We’re calling him Brother Sam. Using some creative back-of-the-envelope calculations, Brother Sam is one of an estimated 2,500 Buddhist monks in the province of Surat Thani. We have never met Brother Sam, but we are praying for him. Will you pray for him too?
Rising at 4:00 a.m., Brother Sam joins his fellow monks for an hour of meditation followed by an hour of chanting. At 6:00 a.m., the monks walk single-file through the neighborhood as part of their mendicant (beggarly) lifestyle. Villagers deposit food offerings into the alms bowl that each monk is carrying in exchange for a blessing. The monks return to the temple for breakfast at 8:00 a.m. Thus begins Brother Sam’s day—a day filled with religious activities and strictly adhering to the 227 rules of the Buddhist monastic code. This day is like every other. Brother Sam is preoccupied with making merit to achieve Nirvana (extinguishing) or, in Christian parlance, achieving eternal death.
Because he is Buddhist, Brother Sam believes that suffering is the source of all evil and sees Nirvana as the only end to all suffering. Instead of seeking life in the Bible’s promise of resurrection, he seeks relief in what amounts to eternal death. He does not know a loving God or the hope found in Christ’s offer of eternal life without pain or suffering.
Martin Luther was a mendicant monk of another faith. His life was also preoccupied with making merit. He hoped to atone for his sins through self-inflicted suffering and purchase salvation through his own good deeds. However, he had no peace until he embraced the gospel—that Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for sin; He has made all of the merit needed; and “the just shall live by faith.”
Unfortunately, Brother Sam is on a trajectory to achieve his goal of eternal death. Will you pray for him and the other monks in Surat Thani? Pray that he has an experience similar to Martin Luther—that he becomes disillusioned with “creature merit” and, longing for something better, discovers Jesus Christ, his Savior. Pray that God calls him as an apostle Paul to His people.
We look forward to meeting Brother Sam in answer to your prayers to help guide him in his walk with Christ.