Mee, an evangelist in southern Laos, was cooking in her small outdoor kitchen when she was approached by a man who confessed to attempting to kill her husband Vang some years previously and, through the experience, found Jesus.
The man was a sniper with the country’s communist government and was sent to shoot Vang for his evangelistic work but missed the shot. For two years, Mee and Vang had been working at building relationships and sharing the Gospel with members of the animist-influenced Buddhist community.
After the attempted attack, the sniper continued to watch Vang from afar but was so touched by Vang’s life helping people and serving God selflessly, that he stole a Bible from the village.
After making his confession, he showed her the Bible and said he felt deep shame after years of killing people but had found hope in the Christian Bible.
“Your God is good!” he said smiling. “I cannot give this book back. I want to keep it. I am very sorry.”
Mee said she could see the Holy Spirit at work in the man’s heart. She prayed with him and told him she forgave him.
When Mee told Vang about the sniper’s attempt to kill him, he became excited.
“I always pray and say that if I die in serving God it is better than to die in a hospital,” he said. “I want to die doing ministry.”
Vang and Mee, who have two young children, regularly travel to remote villages to share Jesus with people who practise a blend of Buddhism and tribal animism. They also support house churches in the villages.
Laos is still a communist country whose government believes Christianity is a tool of the CIA and where the average citizen believes the Christian faith angers the spirits. Because of this, many Christians expect and face persecution, including Mee and Vang who have served God since they were young.
As a teenager growing up in northern Laos, Vang was a member of a violent gang. He drank heavily and occasionally beat his own brothers and sisters. His life was spiralling out of control, and he wanted to change.
“I was hopeless,” he said.
Then one day, a friend told Vang about an all-powerful God who created everything and can do anything. Vang wondered if maybe this God could help him too.
Hoping to find a new life, he decided to attend church with his friend. Following the service, the pastor invited everyone interested in learning more about God to meet with him and explained to Vang how Jesus would change his life, if he placed his faith in Him.
“I will try Jesus for two months,” Vang told himself. “If He is not God, the pastor is a liar and I will burn the church down.”
Despite his attitude, Vang sincerely desired a new heart and wanted God to be real. He prayed earnestly to Jesus and dedicated his life to God.
“After I said ‘amen’, it felt like a wind came through me,” he said.
“I felt peace and joy. From that day, I’ve felt peace and joy.”
Vang secretly began attending church, but his parents eventually found out. At first they tried to persuade him to return to spirit worship, but when that failed they kicked him out of their house. He lived at his church for two years before talking to his family again. During that time, he studied persecution in the Bible.
“After two years, I learned many things about persecution in the Scriptures and how to comfort people,” he said.
Mee’s upbringing, on the other hand, was deeply influenced by communism. Her neighbours were communist leaders, and her father, who died when she was two years old, was a government sniper like the one who tried to kill Vang. She remembers armed security guards keeping watch over her neighbourhood.
At 14, Mee was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She battled the disease for five years until, at age 19, she discovered she had three months to live.
Desperate and without hope, she went to church with her sister, who had already accepted Christ. During the service, Mee prayed, “If you are really true God, heal me and I will serve you until I die.”
That night, she dreamed that she had a choice of two paths, a dark one and a light one.
The dark path scared her, but when she looked toward the light path she saw a man telling her, “Come with Me.”
She walked toward Him and He touched her head, saying, “I love you like a daughter.”
“I could feel the love of the Father, which I never had before – a true love I never experienced,” she recalled. “I then confessed that I believed and read the Bible with my sister.”
About a month later at a routine doctor’s visit, Mee was stunned to learn that the cancer had disappeared.