I would like to introduce you to Miss Tida Satongchue. When I first met her she was still a high school student at the local Chiang Mai Adventist Academy in the little village of Ban Long about an hour north of Chiang Mai. I was impressed from the beginning by her serious and sincere attitude to life and her desire for a deeper spiritual experience. Here, in her words, is her story.
My name is Tida, my last name is Satongchue and I am now 20 years old. I finished high school from Chiang Mai Adventist Academy. My hometown is near the border of Thailand and Myanmar. I got my Thai citizenship in 2009, about two years ago. I have two siblings, a brother and a sister. My family is from the Karen tribe. My father was killed by the Indian navy 13 years ago in the Andaman Sea in the Indian Ocean. I was cared for since that time by EOF (the Education Opportunity Foundation) ministry because my mother is disabled and can’t walk well, neither can she work. My mother wanted us to be able to get an education and EOF provided this opportunity not only for me, but for my older sister also. I know that this is because of God’s love for us.
After I finished high school I was able to work in training as a medical missionary for one year with Pastor Phamor who is the founder of EOF. At first I always blamed God for the many things that happened with our family and I had many questions in my mind, but now I have learned many things from my experiences in the past year and I know that God has called me to His service. He has shown me that a lot of people need help and need to be taught about the gospel which includes health reform. I have had to work hard and study through my life as it did not come easy to me. I thank God for EOF and the chance that I have had through the kindness of sponsors. It’s because of faithful sponsorship that my sister was able to finish her college education and now she is working for EOF. She would like to be able to help me but she is only on a minimal wage and is sending what she can to support our mother. I believe that God will provide the right sponsors for my continued education because I have dedicated my life to Him and His service.
I was very impressed during my year of medical missionary training; we had opportunity to work in the refugee camps and I saw the great need for nurses there. I was drawn to working in the medical field and now I have an opportunity to study dentistry at the Adventist University in the Philippines (AUP). Pastor Phamor has stepped out in faith and enrolled me in classes there. I find the work challenging but I will apply myself to doing my very best and I know that God will be with me. There is a great need for a dentist to help in the EOF ministry working in the villages and the refugee camps in Thailand. I pray always that the Lord my God that I love so much will impress someone that fears and loves God to sponsor me through university and I believe He will.
Tida will need $3,000 to $5,000 each year for her dentistry studies. This is a minimal amount when compared to the cost of sending a student to a western university. If you are one that the Lord is speaking to in His still, small voice to take part in sponsoring Tida I would like to personally thank you. She is a dear young woman who has always worked hard for what she has and she’s willing to give her life in service to others with even less than her. Praise God for young people like Tida.