In 1972, at the height of the Vietnam War, a picture of a young girl shocked the world. She had torn her burning clothes from her skin, and was screaming in agony as the napalm continued to burn into her flesh.
But Kim Phuc Phan Thi survived the napalm attack and has now explained how her horrific experience brought her to Christ. Aged just nine at the time of the attack, she awoke in a morgue, and was rescued by her parents, but her agony would continue. She was also ostracised when she returned to her village because of her disfigurement.
She initially prayed to the gods of Cao Dai, the religion of her family, but received no response. She said, ‘After years of unanswered prayers, it was clear to me that either they were non-existent or they did not care’.
One day, Phuc happened upon a copy of the New Testament, and was astounded by what she read. She came to understand that Christ is the Son of God, and soon after began attending a church, eventually coming to trust in Christ herself.
Phuc married, moved to Canada, had two children and was made a UNESCO ambassador in 1997. Recalling an event in Paris in 2002, she says she met many people who said her picture had driven them to prayer.
‘Had my suffering actually been the catalyst to bring me into God’s family? Could such a thing be true?
‘In my heart I knew the answer. Those bombs led me to Christ’.