Deep in the Heart of India: A Young Thai Woman Follows the Greatest Missionary Ever

Sangwan Yenjai joins the ServLife team and is a grateful young woman ready to embrace the world. And for now, this looks like unpacking her bags in Bihar, India, where she”ll join ServLife for two years to teach in ServLife’s school. Yenjai represents a future model of cross-cultural witness, Asia to Asia.

“I’m so ready, so excited,” Yenjai, who goes by the nickname, Moo, says eagerly. “This is a great chance to learn the life of a missionary and to follow the example of the Greatest Missionary ever, Jesus Christ.”

Moo readily explains that she wasn’t always an avid follower of Jesus. In fact, her story starts in the small Thai village, where she lived as the daughter of farmer parents.  Life on the family farm, Moo explains, was simple and well-defined. There wasn’t much in the way of money, but there was the security and warmth of a loving family and the constant presence of her Buddhist faith. There was primary school, followed by secondary education in another city. Then came a move to Bangkok, where Moo worked to support herself while attending Ramkhamheang University.

Life was about to drastically change.

“I was brought up with this strong belief in Buddha that I never quite understood,” Moo explains quietly. “But I followed the teachings anyway and tried to keep believing that if I did enough good in the world while I was living that I’d reap rewards in the afterlife.”

In Bangkok, a close friend of Moo’s met some Christians and began attending church. Pretty soon, the young woman began telling Moo about God’s love and sacrifice and it wasn’t long until she invited Moo to attend church with her. Moo went with her friend and found herself surprised.

“The hospitality was incredible. There were students and people from all careers and walks of life,” Moo remembers. “And they were all smiling and friendly, which was much different than the churches I’d seen in the movies.”

After the pastor finished his sermon, he invited those who wished to follow Christ to join him at the front of the church. But while Moo was interested, she told herself she was there only to listen to new ideas. Deep inside, she was afraid to challenge her Buddhist faith and risk her parents’ disappointment and rejection.

Once in the privacy of her home, Moo’s search began in earnest as she pored over the literature the church had given her and a Bible that she’d been given. She prayed that God would show her His truth. As she began learning more about Jesus and who He is, she prayed she would be given the confidence to follow Him.

“Jesus was who I’d been looking for; I couldn’t deny it any longer,” Moo says. “And with my doubts gone and deepest questions resolved, there was nothing for me to do but trust Him completely.”

The road from there hasn’t been easy, though. When Moo shared her decision to follow Christ with her parents, they were deeply saddened. And when she completed her degree at Ramkhambeang University and had taken a job in business, it wasn’t long before she knew God was leading her to leave her vocation to study at a Bible school. He wanted her to know the Bible more completely, Moo explains, which included the sometimes-painful process of letting His Word begin to transform her character. This time of studying and praying and waiting on God is what Moo believes has made her ready for this next phase of her life, where she will live among, and serve, the children and families of Raxual.

“I thank God for the amazing things He has done and continues to do in my life,” Moo smiles. “Now I’m ready to be about His plan of helping others know Him and experience a changed and better life.”

Moo requests prayer for:

– God’s protection and good health as she serves the people of India

– Wisdom as she navigates language challenges, cultural adaptations and general ministry

-responsibilities that open up to serve Christ

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