When Raymond* moved to South Asia, he knew that the missionaries he would be training had gone through significant persecution as children, but he was still stunned by their remarkable stories. Ray shared one such story of God’s deliverance in difficult circumstances on our Zúme podcast.
Sann* grew up in a Buddhist sect known for the strength of their beliefs. In the winter when he was 18, through his music lessons with a Christian missionary, Sann came to Christ. He was kicked out of his monastery, but God found him a new Christian family in the Himalayas who both provided him shelter and offered to put him through a three-year Bible college in India.
“Toward the end of his college program,” Ray recounts, “God clearly called him back to his village.” Like many people who God calls throughout Scripture, Sann wondered, “’How can I? They won’t let me back in there. I can’t even talk to my brothers and sisters.’ But he knew God was telling him without any doubt.” As he travelled back to his village, Sann wondered continually how he would be allowed to return.
Sann stayed overnight at a friend’s house during his journey. The friend offered him an envelope, saying, “I received something in the mail for you. It has no return address.” It was a check for $10,000.
As Sann approached his village, he came across a mountain river that prevented the villagers from reaching the marketplace in a short time. If he put a bridge across the river, Sann realized, it would cut their travel time down significantly. The quote for the project came out to $9500—Sann had found what God wanted him to do with the money!
“But still,” Ray shares, “they wouldn’t let him in the village.” Sann began helping the villagers that he knew needed it the most, taking care of animals or farming—all without talking to the villagers directly. When a wealthy monk found out, he made the villagers stop Sann’s efforts. Undeterred, Sann “just bought some flashlights and worked at night.” When that wealthy monk tried to stop Sann a second time, a permanently injured villager protested.
“He’s helping me put food on the table for my children,” the villager said, “and your monks down the road, they’re praying. So what do you think I should do?” The wealthy monk threw up his hands. He couldn’t stop Sann’s work.
Over two years, the villagers started letting Sann in more and more. Now, he is teaching the Bible to a number of families in secret. “Because of the kind of persecution that these people will have to go through,” Ray explains, “they’ll announce their Christian faith as a group so that they can support each other through the persecution that will result.”
You can hear more of Sann’s story on the Zúme Multiplying Disciples Podcast. Take a look, and never stop praying for our brothers and sisters in hard places who stay faithful despite the persecution and rejection they endure.
*Names changed for security.