Frontline Stories

Pay it Forward: From Sponsored Child to Pastor

Although Christianity is not a mainstream religion in Thailand, Rev. Thoedsak learned about Christ since young under the wondrous guidance of God. Once a blessed sponsored child, he experienced the blessings of receiving. His work today, however, tells him that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Thoedsak grew up in a poor family in Chiang Mai. His parents make their living selling food on the streets. Despite their hard work, what they earned could barely support the family. Thoedsak and his two siblings only had old uniforms to wear to school, and their lunch was often just rice with fish sauce that had little nutrition. They endured the hardships until Thoedsak was registered as a sponsored child at 10.

Recalling his child sponsorship days, Thoedsak shares, “Aside from alleviating my parents’ difficulties to provide for us, the sponsorship activities helped me make new friends. More importantly, the programme established the foundation of my values. All these experiences were influential to my decision to serve in full time ministry, which then led me to Bangkok Bible College.”

When he first became a sponsored child, Thoedsak thought that his sponsor must be a wealthy man. Only until later did he realise that his sponsor was a low-income cleaner with recurring health problems, yet still willing to use his hard-earned savings to help other needy people. Such selfless acts of love made Thoedsak realised he doesn’t have to be rich to be able to help others. Today, besides pastoring his church, Thoedsak and his wife are also using their limited resources to provide food and shelters for some tribal children in hill areas, most being orphans without enough to eat.

Losing all of his sponsor’s letters and souvenirs to the flood, Thoedsak reassuringly says, “There is no way I will forget him. He will always be in my heart, in my life.” Paying it forward, Thoedsak is determined to share his blessings with more people!

When he was a sponsored child, Pastor Thoedsak joined different World Vision programmes that helped shape his positive values.

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