From Buddhism to Christianity
“This can’t be true, it’s too simple," was Nai Sathonrat's reaction to CO staff when they shared the gospel during his freshman year.
Nai, now the director for Campus Outreach at Khon Kaen University, connected with CO during his first year of college in 2001.
“I was impressed with something about them,” he shared. “They were inviting and loving towards those who came. When they started telling me about Jesus, I felt uncomfortable. I automatically rejected it because I didn’t believe what I was being told. So, no matter how much they shared the gospel or told me about Jesus, in my heart I opposed it. But I was still friends with them. They were good people and weren’t trying to get anything from me.”
Raised in a Buddhist home, Nai was confident in his family’s faith and fully believed in the saving power of “being good.”
“Growing up, we would go to the temple, trying hard to make merit,” he shared. “I really didn’t have interest in other religions because I saw Buddhism as the best religion.”
But the more time Nai spent with his Christian friends, the more he saw how the grace of God influenced their daily lives. Though Nai rejected their faith, he continued to attend retreats and outreach events with his CO friends.
“I believed we had to do certain things to receive anything good or to have good results in life,” Nai said. “Just to believe in Jesus to go to heaven, that didn’t make sense to me. But the more I heard and the more I was told about Jesus, I started to feel that what is important isn’t just good teaching, it’s a life that’s changed.”
To learn more, Nai attended Summer Project where he heard Jesus’ parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18 for the first time.
“To see that this sinner was accepted by God and that this (humility) was pleasing to God, it touched my heart,” Nai shared. “This made me see that I am not a good person, I always thought I was, and I thought my goodness was going to help me receive something good or get me to heaven. But God humbled me.”
That summer, Nai finally understood what his friends had been explaining for years. He believed that he was a sinner who didn’t deserve God’s mercy, but, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, he could have new life.
“So, from that moment, God changed my life and my thinking,” he said. “It made me want to know God more and receive eternal life.”
Today, Nai and his wife, Blaa, faithfully share that same truth with students at Khohn Kaen University. And, as God works in students’ lives, the Sathonrats continue to rejoice in His grace and mercy.