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Surachet’s Story

As part of Adventist World Radio’s 50th anniversary, we wanted to introduce you to Surachet Insom, AWR’s former Asia-Pacific Region director.

I came from a Buddhist background and became a Seventh-day Adventist at the age of 17 in 1973. After my conversion, one thing that weighed heavily on my heart was seeing family, friends and other Thai people who were still in darkness. You see, Buddhism is salvation by works. I had a passion to tell these people about the love of Jesus and how He died for them. But the question was: How would I do it?

I decided to join the seminary, and as a theology student at the age of 21, I met a pastor who had the same passion for reaching Thai Buddhists through the radio. He invited me to assist him in producing radio programs in his bathroom studio with simple equipment, including a reel-to-reel tape recorder. In those early days, my main contributions were working as an amateur technician and providing special music with voice and guitar.

In 1985, I was continuing my seminary study in Singapore. At the time, the Thailand Mission was looking for someone to replace a radio speaker—a vacancy due to the sudden death of the pastor whom I’d assisted in radio production years earlier. As a full-time student volunteer, I wrote radio scripts and recorded for AWR and the local radio station until 1988.

My passion for radio ministry continued even when I was called to serve as communication director for the Mission. I returned to radio work again by volunteering to produce radio program content for a local Christian FM radio station. In the same year, I began to produce radio programs for AWR in the Thai, Laos and Hmong languages with the help of many friends.

In 2014, I was called to become AWR’s Asia-Pacific Region director.

All Thai programs air from AWR’s Guam station, in addition to six FM community stations owned by local churches. Many people have learned about Jesus and joined the church thanks to these stations. Here are just two stories of lives changed . . .

Nathathai: From Saleswoman to Literature Evangelist

Nathathai listened daily to the Lampang (Northern Thailand) NEW LIFE FM station owned by a local Adventist church. She had many questions concerning the Bible and health issues. She and her husband visited the radio station to meet with me and attend an evangelistic meeting in the Lampang Church. While attending the series, she also took Bible studies. By the end of the meetings, she had accepted the Bible truth, and one year later, Nathathai was baptized.

She was able to use her skills as a successful saleswoman to join the literature evangelist team, and instantly proved to be a natural. Today, she serves as the Thailand Adventist Mission’s literature evangelist department director.

Dao: From Desperation to Hope

Dao was feeling increasingly desperate. Her husband, a retired Thai army colonel, suffered from health issues and treated her harshly. On top of this, her only son had been in a car accident, and the aftermath and long healing process led him to become an alcoholic.

The family was still struggling to pay the medical fees from the accident, and Dao believed it was her family’s bad karma that had brought about these hardships. According to her Buddhist beliefs, she felt she needed to fix their karma through “merit-making.”

After consultation with Buddhist monks and more merit-making, her situation only seemed to get worse. She did not know how to have peace of mind.

One day, she turned on her radio and searched several channels. Suddenly, she heard a female voice speaking on the NEW LIFE radio station. The voice said, “If anyone listening wishes to have the peace of God, I invite you to kneel in front of your radio and pray with me.”

Dao knelt with tears streaming down her face, finding comfort in her heart. After the prayer, she rushed to the local radio station. Dao met the radio speaker and told the woman her sad story. The radio team connected her with a local church, and there she found new friends who became a source of support for Dao and her family.

From that time on, she locked the church radio frequency and turned on her radio all day, listening to AWR programs.

After going through a Bible study series with her new church family, Dao accepted Jesus and was baptized into the Adventist Church. She continues to attend regularly with her daughter and grandson, and her husband even joins her occasionally. Today she is a happy housewife, a cheerful grandmother and an active church supporter.

Like the NEW LIFE radio station, you can also share the gospel with family and friends around the world and encourage them to sign up for AWR’s free Bible studies here: awr.org/bible.

By Surachet Insom

Mother and child listening to radio in front of simple home.

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