Phoo Od is the elder of the church in Yang Sisurat. He’s always smiling and serving other people. He lives in a small house between the paddy fields. He and his wife don’t have any earthly possessions that have value in the eyes of the people around them. Both him and his wife have a humble attitude and take every chance to share the gospel with other people. He’s a man of prayer and spends several hours a day praying for the people he knows.
But he hasn’t always been like this. If you would ask what happened in his life he would tell you: “God has done something that”s impossible for man. I was an alcoholic for more then 30 years, I’ve cheated on my wife many times, we had a daughter we didn’t look after and I was almost always drunk. I lived my life like this for many years. But around ten years ago our daughter committed suicide. She didn’t feel loved by us and in the problems she was facing in life we didn’t care for her.
After she committed suicide we felt so guilty. It was our mistake that she had done this. We did everything that Buddhism required us to do, but we only felt worse. One day I decided I would commit suicide as well. I told my wife I was going to drink for many days without stopping until I would die. After three days I was taken into hospital with alcohol poisoning. The doctor told me that my liver was damaged and that I had a 50% chance that I would be alive in 2 years time.
When I got home I started drinking again. My wife asked me many times to stop, but I couldn’t. One day a person walked by. This person said: “I just would like to let you know that God can help you.” I answered him: “Nobody is able to help me in the circumstances I’m in. There’s only one way out and that’s dying.” This person came and sat with me. He kept coming back and after a while I went to church for the first time. The only thing I remember was the warmth and the acceptance of the people there. They prayed for me, they listened to me and hugged me. I was crying because I never experienced anything like that.
After that first Sunday I kept coming back to church. At first I didn’t understand anything, but after a while I understood who Jesus is. I learned about forgiveness and acceptance whatever my background or past was. After I believed I got baptized and started a new life. Through the power of God I was able to stop drinking and not long after I believed my wife became a Christian as well.
Six years have passed since then and I’m still alive. I can only testify of what God has done. What seemed impossible just happened through God’s grace and love. I’ve decided to dedicate my whole life to Him. He didn’t allow me to die when I tried to kill myself. He gave me life and I want to use the time He has given me now to serve Him and let others know how loving, gracious and big God is.”