Noy was near death. His roommates were afraid he was already dead. He hadn’t come out of his room for three days. They knew he was depressed, sick and weak and hadn’t eaten since he’d gone into seclusion. They thought he had died, but weren’t sure, and nobody wanted to be the one to confirm their fears. So they called my husband and me to check on Noy.
Noy grew up in an elephant-herding family in Northern Thailand. From the age of 5, he was raised by an older sister while his parents were in the forest tending elephants six days each week. As a youth, he got into trouble with the law and was sentenced to serve in the youth army. He ran away to Bangkok when he was 15, supporting himself as a motorcycle taxi driver and by working odd jobs for a criminal gang.
We met Noy through his motorcycle taxi job. As it turns out, he is a community language helper and has a gift for teaching the Thai language in creative and fun ways. Noy spoke no English, but we spoke some very basic Thai. We hired him to tutor us.
Despite a troubled background, Noy is a man of peace. He and his second wife attended a few Bible studies at our apartment, but his wife pulled him away. Already estranged from his children and family, when his marriage failed, he came to the end of himself physically, emotionally and spiritually. Noy became very ill, and with nobody to care for him, he gave up on life.
“No one else showed that kind of love and concern. Not even my own family.” Love was the power that proved the gospel.
That is when we were asked to check on him. Thankfully, he was still alive. We gave him food, water and medicine, and checked on him daily until he regained his strength. That’s when he met the Lord.
“No one else showed that kind of love and concern,” Noy told us. “Not even my own family.”
Love was the power that proved the gospel.
Within a year he began to date a woman who, like his previous wife, tried to pull his interest from God. But something entirely different happened this time. She began to have personal encounters with God.
She and Noy eventually married. Later, they were baptized together.
After receiving leadership training from my husband, Noy is now a worship leader at their church and is a Bible teacher in the church’s slum outreach. He has completed a Bible program at a local seminary and has even begun preaching during Sunday worship services. He has a favorite way of referring to God: the God of the Living.
The irony is unmistakable: Using a man once thought dead, God is bringing life to the man’s community.
Converge missionary 149040, Converge missionary
The author and her husband are Converge missionaries. Their names are undisclosed for security purposes.