I am Jariya from Thailand. I was baptized on 8th March in Thomson Chinese Church. Before that I could never have imagined myself to become an Adventist. It has been amazing how God has led me this far. He performed a great miracle that changed my life forever… and that miracle was my journey to know Him.
Like some of you my family is Buddhist. Our teachings are completely different from Christianity. Buddhism taught me that when I do good things I will gain merit. From young I was taught that the origins of human beings evolved from a monkey and I accepted it was a fact but I always wondered why humans, the way they behave and their characters, were so different and special from monkeys – but now I know I didn’t come from a monkey, but that I am God’s special and unique child.
My personal journey began when I came to Singapore with my parents. I had attended San Yu Adventist School since Primary 4 (2009). When I first heard of the Bible and the miracles that Jesus performed, I thought it was part of children literature. When I was in Primary 6, Ms. Ling, my form teacher, invited me to church. And yes, I sneaked to church occasionally and told my parents I was meeting with some friends. I was interested in what the Christians were doing and this person called Jesus Christ.
I searched for God and a friend from Sunday Church approached me and gave me Bible Study, then later by God’s providence, I made friends with a new classmate, Yi Houy, in Secondary 2 and she invited me to join her with her bible study and that was how I started having bible study with Mr. Thomas. As I discovered more about God, I started to slowly change myself, such as my eating habits, my lifestyle, keeping the Sabbath, going to church, attending caregroup.
I continued to have both bible studies at the same time, but I felt like I was stuck in the middle, standing on two boats going different directions. The teachings and beliefs of the Sunday Church and Saturday Church confused me. It was getting very complicated. I knew that if this continued, I would fall. So I decided to stop having bible study with my Sunday Church friend but had a hard time going about breaking the news to her because she was my friend. But I knew that there is only one truth and I was searching for the truth. So even though it was hard, I decided to stick to God and do what was right.
It wasn’t long before I realized that I needed God in my life and am ready to accept Him as my personal saviour.
Before this, I never told my parents about church or caregroup. I always told them that I was meeting my friends. But now that I had found God to be real, I had to let my parents know what I was doing and to share with them my newfound faith. I could not keep this a secret because I love them. So I told them about care group and asked for permission to attend the church weekly. Out of love they allowed me to.
I used to think that my parents would never allow me to be baptized and join the church. I remembered the night when I approached my dad to ask him for permission to be baptized. I prayed for courage. At first I didn’t know how to begin. But as soon as I opened my mouth, I could feel the power of the Holy Spirit working through me. I was amazed. I was sure of my decision. I asked my dad for his consent. And I clearly heard him replied “No!”…… At that moment, I felt like my heart stopped beating.
Then he added, “But I consider you old enough to make your own decisions.”
Phew! I was so relieved. I knew that it was God who had given the courage. Although my parents are non-Christians, they accepted me for who I am and I know they love me very much.
My walk with God had been an amazing journey. I graduated from San Yu last year at the same time my parents moved back to Thailand. Then I attend Innova JC for 3 months. I then realise that A level isn’t what I want to achieve. I then decided that I will be moving to Thailand to study at Asia Pacific International University. I had peace upon making the decision to withdraw from JC and move back to Thailand. I am sad to leave my church and friends whom I love, but I’m sure God’s love will remain in us that we will continue to encourage and support one another in faith, love and hope of salvation.
I am more than a monkey. I am a child of a loving Father in heaven. If I hadn’t come to know Him, I would have lived a life for myself. But now God is the centre of my life. I want to live my life for Him. Wherever the Lord leads, it is my delight to follow Him. I have committed myself to the Lord and here I am, I ask God to send me. I am uncertain of what my future while me like after I leave Singapore, but one thing I am confident of is that God will lead me in the next chapter of my life and I am safe thus far.
I pray that one day, my family would see Jesus in me, and come to Jesus personally, for themselves. I feel the burden to share Jesus with my family because I know our Lord is returning soon.
This is another big transition period for me, through trusting and obeying God, I know that my Saviour will lead me all the way.