After a long and painful battle with Asthma, Taa Soda was finally ushered into heaven on the morning of May 25, 2017. He, his wife and their granddaughter were the only believers in their family. And because all of their children were still not believers, they would often organize big Buddhist gatherings at their house, and we often wondered if they completely believed in the truth of what we teach them from the Bible.
The funeral was Buddhist but we were given time to pray, sing and share the gospel every day during the three days his body was kept at home, and even on the day of the funeral, in front of a huge gathering. But after that, in accordance with the wishes of his children and siblings, the Buddhist monks took over and everything was done in the Buddhist way.
A week after the funeral, we went to visit the wife, Yaay Pee. She shared a powerful testimony with us. She said that just before he passed away, she had taken his hand and said, “It is alright now, you can rest now, you don’t have to come back here on earth (Buddhist belief in reincarnation), stay with the Lord forever and wait for me there”. And after she said that, he had stopped breathing. She also told us that she remembered a sermon in church about how in heaven there was no more hunger or thirst, and so she was not going to take food to the temple where he was cremated (animistic belief). When the granddaughter came to talk to us, the first thing she said was, “Ajarn, we are not afraid, we know God is with us.” (Usually Thais are afraid of the ghost of a recently deceased person or evil spirits that might come to disturb them). We were happy to see their previous beliefs and worldview changed by the gospel of Christ. The progress is sometimes slow, but yes, they are definitely being changed by Christ and we are hopeful that they will continue to be changed until they attain perfection when they themselves go to meet Christ.