Changed completely

Tears of overwhelming joy come quickly as Kawee shares her story. We’re sitting in the Thai Good News Centre, a small but welcoming room in the Golden Mile shopping complex in Singapore. Kawee nurses her infant son, remembering her former desperate situation.

A Thai national living away from home and married to an older Singapore businessman, Kawee had become depressed. Desperate to return to Thailand and her Buddhist family, she became addicted to ‘scratchies’, ever hoping to win enough money to escape her misery and leave Singapore forever.

‘I didn’t like the family of my husband’, she shares. ‘They were all Christian, although my husband wasn’t very serious about it. My sister-in-law continued to ask me to come to worship with her. I didn’t want anything to do with Christians. I asked my husband to give me the money to start my own business. But the business was a failure. I then asked him for money to return to Thailand.’

Kawee did return to Thailand, and while back in her village in the Ubon province, she met a young person, Suria, who told her he was going to Singapore to volunteer at the Thai Good News Centre.

Still desperately unhappy, Kawee returned to her husband in Singapore.

‘Again my sister in-law asked me to come to church, a “Chinese” church’, Kawee says. ‘I went for three months, but my heart wasn’t in it. Then, to get his family off my back, I told my husband that I wanted to go to the Thai Good News Centre in the Golden Mile, where Suria was volunteering.

‘After worship I slipped away to buy a scratchie, still hopeful that I might be able to win enough money to save me. I walked into another shop in the Golden Mile and they asked me if I was a Christian and gave me some booklets about Jesus. With no success in my scratchies and lots of time to spare at home, I began to read the booklet. I found it interesting and kept reading. I read it all.

‘I rang the phone number of the Thai Good News Centre. They were so happy. Praise God that I came to know Jesus and have been baptised’, Kawee shares. ‘I went back to Thailand again, but this time because I wanted everyone to know Jesus. Now I have been granted permanent residency in Singapore.

‘My brother has stopped drinking and has enrolled at the Lutheran Seminary in Thailand, and my husband is following Jesus, too.

‘My life has changed so completely. I have experienced the grace of God, and I want everyone to know Jesus, this gift of God.’

We walk outside of the Thai Good News Centre, around the corner into the shopping centre. Kawee opens the roller shutter of her shop—‘a gift from God, which I use to share the gospel and invite people to come to the Thai Good News Centre’. Each day Kawee commits her work and the shop to the glory of God.

Her family in Thailand have come to know Jesus. Kawee says sometimes she is so excited about telling others about Jesus, she forgets to eat! Her tears of joy continue to flow as she talks about the goodness of God.

The Thai Good News Centre is a mission of the Lutheran Church in Singapore. Pastor Rickson Leong (local Singapore pastor) and new Christians offer a warm welcome and place for worship, learning and friendship to many Thai nationals working in Singapore.

This story was also published in the November 2015 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.

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