My name is Nyi Nyi Zaw. I was born into a religious family. My parents are strong Buddhists. I grew up in the town of Myin Chan in Myanmar. When I was young, my parents sent me to a Buddhist monastery to become a monk.
I spent 17 years as a monk and learned Buddhist teaching from A to Z. In my mid-30s, I came back to normal life again. It was then that I became infected with malaria and came down with a serious illness.
For many months I was in the hospital, where I was cared for by an old Christian nurse. She was very kind to me and she was different than the others. Whenever I was suffering she encouraged me not to give up but to trust God. She told me that He always loves us and always listens to our prayers.
I thought to myself that she was genuine because she really loved me, showing it by how she cared for me. Through her, I became convinced in my heart that Christianity was good. When I was discharged from the hospital, the same nurse gave me a very old Bible.
Through God’s grace, I started to read the Bible for the first time in my life. Reading the Bible all the way through changed my life forever. Page after page, I saw the suffering that sin always brings. But, I also saw God’s continual and tender call to His people to come to Him.
The Bible is totally different from our Buddhist scripture. It’s not a book of rules to follow — it is all about God’s love. I began with the Gospel of Matthew and as I read the words of Jesus day after day, the Holy Spirit stirred in my heart. Never has a man spoken, lived, died and rose again like Jesus.
I fell on my face before God and with tear-filled eyes begged for mercy. I cried out for help. I said, “O God, the God of this book, if you are real, I need you.” I realized that all my good works, practices, meditation and worship were meaningless unless I believed in Jesus Christ my Saviour.
After this prayer was prayed I felt a peace that I had never felt before. I was now faced with a decision. I realized that I had sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and that I now needed to confess my sins and find forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
After committing my life to Christ, the Bible became a great treasure to me. I didn’t want to watch movies or sports but to read every word that proceeded from the mouth of God. The more I read and studied the Bible, the more there was a stirring in my heart to keep praying.
As I lived my life out as a Christian, people in my family and my workplace started to ask questions. Some out of curiosity, some to attack, and some who were really interested in the way God had changed me. My house and workplace began to become a place of witness, Bible study, and prayer.
After being born again through God’s Word, I still marvel at God’s love and favour in my life. I am not worthy of the least of His mercies, yet I am filled with gratitude to Him for His Word that has changed my life!