Chian’s life in a Malaysian prison was punctuated by death. As a death row inmate, he watched as the friends he had made on his cellblock were executed. Then there were the rumors and speculation every time an execution was expected. Panic would spread through the cellblock as each prisoner asked the same question—who would go to the gallows next?
For nine years Chian waited. “Every day was a trying time as I faced uncertainty and stress, not knowing if this day was my last,” he said. After losing his appeals, the only way for Chian to escape capital punishment was an official pardon.
In spite of the pressures of life on death row, Chian had something to lead him through the darkness. He had hope. Although he was a Buddhist when he first entered prison, he converted to Christianity in 2004. He attended ministry classes weekly and received a Bible from his pastor that he still uses today.
When he was sentenced and moved to death row in 2006, Chian took his new faith with him. “No matter how bleak the situation, I kept my faith,” he said. “I never gave up. As my Christian friend told me, ‘Don’t lose hope.’ I believed God would help me.” Chian also met Bobby John, director of CBI Malaysia, and John visited him regularly.
In 2015, Chian’s prayers were answered. He received a pardon from the king and was moved off of death row. It was then that John was able to start Chian on the Crossroad Bible study program, which John hopes will provide Chian with “a meaningful time of study” and an opportunity to grow in the Lord.
Chian still has a life sentence to serve, but he will have the faithful guidance of Bobby John and the CBI Instructors. Together they will continue to witness to what Chian has already experienced firsthand: “God is so amazing!”