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Atheist Student Moved to Faith by Friends' Prayers

Putti Sok told her Christian college friends, "Leave me alone and quit praying for me." Putti described herself as a "Cambodian Buddhist girl," even though she was born in Long Beach, California and grew up in Dallas. "I figured I was Buddhist because my parents told me I was Buddhist," she said. "I thought Christianity was just a religion for Americans." Eventually Putti came to consider herself "an evangelistic atheist," challenging others to prove that God exists.

When Putti started her college education at the University of Texas in 2008, one of her goals was to build deep relationships. She succeeded in that, but some of her new friends were Christians who were active in a student ministry. During her sophomore year, Putti "hit a wall." "I began to see that everything I was doing was becoming meaningless," she said. "If what I was doing didn't have eternal meaning, then it was all in vain." She began to think, "If God is real, he should be able to hear my prayers." Each night she began to pray that he would help her understand what she had been hearing from her friends because it seemed like foolishness to her.

Then one day Putti entered a closet in the student ministry building that had been turned into a prayer room. Inside she found a bowl filled with pieces of paper with the names of students' friends. One after another she looked at the slips of paper and found her own name written on the slips.

She knew how strongly she had urged her friends not to pray for her and yet they had faithfully loved her and prayed for her anyway. She burst into tears that day in the tiny prayer room. "God was softening my heart then," she said. The next night she felt that God was asking her for a specific response, so she finally prayed to receive Christ.

"All of a sudden, I had a desire to go and share with people," she said. "God is real, and he has changed my heart." Putti is currently studying in preparation for full time ministry.

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