The background to this story is that I first visited Thailand as a young sailor back in 1998. While visiting an IMB mission in Pattaya, I became familiar with a ministry to one of the local prisons. In fact, several of my buddies and I spent a day addressing envelopes and stuffing them with Christian booklets and other such literature. The ministry had cultivated strong ties with a number of inmates and therefore sent material for them to read to strengthen their walk with Christ. I was fascinated by this ministry. I was so interested in supporting the ministry that a few years later, while at home in Kansas on leave, I went around my hometown to all of the local churches, collecting old Daily Breads and any other literature they'd give me and I sent a box to Thailand.
After visiting Thailand again in 2009, and having since enjoyed a great friendship with the pastor of the international church there (a fellow from South Africa named Daniel Krynauw), I decided to send more books. We got some donations from a friend of Alicia's, as I mentioned earlier, and I sent them to Thailand to a guy named Chhaby. I don't know why he's in prison, but he has definitely taken to Christ and is progressing wonderfully in his relationship with the savior. He started his prison sentence as a Hindu and became a believer while behind bars. Since 2005, the church in Thailand has been supporting him with materials to read.
I received a letter, via Daniel in Thialand, from Chhaby. Here is a snippet from his letter:
"Honorable Pastor in Christ
Greetings to you in the mighty Name of Jesus
Christ my Lord and Saviour
I want let you know, 3 days ago I had receive some books from one of your friend Daniel Smith in U.S.A. When I reading that book "Jesus Freaks, The Voice Of The Martyrs" streams of tears flow from my eyes. Its book touch my heart. Its book produce more desire inside my heart to serve my Lord, love my Lord. I want to be real strong Christian, when I go my country. I serve my God anywhere, anytime, any cost. Bring unbelievers to Christ, preach them to about our salvation. Christ is our salvation. I want to be rich, not the power of money, but the power of Word of God, but the power of knowledge of Christ."
Your Brother in Christ
Chhaby Lal Khatiwada
Bangkwang # 6
What a blessing! I almost cried as I read his gratitude and his desire to press even harder toward the prize! I am likewise grateful for the donated books for the use of the Kingdom. God took a few books in a box and affected a life in Thailand for the better, and I pray that those books will continue to do so as Chhaby shares them with other inmates.
Because of Chabby, I have a realtionship with a man in a prison half way around the world. Tell me that isn't amazing!