In 1979, Patinya Thitathan and his wife, Penjai, made the decision to leave their roots in Thailand and move to the United States to study Bible at Sunset School of Preaching in Lubbock, Texas. Two years later, after completing the program at Sunset, Patinya began to have a dream for the future of his native country, Thailand. The dream was a combination of the things Patinya had witnessed during his upbringing and the things he had learned during his Bible training.
Patinya was born November 29, 1955, in Bangkok, Thailand. He attended primary school in Bangkok and secondary school in Chonburi province. His religious background, unlike most Thais, who are Buddhist, was in denominationalism, with Presbyterian and Pentecostal groups. Patinya’s father was a leader in these denominational groups, but his mother was not a Christian while he was growing up. Things began to change in 1968, when his father left these denominational groups and found the Church of Christ. Patinya studied with Subin Panboon and Parker Henderson, the first missionary in the brotherhood to Thailand, and was baptized into Christ December 13, 1970.
Some difficult years followed in which Patinya searched for the real purpose for his life. In 1972, at age 17, he entered Bangkok Engineering School to study electrical engineering. It was that same year that he met his wife, Penjai. This relationship turned out to be the greatest blessing in Patinya's life. Penjai was baptized into Christ in 1975.
Patinya had, in the meantime, graduated with his engineering degree and enrolled in Ramkhamhaeng University to pursue a degree in chemistry. Though never completing that degree, he studied there for two years. In 1976, he worked with the Bible Correspondence Institute in Bangkok. On January 1978, he made the decision to go to Saudi Arabia and work as an electrician, but prior to going he became engaged to Penjai. The work in Saudi Arabia was very demanding and being away from his wife-to-be was a difficult thing, but God was able to use this time to plant a dream in the heart of Penjai. She convinced Patinya that treasures of this earth and the pursuit of those things are temporary, but the work of the Lord is everlasting.
Upon his return from Saudi Arabia, Patinya and Penjai were married (August
4. 1979), and at the request of his wife, Patinya and Penjai moved to America
in 1979 and enrolled in the Sunset School of Preaching. Upon their
graduation in 1981, they moved to Fort Worth, Texas, to work with the Midtown
Church of Christ. Patinya became a minister to Laotians. While
working there, he enrolled in classes at the University of Texas at Arlington
to study electrical engineering. Their first daughter, Penya, was
born June 25, 1985. In the same year, 1986, the Thai/Lao School of
Preaching opened, and Patinya became one of the teachers there. It
was during this time that God started preparing Patinya and Penjai to make
the dream of bringing the gospel to Thailand a reality.
God had placed a desire in the hearts of Patinya and Penjai to return to their people and share the good news of Jesus Christ with them. At that point, Patinya began securing support with the Midtown congregation for his family’s return. Finally, in 1988, the Thitathans returned to Thailand. Later that year their second daughter, Pradittha was born (September 19.1988). Not long afterwards, the campus ministry at Ramkhamhaeng University was initiated and the dream became reality.
Thailand for the Savior is the name Patinya gave to his dream
for Thailand. The work has continued to grow over the past 11 years
and now contains a collection of ministries which have the common goal
of bringing Jesus Christ, the Savior, to lost souls in Thailand.
Thitathan has been one of the instrumental workers in these ministries. His involvement is extensive in the Ramkhamhaeng Campus Ministry, (Ramkhamhaeng Christian Center), the Somprasong 4 Church of Christ, the Victory Tree Family Home, and the rural churches in northern and northeastern Thailand. The mission field in Thailand is a stable and constantly growing work, and the fact that Patinya and Penjai are Thais makes them especially useful to God in calling people to Him because they know the language, the cultures, and the people. God has prepared them and given them experiences that have made them useful tools for his work with the Thai people.
For the further information contact:
Thailand for the Savior
Ramkhamhaeng Post Office
Bangkok 10241, Thailand
Qffice Phone 662.314.1665
Home Phone 662.373.2097
Doug Strickland, elder
Jack Roe and Jack Murray (Former elders)
Midtown Church of Christ
1701 Oakhurst Scenic Dr.
Fort Worth Texas 76111