Healed, Saved – and Condemned
A 68-year-old man in Laos who met Jesus in a miraculous way found that not even the Lao culture’s deep respect for elders could protect him from anti-Christian fury.
Seriously ill most of last year, Keoki* put his faith in Christ one year ago after a native missionary and others prayed for him. When he was instantly and completely made well, his joy was unbridled as he asked the native missionary to tell him about the Son of God who had healed him. The more he learned, the greater his hunger for God’s Word, and his zeal has not flagged.
“He was very excited about his healing and, since then, he hasn’t missed a church service,” the leader of the native ministry said.
Keoki’s son and daughter-in-law, unfortunately, were more upset about him ending loyalty to their gods, ancestors and spirits than they were glad for his healing. They felt betrayed by the one who had taught them to sacrifice to and worship the gods and deceased ancestors said to control their fates, and Keoki’s wife was even more incensed.
Keoki’s family did not bother giving him an ultimatum; his wife told him to leave the house.
She spent hours talking with her son and daughter-in-law about Keoki’s grave apparent loss of sanity, and she openly warned him that disaster would befall them if he continued to ignore their ancestral deities. When Keoki spent almost three entire days helping to arrange and carry out the funeral for a relative of a church friend, his wife went berserk.
Keoki’s family did not bother giving him an ultimatum; his wife told him to leave the house, with his son and daughter-in-law giving their glaring assent.
“Go stay with the Jesus that you love, and let those Christians take care of you,” his wife said.
The native missionary who had led a small number of villagers to Christ gave him consolation, prayer and more of God’s Word, pointing him toward Jesus’ teaching on the cost of discipleship. He then organized a collection from the village brethren for the purchase of roofing materials and nails, and they built a hut for him.
“When I saw a picture of him and his hut, it touched my heart,” the ministry leader said. “It is so sad that his beloved wife and son kicked him out from his family.”
Cut off from his family’s income streams, Keoki now tries to support himself by trekking into the jungle and searching for anything he might be able to sell or fashion into something marketable.
“And Christians in his village are helping him also, but they are a small group, and every one of them is poor,” the leader said.
Native missionaries throughout the region are seeing villagers come to Christ in such difficult circumstances. “We are faced with tremendous adversaries,” the leader said. “Many people who accepted Jesus have been kidnapped and relocated, or evicted from their villages, or put in prison. And some have died in prison.”
The persecution will continue as long as there are new people trusting in the Lord Jesus for their salvation, and new people in the region are entering the kingdom of God continually. Please consider a gift today to help the kingdom expand in South East Asia.
*Name changed for security reasons