Goodbye Old Friend

Taa Dii and I in 2005.

Way back in 2005, a little church was being born in the village of Naam Khem. One of the strongest believers to emerge from that time was a 70 year old man named Taa Dii. Taa came from the northeastern part of the country, but had lived down in southern Thailand for much of his life. Taa’s seven decades before hearing the gospel had been wild ones. He had had 11 wives, was crippled from a gunshot wound in the leg, and his body bore the marks of many years of hard living. Taa had also spent one of those decades at a temple as a monk. But when he heard the word of truth, the gospel of his salvation, and believed it – he became a new person. He was always the first one to church services, and faithfully joined any outing or outreach put on by the church, despite having some difficulty walking.

In July of 2011, Taa was diagnosed with mouth cancer. He joked a little about joining his pastor in heaven before the rest of us. I saw him in July after the diagnosis, and was able to see him again in this most recent trip to the south. By this time though, he was unable to walk, and his mouth was disfigured by the cancer that grew unchecked. Talking to him was difficult, but he said he wasn’t in much pain, and he professed confidence in his Savior to take him all the way home. On Saturday, January 7th, 2012, Taa Dii’s Savior did just that.  Taa is survived by his loving wife, and missed by his brothers and sisters in Christ at Calvary Chapel Baan Naam Khem.