An amazing story of one of the Thai footballers who was trapped in a cave recently has come through from our friend Rev Peter Hurricks, Vicar of Halswell-Prebbleton in the Diocese of Christchurch. You may have heard in the media that one of the boys is a Christian. This story from Peter, supplied by a missionary who has worked in Thailand for some years, tells what happened following the boys’ rescue from the cave.
The media has reported on the Buddhist element in this story. Thailand is a Buddhist country. The coach was formerly a Buddhist monk and led the boys in meditation to keep them calm during their ordeal. Last Tuesday, the coach and 11 of the Wild Boars team were ordained as monks for one week to make merit for the ex-navy seal who died. (This is an aspect of Thai culture that leads young people to honour someone who has made such a sacrifice on their behalf. It helps them to come to terms with their guilt). Less reported is the fact that one of the soccer team is a Christian. Adun Sarman is the one whose voice is recorded when the British divers first discovered them. He was the spokesman for the team as he was the only one who could speak some English. He is a member of Mae Sai Grace church and has been sponsored for some years by Compassion International, a Christian organization.
Thai Channel TV gave extensive coverage of a special thanksgiving service held at Adun’s church last Sunday. All of the Wild Boars plus the coach attended the Christian service as a show of solidarity.
This clip shows Adul weeping during the service and the Thai news commentator is talking about the Creator God who loves all people and that Adul is weeping in response to God’s love. The clip then shows Adul giving his testimony in front of the congregation and his fellow soccer team members. He said they had lost all energy and all hope. The only thing that he could do was to pray. Especially on the tenth day, he prayed for himself and all 13 of the team members to be saved.
This was just before the British divers discovered them.
Adul testified that God answered his prayer and now he will serve God and use his football to share God’s love throughout Thailand and the world. Although he will not be ordained in the Buddhist temple like the coach and the other 11 team members, he will honour the ex-Seal who gave his life, by dedicating his life to be a good citizen. This is a powerful testimony. The whole team and the coach heard the message (and any of the Thai public who were listening).
The missionary also shared how God had led his mission team the day before the rescue began, to pray specifically that the water level in caves would be lower. Unexpectedly overnight, the water level in the cave system dropped 30 cm opening up several hundred metres of cave, greatly reducing the risk and prompting the rescuers to start the operation.
A true miracle reminding all of us to listen before we pray so that we can pray according to His will.
By: Rev Peter Hurricks, Diocese of Christchurch