Last school year, I went through a series of studies for those who were interested in preparing for baptism. As the time for the baptism grew closer, it seemed like I was surrounded by difficulties. On three different occasions, I went home to ask my father’s permission to get baptized but without success.
The last time, Father told me that if I really wanted to get baptized I should go and dive into a pond and then it would be over with. I came back to school, and it was almost time for the baptism. One by one, students were adding their names for baptism.
I really wanted to get baptized, but I thought again about my father’s words, that he really did not want me to get baptized. I felt heartbroken. Our principal announced that everyone who wanted to get baptized should submit their names by Friday evening. All week, those who wanted to get baptized put down their names—all except me because of the great struggle going on in my mind. I truly wanted to get baptized.
On Wednesday evening, we had a Bible study, and after the study, all my friends stayed and signed their names on the list, but I quickly returned to the dormitory. I laid down on my face and thought about the dilemma of my baptism. Should I follow the Lord Jesus? Or should I follow my family? My mind was churning with thoughts while many of the girls around me were sound asleep. I knelt and prayed to God, “Lord, you see all of my struggles. If you want me to follow you , please give me a clear answer tomorrow. Some people say that You don’t exist, but I don’t believe that. If you want me to follow you, tomorrow please send something that will comfort me and make my heart light again. If you do not answer my prayer, I will not become a Christian for the rest of my life.”
As I prayed, the tears rolled down my face. When I finished, I went into a very sweet sleep. At 5 o’clock in the morning, I went to read my Bible in the classroom where my school books were. On the top of my books, I saw a little letter tucked inside. Someone had written something to me. “I am praying for you. God wants you to have a light heart.” The note ended with a reference to Joshua 1:9. When I saw this little letter, I was so happy. I knew that God truly exists and that He wanted me to follow Him.
On Thursday, I signed my name to get baptized. After I was baptized, I was so happy! The only worry on my mind was what my family would say, but I did not feel discouraged.
When school was let out and my friends went home, I sent home the news that I had been baptized. Later, when I went home and my father saw me, he did not call me his child; he called me, “white foreigner,” and then he spoke to me about baptism. After that, he never said anything more, and I knew that he didn’t love me very much anymore.
His wife told me, “Among your siblings, your father loved you the most; however, he was very disappointed in you because you disobeyed and got baptized instead of listening to his voice. If you want to go somewhere or do something, he will not approve of it.” She also said, “There is nothing to the Bible; it has been done away with for one thousand years. You worship your God, but you can’t see Him. Christians don’t have peace, and that is why we will have to separate. You can’t worship other gods, but we can worship any God.” I was not discouraged; nothing that I heard affected me.
At that time, I wanted to go to my brother, but my father and his wife did not approve. “If you go to your brother, you will have to bow down and worship him, and if you do not bow down and worship him, you will look shameful. If you are not ashamed I will be very ashamed.”
I said, “I will go; I will not be ashamed.” When I arrived, my brother told me to bow down three times, but I did not bow down. I told him that now I was baptized. My brother asked, “Who told you to get baptized?” I told him, “It was my own choice.” Before, when I had asked for permission from my brother, he had not approved, but now that I was already baptized he did not say anything to me. I know that my brother loves me very much; he bought me shoes and clothing, and I am very happy.
When I returned home from seeing my brother, my step-mother asked me, “So did your brother love you?”
“Yes,” I said, “he loves me. He gave me what I needed.” Then I saw that she did not look pleased, and she did not speak to me again.
Every day I went and worked in the fields. At one point, my father told me that he would give me the money for my return trip and for personal things that I needed. I was very happy.
While I was home, I was tested in different ways. I was expected to give the daily rice offering, and I was to do different animist rituals. However, I refused, and my father and step-mother were very angry with me. They called me a name that means a person who dives into the water.
The time came when it was almost time to come back to school and I had finished working in the fields. It was Sabbath, so I rested, and my father became upset with me. He did not want to give me the things and money I needed for my return to school anymore.
My father said, “After I raised my children, they all went away, and you were the only one left. But because you did not listen to my voice, you are not connected to me anymore—only to your teachers.”
There was only one day left, and it was Sabbath, so I rested and prayed all the time. I needed money for my trip and food on the way, but I did not have any that night. I prayed to God, “Please, send me money for my trip.” I was sure that my father would not give me anything, and in the morning, after I had finished packing, my uncles and aunts came to me and gave me money. I added what they gave me, and I had plenty for my trip. Now I was very happy and very astonished, and I knew that God had sent the money for me. I thanked God for giving me the money.
On Monday morning, when I was going to leave, I came to the front of the house. I was going to go down the stairs when my father said, “I will not give you any money anymore. If I wanted to I could, but because you did not listen to my voice, I will not give you any more.”
At that moment, I realized that my father did not love me like before, and I became very discouraged.
While I hiked up the mountain trail my heart was heavy with sadness. When I got to the road, I waited for a car, but because of troubles there was no car, and I would have to walk.
While I was traveling I got sick with a fever, and I could not go on anymore. Instead, I wanted to lay down on the side of the road. All my friends left me and went on, and I was left with my cousin and a little boy.
In my heart I prayed that my worries would disappear, and God answered my prayer. All my worries did disappear, and then I got my strength back, and I could walk. I was very hungry, so I used some of the money for my bus fees for food. When I got to Mae Tha Wah, across the river in Thailand, our school principal came and picked us up along with several other students.
I am very happy now that I am back at school safely, and my teachers love me very much. The best and biggest thing is that God loves me the most and saved me when I needed help. He helps me all the time. I know that God loves me more than my family. I pray that someday my father will call me his child again, and he will love me like before.
Note: We were delighted to see that Dah Ku Say’s father attended her graduation at Sunshine Orchard in February 2014. Although he did not show much expression, his presence and his willingness to be photographed with Dah Ku Say and our family suggested that his heart is softening.