Meeting the Lord in the midst of strife

New Life Ministries has often supplied Bibles to the Karen people over the years through our local ministry partners. The Karen have a history of severe persecution, as an ethnic minority living in Myanmar and Thailand. There are around 4 million Karen people in the world.
We would like to share with you a testimony of someone who recieved the Karen Bible through our ministry partner.


Encountering the Lord in the midst of strife

My name is N. I was born in 1977 in Karen State.

Growing up during a civil war

I grew up in a civil war zone. I am the third child in our family. My father was a Karen soldier. I lived most of the time with my grandparents’ and looked after their cattle.

I remember when I was about ten years old that the civil war was raging hard for about one week and my father was sent to the front lines. My father left my mother and all us children in the jungle to hide. While hiding in the jungle I got malaria. It was very hard on my mother to take care of me. I had a very high fever, stomach pain, headache, and vomiting. My sister got malaria, too, and we were not able to go to a clinic. Unfortunately, my sister passed away in the jungle. When our grandfather heard about what happened to us, he was able to find us and he took care of us. He also found some herbs to get me better, but it was too late for my sister.

From the time my grandfather found us we moved to a small village. We didn’t have much income so we ate only rice soup every day. And again, war broke out when Burmese soldiers came to our small village. We needed to flee again into the jungle to hide. Food was rare. Life was hard. In rainy season we would eat bamboo shoots every day. But in dry season we ate mostly rice soup. I did not have a chance to go to school. But when I heard about some village schools for Karen children I had a desire to go to school and get an education. But life was tough and I had no chance to get educated.

Difficult marriage

When I was nineteen years old I met my husband. Our first child died right after it was born.
The birth left me in a very bad medical condition, so our neighbors collected money and brought me to the hospital. Later we had two more children, one son and one daughter. My husband then decided to go on foot to Thailand to find work. He found a job on a Thai mountain harvesting and carrying cabbage.

Each time he needed to carry forty to fifty kilogram (88 to 110 lbs.) of cabbage. But he was surprised that others could even carry more kilos on their backs. Most of the men were taking drugs. My husband got involved in drugs as well and became addicted. For two years he worked there and did not send any money to his family to support us.

A trip to Thailand

When I heard that my husband got addicted to drugs, I felt guilty for not going with him to Thailand. I knew a way to make alcohol and I sold some. With the little money I saved I could travel to Thailand. A friend of mine was in the same situation as I was and we decided to travel together to Thailand to get our husbands back. We met a man who promised that he could help us to find our husbands, but we needed to pay him 500 Thai Baht (about US$ 17) each. This was the only money I had.

When we arrived in Thailand, the man said that he needed to go to the toilet. We waited for more than a half hour, but the man disappeared. We were upset, hungry and thirsty and had pain from the long days of walking.

All of a sudden a pickup truck stopped and a man with a nice smile stepped out of the truck. He asked us where we were going. We told him where we wanted to go and the man said he would take us there. I told the man that I will pay him when I meet up with my husband, but he wouldn’t take payment.

As I look back on this, it was so unusual that I think this man was an angel. When I finally met my husband I was so shocked. He was skinny and almost sick to death. I looked after my husband until he got better. We then worked hard together and I asked my husband not to use drugs anymore.

Seeking help in a refugee camp

After a while we decided to go to a refugee camp in Thailand. But the first three months were very difficult to survive. We were not the first refugees and we needed to register ourselves in order to get food and other supplies. For the first three months our neighbors shared their food with us. We moved to a bamboo house which was very close to a church. That is when I first heard about a living God. I also heard singing and people worshipping God.

A persistent Pastor

One day the pastor of the church visited us at our house and shared about the love of God and shared the Ten Commandments with us. But the pastor also looked at all the idols and images I worshiped at my house and told me that I need to get rid of it. I became very angry at him and I would never accept him into my house again.

So the next time the pastor came to my house I hid at my friend’s house for about one week. After one week I returned home and I heard the pastor’s voice again near my house. I told my children to be quiet and we blew out the candles. The pastor kept on calling my name, it was still early in the evening, like 7 or 8 pm, so the pastor did not leave.

Finally my husband lit the candle again and went to see the pastor, I did not let him in, but let him sit on the ladder at our door way. The pastor started to share the Word of God again to our family. I started to open up with the pastor and let him share. I told him that I worship the gods and clothes. But the pastor shared that I should worship the God of Heaven. He made me think a lot, then one evening the pastor asked if he could pray for us. He also said that I need to make a decision to choose the God of Heaven.

A peculiar dream

It was a hard time for me to make a decision who to worship. Then one night I prayed to the God of Heaven and asked Him to show me the true God. Right after that I went to sleep and in a dream I saw Jesus Christ coming to earth, the whole earth was shaking and people all around here were dying. I saw myself standing among the dead. I looked up and I saw about 20 people singing a beautiful song. I was thinking, “Why am I still standing among the dead? Why am I still alive?” In my dream I walked up the hill where the singing came from and I joined singing with them. I saw the toes of Jesus Christ like fire, bright and shining toes.

I shared this dream with the pastor. He told me that my dream was like the second coming of Christ. I was surprised that my dream matched the teaching in the Bible. My husband and I did not have a Bible, but we were not able to read well anyway. The pastor would come often and shared God’s Word with us. One day the Pastor shared about Noah, and that is when my husband and I decided to accept Jesus Christ as our savior. We needed to get ready for the second coming of Christ.

Life filled with blessings

We waited for about two years when we got our own Bible. We started to read the Bible twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. When I read about tithes, I tested God. I started a small business selling vegetables. I started with 500 Baht. I gave the tithes from the profits I received from my daily work to God. And God blessed me and my family. God blessed us financially even up to 50.000 Baht! We went to buy more things and sold them in the camp.

We are so thankful for these Karen Bibles, thank you so much. This is very useful for our students who did not have their own Bibles. May God bless you and your ministry.

We are grateful that the Bibles printed by New Life Ministries hare being used for the Lord’s work in Myanmar and Thailand. Please continue to pray for our ministry partners and for the works of New Life Ministries.

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