Christian Reformed World Missions missionary Jeffrey Bos serves as academic dean of the College of Christian Theology Bangladesh and teaches a course there. This is a testimony from one of his students.
My name is Sunil Baron Chakma. The Chakma are one of the tribal peoples from the Chittagong Hill Tracts in the southeast of Bangladesh.
In the Hill Tracts there are 13 ethnic groups. My tribe is the largest. Most Chakma follow Buddhism. When I was in high school, I enrolled at a Buddhist temple to become a Buddhist monk. I studied for two-and-a-half years, but then left because I did not find peace.
After that I finished my high school studies and entered college. In college I met a friend who was a Christian. We discussed religion often. My friend told me that the Buddha prohibited worshiping idols.
I was shocked to hear this because, being a devoted Buddhist, I worshiped idols faithfully. I asked my friend, “How can you worship without idols?” He invited me to see how Christians worshiped.
The next Sunday I went to church with him. I liked the way Christians worshiped together through singing, prayer, and teaching from the Bible, even though I understood very little of what they were doing. After the worship, the pastor took me to his house and shared about Jesus and what he did for humankind. He also gave me a Bible to read.
While I was reading the Bible I was touched by John 3:16. I was thrilled by the assurance I found in those verses. I started going to church regularly and discussed the Christian faith with the pastor. In 1994 I was baptized and became the only Christian in my village.
I had a dream that someday there would be a church in my village where we could worship together. I started sharing the good news with my people. First, two came to Jesus. Then seven families accepted Christ as their Savior.
In 2000 the first church was formed in my village. I thank God that, though there was strong opposition from the villagers, in 2002 we were able to build a place of worship. I dream that someday all the Chakma people will come to Jesus.