One of the ladies at the praise circle was Sanai. Like many people who move to Phuket, Sanai came because she thought it was a place where she could make her life better. As the group finished worshipping they started to pray, lifting up the city of Phuket to God. Though she was taking part in an evening of praise, Sanai knew nothing about God or about prayer. But it wasn’t long before she learned. A knock at the door interrupted the group. It was the local pastor, who had stopped by to ask Rob a computer question. Noticing that they were praying, the pastor sat down in the circle and joined the group. When they were finished he turned to Sanai and started making small talk. Discerning that she wasn’t a Christian, the pastor transitioned into a clear gospel presentation. Without even having to be asked if she wanted to receive Christ, Sanai confessed her desire to know Jesus. As she spoke she reached inside of her collar and took hold of a silver amulet. She pulled it out and said, “I want you to destroy this. I have Jesus. I don’t need it anymore.” What Sanai did was quite a remarkable act of surrender and trust. Thai Buddhists wear amulets as a symbol of protection against the spirits. By forfeiting her charm, Sanai was letting go of her “security” and declaring trust in Jesus Christ as a power stronger than any other power on earth. Sanai insisted that the amulet couldn’t go in the garbage – she didn’t want somebody else to find it and worship it the way she had. After repenting of her sin and inviting Jesus into her heart, the pastor prayed a prayer of deliverance over Sanai to release her from bondage to idols in her life. God was faithful.
Sanai returned to her village in the north to help take care of her daughter who had just given birth. When she arrived back in the jungle and opened the doors to her home, she was greeted with a house full of idols – Buddhas of silver and gold. God protected her from evil. Immediately she thought, “I don’t need these idols anymore.” She gathered up all of her idols and began distributing them to her neighbours. Naturally they were curious, wondering why she didn’t need them anymore. Sanai declared the truth with sincerity: she had Jesus, and He was the ultimate protector. Soon her entire village heard about her faith in Christ and, praise the Lord, three of her friends were anxious to make the same decision! God took Sanai, a brand new Christian, and he used her as a powerful witness to share her faith with other Buddhists. Hardly sure of how to lead her friends into the Kingdom, Sanai phoned her niece in Phuket and said, “I don’t know what to do! My friends want to become Christians too, but I don’t even know how to pray with them!”
God’s faithfulness continued! When she returned to Phuket, God started using her to perform miracles. Challenged by the Holy Spirit to go out and pray with people, Sanai encountered a woman who had a pain in her wrist. As she held her wrist in her hands Sanai gently stroked her skin as she prayed. When she was finished, they lady remarked, “My wrist doesn’t hurt anymore! Where did you learn that kind of massage?” Sanai gave all of the glory to God! “I don’t know how to massage,” she responded. “That was God who healed you!”
Sanai’s story is a remarkable one of God’s desire to free His creation from captivity. Pray that God would draw Thai people to Himself, and that they would respond with the same passion and desire to know Christ as Sanai. Pray for a spirit of protection to surround the Thai and to release them from the bondage of idols. Pray that as Thai people turn their lives over to Jesus, they would live out powerful testimonies that would bring the city of Phuket to its knees in surrender!
“Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!” And his will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous.” Isaiah 30: 22-23