I was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, a country that has a population of 64,600,000. Thais are 95% Buddhist, 4% Muslim, and 1% Christian and other faiths. I was a Buddhist.
I was educated in the renowned schools and university in Thailand. After finishing my Bachelor’s degree, I was ordained to be a Buddhist monk by the Highest Supreme Monk. Our traditional belief is that when a man over twenty years old becomes a monk, he is doing it not only for himself but also for his parents and family. I was engrossed in Buddha’s Teachings, started practicing meditation, felt peace and happiness, and wanted to be a monk for the rest of my life. I mentioned my desire to my mother, but she preferred that I live a normal person. I was a monk for one month. My master was a supreme monk who taught me every day.
My life after being a monk was fine. I was both sad and happy, both satisfied and dissatisfied. I held onto the Buddhist precepts which are “do not kill any creatures, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not lie, and do not drink alcohol.” I helped the Buddhist temple by being a layman.
After coming to Texas in 2002, I was under a lot of stress. I thought at that time that the people around me were upsetting me. I felt no peace and wanted to move to a new place. I had been looking for a new apartment for two weeks but didn’t find one that I liked. I was very down and called my friend on August 17, 2005, and was told to ask Jesus and I would receive. On that night I knelt down next to my bed and said, “Jesus, I am a Buddhist. My friend told me to talk to and ask You. I want to move to a new place because I feel so down. Please help me find an apartment that I like or let me be happy again at this apartment if You want me to stay here. Thank you so much.” I spoke in Thai and in English in case He did not understand Thai. The next day, August 18, was my birthday. I went to do the merit at the Buddhist temple which I was a layman. I had lunch with the abbot and donated money to the temple. After lunch, I went to an apartment complex that I had been to before. The apartment manager told me that she had good news for me. She said, “We have a vacant apartment for you now.” She showed me the apartment. I liked and took it. I did not know if it was from Jesus or from Buddha.
After that, I still sat in meditation and chanted in Buddhist beliefs. The next week, I met a Thai Christian from Austin. She came to visit my friend and gave me a copy of the Holy Bible (NIV version). She told me that God had talked to her many times. I felt funny about that because I worshipped many gods but none of them had ever talked to me. In early September 2005, I felt in my heart that I had to grab or hold onto only one side. I tried to find a way to see which side was the real one. I usually called my wife, who lived in Bangkok, once a week. The last time that I had called her was the night before and the last time that she had called me was six months before that. I asked God at 1:30 am, “If You are really God, please make my wife call me right now, and I will follow you and your Ten Commandments.” I thought at that time that to follow Him was to follow His Ten Commandments. And then, my cell phone rang. It was my wife. I was so happy that I had found the real God. That call has completely changed me, my life, my wife, my family, my friends and the ones around me. Thank God for His grace and for bringing me and others from the darkness into the light.
I started reading the Bible, praying (talking) to God and going to church. I had fellowship with other Christians. The more I did, the more I felt God’s love. It was a relationship that made me feel safe, secure, and not alone. I felt forgiveness and love from Him. I felt His glory. I had much more confidence than I had before. My wife accepted the Lord on July 23, 2007.
Now I am serving Him in the Mark W. Stiles prison unit in Beaumont, Texas as a volunteer chaplain. I have really found life. I have real joy and strength that is constantly growing as I serve my Lord. I thank and praise Him for His Call.