by Debbie Vik, an Alliance international worker serving in Thailand
When Nok and Boribun were young children, their parents succumbed to cancer. The siblings went to live with their Catholic aunt, who would often read them Bible stories.
When their aunt passed away while they were still in grade school, the two were sent to separate orphanages in Bangkok.
Nok and Boribun remained in contact until Nok graduated from high school. Boribun quit school when he was in ninth grade and moved to the town of Khon Kaen to start a new life.
For the next 21 years, they had no contact with one another. Although Nok traveled to Khon Kaen several times to try to find Boribun, she was unsuccessful.
During the siblings’ separation, Nok became a Christian through a friend’s witness. She found the Mahapawn Bangkok (Alliance) Church to be a welcoming church family and has attended there for the past 10 years. She currently works part time as a bookkeeper for a foundation associated with the church.
By contrast, Boribun led a hard life during the 20-plus years the siblings were separated. He became addicted to tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, earning a meager living as a restaurant dishwasher. He often slept on Khon Kaen’s sidewalks.
In January, Boribun’s boss found him in a comatose state and sent for an ambulance. Once admitted to the hospital, he was diagnosed with final-stage throat cancer.
Although Boribun reported to hospital staff that he didn’t have any family, they persisted and finally located his sister.
In February, Nok received news that Boribun was hospitalized in serious condition and was not expected to live more than three months. Although he was ill, she was excited to finally hear news of him. She longed to see him and introduce him to Jesus.
Since a close friend in Nok’s church knew that I lived in Khon Kaen, she suggested that Nok contact me so I could facilitate a meeting with her brother.
On February 24, Nok arrived in Khon Kaen after a six-hour bus ride from Bangkok. I had the privilege of taking her to see Boribun for the first time after so many years.
A Lasting Legacy
What a touching reunion! Hospital staff members were also able to witness this special occasion.
But what a shock! Boribun was emaciated. He had a feeding tube protruding from his nose to his stomach; morphine patches dotted his chest. Unable to talk, he communicated through writing.
But we immediately saw that his mind was clear; his eyes lit up to see his sister again.
When we began to share the Lord with him, he started writing—penciling the words “Bethlehem,” “Joseph,” “Judas,” and “Yahweh” —words he remembered from his aunt’s Bible stories.
The hospital staff had provided Buddhist materials, but Boribun wasn’t interested. He enjoyed reading, so we gave him some tracts about Jesus. He quickly read all of the literature we gave him.
Nok visited Boribun for a few days each week while he was in the hospital. During her time with her brother, she helped to bathe him, assisted with his physical therapy, read the Bible to him, and prayed with him.
A Changed Life
One day I asked Boribun if he wanted to accept Jesus into his heart. He nodded, and we prayed together.
Even the hospital staff noted the change—Boribun radiated the peace and joy of Christ in his life! His hope was to get well enough to move to Bangkok to live with Nok. But Boribun passed away in mid-April.
“I wish I had found him sooner than this,” Nok has repeatedly said to me. I’ve responded that God knew this was the time for them to meet.
Before their meeting, Boribun wasn’t ready to listen or consider other life choices. He would not have been prepared for a reunion with Nok or to receive Jesus. It was during Boribun’s pain and suffering that his heart softened toward his only sister and to the Lord.
God gave this long-lost brother and sister duo nearly two months together. Nok now also has the assurance that they will spend eternity together with their Savior.
What You Can Do
Join the Alliance family in interceding for our workers in Thailand and worldwide, who are taking the good news—in word and deed—to hurting people who desperately need the hope only Jesus offers. Use the weekly Alliance Prayer Requests to assist you.