Maypa's Conversion to Jesus from Buddhism
This story was given as a children’s story, and is shared with few modiﬁcations.
Good morning, Happy Sabbath. How are you?
I have a question for you? How many of you are forty years old? Is anyone nineteen? Is anyone seventeen? How about seven? I see two of you are seven.
Our story is about a boy who is seven, his mom who is forty, a sister who is nineteen, and another sister who is seventeen.
Who can tell me what a miracle is? (Answers were given, including a correct one) A miracle is something that God does that we can’t do for ourselves. I want to tell you about a miracle that took place where we live in Southeast Asia.
Maypa was forty years old. She was sick; very, very sick! Whatever she had was causing her lungs to ﬁll up with ﬂuid--something like pneumonia. So she went to the doctor to get help. You see she was having difﬁculty breathing. Something was causing her to take fast shallow breaths of air because there wasn’t much room in her lungs to breathe. And it was getting worse.
After examining her and listening to her lungs, the doctor said, “You have pneumonia and you must take some medicine to get well." So she took the medicine home, and began taking the medicine every day.
We live in Southeast Asia. In Southeast Asia people believe in spirits. Do you believe in spirits? Where we live they believe in spirits; there is nothing make believe about them there. In America it is hard to know if there are spirits, but where we live spirits are so real that you can see them, you can touch them, you can feel them when they are around. Spirits are very very real.
Maypa believed in the spirits. Like her people, she believed that the spirits became angry when something was done that displeased them, and would cause the person to become sick. In fact, she believed the spirits would try to kill the person. Maypa knew she must have done something wrong because she was so sick.
Her breathing problem eventually got so bad that she could not walk anywhere due to her being so out of breath. It also kept her from laying down to sleep, and she had begun trying to sleep while sitting up at night. How easy would it be to sit up at night to sleep? Not easy at all. In fact, it is very hard. A person can sit up for one night, perhaps, but when you have to do it every night, you just cannot and you get very very tired.
Like all Buddhist, every day Maypa would go outside to the big tree where she had mounted her spirit house. She believed the spirits lived in her spirit house. The spirit house looked a little like a bird house, and had a big front porch. So every day she went out to the spirit house, took a bottle of pop, and left it there for the spirits. Or she would take a coconut so that the spirits could drink from the coconut. Sometimes she took oranges, bananas, or ﬂowers. She also took her incense and candles. Every day she would say, “Spirits I am sorry for what I have done. Please do not be angry with me. Please help me get better.” Then she returned inside her home.
Did she get better? Did the spirits make her better? No. The spirits wanted her to die.
She was taking the medicine but the medicine was not helping her get better. She was asking the spirits to help her, but they were not helping her either. She knew she was dying, but did not know what to do. She was really scared!
Her brother-in-law was a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. One day he said to her, “Maypa, you are getting sicker and sicker. It is because you do not believe in Jesus. If you believed in Jesus and trusted in Him, He would make you better.”
“Really,” she responded?
“Yes!” he said, “I know it! He will make you better if you believe in Him.”
She thought about what he had said for a time. A few days later she went to him and said, “I think I would like to try believing in God, and seeing if He would make me better. How do I become a Christian?”
So he told her, “Next Sabbath, after church, I will come to your house, and we will have a ceremony and we will make you a Christian. You will see that God will heal you.”
The Sabbath came. Her brother-in-law went to church. Upon returning from church he went to her house and asked, “What do you think Maypa. Do you still want to try Jesus?
“Yes! I want to try Jesus!”
“Okay,” he continued, “I want you to go inside and get all the images that you have of Buddha. Bring all the images outside.”
So Maypa went inside and got all the images that she had of Buddha in her house and brought them out.
“Maypa, now put them on the ground!”
Oh no, she thought to herself, that would be a terrible thing to do. You see one never puts a Buddha image on the ground. The spirit gets angry and kills the person who does that. One never puts a Buddha image on the ground.
So Maypa thought for a time and then said, “Really? I REALLY have to put them on the ground?”
He said, “Really! You MUST put them on the ground.”
Finally she put them on the ground. That was a big step for Maypa.
She put all the Buddha images on the ground and waited for the lightning to strike. But nothing happened.
Then her brother-in-law said, “Now I want you to go inside and ﬁnd the incense, candles, and perfume that you use with the Buddha--everything like that--and bring them here too.
So she went through all the rooms of her house, found all the incense, candles and perfume, and brought them out, placing them on the growing pile.
Then he told her, “In every room you have a picture of an ugly spirit on the wall. You have it there to protect the room. Go ﬁnd those pictures and bring them out.”
So she did. She went in and pulled all the pictures down and placed them on the pile.
Then he instructed her, “One last thing, you must get the spirit house and bring it here.”
So she used her hammer to pull the spirit house off the tree, and added it to the pile.
“Good. Now we are going to burn all of this stuff. We want to show that we do not trust in the spirits any more. We want to show that the spirits do not have power over us any more.”
So they lit the ﬁre. While it was burning, they heard “boom,” “boom,” “boom”--three loud booms came out of the ﬁre.
The ﬁre ﬁnally went out. They covered the ashes with dirt to show that the spirits had no more power. Then they took Maypa and her family inside the house, and went from room to room, dedicating each room to God. Then they prayed and asked God to send the Holy Spirit and the holy angels to be in each room. They also prayed, "Do not let Satan and his spirits come in here any more.”
Then they went to the living room and knelt around Maypa, and had a special prayer for her.
“Dear Jesus. Maypa is choosing to trust in you. We know that you can heal her. We know that you have the power. Please heal her. Honor her faith in you. Amen”
Then her brother-in-law went home. Before he went, he encouraged her to call if she needed anything, saying “You call me if you need anything. It doesn’t matter what you need, or what hour of the day or night it might be. You just come over. Remember we are more than just family now. Now we are Christian brothers and sisters!
That night Maypa was tired, really tired! It had been a very hard day for her. She was still breathing in fast, shallow breaths. As usual she was feeling really tired and sleepy. She thought to herself, “If I could only lay down and get one good night of sleep, I would feel so much better.”
So she went into her bedroom and lay down, probably for the ﬁrest time in many days. Remember, for some time she had not been able to breath when she laid down. But this time it was different, for soon she fell asleep. At ﬁrst it was not easy breathing, but eventually she fell fast asleep.
While she was sleeping she had a dream. In her dream she saw three spirits come out of her, hop over the fence, and go into the neighbor’s house. Apparently that is what she heard when the ﬁre boomed three times while it was burning.
In the morning Maypa woke up. To her surprise and delight she was breathing nice deep normal breaths. They were the deepest breaths that she had taken in weeks. God had healed her.
That is what we call a miracle.
You know what? Maypa attends church every week now. Attending with her is her seven year old son, her seventeen year old daughter, and her nineteen year old daughter.
All of this because Maypa chose to trust in God and because her brother-in-law trusted in God.
I am grateful for the missionaries who are working in challenging places in the world. I hope you will join me in supporting them. Among mission-supporting organizations are afm.org, asapministries.org, and saltmin.org. Because the country where this story takes place is closed to the gospel, the name of the author and the country is not listed. You can write me if you would like to find a way to support the author's mission service.