Time speeds fast. It’s almost two years ago since I got baptized in Pathein in Myanmar and a lot of things has happened since the baptism, both in my life and in the world. Sometimes I get disheartened when I see all the hatred around us. When I realize Christians also hate others, I feel so sad, because Jesus Christ told us: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.“ (John 15:12). For me one another does not only mean other Christians. It also means everyone we meet and get to know. A few weeks ago I met a rather young, Somalian man, who is an interpreter just like me. We were on the same course for interpreters and I could see how badly he was treated by our teacher and it made me furious. I could see that he tried to hide the pain he felt behind a though, religious cover and I remembered when I had felt just like him. Between 1997 and 2005, I was married to a Muslim man from Myanmar and I lived as a Muslim. I covered my hair with a veil and I still remember how coldly I was treated many times. Every time someone was negative towards me because of my veil, I felt further and further away from the society. I got isolated and I did not trust people anymore. When I see others being treated that way, I feel pain. When I hear Christians talk bad things about Muslims, I feel they are talking about me, even if I left Islam for more than 10 years ago. I don’t regret living as a Muslim for some years, because now I know how it feels to be stigmatized because of religion. When some people see a beard or a veil on a Muslim, I see the pain in their eyes instead. Maybe that is the reason why I must struggle to keep my faith all the time?

Yesterday I talked with Khen Solomon Lethil, who is the one who encouraged me to get baptized. I told him how I felt and I think he could understand. He reminded me of this website, that I did in the end of 2014, when my faith was strong. When I read the testimony I wrote back then, I can sense the faith I had after the baptism. In the end of our conversation Khen Solomon blessed me in Burmese, the language that I love so much and the language that I got baptized in, and now everything feels better again. As if dark clouds had disappeared from the sky and I can see the sun again. May God always bless you, Khen Solomon Lethil.

KSL liten

I want to tell you why I decided to get baptized in Myanmar this year in Zopau language. Last year, in September 2013, I got contact with Khen Solomon Lethil, who comes from Myanmar and is of Zomi origin. I found out he was making Myordbok.com, which I use in my work as an interpreter between Swedish and Myanmar language. I took contact with him because of his name Solomon. I had a religious crisis, since my husband and all his relatives and friends who live in Sweden are Buddhist. I was a part of the Myanmar Theravada Buddhist community in Sweden, even though I felt it was not the right thing for me. I was also bothered by something in my past that I could not leave behind me. So, because of his name, I decided to tell him about my problems and I asked him to help me. A long time ago, the name Solomon meant a lot for me, since I had a belief in Christianity at the time and I was reading King Solomon’s Preacher a lot. But I lost my faith in God. My parents are Christian and they tried to help me, but I could not accept what they said. Actually, since I was 14 years old, many people have tried to help me to find God. But I always got lost somehow. When I asked Khen Solomon for help, I was rather desperate. I told him about all the problems I had, in detail, and he asked me if I was baptized. I told him I got baptized as a little child, when I got my name, but not in the real way. He suggested that I get baptized. Many people have told me I should believe in God, but no one has actually told me I should get baptized, so I started to think about what he said. Then I decided to do it. I got contact with a Baptist Church in Skövde, the town where I live in Sweden and it was decided that I get baptized on New Years Day 2014. But before it was done I got a lot of doubts, and I and the pastor decided I would do it later.

I felt it would be difficult for me to get baptized in Sweden, so when I went to Myanmar for work in February-March 2014, I tried to get it done there instead. I tried to find a place where to do it, but it was hard. I was a tour leader for a group of Swedish tourists and I needed to be with them all the time. When we came to Kalaw, I found a Baptist church, but they could not perform it (we stayed there only shortly). The pastor told me to ask in Pathein, since he had heard it could be possible to do an “emergency baptism” there. From Kalaw we went to Pathein, since we were on our way to Ngwe Saung Beach, and on our short stay in the town, I went to an Internet café, since I had been there on another tour and I knew that a boy who worked there was Christian (Karen). I asked this boy, Saw Hsar Yu Wah, for help and he said he knew a pastor who moved to Pathein one year earlier and I got the phone number to Sia Mang Biak Sang. We talked and he agreed to baptize me as soon as he came back to Pathein. I went to Ngwe Saung Beach with my group and since we did not have any program there, I went back to Pathein the next day together with two from the group who wanted to see the baptism. When we came to the church, Sia Mang Biak Sang told me that another Zomi pastor, Sia Tual Khan Pau, would come from Yangon to baptize me, since he was a senior pastor. He came by bus in the evening and the next morning I got baptized together with Saw Hsar Yu Wah, that Karen boy from the Internet café, and Thang Khan Khual, a Zomi boy who also wanted to get baptized. I asked if the pastor could baptized me in three languages, Zomi, Myanmar and English, and he agreed to do it. It was a very special occation for me and also the Swedish couple who was with me, Britt-Louise and Börje Svensson, felt the same, I believe. They went back to Pathein in Autumn 2014 to meet pastor Sia Mang Biak Sang, his wife Esther, Saw Hsar Yu Wah and his family and many others and they still have contact.

When I came back home in March 2014, things started to change. I got the courage to say that I didn’t want to go to the Buddhist monastery in Sweden anymore. I got the courage to apply for a new job and I got it. I have finally been able to leave the past behind me and many other things have changed for the better since I got baptized, so I really feel it was good that I did it. I don’t think Khen Solomon Lethil knows how much he really helped me, by being a friend and listening to all my problems. He has had a lot of patience with me and I think it was meant by God that he would be the one who helped me to find my way back. Because of him, Zomi people and Zopau language will always mean a lot for me. Therefore I use the website name www.zomi.eu to tell the world about my way back to God.