Michael Lewis, Kacey Cox, and Yonas Kidane from Toronto, Canada, all grew up together in the same neighborhood and consider each other to be practically brothers.
“We often hung around with each other and laughed together,” said Cox.
But they didn’t just joke around—they supported each other through life’s challenges, encouraged each other, and shared their joys and discoveries.
Michael used to be a heavy smoker who drank a lot. Due to his bad temper, his wife divorced him. His second wife also argued with him a lot.
Although Michael had many great experiences with Kacey and Yonas, he often felt lost—it was like he was looking for something.
“During those days, I was searching for topics related to energy,” said Michael, according to Minghui.org.
On the evening of July 13, 2010, Michael typed “taichi” into his computer online search engine and began to research related topics. He saw a video link for Falun Dafa.
Michael remembered that he had seen Falun Dafa practitioners in Chinatown, and he had signed a petition calling for the end of the persecution of the practice in China.
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a spiritual meditation discipline that teaches the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, as well as five slow exercises. The practice has been brutally persecuted in China since 1999.
Michael began watching the video about Falun Dafa on his computer. He watched the next video and the next, and he continued the next day. He decided to tell his friends about it.
“The best thing that ever happened in our lives was on July 14, 2010,” his friend Kacey said. That was the day Michael sent him an email and called him to tell him about Falun Dafa.
“Hey, Kacey! I have finally found what we have been looking for in our lives. This is the best. Come and take a look!” said Michael.
Michael’s voice was full of excitement, and his friends decided they had better check out what he was talking about.
“The video … explained many things, in great detail, something that never happened in my life, and it touched my soul,” said Michael. “This is something I was waiting for my whole life.”
That day, Kacey went online and watched the video series himself.
“I was amazed that [the teachings] were so profound. As I continued watching, I found that all the questions and confusion I had earlier in my life were addressed. … I immediately knew this was the truth I had been searching for.”
Kacey then downloaded the audio files for the lecture series and listened to them on his way to and from work.
“I spent lots of time listening to the lecture every day that summer,” he said.
The third friend, Yonas, was also excited to learn about Falun Dafa, and he felt like it connected all the dots in his life—he knew the purpose of living was no longer money or material interests.
“I always considered Michael an elder brother, because he was someone we could trust and rely on. Now once again, he found Falun Dafa for us.”
Before encountering Falun Dafa, Michael had always thought about living well or having a comfortable life. Suddenly, he realized he needed to be more responsible to his family as a husband and father, as well as a better person in society.
Soon he decided to stop drinking and smoking.
“It was not easy for me. I stopped them one day, but started again the next day,” he said.
This happened over and over again many times, and Michael was very frustrated. One day, he knelt down and asked the founder of Falun Dafa, Teacher Li Hongzhi, for help.
Miraculously, he never again smoke or drank after that day.
People surrounding the three friends started to notice positive changes in them. Michael’s wife also began reading the main Falun Dafa book “Zhuan Falun.”
Michael began talking to people about Falun Dafa at work and other places. The three friends also purchased 15 copies of Falun Dafa books for their families and friends and started passing them around.
“In the beginning, I felt a little upset—why is it that only us three brothers knew about Falun Dafa?” Michael said.
“Then one day, I overheard that there were hundreds of Falun Dafa practitioners in the greater Toronto area. I was so happy,” he said.
The three brothers went to a group meeting in Toronto one Friday evening and were shocked at the number of people there.
They began to participate in more group activities and learn more about the situation in China.
Kacey Cox is now a filmmaker who has directed documentaries that have brought awareness to the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners.