A young man raised Buddhist, handpicked by the Dalai Lama to be a Tibetan monk at the age of 7, tells his story of hearing a voice as a young man that he knew was not Buddhist and his journey to faith through the difficulties of life.
Zack grew up in without his father. He got into to the wrong crowd and looked to drugs at an early age, partying and trying to fill the void in his life. He was trying to escape. Eventually Zack turned to his family religion, Buddhism, but that discouraged him and brought him deeper into depression. He tried to take hi own life with a gun, put the gun jammed. Another time, he planned to hang himself, but a friend found him and stopped him. Then he turned to the God his friends believed in, and he was touched and convicted “in a good way”. Something sparked in him and changed his life.
Andy Ramanayakan was born in Sri Lanka and raised as a Buddhist. Though he worshiped the deities of his family and culture, he felt they could do nothing for him. At the age of 14 he prayed for them to do something for him, and the moment he asked a gust of wind came and smashed all the deities in front him. It wasn’t until 30 years later that he came to know the one true God who responded to him that day and smashed all the deities he worshiped as a child.
Justin Kaewnopparat grew up as a Buddhist in Thailand. He came to the US for his doctoral study. A friend invited him to a Bible study. Jesus didn’t make sense to him at first, but his friends explained and and answered his questions. A change occurred, however, when things happened that he could not explain. Among other things, he had a dream, and that dream prompted him to determine that he needed a savior. He asked Jesus to be his savior, and God gave him confirming experiences that were very personal to him convincing him that God is real.
Athet Pyan Shinthaw Paulu was born in Myanmar. He left school to work on a fishing boat at the age of 13, and he became the leader of the fishing boat as a 15 year old. One day a crocodile attacked them and sank the boat. That led him away from fishing, and he went off to become a Buddhist monk. He studied under the most famous Buddhist monk in Myanmar. He worked hard at all the requirements of Buddhism, seeking to deny his selfish thoughts and desires. Then he got very ill. Doctors told him he had no chance to recover, and he went back to the monastery to die. He did die. He was dead for three days. His heart stopped. His body decayed and stunk of death. He body was prepared for cremation, but his mind and spirit were alert. He describes the experience he had during this time, and what saw and heard changed him forever. He was moments away from being cremated in a coffin when he came back to life, and he began to tell all of the people about the Gospel of Christ. He has led hundreds of monks to Jesus Christ since that time. He had no exposure to Christianity before his untimely but temporary death.
Madalena grew up a Christian. Her father was a priest in the Eastern Orthodox church. she described it as intense, but the religiosity turned her off. Then her father separated from her mother, leaving her unsupported from the church, feeling completely disconnected. A time of searching and experiences with depression and disconnection from family support led her to embrace Buddhism. She was lost and looking for something to empower her. She was convinced she would be a Buddhist the rest of her life, and it fulfilled her for a long. In the meantime, her husband had converted to Christianity. She was scared of his change, but drawn to it at the same time. He was “completely cured” of depression, and he was happy for the first time. “He became a completely person altogether.” Before this time, the Bible was “gibberish” to Madalena and didn’t make sense to her. After feeling compelled to seek answers, a peace came over her, and the Bible now makes sense to her. Her life has changed