“A Broken and Contrite Heart” – Attapon’s Testimony
Posted by danneker on February 2nd, 2020 | 2 comments
I was born into a Christian family. My grandmother was the first in the family to come to saving faith after hearing the Gospel from C&MA missionaries. I was raised in the church and accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 14 years old and was baptized. But as I began hanging out with friends in the neighborhood, I started to act the opposite of how a Christian should act. I began to not listen to my parents and be disobedient. As I got older, I got more rebellious, dropped out of technical high school, but I did eventually get my high school equivalency degree.
When I was 18, I didn’t want to study anymore, so I went to Bangkok to work. I hung out with friends at the factory and in the neighborhood. I did not attend church for three years. I was just a Christian in name only. I began to use drugs at that time and eventually began to sell them too. I did not contact my family during this time.
When I was 22 years old, I began to question my lifestyle and wonder what happened to me and why I was doing this. A week later I was arrested along with my friends as part of a sweep to deal with the drug situation in my area. I was eventually released, but then did not know what to do. I wasn’t brave to go home and face my parents. The arrest, complete with pictures, was reported on the national news. My parents saw the news. My older sister called me when she heard the news. If she had not contacted me, I probably would have gone back to this rebellious lifestyle because I didn’t know how to escape it.
My sister cried on the phone and asked how I was doing. I told her I had been released and did not have to go to prison. I agreed to meet her and my brother-in-law at a fast food restaurant. As we talked, they just asked how I was doing. They did not talk about God, but just showed their love and concern for me. My brother-in-law offered to take me back home to my parents. I agreed to go with him because I was tired of my current life and really wanted to see my mom. When I got home, my mom did not scold me or anything, she just gave me a big hug and showed her love for me.
After that, I figured I would try a different job in Bangkok, this time as a security guard. I was still not living for the Lord yet and started to follow the friends again. This time I started to gamble. My sister and brother-in-law offered to take me back home another time. I really did not know what to do. I couldn’t quit smoking, as much as I tried. I couldn’t quit the drugs either and now I was gambling. My mom suggested I go and live with my sister and her family. My sister had just given birth to her first child and my mom suggested I could help take care of my niece. I so I went to the Mahapawn Living Water Church (C&MA) where my brother-in-law is the pastor. It was the first time I ever held a new-born baby.
My brother-in-law began to disciple me. I began to read the Bible a little more. And I began to pray to God. I told God I did not know what to do now. I wanted to go back to work and not be a burden on my sister’s family. But my brother-in-law said I could just help out at church, do the cleaning and other things. He asked me what God was teaching me in His word. I told him I really liked: 1 Corinthians 7:23 “You were bought at a price…” He encouraged me to continue to live at the church with his family and let God help me change my life. I praise God, the Lord began to change my life little by little after that. I began to have a burden to serve the Lord, but again I wasn’t sure what to do with that desire.
After that I had the opportunity to join a discipleship program for ten months with a C&MA Thai pastor in Khon Kaen (northeast Thailand). During that time, I grew in my faith and I continued to feel the call of God on my life to serve Him.
I praise God for His mercy and grace that is gradually making me new in Christ. Before my goal in life was to be rich. Now I am asking God what purpose He has for me on earth. I knew at that time I was here to serve the Lord. I was becoming a gentler person, a big change from the angry and rebellious person I had been. I was able to quit everything: alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling. This was not in my own strength, but after prayer God helped me just quit these things with no side effects.
God has also given me a burden to be a witness for Him and share my faith with anyone who will listen. I received God’s forgiveness and I have been able to forgive myself for the mess I had made of my life. I also reconciled with my family. I was able to meet my birth father for the first time in 18 years and forgive him for abandoning the family when I was so young. I am also experiencing real peace in my heart.
I praise God I now have the opportunity to study the Bible at the Bangkok Bible Seminary and prepare myself to serve the Lord. This would not have been possible without the scholarship from the Siam Mission (C&MA). I am so thankful to receive this scholarship.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
If you would like to contribute to this scholarship fund to help Attapon and other Thai C&MA young people prepare for ministry, go to www.cmalliance.org/give and type in under special projects: “Bible School Scholarships/Thai workers”.