Meet Lighthouse In Action's founder, EMMI KHANTHANA KHANKAEW
HERE EMMI'S STORY AS SHE TELLS IT
I am a native Thai born into a Buddhist family, but I grew up as an orphan in a Christian orphanage and learned about God there. My mother died when I was about 3 years old and my dad went to the jail right after that, because he killed her. I was rejected by my dad’s family because they believed I was a curse since my family fell apart after I was born. My mother’s side did not want to have me in their home because my face resembled my dad.
When I was taken to the Christian orphanage, I learned about Jesus’ love through the actions of a particular missionary. I was so impressed by her love and sacrifice that even as a little kid I wanted to be a missionary one day to help others like she did.
Even though I grew up in the Christian orphanage, I also had struggles like any other young person. I backslid from God and did many things in following my sinful desires. It wasn’t until I met God on a more personal level in YWAM that I learned there was more to being a Christian than being good and going to church.
During my last year in college I came to the end of myself and did not know what to do with my life. I sought after God with my whole heart and cried out to Him. Sure enough God showed me the way.
During that time I went to do internship with YWAM Chiangmai as a translator. I traveled to many parts of Thailand with short term teams and throughout that time I felt that I wanted to have that kind of passion and love toward God like the members of the teams had. I wanted to see many other young Thai transformed for the Kingdom. I came to realize that life is not about drinking or eating, but it is about living a life worthy of God’s purpose for you. I realized that He created us in His own image to live in relationship with Christ Jesus, and to be the representative of Christ to lead other people to know this love once we know Him ourselves.
By God’s grace, He allowed me to go to the USA where I did a Discipleship Training School with YWAM in Colorado Springs and School of the Bible in Tyler, Texas. During that time God came to me and showed Himself to me. He helped me to get to know Him in the way that I never known before.
God gave me a burden to tell other Thai people about what He has done for me, and I know that He can help others the way He helped me, and even more. The Lord has changed my life and given me new glasses to wear to look at Thailand differently than before. New revelation and new understanding about God really opened my spiritual eyes to see things going on in Thailand that I never saw before.
After all these schools, I returned to my home country, Thailand, to serve God with YWAM Chiangmai. I served as DTS staff for many years and led a couple schools until 2006-2007, when I felt that it was time to start a new page in my life in my God story.
God lead me to start up a new ministry in YWAM Chiangmai. It has been truly humbling to see how God has opened up the doors, and is continuing to open the doors for Lighthouse in Action.
I would like to encourage the Thai church to rise up for God and to impact this nation. I would also like to invite individuals, teams from churches, college and high school groups, professional teams, anyone who loves to bless others to come, or to send your people, to serve with us. I would love for you to come and experience life and share life. To see for yourself how people can be blessed by you.
You can impact someone’s life just like I was touched by God through a missionary, and the teams that came through Thailand when I was younger, and desperately needed what they were able to give…the love and truth of Jesus.