There was a man who looked to be of middle-eastern descent sitting alone at a table. We made eye contact, so I said hello and introduced myself. He was from Iraq. I found out that he himself had just been released from the prison and was sitting there pondering what to do next.
Foreigners who do prison time here in Thailand and do not have any money to pay for their deportation are many times just released into the general public, regardless of whether they have a valid Thai visa, or even a valid passport. They just open the gate and send them out. This was his case.
He was a hard looking man. I asked him what he was going to do next. He said, "Try to make it to the Malaysian border, where hopefully, my fellow Muslims will let me in. I can then work from there in trying to get back to Iraq."
He only had 70 Baht ($2) on him. So Joanna and I bought him fried rice and bottled water and gave him 500 Baht ($13) for the bus ticket to the Malaysian border.
"Why do you do this?" he asked, looking perplexed. "I am a Muslim and you are a Christian. How can I pay you back?"
"I ask only one thing of you," I replied. "One day there will be a Christian whom you will have the power of life or death over. I ask that you spare his life and help him, like I have helped you."
He paused for a moment, then looked me in the eye and nodded, "Okay, yes, this I will do for you." And then we shook hands and parted.
Hopefully, I saved the life of one Christian some where in the Middle-east.