I grew up in a family that knew nothing about God. We worshipped the spirits of the land and of our ancestors. I am from the Khmu people of Southeast Asia.
When I was a young boy, a local pastor from another village came to our village every week to host a children’s club. He taught us about God and especially about the life of Jesus. I was fascinated when I heard the stories of Jesus’ miracles, like healing diseases and raising people from the dead! At that time, I was very curious to know if this Jesus was actually God. Education was a great need in my life, so I decided to pray and see if God was really powerful enough to help me. I wanted to go to high school, but my parents could not afford to send me. So I prayed to God and said, “If you are real, please make a way for me to study in school?”
Soon after I prayed, God answered. Amazingly, the pastor came to me and told me that there was an opening at a Christian student center where I could live and attend the local high school! That is when I first began to understand God’s power to help me.
I moved to the Changed Life Center and began my studies. It was there that I really learned about God and about his love for me. Many times, when problems came and I didn’t know what to do, I would pray to God and he would help me. God changed my life and blessed my family, even though they still do not know him.
God has given me a love for the people in my home village and now I have a desire to complete Bible college and return to my village to share the Gospel with everyone there. I want them to know the love and power of God as I do.
Sunthon's StoryI was born into a family that practiced animism, meaning we paid homage to the spirits. When I was eight years old, my family moved from Laos into a Khmu village in Thailand. At that time, I began to attend a Seventh Day Adventist church with my mother. When I was twelve years old, I was baptized.
Sometime later, my mother re-married and her new husband didn’t like me. He was violent and threatened to kill me, so I left school, moved away to live with other relatives and began working.
During this time, I forgot all about God and began to follow the ways of others around me. I got involved in drinking, doing drugs and going from one relationship to another. I was living for pleasure but I was not experiencing true joy. Eventually, I returned to my mother’s village, but I did not change my lifestyle. I continued to search for happiness in all the wrong ways. My life seemed to be without purpose, so I turned to alcohol. I was desperate and hopeless.
One day, a team of Khmu leaders came from a church in another village and began sharing the Gospel from house to house. When they came to my mother’s house, at first I was not interested. But when they began talking about the possibility of changing your life through God’s power, I started to listen. I remembered the things that I knew as a child. I decided to return to God.
Since re-committing my life to God, my life has changed. I have become more patient, more thoughtful of others, and I’m striving to be a better husband, father and son. I’m working as the groundskeeper at the Changed Life Center and taking Bible college courses to increase my knowledge. I’m preparing to be a better servant in the church in my village.
The greatest change that God has brought into my life has been overcoming my angry, self-centered way of living and giving me a new way to live. Whatever decisions I face, I’ve learned to ask the question, “God, what do you want me to do?” That is the way to have new life! Although my circumstances have not changed, I know that I have changed. And I know that God is with me, whatever happens.