Since the death of her husband a few years ago, Lin Lin had decided to become a Buddhist nun. Her energetic 15 year old son made a similar decision and joined a Buddhist monastery as a novice student. Both were walking along "the path of enlightenment" as they studied the teachings of Buddha. Lin Lin was especially proud of their pursuit to achieve Nirvana; the state of mind where true inner peace is achieved by freeing oneself from all worldly obsessions and fixations.
One morning as Lin Lin was sitting at the local tea shop receiving alms she came across a native missionary named Saya James who placed a donation in her alms bowl and said, “I am a Christian pastor and may I ask you a question?”
Lin Lin was taken by surprise since it is not usual for Buddhist nuns to speak to laypeople when they are accepting their daily alms. However, Lin Lin had this strange urge to violate this percept so she gave her permission for Saya James to ask his question.
“I am wondering if you pray every day?
Lin Lin’s response was prompt, “Yes of course I pray every day.”
Saya James asked his next question, “Well what do you pray for and to whom do you pray?”
“Everyone needs peace,” answered Lin Lin, “so I constantly pray to Gautama Buddha for peace in the life.”
Lin Lin was not expecting to hear what Saya James was about to utter next. “Do you truly have the peace you pray for daily? “ This was not a question that Buddhist monks and nuns were typically asked. Most laypeople believe and wrongly assume that both monks and nuns have “peace” or are well on their way towards obtaining it. As Lin Lin recalls, “I knew in my heart that Gautama Buddha had not provided me with the inner peace that I and my son have been diligently seeking for years.”
Taking a moment to consider her reply Lin Lin replied, “Yes I have peace but I have yet to fully attain true inner peace. What about you? Have you peace?”
With a smile, Saya James knew that his opportunity to share the Gospel had been opened by Lin Lin's last question. He looked into her eyes and replied, “I have been given a peace that transcends all understanding. That peace has been given to me by the One true living God thru the teachings of Jesus Christ.”
Lin Lin was taken by surprised at what Saya James had just proclaimed. Not only did he claim to have found his peace but Saya James also claimed that he found this peace through the teachings of Jesus Christ. Like most of the people in the 10/40 Window, she had no idea of who this "Jesus Christ" was. As they sat drinking their tea, Saya James began to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Lin Lin returned to the temple with a heavy heart. She began to wonder how a layperson could claim to have found true inner peace. She began to wonder is there was only one true God. After all she was a devoted Buddhist nun for years and she was not any closer to finding “Nirvana” than when she first embarked on the “middle road towards enlightenment" years ago with her son.
Over the next few days, Lin Lin met with a number of monks in the hopes that their collective wisdom would give her answers to her ever growing list of questions. Her faith in Buddhism began to wane and then faded when the “wisdom of the monks” failed to give her satisfactory answers.
Seeking answers, Lin Lin asked Saya James to meet her once again. Lin Lin recalled that faithful meeting saying, “It changed my life forever! I was introduced to the teachings of Jesus and we talked for hours." Before departing Saya James gave Lin Lin her own copy of the New Testament. “I took the bible knowing that I could not read it openly at the Buddhist nunnery but, if I was careful I could find the time to read it during my morning walks to obtain my daily sacred food offerings.” The early morning had become Lin Lin's favorite part of the day.
Lin Lin recalls the moment she came to faith in Jesus. "It was like the light of a new day when I began to realize that I had been pursuing the teachings of a dead man; whose teachings gave me no lasting peace and left me with no hope of eternal life as Jesus promised us." Within days, she had come to faith in Christ Jesus.
The day before her baptism, Lin Lin and her son left the Buddhist monastic lifestyle behind and embraced the life style of a Disciple of Jesus Christ. Today you will find both of them reaching out to their Buddhists neighbors. With boldness, Lin Lin testifies that, “Jesus is my Lord and Savior. He is also the Alpha and the Omega. He is the author of my peace, faith, and love.”