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I Was Once A Buddhist Nun

By Esther Baker
December 2009 | Review by Sarah Woollin
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • ISBN: 978-1844743841
  • Pages: 160
  • Price: £8.99
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Book Review

‘I once was a Buddhist nun’ is not something that I have ever heard anybody say. I had heard of Buddhist monks and knew a little about Buddhism, but until I read this book I did not realise what being devoted to this religion entailed.

The author, Esther Baker, tells of her amazing conversion from Buddhism to Christianity and how God has used her since. From the age of 21, Esther searched for truth. She delved into various religions and sects and eventually believed that she had found the answer in Buddhism.

After a few years, she decided to become a nun. She shaved her head, had only ten possessions (which included three robes, a bowl, razor and needle case) and only ate one meal a day.

Much of her time was spent in meditation and she also taught others about Buddhism. She had given her all to this religion and then God intervened!

He used a video that was shown during their meditation time. This video showed the work of a Christian lady with drug addicts in Hong Kong. It unsettled Esther and she longed to know more about the Jesus that they were speaking about.

Over the next few months, God brought other Christians into her life to explain the gospel to her. Esther asked God to forgive her sins; she came to know Jesus as her Lord and Saviour. After thirteen years, God had broken into her life of isolation and idolatry and shown her that Jesus is the only Saviour.

This book is easy to read and it demonstrates that God can bring anyone he chooses to saving faith. Every conversion is a miracle, but it is wonderful to read about somebody like Esther coming to know Christ after being so steeped in Buddhism.

When Esther had been a Christian for a few years, she too went to work as a missionary with drug addicts in Hong Kong and many others became Christians as a result. However, I felt uncomfortable with some of the methods used to get people off their drugs without medication.

Esther has a real passion to tell others about Jesus, particularly those in the Buddhist community and I was thrilled by seeing how God worked in the lives of the people described in the book. It is a book that frequently points us to Christ as ‘the way, the truth and the life’.

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