Last updated: June 30, 2019 11:14AM (6-minute read)
I have been living among Christian since when I was a very, very young boy. My primary school was a private Roman Catholic school named Phraharuthai Donmuang (โรงเรียนพระหฤทัยดอนเมือง) - a member of Sacred Heart Group. Anyway, as a geek young boy, I did not believe in anything but science.
And my childhood life was at its loweat point when I started secondary school. Over there, everything was like a prison because of the hierarchical culture of the country. My voice was not heard. I could not do what I wanted. Teachers did not treat me like I was another human. Any contributions of mine were rejected because I was not conservative and most people treated everything I did as critiques. I was so tired and some good teachers told me to leave the country to get a better future. Hence, I set my goal: I needed to move to an international school and eventually I had to migrate to another country! Finally, late 2007, my application for an international engineering school at Thammasat University (มหาวิทยาลัยธรรมศาสตร์) was successful.
Chances to Read the Bible
In 2010, after I returned from the United States, I first joined the Grape Vine Family , a small international Christian community in the campus. I enjoyed playing, dining, talking to everyone in the community which was led by Mic and Beth and supported by Global Scope , a global mission team from the U.S. I did not really understand God, and I did not believe anything supernatural. The only thing I enjoyed the most was the funny environment and the unlimited chance to practice my English. The next thing I eventually learned was the improvements in my life after I adopt something - just something - from the Bible they shared in Grape Vine.
I met the people from IYF (International Youth Fellowship) , a Christian group based in Korea, in early 2012. They invited me to the week-long camp in the nearby city. In the camp, I learned more about the Bible and talked to more Christian, now from the other parts of the world, and eventually got to see how my life was getting better by just reading the Bible and follow what I learned from there. I got a very good job in 2012. And I was admitted to Nanyang Technological University in 2014! My life was going up and up.
Pastor Park from IYF taught me the truth about human: We are all sinned. We could do many bad things on our own but we need to teach each other to do good. We are all bad people, unless we believe in God and let God helps. I was thinking carefully. It was true. And I believed him.
The first verse I remembered was
Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
And since I knew the righteous way to prosper, I would go toward such way. No lies to be listened to, no more.
Me at Grape Vine Family and IYF World Camp:
It was very great in Singapore and I did not go to any church at all. Mic moved back to the U.S. and Beth had moved to another university. Grape Vine Family has since then been led by Mark and his wife Princess, our new Filipino friend and I still keep in touch with them. The only time I was close to the Bible was when I went back to Grape Vine. After I graduated from NTU in 2015, and I was hunting for a job. A Christian friend of mine called me from Thailand and prayed for me. Eight hours after we hung up, I got an offer from an online ads company!
Unemployment, Burned-out Environment, and Resignation
The business was not very good at the company. The first time they retrenched was after my first month. Then, the company was doing well for another year until they were acquired by the another company from the U.K. Most of us were retrenched back then. I got another job but it was not very good. The manager did not want me to go to see the doctor in the afternoon when my sickness was worsened. The boss did not read the email for project updates and thought that I did not do the work. My probation period got extended. The manager wanted the project to go as fast as planned despite bugs and the lack of planning without any understanding of the technical aspect of the project. I decided to resign from that company.
My next job was also ended unexpectedly due to decision to close down the Singapore office from HQ. I was unemployed for months before I got another offer from a small Singaporean company. The working environment there was very terrible and despite my contributions to improve everything, hours of meetings, nothing was really heard. I was burned out, my health was worsened, and I was depressed. I decided to hunt for a new job immediately and resign before I passed the probation months. The situation started to get worsened again when I knew that there were no proper SLA nor SOP that would protect employees. I started to think about the meaning of life. What is it? In December, 2017, I googled for the Bible verses that would encourage me to continue living and overcome my depression. And it helped. Moreover, I was thinking about a fellow Christian I met long ago, Orn, and she invited me to Trinity Christian Centre and spent the New Year's Eve there.
The Power of God
The Thai Ministry at Trinity Christian Centre, led by Pastor Kim, prayed for my job hunt, and around 20+ days later I got an offer! I talked to colleagues there about the resignation, too, and we agreed to pray for the company we are leaving together. I started the new job just after the Chinese New Year holidays. Later at Trinity Centre, I was mentored by Amos (Orn's husband), and was baptized on May 20, 2018. Then, I also knew a girl from Riverlife Church , Charlotte, who invited me to the camp in Batam, Indonesia.
I baptized on 20 May 2018
Despite the fact that Pastor Kim normally preached at the Thai Ministry, I found that Pastor Margaret's topics were more impactful to me because I was one of the only few working professionals in the Thai Ministry and Pastor Kim normally picked topics which were more relevant to most Thai housewives there. One day in February 2018, when I was waiting for my EP to be approved by MOM so I could start working at the new company, I found the verse quoted by Pastor Margaret so real:
You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God.
I wanted to test this, so one night, I prayed and left all the works there and went to sleep, believed that God could surely help me. Despite all the problems that I could not solve in the night, I did not find any problems in the morning and I could complete the task by the deadline. It was unbelievable, but it was true. Compared to the case I faced several years ago, many problems that were problems were still problems in the morning because I did not ask God for any help. I could still recall the bad days when I could not finish the work. I was stressed and could not sleep. It was so difficult to finish it.
The story of me in the Church does not end here, and this will never end. After I felt the pressure of micro-management in the Thai Ministry, I went to the main service at Trinity and found that there were more topics covered and more suitable for working adults like me. Anyway, the workload was much more than before so I stopped going to the church for a while. In 2019, I met Alex and his friends who invited me to Heart of God Church . At this church, with the vibrant and energetic environment, I wish that I can grow more and know more about Christ. I made so many new friends, John, Clement, Kelvin, Jolie, and 50+ more people who made me feel warm and welcomed in this new environment and I also learned so many new things from Pastor How and Pastor Garrett. So, before this article gets too long, why don't we end here and continue in the next chapter?