By Chad Loftis | Thailand in Pacific Asia
In the Isaan region of Thailand, Saaw used to tell fortunes, make holy water for people, and consecrate their spirit shrines. But instead of bringing her health and wealth as she hoped, the spirits only brought her hardship and fear.
She said, “Before I was a medium, my life was really bad. I was really sick, and I couldn’t find a way out of it. So, I went back to my old teacher at the temple, and I had talismans tattooed onto my back. Then the spirits that made me a medium came into me. After becoming a medium, our life didn’t get any better.”
Woot, her husband, said, “We never got anything from her work as a medium. We fought a lot because whenever we made money, we had to give it to the monks. Four hundred, five, sometimes even five thousand! It was killing us!”
Saaw showed her house and the previous written protection in the ancient Pali language on one wall that she paid a monk to make. She remembered how expensive it was to have done. She also had a shelf full of idols. Saaw said, “It took from 6am until 9am to finish the rituals. And then at 6pm I had to come back and chant some more. Being a medium was not easy. [Then] I got really sick again. I was meditating when the spirits said to me, ‘If you can’t do this you have to find someone to replace you.’
SIM mission worker Rina Renthlei said, “We found out that Pii Saaw was a spirit medium. This is a generational spirit. So, she would have to pass on to her daughter or relative.”
Saaw said, “I told them that there was no one to replace me. But I really wanted to stop doing it. I was so sick. The spirit said, ‘If you won’t do what we say, we’ll bring you to be with us. If you can’t go, we’ll take your child.’ I thought, ‘Oh! Is there anyone who can help me?’ Because I was worried about my daughter.”
Dtang said, “I told her about Jesus. She was annoyed with me! She said, ‘Don’t talk about Jesus!’ And then every night I prayed for her. I asked God to touch their family.”
Saaw said, “I couldn’t withstand Dtang’s stubbornness anymore. So I decided, ‘I’ll give church a try.’ … I knew [then] that Jesus was real. But I still had this shelf of idols. And I didn’t want to get rid of it. I thought it would be too dangerous for my family.”
Woot said, “She believed in Jesus, but she didn’t want to throw out the idols. I suggested she take them and throw them away.”
Saaw said, “I agreed we should remove them. You can’t have a foot on both boats. The first month after I decided to get rid of the idols my son got arrested. The second month, more bad things were happening to my family. If I tried to remove the idols, the spirits stopped us. Then I asked the church leaders and members to come and pray over my shelf of idols. I was the one who caused the problem, so I had to be the one to fix it.
“Since I got rid of those idols, our family is doing better. We still have problems, but they are lighter now. When I was a medium, I was afraid. But now instead of fear I have happiness and peace in my heart. Jesus has changed my life.”
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For more on Dtang and Saaw’s friendship, watch ‘Freeing a friend,’ the first video of this series.