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Answering Persecution with Smiles

If anyone deserved a resentful wife, it was Maung. Determined to bend her will, Maung beat Thiri every day, but all she would do in return was smile and offer kind affection. Still, in Maung's mind, Thiri deserved all the beatings; she was the one who started their problems.

Maung and Thiri were happy when they first married. Maung found fulfillment in the work he was doing on behalf of his religion to wipe out all Christians from his village, and it was nice to have someone to return to at the end of his activities. But one day, he discovered the very problem he was trying to rid his village of had found its way to his own home.

Thiri had attended a local Christian conference and was moved by the message the pastor shared. Despite Maung's feelings about Christianity, Thiri chose to follow Christ.

Determined to Reject Christ

In the following days, Thiri was filled with peace, but Maung was furious. He began beating Thiri daily and demanded she abandon her new faith, but the persecution only strengthened Thiri's commitment. She spent more time in God's Word and in prayer, and she treated Maung as if he weren't abusing her at all.

Maung was baffled by his wife's fortitude in the midst of her struggles, but he was determined to go on hating her faith. After Thiri's pastor visited and gave Maung some Gospel literature to read, Maung threw himself into some of the most sinful things he could think of—anything to get his mind off the Word of God—but it only made him more miserable.

Finally, one day, he picked up the literature and began to read.

It broke Maung's heart to learn about the sacrificial and sinless life of Jesus and to think of how he had rejected Him and mistreated His followers. With tears flowing down his face, Maung gave up his hatred and embraced God's love.

"I am so thankful to my pastor," he says, "because it is through him I received my Christ."

Please pray that Maung and Thiri will continue to grow in their relationship with Jesus and that God will use their testimony to show many His love and mercy. Ask that more persecutors will see His goodness in the believers they aim to harm.

May 2013

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*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.