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Testimony of Phanukorn Nontasak (Keng)

My name is Phanukorn Nontasak. Everyone calls me Keng. I am now 23 years old. I have believed in God since I was 19 years old. I was born into a Buddhist family as are most Thai people. Before, I didn’t have any knowledge about God and I had never thought that I would be a Christian. One day, I saw some news on TV about Thai Christians who had a meeting together. I used to think bad about them, and blame them in my heart… “why do Thai people change to be Christian?” I thought Christianity was for foreigners and that maybe all Thai people who changed to be Christians wanted to look like they were part of “high society,” wanted to speak English, and wanted to have a luxurious life like foreigners. I didn’t understand about God and His stories and thought most Thai people must think the same way I thought.

When I was studying in High School in Grade 10, I was a basketball player. I got injured while playing basketball and broke both my wrists. I had to take muscle relaxants every day for almost a year, and when I was in Grade 11, I broke my ankle. Then in Grade 12, I broke my thumb. All these injuries were from playing basketball. I wondered why I had gotten so many broken bones over the 3 years I was in High School, each time in a different place. I felt so terrible and I always thought “why me?” What had I done wrong in my life? Why not someone else? From all of those injuries, I was on muscle relaxants for 3 years. Altogether I took about 1000 pills. After time, the effects from the medicine made my brain abnormal. I felt different and I couldn’t control my body. I felt so terrible. During Grade 12, I started feeling bad and not wanting to go to school because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I took my exams without thinking at all. Finally, I told my family and my school what was happening. I finished High School only because everybody around me understood my situation.

I was still sick and my symptoms continued every day. I had to go see the doctor at the hospital and for 2 more years continued to take the muscle relaxants. I went to see the monk, and went everywhere else that people said that I could find healing. But it never happened. I laid down in my bed every day with the same sorrow. I couldn’t go out anywhere. I felt my future was going to end. I had been thinking about killing myself because everything in my life seemed bad. All my friends had gone on to University for about a year already, but I couldn’t continue to study. I had no future really, and nobody could heal me.

One day, I saw an advertisement on TV about a book called, “Power for Living.” In the book were stories of famous Thai stars such as Boy Kosiyapong, Puu Anchalee, and others. They said that if you read this book, your life would change. This book was a free gift. So, I called immediately and they really sent me the book for free! When I started to read it, I realized that it was a Christian book. They said, “If you believe in God, and pray to receive Christ into your life, your life will change. God will help you in everything. Everything will be in his plan and you will go to heaven.” After I read it, I felt this invitation was so wonderful and I really wanted to be healed and have a better new life.

On that day, I spent time thinking, “Why is it too easy to be a Christian? You just have to really believe God will answer your prayers. Why don’t you have to be a Christian since you were born? Why did God offer to help us? Why did the famous stars and Christian business persons share their stories as evidence of God as the answer? Why did they spend many millions of baht (Thai currency) to do advertising and give out this book for free? I started to use reason. I had known that Christ’s religion was the religion that had the most believers in the world. I thought, “If the God who has the most believers in the world can’t save my life, then no one in the world can.” I had heard the word “God” so often in the movies and other media.

I wondered why the Christian countries were highly developed, but other countries were poor. I see Christian continents as Europe, America, and Australia. They have mostly only one God. Why are they so developed, but why not Asia, or Africa, where they have a lot of gods but are very poor. It seems that if they have a lot of gods or spirits, they should be highly developed, but it’s not like that.

I saw that the story of God was famous, the Christian faith all over the world began with Jesus’ birthday. Christmas and Easter are celebrated all over the world celebrate and come from Christianity. Why would so many people in the world believe in the Holy Spirit and Heaven and Hell? I started to believe as they did, that God is real. That day so many explanations came into my thoughts, and I started to feel that this God was very great and famous. I couldn’t believe that this God would offer to save my life in spite of me not being born into a Christian family and never knowing any Christian stories.

The next night, I made the decision to invite God to come into my life. I stayed in my room and prayed to accept God. Everybody in my house knew nothing. I wasn’t brave enough to tell them because they’re all Buddhists. After that day, I prayed to God that I wanted to be healed. I didn’t pray every day, but every once-in-a-while, and I decided I could wait for God. When I would be healed was up to God. I was so happy that my life was in God’s plan.

After I accepted God in my life, only 4 months later, I was healed! Even though I had been brain sick for 2 years and nobody could help me, the famous God healed me! I was so happy. My life was starting to change, including my habits, the way I acted, and my friends. I was so happy and I went on with my life, including beginning to study at the University. I could go everywhere I wanted and I could have a normal life. I was studying in the Chinese language and I did so good with my studies in spite of never being very good in studies. I had tried to do it before, but never understood. Now I could do everything…sports, activities, or any jobs and I could do them well. My life was changed so much and I could feel this was not how I’d been before. So I thought about God more often. I started to pray every day, but I wasn’t brave enough to let anyone in my family know. I would wait until all the people in the house were sleeping, then I would pray alone on my bed. My life was better every day, and I felt even closer to God. My GPA was better, and everyday I didn’t have to worry at all, because I knew God would help. I prayed for everything in my life and that I would follow God’s plan. If you are worried, it means that you have not trusted God.

I started to know this God more and more. But I knew nothing. I had no Christian friends and no Christians in my home. So, I went to search on the Internet and they said we should read from the Bible, but I didn’t have a Bible. So, I prayed to God that I would get a Bible. I wanted to know more and more. I waned to know what God wanted me to be. So, I went to a lot of book shops, but I never found a Bible. So, I tried to order one from the internet, but nobody sent me one.

After about 1 month, I went to Bangkok with my father. On the way, we talked about many things. Suddenly, my father talked to me about Moses separating the Red Sea. My father told me that in his room he had a Bible. I was so excited when I heard that! When we arrived at his home, I hurried to go to my father’s room and looked for the Bible. I found it, and took it out of my father’s room and hid it in another place without telling my father. I was so thankful to God. Later, I asked my father about how he got it. He told me that about 20 years ago he got it from one of his students (my father was a professor in the University), and he had almost sold it at a used books sale so many times, but he hadn’t.

After I got my Bible, I started to read from the very first page in Genesis. I felt so happy because I could know more about God, since creating the world. I continued reading, but I started to not understand. I told God that I was confused and I searched in the internet again. The internet information said to read the New Testament first. So, I told God that I would start from Matthew until the end, and prayed that God would help me understand it. During that time I read the Bible almost every day. Every time I read the Bible, I would wait until all the people in my house were asleep, then I would read it on the table in the kitchen, which felt very risky. If somebody woke in the night and found me reading the Bible, I thought they would be really mad. I continued reading little bits every day, little by little, until I read Matthew 6:5, which taught about prayer. It said, “Don’t pray in front of other persons, but go to a quiet room and close the door, then start to pray to God. What God sees you do and hears in private He will reward you for.” After that day, I waited until everyone was asleep, then I found an empty room, locked the door, and read the Bible and prayed every day.

I found that I didn’t have to worry about anything in my life, because I knew if I believe, everything would go on according to God’s plan. No matter what the problem, I would not be sad, because I knew that God let it happen and God always had a reason.

Once, I was searching on the internet about Christian practices because I really wanted to join with God. I found information about communion. It said to eat bread and drink grape juice to think about when Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for us and freed us from our sin. When I read it, I really wanted to do it to thank God for setting me free from my sin and giving me a new life. So, I went to 7-11 to buy some bread and grape juice. I had read that I should use bread without yeast, so I decided to buy some crackers and red grape juice and took them home. When everyone was asleep in my house, I prayed and read my Bible and did communion by myself with the crackers and red grape juice that I’d bought. I prayed to thank God who sacrificed for me and prayed that God would be with me forever. I continued reading, praying and eating until I’d eaten all the crackers and juice.

Everyday of my life I was walking with God. One day, I ran into a problem. My relative came to visit from another province. He wanted me to bring him to a Chinese temple, the same place I had gone to seek healing when I was sick. I thought, “I believe in only one God. What should I do?” I wasn’t going to go to show respect to the other god, but I thought maybe I could take him there. I wasn’t sure, so I asked God first. I needed a quick answer because my relative really wanted me to bring him to the temple. But, I didn’t know what God would answer. Then I ran into another problem at the same time. My friend had a girlfriend already, but he went to have another relationship with another girl and didn’t tell his girlfriend. He wanted me to lie to her for him. I had read in the Bible where it said don’t be a false witness and don’t be sin in regards to relationships. So, I asked God, “What do I do?” I knew my friend would get angry with me if I didn’t help him to lie to his girlfriend. I was so stressed, but I really chose God and I asked God to give me a way out. I prayed to God every day to give me the answer. Not long after that, I got an answer form the Bible. I remember I read, “If we bring people to other temples, even though we didn’t show respect to the idol, we still did the wrong thing in taking a person away from God. We would also have gone to eat at the temple. I was so thankful to God. And thankful to Jesus, and thankful for Paul (because I remembered those words were from Paul). I wondered, if I opened the Bible to find it again, would that passage still be there? So I kept reading 2 pages and I found other answer…it said “If you are a witness for the people who’ve done wrong in their relationship, we are also wrong too.” Those people, they don’t know the future, but we, who are God’s people, we know. So, don’t make lies for those people. Letting them hate you would be better than God hating you. Let all the people in the world hate you would be better than God hating you. I was so thankful to God and after I read it, I closed the Bible and wasn’t brave enough to open to read it again, fearing it would be gone from the pages. I was so happy and thought I would go to tell my mom that God had done a miracle. Before I went to tell her, I realized again that my mom didn’t know that I was a Christian. If I told her and opened the Bible to let her see, and if the part I had read was gone, my mom would think I was mad. So, I didn’t dare to tell her. Later, I tried to open the Bible and find the same passage, but all of what I read was seemingly gone. It seemed that the passage I read was really gone. After that, my relative came to ask me to bring them to the temple again. And this time I told him with boldness that I was a Christian and couldn’t take him there. I have only one God. I told my mom also. They looked at me very surprised and my relative said, “Why didn’t you tell me the first time?” So, I told them what I had found in the Bible, but I didn’t tell them that all the passages were gone. During this time, I received a lot of miracles from God. I felt that God wanted me to know that He was with me all the time.

One day, I was studying on the computer in the University in the computer room. It always opened and closed at a specific time. I had studied computers once a week, and used the same computer every week, but that day it was broken so I moved to another computer. At that computer there was a pack of paper, but I didn’t pay attention to it until the period was done and I prepared to go home. Then my friend asked me about the paper next to my computer. So, I opened to see what it was, and found that it was all songs about God and Jesus and made me feel that God was with me. I was so happy. One day my wallet was broken, but I didn’t have money to buy a new one, and I couldn’t find the one I liked. I kept praying to God that I really wanted a new one. I thought I would wait until my mom gave me money. I really wanted God to choose one for me. After I prayed to God for only 5 days, my friend who was Chinese came back from China and called me to go see him. He said he had a gift for me. He gave me a wallet, and on the wallet there was a cat picture which was like the one I wanted. I was so thankful that God had given it to me. I still get a lot of miracles and so much help from God…so many that I can’t even remember all of them. The blessings from God never end and have no limit.

From the first day that I invited God into my life, I had spent my life with God alone. I had no Christian friends, had never gone to a Church, and just prayed and read the Bible every day. A year after that, I thought that I wanted to go to church and I really wanted to have some Christian friends. I thought my God wanted me to go to church, because I’d seen people go to church in movies. On the internet, it said as a Christian I should go to church, but I hadn’t been brave enough to go because I didn’t have any knowledge of church. I just believed in God and I had no Christian friends. Finally, I decided to pray to God that I wanted to go to the church that God wanted me to go to…anywhere, anyday, anytime.

In Bang Saen area there are 2 churches – a Catholic church and The Life Center church (TLC). One day, after school in the afternoon, I rode my motorbike to the Catholic church, but I found nobody there. I tried to find people in that place, but nobody was around. Then I went back home and told God that I would go to TLC later. I went by TLC once, but didn’t dare to go in. So, I remembered their telephone number from in front of the door and went home. I called from my house. Someone answered the phone and said I could go to the church that Sunday and I didn’t need to be shy. So, on Sunday I went to the TLC church for the first time in my life. I found a lot of Christian people who were all so friendly to me. I have continued to go to TLC to this day, and I found out later that the Catholic church was different from the protestant church, TLC.

I have believed in God for 2 years already. The first year I spent time with God alone, and for the second year, I went to the church and have had Christian friends. Now, my family, my friends and my relatives know I am a Christian, and they’ve accepted it. I believe that they’ve all seen my life get better since becoming a Christian. I am so thankful that God saved my life.

Since the first day I received Christ, until now, the blessings from God still continue as I’ve told you. I’ve forgotten some of them, and I don’t have time to tell you all of the miracles I remember. My life has definitely been changed from before I believed in God to now. I used to have no shame or guilt when I sinned, but after believing in God, I always feel guilty when I sin. I know God gives me this feeling.

Now my life with God continues and I always want the things in my life go on according to God’s plan. I will serve God and will be everything that God wants me to be. Because, without God, my life was getting bad and I worried every day and didn’t know where I was going after I died. Thank you God!

One of my favorite Scripture passages is James 1:6-7. “But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind. You must not think that you will receive anything from the Lord.” I thought, we have to believe in God with all our strength, wait for God, know that God is real. To believe in God, I don’t think is hard. It depends on your heart. If choose to believe in God, and make time to pray, and read the Bible only in our spare time, that is not right! Because, God is all of our life! We can be lacking in other things, but we can’t be lacking in God or our life will get worse! I believe that all people who believe in God with no doubt will find God. And all of Psalms 139 is full of the promises from God. God told me He is with us all the time and every second. God knows and sees everything that we are doing, such as sleeping, standing, eating, and even thinking. God always knows because He is everywhere. When we will pray, before we think, before we speak…God already knew. So, I encourage you that God will always listen to all your prayers. Just believe.