Changes Occurring For the Purpose of Serving God
After Sumit’s mother had gone to heaven for a time, Wichai Panyangarm introduced him to Pastor Taksin Chanphong, Church of Jesus - Pattaya. Taksin wanted Sumit to serve God with him in videotaping the worship service and having the tapes sent to Pattaya.
It was at this time, the leaders of Hope of Bangkok church sent an invitation letter for him to join them for a meal together and discuss about the church’s 7 th year celebration. During the same time, cell group meetings of Jaisamarn and Hope of Bangkok churches were in sessions at his house.
In the same year, Saphanluang church had chosen Sumit to be an elder. Before that, he had served the church as a deacon for 9 years, making a total of 11 years of service for God. He thanks God that even though he is an uneducated and quiet person but God has used him to speak up in order to give glory to Him.
The Church Belongs to God, Not Man
30 years ago, Saphanluang Chinese Church ’s leaders had discussed and made the decision to divide the church into two sections: Thai and Chinese churches. This was because the younger church members had gone to worship God in other churches due to language barrier. So, the first Sunday of each month was set aside for both congregations (Thai and English) to worship together in the same worship service. Ten years ago, some elders had got the idea of abolishing the Thai church and integrating it with the Chinese church (with an interpreter provided) for the reason that young members would be able to pick up some Chinese too. There were altogether 14 persons attending the meeting and 9 had agreed with the matter, with the objection of Thai church members (who did not have the right to object it!). However, a deacon (with better reasoning than before) had proposed all to reconsider the matter, thus causing 12 out of 14 to agree with the integration of Thai and Chinese churches. At that moment God had used Sumit (who never expressed his views in front of the meeting before) to speak out for the minority group of the church. He said loudly, “Why God had used Jesus’ disciple (Judas) to sell Jesus?” and “Why Judas, after staying with Jesus for 3 years, had sold Jesus?” After finishing his speech, he sat down immediately. There occurred a great silence in the meeting room. Everybody was startled. After a while, an elder had spoken up, “I myself don’t agree with the resolution because my 2 grandchildren, who have attended the Thai church, have asked me about this, but I could not answer them.” After that a reverend had stood up and explained God’s words about this to all and the resolution was cancelled. (Halleluja!)
The Thai congregation had continued its services ever since then. Later on, a Bible teacher from the Thai church went on a study leave abroad, and so another teacher had to be selected for the post. However, a senior church member had recommended a man who had graduated from the BIT (Division 7) and at that time, he was holding the position of division’s Youth President. This man was qualified to be selected because he was the most suitable one. A deacon had also recommended another 2 persons who had graduated from abroad. When the time came, God had also used Sumit to boldly recommend some teachers from other churches to help serve God. He then proposed the three to be selected. Again the meeting was in silence because nobody had thought about this before. Since the church had many groups: youth, youngsters, etc., so the three (Itthichai, Suchai, and Worapong) were selected to serve these groups. When Suchai resigned, Niphon from Chiangrai was accepted to replace him.
The Thai church members continued to increase from over 100 to over 200 after the three young men had joined the church. This has caused the multiplication of people and so an afternoon worship was started until now.
“Thank God for being with us who believe in him and for the fulfillment of His own works through us, Amen,” said Sumit.
Heart Burdened For Ministries
Saphanluang church’s women group had arranged a tour group to Taiwan in one October in order to visit churches there. In July, Sumit and his wife went to apply for their passports. It was a great blessing from God that in that month, Petcharat, Director of Way of Life, had come to persuade him to go to Korea with Jaisamarn church’s leader team. A ticket was available because one person had cancelled the trip suddenly due to his business engagement. Since Dr. Cho Yonggi had invited them to his church, all of the team were taken care of for the whole 7 days. They were taken to the prayer mountain, to various house churches, and to visit a home for elderly. Sumit decided to go since it might be the only chance in his lifetime. When recalling this, he said, “Thank God. If the church’s women group did not arrange the trip to Taiwan , I would have missed out going to Korea .”
Sumit had been greatly blessed from traveling to Korea with Jaisaman’s leader team. He recalled that the residence was a hotel located in front of Dr. Cho’s church. A welcome party was arranged the first night. On Sunday, the group worshiped in the church and a tour was arranged for them to see the church’s various activity groups. Sumit thanked God that he was granted the chance to see this gigantic church. The church’s membership was so huge that on Sunday mornings, a group of deacons had to act as traffic controllers. The next day, the group was taken to the immense prayer mountain. A welcome party was also arranged and Dr Cho made a welcoming speech with someone interpreting into Mandarin Chinese since a group of Taiwanese Christian was also there. After that a group photo was taken and then all moved on to the church’s various places: big prayer room, a home for elderly, etc.
After returning from Korea , Sumit had a burden for more praying and studying the Bible. He was also called from Saphanluang church to share about the trip with the elderly group. The group had for a long time set up activities for Bible study on Sundays ( 9.00 - 10.00 am ). The group’s membership had increased from 5 to more than 10. This elderly group had started from a wealthy Christian woman, who was one of Sumit’s former customers, expressing her wish to, after the church, gather Christian elderly people to pray, to have lunch, to practice singing, and to study Bible together until 14.00 pm . She also offered to provide for the meal. Only within one year, the membership had been increased to more than 20. Sumit had served in this group for 4 years and then the leadership was changed to a Bible teacher to replace him and that woman, who had met with an accident that crippled her. Sumit himself had made frequent travels to upcountry.
There was another miracle that happened to Sumit’s life. He had never ministered in songs by presenting a solo (not even thought of it!). However, God had used him with Khamhaeng Jaru-jaroenkamol, a saw music player, to make tour concerts (with Sumit singing along) in various churches in Bangkok . Khamhaeng had traveled to Korea with Sumit and Jaisamarn’s leader team 9 years ago. “This is a great blessing in my life,” recalled Sumit.
a saw music player
Bible study group
Sowing For Harvest
While teaching Bible in Saphanluang Church , Kaekai, a church member had persuaded Sumit and his wife to join a tour group, which was arranged by her morning’s exercise group members, to Chiangmai. She also told Sumit to prepare songs, to teach them how to sing while on the trip. There were altogether 22 persons in the group (only 5 were Christians). Before traveling, Kaekai told Sumit to lead in prayer for God’s blessing on the trip. Along the way, the tour guide had entertained the group members: leading in Mandarin songs, etc, thus making everyone very happy. After many hours, the guide had invited a woman to speak about Buddhism for quite a long time and then it was followed by distribution of books, and one explaining about meditation. This woman had spoken about Buddhism until they reached Chiangrai. After visiting many places in Chiangrai, the bus headed to Chiangmai. Upon arrival at a hotel, an appointment for exercise was made for 5.30, the next morning and at 7.00 everybody had to be ready for check out and move on. However, at 5.30 nobody appeared since the whether was so cold, Sumit then walked down to the market nearby. When he got back to the hotel, he walked up to his room and saw a well-dressed man smiling at him! At 7.00 everybody was ready to travel on to a flower garden. While on the bus, a woman complained about being fined 500 Bath for loosing her room key. She could remember that she had given the key to a man she did not know. Sumit then remembered the well-dressed man and told her that man was the hotel’s manager. Everybody persuaded the bus driver to return to the hotel to claim back that 500 Baht. After receiving the money back (with the help of Sumit), all tour group members applauded with gladness.
Trip at Chiangmai
God had shown His greatness to the 17 non-believers. As a result, the tour guide gave them the chance to talk about Christianity and to teach them some Christian songs. The song we sang together was “Tomorrow” which tells about the uncertainties of the future. When they had arrived at Lampang, many problems about the hotel occurred, causing a lot of fuss. All along the trip back to Bangkok , Sumit had the golden chance to teach Christian songs and tell the story of the prodigal son. Everybody had listened intently until arriving Bangkok . Many had requested him to tell more stories and three of them accepted the fact that God existed. One of them, used to attend a Bible class when she was young, told us about a medical doctor living nearby her house. That doctor had told her about God’s story and his love for his neighbors had impressed her. Sumit concluded, “Thank God…He has His own time. When we are in God’s time, He would use us to be fruitful for Him.”
From Bangkok to Omkoi
After having served at Saphanluang Church for 5 years, Woraphong and Niphon finally resigned from the church. Niphon then went to serve God in Chiangrai province. One day Woraphong had persuaded Sumit and his wife to visit Niphon and then move on to Amphur Omkoi. Woraphong had a heart, burdened for the church and people in this amphur and its vicinity, thus causing altogether 4 trips (himself + Sumit) to the same place.
However, two years later, Loipor, a teacher from Sabomhet Church in Omkoi, had traveled to Bangkok and visited Sumit. He thus reported about the progress of the church’s building and at the same time invited Sumit and his wife to participate in the church’s opening ceremony. Before the opening day, Woraphong had called from Chiangmai to persuade Sumit and his wife to take a train from Bangkok to Chiangmai and from there to Omkoi (together with him), in order to attend the revival meeting by a God’s servant from Australia . After arriving Omkoi, Sumit’s wife was so impressed with the climate and atmosphere of the place that she wanted to buy or build another residence in the area. Loipor then recommended a plot of land (nearby Sabomhet Church ) with 30 longan plants and one house on it at the price of 165,000 Baht. Sumit (without thinking) had bought it and thus a deposit was paid to the owner.