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How I was Born Again
Abducted by terrorist rebels in Myanmar
by Rev Hlaing Win Aung (Myanmar)
My Life before I Found Christ
And there I was hands and feet tied, facing my executioner in a little dirty hut deep in the jungle of communist rebel territory. As tears poured down my cheeks, I reflected back on my life and how I got into this horrible situation.
I grew up in the northern region of Myanmar (formerly called Burma). As a married business man, I owned a lumber mill and my trade was dealing with teak, making wooden altars for Buddhist idols and spirits. Myanmar is a country rich in teak and the vast majority of the population is Buddhist. So it was a great match and a very profitable business. I became rich and spoiled. My life was consumed with spending money on whatever I desired and doing whatever I enjoyed. By the time I was 27 years old, I was already a full-fledged alcoholic. I gave no thought to religion or spiritual beliefs other than that they were a bunch of stories told to scare people and keep them in place.
During that time, the political climate in my country was unstable. There were communist rebels who clashed with the government often near the borders. There were rebel camps in the outskirts of the region where I was living, which was close to the China-Myanmar border. It was a dangerous place but I managed to stay out of their affairs.
That is, until the day I will never forget.
The Day I will Never Forget
The rebels said that I was a government spy and that I would have to pay for it. I had done nothing they accused me of but nobody listened to me no matter how much I tried to plead my innocence.
That was when the rebel told me he was going to chop me down and kill me with his machete at 10 o'clock that night. I had never been so frightened in my life. My hands and feet hurt, I couldn't move and I was going to be executed for something I did not do. I was struggling with all my strength but to no avail. I felt so helpless and in my despair I was wailing loudly like a madman, with tears flowing down my cheeks.
There was no witness, nowhere to appeal, no judge or jury. I was about to be executed in the middle of nowhere. The worst thing was the feeling of abandonment and helplessness. There was no help around. Nobody believed me. I was powerless and alone in the hands of the rebels, deep in the forest, just waiting to be killed. It was the saddest, loneliest and scariest time in my life. All I could do was scream and cry over and over.
At 1 pm, three rebels arrived at the camp on horseback and heard my screaming. One of them came up to the hut where I was detained and asked what was happening. After he listened to my story, he said "Ask Jesus for help. He will set you free". I had never once prayed in my life and didn’t know how to so I asked him to pray for me, but he said that he didn't know either. However, he believes that Jesus listens to everyone and answers their prayers.
He said "Just pray, he will answer." Then he left.
There was something strange about his words and I felt something growing inside of me. It was like I saw a dim light of hope. Then I started to pray. I muttered "Jesus." Then again I called a bit louder, "Jesus, please help me out". My voice became louder and louder and I can’t remember how many times I prayed with all my heart.
An hour later, two rebels from another village came to me and asked my name. They started questioning me. They started doubting that I was the right person. After asking me many questions, they found out I was not the person they were looking for.
After much back and forth, they finally set me free at 7 pm, 3 hours before my execution time. At 10 pm that night, I was lying in my own bed, instead of being chopped down in the middle of the woods by the rebels. And I thought to myself, it's a miracle.
My New found Life
Five months after that frightful experience, I got a letter from my mother. This was a surprise because I hadn't talked to her in eight years. I had cut ties with her years ago but here was a letter from her. She was living in Yangon, my hometown, and so I decided to visit her.
In Yangon, I thought about the nagging question in my head again. Were my prayers heard or was it a coincidence? I wanted to know the answer. So I visited many churches, listened to sermons and heard the word of God. On the 3rd February 1982, I was baptized after believing in Jesus. Later I went to Bible College and got a Master of Ministry degree in 1987.
My life had completely changed. I was travelling throughout the country, spreading the Gospel and building many churches. While I was travelling around, I met many suffering children most of whom were orphans. I brought them to my place and established an orphanage home. Now there are 70 children under my care. It was not an easy job but I managed with the help of some volunteers and donors. God is always with me whenever I face difficulties.
Now I am 67 years old, three of my children are missionaries and many missionaries were born from my orphanage home. I think back to that life changing day where I asked Jesus for help and what has happened since is indeed a miracle.
"His mercy endures forever-- I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. ’’ Psalm 118: 4-18.
God’s mercy does endure forever. And He offers His mercy to everyone who calls to Him. Are you in a frightening situation like Hlaing Win Aung--maybe not that drastic, but frightening never the less? I encourage you to call on Jesus with your whole heart. He will listen and hear you.
The following is a suggest prayer—you may want to pray this and please let us know, so we can help you with the next step in your journey with the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you prayed this prayer, we would love to hear from you and send you some helpful material.