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Deedee’s Faithful Witness at University

Motivated by Changed Lives 

What motivates me (Karen) to live on mission? 

Stories like this that involve life change. 

When I shared this story with one of our supporters, he broke down and cried and said, “If the only reason you started ALH years ago was for this one story and this one lady, it was all worth it.” 

Names have been changed for the sake of privacy and security.

Deedee’s mother was a sex worker in Pattaya. Her father was from Malaysia where he worked in human trafficking, finding women to work in the sex trade. They both passed away from AIDS when Deedee was very young. When she was only six years old, she came to live with us at the Abundant Life Home (ALH). At the time, she was tiny, sickly and covered in sores, but there was a sparkle in her eye. Everyone who met her said the same thing, “There is something very special about this girl.”

Deedee grew up at ALH and became an integral part of our community. She grew strong physically and became a firm believer in Jesus. She excelled at school and always dreamed of going to university.

Today, Deedee is in her second year at a prestigious university in Bangkok where she is studying to be a social worker. She studies hard, stays on the honor roll and is the president of her class. 

Recently, she called me very late at night to tell me a story about what had happened that day during one of her classes. Near the end of the class, all of a sudden, everyone felt an evil presence take over the room. The students were terrified and began to ask each other whether they sensed the same dark presence. Everyone said they felt it. Then suddenly they heard the sound of crying, moaning and then screaming in the classroom. All thirty people in the class were silent as they listened. 

Deedee said that everyone, including the professor, began to frantically gather their belongings and run out the door. But Deedee sat frozen at her desk, praying silently. Her professor ran over to her and grabbed both of her hands and said, “Deedee! You must collect your things and run! There is an evil spirit here. Hurry!”

Deedee turned to her professor and said, “I’m OK. I’m just praying.” As she calmly packed her books, she said, “I’m not scared, because Jesus is with me. You go ahead.”

After Deedee told me that story, we prayed together on the phone. We affirmed our freedom in Christ and took authority over the enemy according to Scripture. We knew from our experience in Thailand that the enemy often tries to come like a flood right before a breakthrough for the kingdom of God.

Later that week, I received another late night call from Deedee. This time, she was giddy! “I have another story to tell you!” she exclaimed. 

She told me that she had been in the same class again that evening. After class, her professor approached her and asked if she could speak with her. Her professor is a lovely middle-aged woman named Dr. Kittaya. Immediately, the professor asked Deedee about Jesus. 

Dr. Kittaya shared with Deedee about how, over the past couple of years, she had grown increasingly disillusioned with religion and with the practice of making merit (doing good to receive good). She felt empty doing Buddhist ceremonies and began to read about Jesus. At the same time, she had an American friend who shared Christ with her just before the friend had to move back to America due to the pandemic.

For several months, Dr. Kittaya had been crying out to Jesus and saying, “I need to know if you are real! Please help me know you.” 

Immediately after praying that prayer, Dr. Kittaya heard a voice telling her to talk to Deedee after class. “I have been watching you for two years,” Dr. Kittaya told her, “and I have always been drawn to you because of your joy.”

The professor had taken Deedee and her fellow students on field trips every Sunday around Bangkok to visit different temples and to do social work projects in the slums. Dr. Kittawan had observed that Deedee would not participate in Buddhist ceremonies at the temples, but that she was always joyful, cheerful and polite. 

“Why do you have so much peace?” Dr. Kittaya asked Deedee after class. “You are never fearful, yet you never make merit like the rest of us!”

Deedee shared the love of Jesus with her professor, and how he had transformed her life from being an abandoned orphan to a daughter full of hope and joy. 

Then Dr. Kittaya asked Deedee, “What do I need to do to be saved?”  

Deedee gladly shared a few Scriptures with her professor, explaining the way of salvation and grace. Then Dr. Kittaya asked, “Could you help me do that right now?”

Deedee was shocked! In Thai culture, a professor is highly revered, and would never ask a young student to take the lead in such a personal matter. But Deedee asked to hold hands with Dr. Kittaya, and led her in a tearful prayer of salvation. 

Dr. Kittaya began to cry as she told Deedee of how she felt Jesus physically enter her life while they were praying. She felt a wave of peace and a jolt of hot fire go through her. 

Then she shocked Deedee even more by reaching out to her and giving her a very tight hug, something that is also highly unusual in Thai culture. 

Deedee then shared a few verses with her from the New Testament about Jesus wanting her heart, and not offerings to idols. Dr. Kittaya was relieved to hear this and shared about how empty she had felt when she gave money and food to idols, and how it made no difference to her real life.

We are now trying to meet weekly with Deedee and Dr. Kittaya at the university to study the Bible together. Please pray for Dr. Kittaya and her new faith, that she would grow strong and bring many others to Christ. Pray also for Deedee, that she would continue sharing her faith in Jesus freely on her university campus. 

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