“Some people may look at me and think what a perfect life I have, but they don’t know how broken I was before Jesus saved me,” says Grace International School Recruitment Representative, Arkira Kasemsuwan. “I grew up in a divorced family and was raised by my mom and grandparents. However, my mom was always busy with work and chasing after things that she thought would make her happy. When I lost my grandma, I started to wonder about life, death, and loss. How can I carry on running after my mom, who never looked back at me even once? It felt like I was walking barefoot on glass while carrying so much anger and pain on my back. One day, I found a husband who helped carry some of my burden and gave me shoes to walk with. He allowed me to begin my dream of building my own happy family. Then I met Jesus, who gave me everything. It was the first time in my life that I felt so at peace. God taught me to love and to forgive, no matter what. God touched my heart, and I called my mom for the first time in three years to hear her say that she was sorry. God brought healing and restoration to my family. Now, that little girl is no longer walking alone, barefoot. God healed her wounds and will walk with her all the days of her life.”
Such is the personal testimony of Arkira, who slowly came to know Christ over the course of many years as God met her in the little things and grew her interest in what lies at the heart of Christianity. Her curiosity started as a child when she read the Chronicles of Narnia and learned how Aslan represents Jesus. Years later, when she was lost on the streets of London and feeling homesick, a kind Christian couple helped her out and also left her a card with a picture of the English church that said, “You Never Walk Alone When You Walk With God.” It was a small thing that brought her comfort and eased her loneliness. So when she became a mother, she wanted to seek out a school with Christian values for her son. It was then that she met GIS HR Director Kawin Amphaiphong and Personnel Support Officer Carol Chawla by coincidence.
But God is not a God of mere coincidences. The Lord always has a great plan!
Kawin and Carol came alongside Arkira as she began to personally know Jesus. She started attending church and even got to be a part of the translating team there. And in response to her prayer, not only did her oldest son become a student at GIS, but her youngest son was also able to enroll! Both of them are able to receive an integrated Christian education through an American-style, college-preparatory curriculum while growing both academically and spiritually. Her husband, who has not yet accepted Christ, is being invested in by those in the GIS community, and it is her prayer that not only her husband but also her mom will come to Christ.
Every encounter with a loving Christian brings someone closer to Christ. Grace International School aims to cultivate a caring community where everyone belongs. It is in a community like this that local Thais such as Arkira and her family are able to experience the love of Jesus through others who have dedicated their lives to serving Him.