Narin’s new chapter

Narin’s new chapter

The story of one man in Thailand reminds us that no one is invisible to God, and that God is often at work right in front of us.

Photo: In late 2023 Narin was baptised, having found a spiritual and a physical home.

Narin* felt invisible, unnoticed by those living around him in Chiang Mai, the largest city in northern Thailand.

Since losing his home after conflict with his family and overwhelming pressure at work, he had slept in a tent through sweltering heat and monsoon rains for two years, with just plastic bags to hold his possessions.

Each morning he rose before 6am to pack up his tent from his regular spot on the pavement before the rest of the city woke.

He applied for many jobs, but kept on being rejected. Yet throughout this difficult time, Narin was not invisible to God.

Early starts

In spring 2023, CMS mission partner Tracy Day felt God prompt her to change her daily routine. Specifically, she felt God was calling her to go for a walk around her Chiang Mai neighbourhood at 5am each day.

Not sure why, though thinking it might be for her health, she duly changed her routine and started walking her familiar route at this new time.

Jason and Tracy Day

On the first daily walk, Tracy noticed a tent on the pavement that she hadn’t seen before, just five minutes from home.

The next day she saw Narin as she walked past.

As the walks continued, Tracy kept her distance but exchanged a smile with Narin, said hello and discovered Narin spoke fluent English.

As the days passed, Tracy continued to chat to Narin as she went by.

Discovering where he went after 6am, she and her husband Jason started a rhythm of checking in with him near a local petrol station or at a nearby supermarket, having a chat two or three times a week.

Once they had established this rhythm, Tracy’s sense of needing to walk early in the morning stopped.

Trying church

Jason and Tracy heard a little about Narin’s life, and were also able to talk about the Bible when relevant.

They invited Narin to church, but initially he said no – this would be quite a step from his Thai Buddhist roots, but he had been friends with Christians in the past and also been reading the Bible on and off long before Tracy and Jason got to know him.

Sometime later he decided that he would go to church with them after all.

empty benches by a forecourt
Invisible man: Narin used to spend his days outside a petrol station…
large anonymous atrium with tables and tiled floor
…and in a supermarket cafe…
dusty roadside
…and nights in his tent on a pavement.

Narin liked church when he came along, and decided to come again. Initially he went with Jason and Tracy, but then started going independently.

Over the summer, Jason and Tracy were back in the UK, so couldn’t accompany Narin to church. Nonetheless, Narin didn’t miss a week.

Ups and downs

One afternoon, Narin shared that he had a job interview, this time for a role as a translator.

Many people had been praying for him to get a job, so Jason and Tracy were thrilled when he told them later that day that he had!

He started work the following Monday translating books and websites and took on the challenge of a new role.

Sadly, soon afterwards he was knocked off his pushbike on his way back from work to his spot on the pavement, injuring his arm. Jason and Tracy took him to hospital where the doctors said Narin’s arm was fractured and gave him a sling.

Although Narin was scared that his injury might mean losing his job, he was able to type and so keep working.

Together with friends, Jason and Tracy found Narin a room to stay in for a few weeks while he recovered.

Through this, Narin was able to get used to living in a safe place, sleeping in a bed and having his own bathroom again.

As his arm healed, and with his new income, Narin looked for a room to rent and managed to find one not far from Jason and Tracy or from work.

Tracy comments, “It was a wonderful day to see him move in and begin a new, more settled life and we were glad that he was in our area so that we could continue our friendship and help him if he needed it.”

A much better place

Narin continues to work and to rent his room – though it is taking time for him to feel more secure, with the trauma of two years of homelessness leaving him feeling unsure of the future. And he continues to attend church.

Narin decided to be baptised in December and shared that he had been in a very dark place but God had brought him safely into a much better place.

Jason and Tracy are hoping to start working through some Bible study material with Narin, as he continues his journey with Jesus.

Tracy reflects, “This isn’t about a quick turnaround – there has been transformation in Narin’s circumstances, but there is still pain and struggle for him, but we are hopeful for what God will do.”

*Name changed

Pray together

Pray for Narin as he continues in this new chapter of his life. Pray also that God will show you if there is someone he is calling you to walk with in your life.

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