Another Survival Event

Sumit had worked in various places during World War II until the war ended. He then had a chance to further his education. He was 12 and studied in Prathom 3. He studied Chinese and Thai one hour per day around two and a half years. Because of poverty, the school granted him only half of fee payment on the condition that he had to work for the school. This slowed him down in his studies and he fell far behind his mates in studying. He then resigned from the school. When he was 15, he went back to work in the same photograph shop. The owner’s family was Christian. Sumit had been practicing taking photos, developing and enlarging photos in the dark room for 6 years. And in the 7 th year, there was something wrong with his body. His body was thin and he’d got constant cough. Sumit did not know about going to see the doctor. However, the owner’s wife took him to see a doctor who gave him an x-ray and he was provided with a bundle of medicine. He had not gone back to see the doctor since then until April in which conscription day was set. Drawing the lot of black and red cards was the method for selecting the right person for the army. Sumit had been waiting for the drawing until afternoon. Then a soldier proclaimed that the ones who were not drawn from the lot had to return the next year since they already had enough conscripts. However, he accidentally met an old colleague who was working in a shop named “Thai Tri-mit Papayon.” The shop was in need of a staff working in the developing room. Sumit then went to work there with a monthly salary of 800 Baht.
 
          
 
 
Staff of currency exchange shop

Changing job was a way in which God had guided him because the owner’s brother-in-law was a specialist doctor in Yot Sae Tuberculosis hospital. First day at work, the owner saw Sumit’s symptom and told him to cure the disease before it was too late. Sumit himself did not know that the disease was fatal. Since the disease was highly contagious and caused much death in those days. The doctor told him that if he was late in curing the disease within one year, death was surely the result.

“When recalling this incident, I have to thank God for His omniscience. He had prepared and provided everything for me,” said Sumit. If he still worked in the old photograph shop and did not know what disease he was infected with, what would happen? And if he was selected to be conscript for 2 years, he would end his life in a military camp. God has planned everything in advance. We just follow His plans and He will come to rescue us in time.

Abundant Blessings Despite Working Without Purpose!

After working in the photograph shop for 2-3 years, the Bank of America hired the shop to process and enlarge its microfilms, thus pleasing the shop owner because his income could be increased. Sumit later had the chance to be a photographer of the bank and its staff’s families. Everyone in the bank called him “Brother Meng” as if he were one of them.

However, when Sumit was about 30 years old, after working with the Thai Trai-mit Papayon for 9 years, the church’s elder, named Tang Sio Hue had bought a duplicating machine (copying machine) for him to use. The operational method was the same as making contact prints of a photo without relying on the use of a dark room. With the help of a skillful operator, 2-3 prints could be produced per time. The selling price was 10 baht per print (the actual cost was only 3 baht). Sumit then made a contract with the shop owner to place the machine in the shop in exchange for his free, rendered service on the condition that the income occurred from the copying machine belonged wholly to him. After running this business for a period of time, he was able to make enough to pay back the church elder. Moreover, Sumit out-earned the shop owner, thus causing an unpleasant situation. Thank God that He had provided him with an avenue of escape.

One day, one of the staffs of the bank informed Sumit of an available space in his brother’s 2-room currency exchange shop (named Thai Tasanajon), which was located in front of a photograph shop. Since the shop was spacious enough, his brother could offer Sumit some space to do his business. Sumit immediately realized that this was from God. He immediately accepted the offer. His former boss, the photograph shop owner found the solution very satisfactory. Sumit then moved his duplicating machine to the new shop. He and the new shop owner shared the cost of the expenses as well as the profit earned. After working in that shop for 2 years, Sumit had earned enough money to liquidate a place in Soi Chula-Suanluang (nearby Saphanluang Church). He attended church often, thus making business contacts with the church members and finally he got to know Pornsuda, his future wife.

While working in the photograph shop, Sumit had had business involvement with 2 companies: Nanthawijit which was selling various photograph equipments, and Rochester which provided services on developing and enlarging color photos. After working with the currency exchange shop for less than 2 years, the rental period of the building had expired. The owner then had to move to Soi Patphong, Silom Road . This time God again revealed His other plan for him.

God’s Provision With A New Business

The owner of Rochester Company took Sumit on a survey trip all along the Petchburi Road. The purpose was the company’s interest for Sumit to open a photograph shop in that area. There were 2 reasons for the interest: 1) There were only a few photograph shops located along that road, and 2) there were many 3-star hotels in the same area, where many American GIs engaged in the Vietnam War stayed during their days off. The company had proposed that Sumit do this business by giving him 2-years credit on the condition that after 2-years, if the business did not turn out good, the company would cancel all his debts. While making a survey drive along the road, they encountered a signboard saying “shop to sell” hanging in front of a place located on the road. They stopped the car and entered to inquire from the owner, who turned out to be a member of Maitreejit Church. The liquidation agreement period was about 10 years left and the selling price was 145,000 baht. Sumit then sold his house in Soi Chula-Suanluang and the gold, which he had received as wedding gifts. Still the amount was short of 20,000 baht. He thus thought of his debtor – the owner of a movie taking company who had owed him (in the amount of approx. 50,000 baht) for many years. Sumit had no hope of getting back the money. However, God had told him to go see this debtor. Sumit told him about his situation. The company’s owner then made a check in the amount of 20,000 baht to Sumit, besides giving him equipments for enlargement of pictures and for polishing. He told Sumit that he had closed down the company and quitted movie-taking business, and would sell everything including his house and return to his hometown, which was in the southern part of Thailand.

After Sumit had paid for the new shop, the owner of Rochester Company brought workers to decorate the shop. Since these workers were skillful, the already decorated shop turned out very beautiful for only 20,000 baht of payment! The first payment of 8,000 baht was made from the money received from selling Sumit’s car and the rest was paid by installments. However, Sumit had only a beautiful shop but no accessories or equipment for use at the photographic studio so he discussed this matter with Nanthawijit who responded positively.So after everything had been set up, they handed him a bill amounting more than 100,000 baht. But when they were leaving, they told Sumit, “My boss told me not to collect money from this shop!” After the business had run for less than 2 years, Sumit could pay up the loan to both companies. (Thank God…Praise the Lord!)


Open ceremony of Photograph shop

Blessed With A Change of Jobs

After about 5 years working in this new shop, the Vietnam War had already ended and all GIs had returned to their homeland. The business volume was decreased to less than 20%. The only regular customers were people from the Bank of America. Not long after that, a customer from the exchange shop told Sumit to go take photos of a former Miss Thailand Universe in various luxurious hotels, in order to promote a new hotel with the tallest building (23 stories) in Thailand (at that time) which was soon to be opened. However, the head of the new hotel (Dusit Thani) was from the royal family and already he had his personal photographer. Sumit had a small chance of getting this job.

One day, he met his childhood playmate who advised him to open up a printing house. He then borrowed money from Bank of America in the amount of 150,000 baht. He invested almost 300,000 baht in this business, using the house which he had bought for his mother (whole downstairs area) as the operational place. The most important customer was the bank. However, Sumit had no experience and skills in running a printing house. He then faced a big and common problem: expensive paper for printing. The business had run for 1 year. Sumit then suffered a loss from many other problems. He thus made the decision to quit the business by selling all printing accessories and equipment from which the money was able to pay all loans to the bank. This lesson was very costly, and this is what he said, “This is the first time I use my own intellect and abilities, doing the thing which I don’t know, which I have no experience, with insufficient funds, thus ending at a spot where I have to depend on others .”
     

Dusit thani’s staff
 

After the bloody October day ( 16 October 1976 ), everybody had realized his/her own legal rights which resulted in a change of staffs at the Dusit Thani Hotel. The hotel’s presenter, former Miss Thailand Universe, had taken the post of hotel’s public relations officer. She told Sumit to work with her as the hotel’s photographer with the monthly salary of 4,500 baht. His duties included taking photos of activities in the hotel and have them sent to the local newspapers. Since he had his own photo-shop, he was able to gain some extra income from these jobs. His income from photo-taking out-beated his salary.

At that time, the video technology came into Thailand . Sumit then sent his two sons to learn how to operate the video (videotaping, cutting etc.) in order to open up a business under the name “RDC Video”. Sumit and his family had the chance to work with various Christian groups running TV series: Sawan Nai Ban (heavenly home), PTL, Thang Cheewit (the way of life), Good News, etc. As his children were able to operate the business well, he (at 52 years old) then made the decision to resign from the hotel with which he had worked for as long as 20 years. After the resignation, he has been seriously studying the Bible everyday ever since. However in this year, many changes and miracles had taken place in his life and family, both at work and in their personal lives (Halelujah ! Thank the Lord.).

 


 
currency exchange shop
Sumit & duplicating machine’s owner
from left
photograph shop’s owner (elder), Sumit, currency exchange shop’s owner, Rev.from church, duplicating machine’s owner

Rochester
Nanthawijit
Dusit Thani’s PR Dept.
   
   
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