like!   I started looking around for churches in my neighborhood but I couldn’t find any.  I went home and dusted off the Bible I had left on a top shelf and began to read it so I could find out about this Isa.  One day I saw a sign for a church near my neighborhood. I gathered my strength and knocked on the door.  The pastor who answered the door was surprised to see me, a Muslim woman standing there.

"The pastor invited me in, and I told him that I wanted to know who this Jesus was.  He began to explain to me but I could not understand anything he said.  And I was overcome with great guilt because I had gone inside a church.  Maybe I would have to go to hell for this.  God would surely punish me.  After that first meeting I dared not return to the church, but the pastor continued to call and encourage me from time to time.  I continued to feel overwhelmed in life as my situation did not improve.  One day, I cried out, ‘God, if you are really Isa, give me your peace.’  And immediately I began to experience a supernatural peace and assurance that God would take care of me.

 

"But if I believe in Jesus, my husband will come and take the children away from me, and they are the only happiness I have.  The community has the right to take them from me.  I remember my son encouraged me at that time saying, ‘Mom, where is your faith?  Don’t you know that Isa will take care of you?!’   Yes, thanks be to God!  I was not driven out of my community, and my husband did not take our children from me.

"Today, I want to help my community to know Isa.  I don’t say much, but I pray a lot and I try to show them Isa’s love.  And while I continue to build relationships of trust with my community, my friends and family also see how God is changing my life.”  

We recently had the opportunity to renew our relationship with “B” when we visited her community.  Please join us in praying with “B” for the growing Muslim community in Thailand that some estimate to be about 8 million (in an overall Thai population of 66 million), but with fewer than 150 members remaining in their communities as followers of Isa.  Let’s ask God to help the Thai Church to realize the need to sensitively reach out to and raise up others like “B” with a love and commitment to reach this people group, a largely untouched harvest field in Thailand.

With the love of  our Lord and Savior Isa,

Leith and Carol Fujii

The 2012 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 183

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