Story of Sumit Wuthikulcharoenwong
Founder of a Christian Retreat Center
in Omkoi, Chiangmai Province
written in Thai by Saisiri Bunditmahasan
by “Vachiravan Vanlaeiad”
by “Chuanpit Kowae”
Sumit is Mother So-huay’s youngest child of
three, having one brother and one sister. He is married to Pornsuda
and together, have raised up 4 children: 2 sons and 2 daughters. Now
they have altogether 6 grandsons. He has been a member of Sapanluang
Church, a deacon and elder of the church. He was also Dusit Thani
Hotel’s full-time photographer. At present, he is spending most of
his time studying the Bible and copying the Bible’s Chinese edition
in order to attain competence in Chinese writing.
He was born in a poor family during the Second
World War period, able to afford only 3 years of formal education.
He was not good or interested in anything in particular and, of
course, had never dreamt of starting any business. However, being a
very diligent man, he was loved by business owners and colleagues.
He has been unexpectedly and miraculously supported by people sent
from God during every phase of his life. In various seemingly-worst
situations, he experienced God’s blessing’s which blossomed out
in joy and happiness. Because of God’s loving kindness, this man
could emerge from nothing (low education, incompetence, etc.) to one
who is used a lot by God.
Having been born into a poor family, So-huay,
Sumit’s mother, had no choice but to live with another family since
the age of 5. When So-huay had grown-up into womanhood, she was
forced into marriage and got 1 son (Sumit’s brother). However, her
husband died when her son was only 2 years old. After having been
many times persecuted by her sister-in-law since the loss of her
husband, she finally made the decision to leave the house to seek
after her long-departed parents since childhood. She then met a
group of people proclaiming the story of Jesus Christ. They invited
her to stay to listen to the story. She confined to a missionary
about her situation. Feeling very sorry for her, he welcomed her into
his home. So-huay continued to seek after her long-gone parents and
siblings. When she realized that her brother was working in Thailand
and had been sending money home to support his family in China, she
decided to travel together with her son and that missionary from
China to Thailand by sea in order to seek after her brother.
So-huay and her party traveled by ship for months
without knowing that her own brother was in a difficult situation.
Upon arrival, she was detained by the immigration officers because
her brother did not have the money to redeem her. He then requested a
matchmaker to contact some men to match-make for his sister and the
man who wanted her to be his wife could pay to redeem her. The match
maker had taken many men to see her but no one wanted her.
However, the last one, who had just opened a small drugstore
needed a housekeeper. He then paid for the ransom and took her home
with him as his wife. She finally gave birth to a daughter and a son
(Sumit). Due to a lack of funds in opening up the drugstore, Sumit’s
father then got a group of
people to play a game called “Shares.” Each one paid the same
amount of money and the total amount gathered from all will be handed
to one of the group and this game is repeated for the following
month. The last one to get his share will receive the whole sum with
the highest rate of interest collected per month from share holders.
This game is supposed to last 2 years and upon the completion of the
first year, the shareholders who had got their shares ran off and
Sumit’s father had to take the responsibility to pay up for them.
He thus borrowed money from an Indian and payment (principal +
interest) was made on a day-to-day basis. No sooner after the
payment was fully paid, the drugstore had to be closed down and all
belongings were confiscated. Then he went to work in Surin province
as a quack doctor. After working there about a year, he had to move
back home because of tuberculosis. He had spent all his money and
yet was not cured of the disease. When he knew that his disease was
incurable, before his death, he told his wife to sell the youngest
son (Sumit) to others in order to relieve her burden. After saying
his last words, he died. However, mother’s love is awesome! No
matter how poor she was, she never thought of selling her own
children. Instead, she tried her best to raise them up. She had
Ruamkatanyu Foundation to arrange for the funeral. He died at the
age of only 39 and Sumit was only 1 year old.
After losing her husband, So-huay did not know
what to do to raise her children since she had never worked for a
living, being a housewife. She had a meager sum of money left to buy
some vegetables to sell. However, the vegetables bought were in small
quantities per time so the money received was not enough to buy food
for the children. She then tried to find another way to get more
vegetables by picking up the vegetables of owners that had fallen
onto the ground. After doing this for many times, a vender used a
pole, chasing and beating her so hard that she had to give up her all
belongings and fled for life and never went back there. She was so
desperate. It seemed everything bad turned against her. She did not
have anyone to lean on so she thought of the missionary’s words
about praying to God and of God’s answering her prayers by granting
her the chance to meet her brother in Thailand. So she started to
cry and confessed her sins to God for her dishonesty and asked for
forgiveness from Him. She tried her very best to feed her children
by using money to buy rice and going to the market to collect the
thrown-away vegetables to cook food for them.
One day a close friend of her husband came to
visit the family without knowing that he had already passed away. On
seeing the family’s plight, he, out of pity, gave a sum of money to
her. At this moment God had opened the way for her to buy tools for
hair-cutting business despite her inability to cut hair. She had
tried so hard to raise the children. She started practicing by
cutting her children’s hair. Then she walked out of the house
everyday to find prospective customers. At first she could not find
even one customer. She persistently went out of the house everyday
and one day she found a Christian customer living nearby a church.
Not long she gained more customers, both regular and irregular ones.
When she went out of the house, she had to leave
her 3 children to be on their own. However, she had cooked a pot of
rice mixed with sweet potatoes for them. At that time, Sumit’s
brother was 7 years old and sister 3 years and himself only about 1
year old. The three had never had a chance to go to school.
When Sumit was nearly 1 year old, his brother and
sister had to take care of him. Everyday, his brother went out to
play with other children. He then carried his youngest brother with
him. He was only a small boy, so when he met his playmates, he left
his brother by himself and hurried out to play. Whenever he
remembered, he would come back to see if his brother was alright.
Once when he came back, he could not see his brother except for many
horses grazing and walking around the spot. He was very frightened.
Some adults had come to help carry his brother from those horses to
safety. God had protected him otherwise he would have been trampled
In former time, our house was only a room in a
building made of wood and built in the form of block houses. There
were two block houses facing each other with a well in the central
space. The well was in front of our room and people cooked in front
of their own rooms. One day, a neighbor was cooking and hearing
something that sounds like swimming in the well. She then walked
over the well and saw a child having fallen in it. Frightened, she
yelled for help, “a child fell into the well…but why he can
swim!?!” Some came to help the child (Sumit) out of the well.
This incident was talked about by the whole community. This was the
answer to So-huay’s daily prayer to God for taking care of her
children while she was out to make a living. Men could not help but
There was another incident. Housewives often came
out and did the washing every morning at a canal on which a plank
sized about one meter was laid nearby. And in the late morning,
children would come and swim at the same place. Sumit’s brother
would place him on the plank every time he came to swim with his
friends. Sumit was obedient and always stayed at the place where his
brother placed him. However, one day Sumit (only 3 years old) was
gone. His brother was so shocked that he shouted for help from
children playing nearby. Some assumed that he fell into the canal.
Fortunately a boy took him out of the water. He then placed him over
his shoulder so water could gush out of Sumit’s mouth. Sumit was
again saved for the second time. (Writing about this, the writer had
to praise God by saying Halleluja!)
So-huay went out to work early in the morning and
came back late at night. Before returning home she had to buy an
amount of rice enough for cooking the evening meal. When she arrived
at the market, it was so late that all stalls were closed and some
stall owners sold the vegetables at a very low price. Besides, she
also picked up thrown-away ones to cook food for her waiting
children. Life went on like this until Sumit was 7 years old. One
day, his sister told him to carry a pot of boiling rice and place it
on the table. However, he was still young and the pathway from the
cooking area to the table was slippery as it was also the bathing
area. He then slipped and fell and the boiling rice poured down over
his body. The boiled rice was so hot that he could have died or
severely injured. God had planned in advance an old neighbor having
a good heart and a special healing method. That old lady had been
keeping used tea leaves in an earthen jar for a long period of time.
When she saw the incident, she then brought the used tea leaves and
put them over Sumit’s body. She did that many times as the used
leaves could draw away heat caused by the boiling rice. Thank God
that he had no sores or scars.
When Sumit was 11 years of age, he started to
work. He had worked in various places: being a shoemaker, a
dishwasher, a vendor and finally an apprentice in a photo shop.
During the apprenticeship period, he nearly died from an electric
shock. The shop owner had heard of Sumit’s scream and rushed to
see, finding him lying on the floor. He tried to help by carrying
him and got himself also shocked. Fortunately, a worker in a
developing room who caused the
shock came out of the room and saw both of them. He then pulled of
the other end of the electric line. This is another incident that
God had saved Sumit’s life.
During the World War II, So-huay was a haircutter
and evangelist. While cutting the children’s hair, she would tell
them the story of Jesus in the Bible. She however did this until she
was 50 years old. She then had a chance to join with the church’s
women group to go visit the church members on every Sunday afternoon.
And on every Thursday, she joined Thien Sung Church group to do the
same visitation. She did that until she turned 87 years old.
Everybody in the church called her “Aunty-the Haircutter”.
Sumit had worked in various places during World
War II until the war ended. He then had a chance to further his
education. He was 12 and studied in Prathom 3. He studied Chinese
and Thai one hour per day around two and a half years. Because of
poverty, the school granted him only half of fee payment on the
condition that he had to work for the school. This slowed him down
in his studies and he fell far behind his mates in studying. He then
resigned from the school. When he was 15, he went back to work in
the same photograph shop. The owner’s family was Christian. Sumit
had been practicing taking photos, developing and enlarging photos in
the dark room for 6 years. And in the 7th year, there was
something wrong with his body. His body was thin and he’d got
constant cough. Sumit did not know about going to see the doctor.
However, the owner’s wife took him to see a doctor who gave him an
x-ray and he was provided with a bundle of medicine. He had not gone
back to see the doctor since then until April in which conscription
day was set. Drawing the lot of black and red cards was the method
for selecting the right person for the army. Sumit had been waiting
for the drawing until afternoon. Then a soldier proclaimed that the
ones who were not drawn from the lot had to return the next year
since they already had enough conscripts. However, he accidentally
met an old colleague who was working in a shop named “Thai Tri-mit
Papayon.” The shop was in need of a staff working in the
developing room. Sumit then went to work there with a monthly salary
of 800 Baht.
Changing job was a way in which God had guided him
because the owner’s brother-in-law was a specialist doctor in Yot
Sae Tuberculosis hospital. First day at work, the owner saw Sumit’s
symptom and told him to cure the disease before it was too late.
Sumit himself did not know that the disease was fatal. Since the
disease was highly contagious and caused much death in those days.
The doctor told him that if he was late in curing the disease within
one year, death was surely the result.
“When recalling this incident, I have to thank
God for His omniscience. He had prepared and provided everything for
me,” said Sumit. If he still worked in the old photograph shop and
did not know what disease he was infected with, what would happen?
And if he was selected to be conscript for 2 years, he would end his
life in a military camp. God has planned everything in advance. We
just follow His plans and He will come to rescue us in time.
Blessings Despite Working Without Purpose!
After working in the photograph shop for 2-3
years, the Bank of America hired the shop to process and enlarge its
microfilms, thus pleasing the shop owner because his income could be
increased. Sumit later had the chance to be a photographer of the
bank and its staff’s families. Everyone in the bank called him
“Brother Meng” as if he were one of them.
However, when Sumit was about 30 years old, after
working with the Thai Trai-mit Papayon for 9 years, the church’s
elder, named Tang Sio Hue had bought a duplicating machine (copying
machine) for him to use. The operational method was the same as
making contact prints of a photo without relying on the use of a dark
room. With the help of a skillful operator, 2-3 prints could be
produced per time. The selling price was 10 baht per print (the
actual cost was only 3 baht). Sumit then made a contract with the
shop owner to place the machine in the shop in exchange for his free,
rendered service on the condition that the income occurred from the
copying machine belonged wholly to him. After running this business
for a period of time, he was able to make enough to pay back the
church elder. Moreover, Sumit out-earned the shop owner, thus
causing an unpleasant situation. Thank God that He had provided him
with an avenue of escape.
One day, one of the staffs of the bank informed
Sumit of an available space in his brother’s 2-room currency
exchange shop (named Thai Tasanajon), which was located in front of a
photograph shop. Since the shop was spacious enough, his brother
could offer Sumit some space to do his business. Sumit immediately
realized that this was from God. He immediately accepted the offer.
His former boss, the photograph shop owner found the solution very
satisfactory. Sumit then moved his duplicating machine to the new
shop. He and the new shop owner shared the cost of the expenses as
well as the profit earned. After working in that shop for 2 years,
Sumit had earned enough money to liquidate a place in Soi
Chula-Suanluang (nearby Saphanluang Church). He attended church
often, thus making business contacts with the church members and
finally he got to know Pornsuda, his future wife.
While working in the photograph shop, Sumit had
had business involvement with 2 companies: Nanthawijit which was
selling various photograph equipments, and Rochester which provided
services on developing and enlarging color photos. After working
with the currency exchange shop for less than 2 years, the rental
period of the building had expired. The owner then had to move to
Soi Patphong, Silom Road. This time God again revealed His other
plan for him.
Provision With A New Business
The owner of Rochester Company took Sumit on a
survey trip all along the Petchburi Road. The purpose was the
company’s interest for Sumit to open a photograph shop in that
area. There were 2 reasons for the interest: 1) There were only a
few photograph shops located along that road, and 2) there were many
3-star hotels in the same area, where many American GIs engaged in
the Vietnam War stayed during their days off. The company had
proposed that Sumit do this business by giving him 2-years credit on
the condition that after 2-years, if the business did not turn out
good, the company would cancel all his debts. While making a survey
drive along the road, they encountered a signboard saying “shop to
sell” hanging in front of a place located on the road. They
stopped the car and entered to inquire from the owner, who turned out
to be a member of Maitreejit Church. The liquidation agreement
period was about 10 years left and the selling price was 145,000
baht. Sumit then sold his house in Soi Chula-Suanluang and the gold,
which he had received as wedding gifts. Still the amount was short
of 20,000 baht. He thus thought of his debtor – the owner of a
movie taking company who had owed him (in the amount of approx.
50,000 baht) for many years. Sumit had no hope of getting back the
money. However, God had told him to go see this debtor. Sumit told
him about his situation. The company’s owner then made a check in
the amount of 20,000 baht to Sumit, besides giving him equipments for
enlargement of pictures and for polishing. He told Sumit that he had
closed down the company and quitted movie-taking business, and would
sell everything including his house and return to his hometown, which
was in the southern part of Thailand.
After Sumit had paid for the new shop, the owner
of Rochester Company brought workers to decorate the shop. Since
these workers were skillful, the already decorated shop turned out
very beautiful for only 20,000 baht of payment! The first payment of
8,000 baht was made from the money received from selling Sumit’s
car and the rest was paid by installments. However, Sumit had only a
beautiful shop but no accessories or equipment for use at the
photographic studio so he discussed this matter with Nanthawijit who
So after everything had been set up, they handed
him a bill amounting more than 100,000 baht. But when they were
leaving, they told Sumit, “My boss told me not to collect money
from this shop!” After the business had run for less than 2 years,
Sumit could pay up the loan to both companies. (Thank God…Praise
With A Change of Jobs
After about 5 years working in this new shop, the Vietnam War had already ended and all GIs had returned to their homeland. The business volume was decreased to less than 20%. The only regular customers were people from the Bank of America. Not long after that, a customer from the exchange shop told Sumit to go take photos of a former Miss Thailand Universe in various luxurious hotels, in order to promote a new hotel with the tallest building (23 stories) in Thailand (at that time) which was soon to be opened. However, the head of the new hotel (Dusit Thani) was from the royal family and already he had his personal photographer. Sumit had a small chance of getting this job.
One day, he met his childhood playmate who advised him to open up a printing house. He then borrowed money from Bank of America in the amount of 150,000 baht. He invested almost 300,000 baht in this business, using the house which he had bought for his mother (whole downstairs area) as the operational place. The most important customer was the bank. However, Sumit had no experience and skills in running a printing house. He then faced a big and common problem: expensive paper for printing. The business had run for 1 year. Sumit then suffered a loss from many other problems. He thus made the decision to quit the business by selling all printing accessories and equipment from which the money was able to pay all loans to the bank. This lesson was very costly, and this is what he said, “This is the first time I use my own intellect and abilities, doing the thing which I don’t know, which I have no experience, with insufficient funds, thus ending at a spot where I have to depend on others .”
After the bloody October day (16 October 1976), everybody had realized his/her own legal rights which resulted in a change of staffs at the Dusit Thani Hotel. The hotel’s presenter, former Miss Thailand Universe, had taken the post of hotel’s public relations officer. She told Sumit to work with her as the hotel’s photographer with the monthly salary of 4,500 baht. His duties included taking photos of activities in the hotel and have them sent to the local newspapers. Since he had his own photo-shop, he was able to gain some extra income from these jobs. His income from photo-taking out-beated his salary.
At that time, the video technology came into Thailand. Sumit then sent his two sons to learn how to operate the video (videotaping, cutting etc.) in order to open up a business under the name “RDC Video”. Sumit and his family had the chance to work with various Christian groups running TV series: Sawan Nai Ban (heavenly home), PTL, Thang Cheewit (the way of life), Good News, etc. As his children were able to operate the business well, he (at 52 years old) then made the decision to resign from the hotel with which he had worked for as long as 20 years. After the resignation, he has been seriously studying the Bible everyday ever since. However in this year, many changes and miracles had taken place in his life and family, both at work and in their personal lives (Halelujah ! Thank the Lord.).
The Loss of a Spiritual Pillar
The unexpected incident had taken place. So-huey, Sumit’s mother had been in good health all of her life. One day when she was 87, she fell from the stairs, breaking her leg. She had stood the pain for 3 years despite operations had been made on the hurting leg. She passed away on Sunday night at the age of 90 years old. At the moment of her last breath Sumit was suffering from a stiff neck, being unable to move, and eat for 3 days. Mother So-huay had been a good example in her spiritual life, being zealous and loving God. She had taught her children and grandchildren to have strong faith. When she was alive, she would pray with her grandchildren at 7 pm every night. She had witnessed about Christ to everyone she had met, and had joined in the visitation work of the church.
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 7th 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.
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.
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, Chiangmai Province
After having served at Saphanluang Church for 5 years, Worapong and Niphon finally resigned from the church. Niphon then went to serve God in Chiangrai province. One day Worapong had persuaded Sumit and his wife to visit Niphon and then move on to Amphur (district) Omkoi. Worapong 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, Worapong 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.
The First House at Omkoi
The house on the land was so old with some parts fallen off, repair then had to be first made. Despite 45,000 Baht already paid to build an additional room to the house, it was still unusable. Another worker was then contacted to repair the door and windows. This new worker had urged Sumit to build a new house. Since the labor cost there was not expensive, a house with one storey cost only about 60,000 Baht and 2 stories about 100,000 Baht. With his good reasoning on this, Sumit finally made the decision to build another house on the same land plot. This worker had arranged everything for him: drawing blueprint, submitting the print to the government sectors concerned, building, etc. About a month later, the house blueprint, which looked more like a holiday resort, was presented to Sumit for approval. And with some revisions and adaptations, a house was then built and finished within 6 months. When Loipor visited the house, he praised the designer and builder with a comment, “This house is so spacious that it can be used as a worship place!” At the moment, a voice from inside Sumit said, “Don’t forget people from Hong Kong and ministers from abroad!” (Christians in Hong Kong had been supporting more than 20 churches in Omkoi.) The voice had been so clear and firm that he was sure of God’s working and guiding in that project. Sumit had discussed with Worapong to dedicate that house to God and to make it a blessed place for all. Worapong then has dedicated himself by serving God in Omkoi Bible School. Thank God…Halleluja!
The Second House at Omkoi
The inspiration of building the second house was because of Romyen (Bangkok Evangelistic Center)’s Compassion of Christ Mission Foundation. The foundation’s mobile clinic unit had gone to survey the place for servicing people in Sabomhet Village. Sumit thus was afraid of being unable to accommodate approx. 50 medical personnel on the team. Together with some Bible teachers’ recommendation to build a prayer room, he then made decision to build the second house. At that time, the budget was set at 150,000 Baht, thus being able to build a 6 X 8 meter room. However, God had told him in his heart to build a 8 X 13 meter room instead with the confirmation of enough money to build it. When the house was near completion, an insurance company sent him a letter informing him to receive an amount of money due from his 20-year insurance policy. God had planned everything in advance and He never was late. However, after coming back to Omkoi again to check the house’s building progress, Sumit saw some pieces of iron protruding from the building as if planning to add another room or building despite receiving no advice from him! Sumit then added one more 4 X 8 meter room with payment of 10,000 Baht more. God had really provided everything in time.
During construction of the second house in which a prayer room was added, there were many strange incidents happening to Sumit. Sumit’s daughter (third child) had brought him to a prayer place on the mountain in Chonburi province in order to study its operation. After arrival, one of the staff could only take them around the place since the building’s keys were with the other staff. However, while on the way, it had been raining so heavily that the staff’s car was ditched and they had to cancel the study tour.
After construction had been made for about 2 months, Sumit had to make another visit there as he had planned his visits on a monthly basis. On his first visit, he got a severe nosebleed. This astonished him a lot since he had never had nosebleed all of his life before. It happened once in daytime and once in evening time. Second visit, not long after arrival, he had black (bloody) stool. This made him think about his wife’s father who had had black stool for 3 days and then passed away. Next day he came back to Bangkok and went to see a doctor in King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital. He had been thoroughly checked and the results were normal. The doctor made an assumption that Sumit might have eaten too much curdled blood of hogs (of course, he had never touched that kind of stuff in his life)! Third visit, Sumit fell into a serious condition, being unable to eat anything and having difficulty breathing for three consecutive days (from Thursday to Saturday) and on Saturday morning the condition was worst. However, after Saisiri had taken him to various places, hoping to receive treatment, but failed (one and only clinic in Omkoi was closed!) When evening fell, she went to bring some Christians to pray for Sumit and his condition improved! He could sleep well that night, and next morning (Sunday) he was miraculously healed and could sing a hymn in the church!
The Third house at Omkoi
On one occasion, Sumit went to Omkoi to see the person drawing the third house’s blueprint. A Bible teacher there had asked him why he wanted to build another house and Sumit could not provide the answer. However, the budget was over 600,000 Baht. Sumit then thought about building only the floor, the structure and the roof (like a gymnasium) because he had the budget of only about 100,000 Baht. After waiting for 5 full months, nothing happened. Sumit then made Saisiri to submit the blueprint to the government sector concerned and made the other worker build the house with, according to this worker, the cost of only 90,000 Baht. Sumit commented, “Sometimes many things seem beyond our thinking. We must be sure that God knows everything we are doing. You must do it in God’s way and it will surely be successful.”
The beginning of February 2004, God had made a wonderful and unexpected thing. His sons had brought Sumit a lump sum of money received from selling a plot of land (unexpectedly sold!) which was enough for building a complete house. (Halleluja!) Sumit further commented, “God is great. He is always on time. Thank God!”
The Story of the Cross
After the third house had been completely built in August 2005, everybody could see the cross on the house. There was a story behind this. Sumit and his wife had arrived at Omkoi one day before the day of opening ceremony of Sabomhet church (5 December 2003) and they had noticed somebody installing a cross on the new church roof. There were approx. 500 people attending the ceremony with Rev. Somsak Chusong preaching the topic of the cross. Before preaching, Sumit (with God’s guidance) had talked briefly about the cross and then sang the song titled “The New Vision of the Cross” After the ceremony, Sumit went to have lunch at the Bible Institute and had a seat nearby Rev. Somsak, who had confined with Sumit that he had prepared another sermon but God had led him to preach about the cross. This is the main reason why Sumit had built the third house with the figure of the cross on it!
After the completion of the third house, Sumit wanted a picture of Christ to be hung on the empty wall. When he returned to Bangkok, he found a picture of Jesus in a fine frame at his house. One of his daughters told him that an elder from a church gave this picture to one of Sumit’s sons, but there was no place for him on which to hang it. It was an amazing incident because he had been thinking about having somebody paint the portrait of Jesus. When that elder knew this, she (Anchulee) had given him another picture (of Jesus being crucified on the cross). About one month later, Sumit made a trip to Omkoi, taking these pictures with him. On the way, while carrying the picture to hang on the wall of the other building (which is about 10 meters), he passed out. The electricians who were working in a building saw him and rushed to help. Sumit had never been or felt like this before. Since the way was so steep that he was very tired carrying the picture, he then placed the picture on the ground and thought about Jesus carrying the cross with tiredness, hurt, and suffering. At the time he felt overwhelmingly grateful to Jesus for His death on the cross to save everybody.
The Fourth House at Omkoi
On 27 September 2005, Sumit and his wife had met an old man informing them of selling a house priced 250,000 Baht. This house belonged to his daughter and was located next to the entrance to Sumit’s house. At that time Sumit was not interested in buying the house. However, on the third night after he had refused to buy the house, he was sleepless because a voice kept telling him to buy it. He then discussed this with his wife and she agreed with him. After 4 days had passed with some confusion, Sumit had finally bought the house in the amount of 220,000 Baht. Sumit said, “God has led us in everything. This house would be useful in God’s works in the future.”