Click on a testimony to read the real life story of a few of the people whose lives have been changed through the work at Samaritan Creations.
My name is Thom. I’m 31 years old. I’m the oldest child in my family. I have 2 brothers and one sister. My daughter is 9 years old. I separated from my husband after I gave birth to my daughter. My ex-husband was addicted to gambling, alcohol, drugs, and women. He used to hurt me physically, but the worst thing was that he didn’t love my daughter. I love my family. As the first child in my family, I acted as the leader for my family. I worked and sent money to my parents. My life before I knew God was hard. My family was poor and my parents moved often since they were laborers for constructions projects. As a result, I moved from school to school.
There were times when I needed to play the part of a parent, as my parents left me alone with my siblings so they could work. They had a lot of debts. After I separated from my husband, my mom begged me to work in a bar in order to make good money. I did not want to go, but finally surrendered after the third time she asked. Bar work made me adjust my lifestyle in order to survive. Life was hard in the bar. I had to fight in order to get customers. Once I had a customer, I needed to drink and sleep with them in order to make money. Sometimes I felt like a vegetable or a fish in the market. My life was worthless and was even darker when I would meet with bad customers. During the day, I was ashamed that people knew that I was a night lady. I didn’t want to do this job; but my mom asked me to pay off the family debts. In my mom’s house we didn’t have electricity or a bathroom.
Finally, I met Kay and Mike, who are servants of God, and they asked me to leave bar work. Over a long period of time, they continued to ask me to quite, but I resisted. Then one day I decided to stop working in the bar. I called Kay and got a new job immediately – a job that gave me value. I love this job very much! I have learned so much and I have come to know Jesus. God restored value in my life. I once thought my body was dirty, but now I see the beauty of God’s creation. I am made in God’s image. I’m not shy; I have dignity from God. God lifted me up from a bad situation into a good one. I am now on the staff of a safe house that helps rescue women who work in the bar. I buy supplies. I teach people to make beautiful jewelry. I have good friends here, and I learn about life skills. I’m a leader. I’m happy to study God’s story.
I want to be a full-time servant of God. I want to bring many people to know God. I want to see people have a good job like me, so they don’t have to sell themselves. I want women to see and know the value of themselves, so they will not fall into the traps of this world. I want to see men who will give honor to women. I want to see children who will not be slaves of money. I was the first Christian in my family, but now my 2 brothers, sister, daughter, sister-in-law, and my parents are all now Christian. Thank you, God!
Pen was only 9 when her parents separated. Her mother took her sister and moved to Chang Rai, while her father took her brother with him to Isaan.
Left alone and forgotten by both her parents, Pen moved in with her grandfather. Often quite ill, he would routinely travel for treatment in Bangkok, leaving Pen all alone. She tried attending school, but did not even have the money to buy a lunch. A kind lady at the school agreed to feed her some noodles in exchange for some help doing the dishes.
As she got older, Pen would travel down to Bangkok every summer with a friend from school to look for some work. One day, she found a job working as a dish washer in a go-go bar, and then later worked a server in an American restaurant. Everything she earned went to pay for her schooling. Pen had a great hunger to learn. Since she was unable to afford books for school she would borrow text books from her friends.
When she turned 15, she finished her schooling in Isaan. Pen wanted to continue her education but did not have the money she needed to pay for school. So, she began to search for a job where she could work at night and study during the day. She moved back to Bangkok where she began attending school in the day and working at a bar in the red light district at night. Pen went to school for a year, before finding a husband and getting married at 16. Soon she was pregnant with her first child. However, at only 7 months pregnant she gave birth to a daughter. Her baby was in the intensive care unit for three days before she died. A year later, Pen brought a baby boy into the world.
One day, after coming home from her son’s 6th month check up at the hospital, she found her husband with another woman. She left him and but was left with nothing to feed herself and her son. Pen had no choice but to pick up another shift at the bar. She would work from 8 am to 5pm, and then work an additional shift from 8pm to 2 am to pay for the care, food, rent, and hospital bills for her baby son who was often sick.
Her husband contacted her one day to tell her that he wanted their son back. Pen began to think maybe it would be better for her son to live with his father, hoping he could take better care of him. So, she agreed and left her young son with her husband. However, Pen’s mother-in-law would call her every month asking for money to help take care of her son. Pen wanted her son back, and began to worry that her husband was not taking care of him after all.
One day, Thom, an member of Samaritan Creations and a missionary came to visit her bar. Thom told her about God. Pen did not really believe in this God, but told them all about the situation with her son. Pen was so sad and tired of the bar life and missed her son so much. Before Thom left that night, she gave Pen her phone number and told her to call anytime.
One night, when Pen was overwhelmed and crying she remembered Thom. She remembered what she had told her about God’s love and forgiveness. Pen called Thom that night and told her that she wanted to come work at Samaritan Creations. There at Samaritan Creations, Pen met Kay, who told her about the love of God that could change her life.
The first time Pen visited the church, she decided to test this God out. She prayed, “If you are really God, have my friend who has been angry with me for 3 years call me on the phone.” Pen got a phone call from her friend 10 minutes later. Amazed, she then believed in God, but was afraid to give 100% of her life to him. Gradually, she began to realize that God would always do everything completely for her. Pen began to trust God, and after a month she gave her life to Him completely.
Today, Pen loves God because He is able to accomplish anything, is completely good, and has truly blessed her. God loves her even when she is angry with Him. He does not change. Pen now lives to give God glory with her life. She wants everyone to come to God as she did because He is so good. In her own words, “He has a big love for us. Now I am a new creation. I believe God has a plan for my life.”
Da was just 22 years old when she separated from her husband and needed to find support for herself. One day a woman from her hometown heard about this and invited Da to work in the red-light district in one of the bars. Da did not know what this type of work entailed and was told that she would simply serve drinks there. However when she arrived to work, the owner told her she would need to be one of the bargirls if she wanted a job. This meant that she would party and drink with the customers … and sell her body.
Upon working there for about a month, one of her friends from the bar named Pen came and talked to her. Pen had been Da’s roommate before quitting work at the bar. She shared with Da how she became a Christian and about how God had changed her life. She invited Da to come and visit the church with her to learn more.
When Da visited the church and walked into the worship room, everyone was praying to God. Seeing this, she decided to try her own prayer to God. She asked God to help bring her a husband, a daughter, and help her put her life back together again. Kay, director of the Samaritan Creations ministry, was at the church service that day and offered her a job with the ministry. Being unsure what to do however, Da turned it down and went home to think.
However, that afternoon her husband called and told Da that he wanted to get back together and work things out. She went to work that night, confused at what was happening. How could the things she just prayed at the church that day begin happening so suddenly? Did God really hear her prayer and care about her? She did not want to work at the bar anymore if she had hope of a better life. Later after more conversations with her friend Pen, she decided to accept the offer to work with Samaritan Creations and leave the life of a bargirl.
Working at Samaritan Creations, Da was able to pay off her debts and begin supporting her family. She learned more about God and how to have a personal relationship with Him. Da now lives in her hometown with her husband and family. She continues to receive teaching through Samaritan Creations and keeps in touch with her friend Pen. Da loves God and is happy to share with her community about how He found her and changed her life.
Jum had barely finished 9th grade when she began work at a local karaoke bar. After working there for about 5 months, she met a man and got married. She stopped working at the bar for about a year until her family began having financial troubles and she returned to work again.
She sat and drank with customers each night, but she did not want to work there anymore – selling her body and pretending to have fun. Her husband did not want her to be with other men, so she was forced to lie about what she was really doing. Jum was miserable.
One day her friend Nueng, who used to work at another bar, told her how she was able to get out of the bar life and now worked in a safe house with Mike and Kay at Samaritan Creations. Neung encouraged Jum to do the same and to come with her. At first, Jum was unsure about it, but finally went with her friend to join the safe house program. Four months into the ministry, Jum became a Christian and began following Christ.
At first her husband was skeptical about her new faith in God and would laugh at her. She tried to be a supportive wife, taking her daughter and going to the temple with him, but every time she did her heart felt heavy and sad. Her husband was very devout Buddhist and was not interested in hearing about Christ. However, after Jum prayed faithfully for three years, her husband finally received Christ.
Today, Jum and her husband both love and serve God. Every Sunday they worship together as he plays guitar in church and Jum sings. She shares, “Before we believed in Jesus, my husband and I had a wall between us. But now that we we both have Christ in our hearts, we can speak the same language. The wall has been broken down, we are united. We have peace in our lives because we speak the same language now.”
Karn was only 15 when she first traveled to Bangkok to begin working with her sister. Being so young, she couldn’t find work, but got a feel for Bangkok life. She returned home for two months, but returned to try to find work in Bangkok again with a friend. After finding a job at a Japanese restaurant, Karn met a guy at work. One day he asked her for a date, and even though he was older, she liked him and they went out. However, at the end of the date he raped her. This continued for several months, before she soon discovered that he was already married and had a wife who was pregnant. Distraught and heart-broken, she returned to her hometown.
Several years later, she returned to find work again in Bangkok as a house maid. Here, Karn met a man who introduced her to drugs. She developed an addiction to drugs and over the course of several years had two sons with the man. After her second son was born, she and the man separated and she was forced to move in with her sister. At 27 years old, she was addicted to drugs, jobless, and had two children to feed. Karn was desperate and did not know where to turn.
One day a friend told her she should go get a job at a bar. Karn really wanted to make money and support her two children. She worked at a bar for a time, at a restaurant, and freelancing as a street walker at night.
Eventually, Karn married a different man and had two more children. Her sister-in-law told her about a ministry she had worked with that was devoted to helping women like her. She encouraged Karn to get a job there instead of freelancing and working in the restaurant. At age 29, she began work with Mike and Kay at Samaritan Creations. After working only 15 days, she became a Christian.
When her husband heard about this, he was angry. Worried, she decided to turn away from God for a time. However, when she looked back on her life and the difference God made in her life, she knew she was still God’s child, and He alone could forgive all the mistakes she had made. He would always open His arms to receive her. He always showed her mercy. After a few years passed, she returned to Samaritan Creations and spoke to Kay and pleaded for a job.
She now says, “God gave me a chance to be a new person when I turned to God.” Karn now works at Samaritan Creations and is learning to live for Him.
Miew grew up never knowing her father. When she was born, her mom did not want her, so she left her with her aunt. Her aunt raised her until she was 12 years old and Miew moved to live with her cousin. She began work at a warehouse selling stationary, but her cousin would take all of her wages.
Sometimes Miew’s mother would return briefly and they would live together, but only for a few months before she would leave again. Always longing for a mother’s love, her constant abandonment left her feeling lost and alone.
When Miew was 15, her cousin and Samaritan Creations employee, Thom, took pity on her and asked her to move in with her. When Thom brought her to Samaritan Creations, Kay offered her a job. She worked alongside Thom for about a year, but then left to try to live with her mother again.
During this time, Miew tried to find peace in worshiping the Buddhist idols, praying for real love from her mother and a good man. However, once again her mother left and Miew was broken-hearted. Even though she now had a boyfriend, she felt rejected and all alone. She knew that her mother could never be there for her the way she needed. Her boyfriend asked her one day to go back and ask Samaritan Creations for a job. Miew knew it was a good idea, but she was afraid that the ministry would not hire her again because she had left them before.
One day, she bravely came back to visit with Thom at the ministry. Kay was excited when she saw Miew and asked her to come back immediately. A week later, she was working at Samaritan Creations once more.
Today, 17-year old Miew is happy to have this second chance and is learning to rely on God, not on a mother who cannot be there for her. She is still in the healing process, but is learning that God is a trustworthy Father who will always be with her, no matter what.