It was a day like any other. Tha Tan Shay fed her family a meager breakfast and sent them off to the fields to work. Her husband was ill, and had been for some time.
When her children went out to work, their father was alive. When they returned, he was dead.
“They asked where their father was,” Tha Tan Shay remembers. “I pointed to the corner of the field where I had buried him, wrapped in a bamboo mat.”
Tha Tan Shay belonged to a long line of Buddhists. She held firmly to her religion—to deny it would be to disown and dishonour her family. But she started to have doubts when her husband died.
“I began to think about death and where my husband’s spirit was now. I did not have any good answers.” Her heart and mind were full of questions and despair as she grieved.
During this time, one of her daughters heard the gospel from a friend in their village. The friend told the daughter about the love and hope—even beyond death—that Jesus offers.
“My daughter asked my permission to become a Christian. In my deep grief, I was not in my right mind; I gave my daughter my blessing to worship this new God.” Tha Tan Shay’s daughter began attending Bible studies with local champions trained by Bible League Canada partners.
About this time, in a recurring dream Tha Tan Shay saw a kind man with a white robe chopping wood outside her home. “I offered him some tea. He called me by my name, though I did not know him. He told me his name was Jesus.”
Not long after, Tha Tan Shay’s second and third daughter also became Christians. Despite her daughters’ entreaties to embrace Jesus and her strange dream, Tha Tan Shay was determined to stick to her religion.
Then while visiting one of her Christian daughters, she grew gravely ill. “We all thought I was going to die. I could barely move. I feared leaving my children without any parents.” Tha Tan Shay cried out to her gods, but there was only silence. In desperation, she prayed to Jesus.
“He healed me and now all of my family are believers and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, despite the death we are still grieving, there is hope. Hope for our future and our family. A God who answers when we cry out to Him.”
Like Tha Tan Shay, 90% of the population in Myanmar is Buddhist, while only 4% are Christian. Will you help shine the light of the gospel in this spiritually dark nation, so people like Tha Tan Shay can know the love and hope of Jesus?