“Are you prepared for your family to be angry with you? Will you stand by your faith when they reject you?” Jai was able to answer, “yes”.
Jai had lived in a monastery as a monk to seek for and satisfy his longing for spiritual truth and enlightenment. He came to Thailand desperate for a job, and fell in love with a young Shan woman who loved Jesus. After they married he told her he did not want to talk about anything religious, but he watched her life. He was later baptized.
A week after being baptized, Jai went back to his family. They were even angrier than he had anticipated. They yelled at his wife and chased her away, telling her to never come back. They took away his phone and locked him in a room for weeks. They threatened him and told him he had to renounce his faith or they would never forgive him.
Eventually Jai escaped and was reunited with his wife. He stands firm in his faith.
Shan-Tai prayer month 2011, day 23
Shan Christians face huge costs in becoming disciples of Christ. They are not coming from a culture that considers religious convictions to be a private matter in which each individual can do as they please. Families and communities feel immensely betrayed when a Shan turns to Christ.
Many Shan really do lose everything by following Jesus. Rejected by family and even ostracised from their village, they suddenly have little or no worldly supports.
Some pay an even bigger price, willingly facing the dangers of going back into war zones to help their fellow people. In this role they are enemies of the Burma Army and become targets of their animosity.
On September 14th 2010 the Burma Army shot in the back and killed a Shan Free Burma Rangers relief team member as he was giving humanitarian assistance to people in Shan State.
Sai Yod was the team camera man as well as one of the Good Life Club team members who focused on helping children. He was a kind and smiling man who loved to help others, endured hardship without complaint and loved children. He was a hard worker, tough, and never surrendered. FBR REPORT 29 September, 2010
- New Shan believers to stand firm as they face persecution and threats (Philippians 1:27-30).
- Persecutors to see Christ’s light in the lives of Christians and be changed by it (Matthew 5:16).
- Those who knowingly face danger in order to serve Jesus.
“I myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority from the chief priests, but when they were put to death I cast my vote against them. And I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them blaspheme, and in raging fury against them I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
“In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’” (Acts 26:9-18 ESV)
Other posts related to this topic:
- FBR REPORT: Shan Team Member Gives His Life for Love and for Freedom, 29 September, 2010
- A personal reflection on the loss of Sai Yod by Oddny Gumaer: Rainy day reflection