I was born in Myanmar (Burma) in 1961 into a family of the Shan people. In 1988 I moved to Thailand, and a few years later married a Thai girl. We had two children, a girl and then a boy.
I was shot
At this time, I began selling illegal drugs and was finally arrested in 2001. During my arrest, I was shot twice by the police, and for six months I was in a police hospital. At this time my children were aged just four and two. All that I owned was confiscated. It was a very bad time for me and my family.
Eventually I was sent to prison for 50 years. I felt very angry and I thought, "This will be the end of my life."
I could not forgive the judge for saying I must go to prison for such a long time. I even thought I would kill myself because there was no other way out. Then one day, I was invited by a follower of Jesus to go to a Christian meeting in the prison. I was very surprised when all the men at the meeting welcomed me. They clapped when I walked in, and gave me a Bible, the Christians' holy book. They sang many Christian songs, which I liked very much, and then a man began to speak. He told us these words from the Bible: "If any man belongs to Christ (Jesus), he is a new person. His old life has gone. You see, he has begun a new life."*
I thought that the speaker was saying these words just to me. I will never forget them.
I read in secret
Soon I was going to that meeting every Sunday. I also read my Bible every night, but secretly as I did not want my prison friends to know. I wanted to find out if what it said about Jesus Christ was true. The more I read, the more I found out about how much God loves us. Nothing is greater than God's love. I was so excited to learn that God loves me, that I did not worry any more what my friends thought about me reading the Bible. Little by little I realised that all I was reading was true.
So, on my birthday, 21st May 2002, I asked Jesus Christ to forgive me for all my wrong doing, especially the hurt I had caused my family, and to change my whole life around. I wanted the new life that the man had spoken about when I first went to the Christian meeting. I also wanted to be free from the anger I felt about being in prison.
A new life
I began to find that all the thoughts I had before, even wanting to kill myself, had gone. I realised that prison was not the end of my life but a new beginning. For 41 years I did not know that God was near me and looking after me. I was in the lowest place, in prison, but God was with me even there. Now the most important thing to me is knowing that I have a new friend for ever, Jesus Christ.
Even though I am still in prison, I am happy because I know that happiness does not come from the things around us, it comes from inside us. The last few years have been happier than all the other 41 when I did not know Jesus.