Conversion Story of Associate Professor Wirach Wisawa-Sukmonchol, MD, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
by Vachiravan Vanlaeiad
Wirach was the eldest son of Chiu family, his father was migrated from Canton, Mainland China, and his mother a Chinese descendant born in Thailand. Unfortunately, his father was dead when he was only 10 years old.
Thank God that his mother, who was only a high school graduate, could play the role of both Father and Mother to him and his younger siblings (a brother and a sister). She had dedicated her whole life to provide best education for her kids because she and her husband had placed a high value on education. As a result, Wirach had successfully graduated in Medicine from Chulalongkorn University; his brother and sister in Engineering and Nursing respectively from other institutions.
Despite his mother’s very tough life, she had made sure that her offspring would attend the best schools. A Catholic school then was chosen for Wirach, resulting in his strong academic life, and some knowledge about God and His miraculously-born Son.
Due to being born into a traditional Chinese family plus having encountered with hardships at such a young age, Wirach was religious. As a firstborn son, he had entered into monkhood when he was a sophomore. According to Thai Buddhist belief, the best way for a son to render gratitude to one’s parents was to be ordained as a novice or monk, because in this way his parents would receive highest merits, both in this life and the next.
Wirach was an extremely hardworking and highly self-confident student. After passing the entrance examination to study in the university’s Faculty of Medicine, enabling him to be academically number one in his whole neighborhood, his self-confidence had since been increasing day by day. However, although his favorite subjects and interests for his whole life were science, he was a very devout Buddhist and, especially, a champion collector of small images of Buddha and various amulets!
After the university graduation in 1978, he had to serve as a resident doctor for two years in a government hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province (a southern province of Thailand), in order to repay the government. Prior to going upcountry, he was married with his long-time sweetheart, the present Walapa Wisawa-sukmonchol, Ph.D. She was pretty and smart. They thus made a perfect couple. Walapa was then a registered nurse working with the Bangkok Christian Hospital. Following her marriage, she had to resign from that hospital to work at a Christian Hospital in the same province. At this time Dr Wirach had the chance to deliver his first daughter, increasing his already high self-confidence.
Walapa was also a devout Buddhist, being very religious and an avid spiritual seeker since childhood. While working with the Bangkok Christian Hospital, she had experienced Christianity for the first time. The paintings of Jesus Christ hanging in the patients’ rooms and His life story had especially fascinated her.
After two years of internship ended, Dr Wirach had moved back to Bangkok to further his study in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Obs/Gyn) at Chulalongkorn University in 1980. His wife then had to resign from her job also. Thank Jesus that she was received back to work at Bangkok Christian Hospital.
Not long after working with the hospital for the second time, Walapa had visions of a long-hair guy in white garments for two consecutive nights. Dr Wirach had dismissed the dreams, claiming these were only the results of her consistently seeing the paintings of Jesus while visiting the in-patients. Walapa, nevertheless, was not discouraged by her husband’s unhealthy attitude towards this new religion called Christianity. She had since wholeheartedly sought after the man of her dreams, and finally opened up her heart to accept Him as her personal Lord and Savior when a minister from Jaisamarn Church came to preach to all hospital staffs one morning. Moreover, after 2 years of conversion, she had resigned from the hospital to work with the church as a full-time staff with a meager salary (compared with the one she had received from the hospital), which made Dr Wirach even more offended. He had accused her of being very stupid, being misguided and misled by a foreign religion!
Walapa’s new joy and peace resulting from accepting Jesus into her heart would cause extreme heartbreaks long afterwards. She had confronted with constantly severe resistance from her husband for more than 10 years, despite during the time her mother-in-law and her children also became the church’s regular attendants.
Dr Wirach was so resistant and aggressive that he had made a vow to never, in his whole life, set foot into the church. Yet he made a BIG mistake when he had once told his wife that if their next child were a boy, he would participate in the child’s dedication ceremony at church! The reasons he had grudgingly made that promise was that they had already had two daughters and that sons were highly valued by the Chinese. Praise the Lord that the one and only son was born into their family, Dr Wirach then had to swallow his words by stepping inside the church for the first time!
During ten years of aggressive resistance from her husband, many a time Walapa wanted to file a divorce with her husband but this would be against the Bible. During these long periods of predicament, Dr Wirach, however, allowed his wife and children and his own mother to attend church; and sometimes he even went out of his way to drive them there! He, as a family man, thought this could keep his family together. While they were at church on Sundays, he would pray and meditate on the Lord Buddha’s teachings as well as increase his enormous collection of amulets and small Buddha images. Once in a while he tried to read his wife’s Bible but he could not go over it for more than two pages because it was full of miracles, especially the miracle of Jesus’ birth, which was in no circumstances acceptable by him who was then an Obs/Gyn expert.
Dr Wirach was not only certified both by Chulalongkorn University and the Medical Council of Thailand as a specialist in Obs/Gyn in 1982 and 1985 respectively, he had also taken a Post-Graduate Medical Training Course and subsequently received the Diploma in Operative Gynaecologic Endoscopy from the University of Auvergne, France, in 1985. As a result, the miraculous birth of Jesus was to him a nonsense, and even a downright lie! He absolutely would never accept any pregnancies without sperms.
And although Cloning is the most advanced technology in making copies of human or any other beings: a process which creates new beings without resorting to or depending on reproductive process; the beings created or produced are not completely identical to the original ones. The cloning has rendered very low-quality beings. For ex: they are easily aged and have very short lives due to cell deterioration. This is because the creatures are not produced by sex cells which are genuine life sources.
With the above reasons plus his highly self-confidence, thinking he would and could control everything in life, Dr Wirach was very insistent in his own ways and had tried his best to find faults in the Bible’s many miraculous stories.
However, in 1984, Dr Wirach had traveled to France to take a 6-month course work of Operative Gynaecologic Endoscopy. At that time he was extremely proud and assured of himself since he was one of the world’s first few doctors/specialists having the chance to further study in this special technique. Living and studying in France had nearly half diminished his confidence due to various difficulties and barriers both in daily and academic life. He had been given an assignment by his advisor, Prof. M.A. Bruhat, to collect all data and information from the Epidemiology Unit, which was located in Paris. These data and info then had to be analyzed and made into a research work.
During these times, he had confronted with serious fund shortages, awaiting funds to be sent from Bangkok. Even though his wife had then run a family business, economic slowdown was just begun in Thailand. And although he and his wife had made constant contacts both via letters and phones, he would never tell her about his problems since he was so convinced that he could solve any issues…could control everything.
For six days and nights he had been worrying over funds to be expended for traveling to Paris, etc. If he did not have money, how could he collect the data/info from Paris? And if he could not get the data, how could he meet the deadline set by his advisor? Up to this time, his self-confidence had been decreased to nearly one-fourths!
While waiting for the funds, he had to make mediation in order to calm his mind and suppress his worries. And while sitting and meditating and staring at the stars glittering in the night sky, he could not find peace. He had been trying to find solutions to his problems with the utmost of his abilities and intelligence but to no avail. He had been at his wits’ end for the first time in life. At this time he could not stand it anymore, he then looked up to the late night sky contemplating the existence of God whom his mother and wife had worshiped…the God whom he had offended for more than 10 years. He began negotiating with this God that if He could help him with the following: (1) money sent from Bangkok in time, (2) postponing Prof. Bruhat’s deadline, (3) providing cheap shelter in Paris for him, (4) equipping him with sufficient communicative French in order to retrieve the needed data from authorities in Paris, etc.; he would go to church from then on.
After waiting for the answers from God (which was like living in hell, he said) for two weeks, his advisor had summoned him. While on the way seeing Prof. Bruhat, he was worrying over many things. Should he tell him the truth that he did not have enough money to go to Paris? Or should he make up stories to cover up his failures of retrieving the data?
When he met with his advisor, he was shown two diskettes being loaded with all the data/info needed (thus canceling the trip to Paris!). Moreover, Prof. Bruhat had assisted him in using the McIntosh computer program to do the data analyses for two consecutive nights, and finally helped him make complete calculation and tables by using the analyzed data. Then the whole complete process was made into prints for him to make further analyses.
At that time he felt awestruck! He felt like being in heaven! He had since wholeheartedly opened his heart to accept this God who not only answered his prayers, but also miraculously granted his wishes. His ways of answering his prayers were much better and more effective than his own requests! This incident could not be explained by any scientific methods. This God was all-knowing. He was in control of everything. He was the Almighty One.
Consequently, after returning to Bangkok on 22 December 1984, Dr Wirach had made the most important decision in life in the beginning of 1985 to accept Jesus Christ into his heart to be his God, Savior, and Helper. During the long journey of his Christian life, he has been serving God by pastoring his own church, the Trinity Alliance; giving sermons/testimonies as guest speakers/preachers at various churches and Christian organizations as well as assisting in some charitable agencies throughout the country and all over the world.