Htay shares his story of how he came to faith…

“This morning I was released from jail in South-East Asia. I was supposed to serve a 30-year sentence for robbing and stealing but have been released after only six years. I can hardly believe it! My time in jail has been worth every minute of the hardship, torture and hunger I’ve experienced because something wonderful happened to me in those six years.

I was a Buddhist when I was arrested and convicted, but I had broken so many rules that I was going to struggle to ever reach Nirvana and my hope of coming back as something or someone decent was poor. While in prison, I shared jail cells with people who believed in Jesus. I mocked them and criticised them as I believed they were badly mistaken. I looked down on them, even though I knew I hadn’t lived a good life myself.

Then at the end of 2019, a group of Christians visited our jail. They brought food, presents and clothes and all 4500 prisoners were given a day off duties to listen to what they had to say. I didn’t really want to listen to them, but I did want their gifts and I would enjoy a day off. I was such a hypocrite.

They sang to us and talked to us about Jesus, then they gave each one of us a New Testament in our language. I remember thinking, “I’ll take it, but I don’t want to read it!”

However, the days were long in prison and so I began to read a little bit of this book every day. When I came to John 3:16 and 15:1-16 I was so troubled, and I asked my Christian cellmate to explain what these passages meant.

He explained to me that God loved me so much that He gave His only Son to save me from my sins. I had sinned a lot in my life. No matter how many trips I took to the temple, or how many spirits I tried to appease, I never felt any peace or joy. My cellmate told me that God could save me from all of my sins at once through the blood of Jesus. This Jesus was willing to pay the debt I could never pay even if I lived for a thousand years. I was so excited and humbled.

I decided to accept Jesus as my Saviour and began to worship Him. I had struggled so much with my sin and my inability to live a good enough life to achieve Nirvana. Now after accepting the gift of Salvation from Jesus Christ, my life was full of peace and joy even though I would be in jail for another 24 years.

Then this morning I received the unbelievable news that I would be released from jail today - just three days since I accepted Jesus! Can you imagine my joy? In just a few days I was freed from my sin, freed from the jail cell which was to be my home for the next 24 years and freed from spending eternity in Hell.

When I left the prison this morning, I contacted the pastor who had given me the New Testament and I told him my testimony of God’s Grace in my life. I can’t wait to tell my Buddhist friends about Jesus. He alone opened the doors of the prison both in reality and in my heart. Without that copy of the New Testament which someone donated I may never have heard the Good News of Salvation.

Thank you to those who gave the funds to buy the New Testaments. I would love to share more with my Buddhist friends and family.”

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