Rev. Prasert Duangmala
Last Friday I met Prasert Duangmala. Almost immediately our souls were knit together as happens among believers. Years ago he came from Laos to Kentucky, as a refugee from a war torn country. His father was a Christian Missionary and Alliance (CMA) pastor in Laos and then also in Stockton, California. Brother Dunagmala told me his story of being a Jonah, running away from doing God’s will for his life. After a military career in Laos he worked for a county government in California. While he lived on the West Coast, he was frequently consulted by a new believer, Inthava Inthisane. One year they both attended an international Laotian Christian leaders conference in British Columbia. Pastor Duangmala listened to the testimony of Inthava and his calling to become a minister and found his heart and soul moved to tears. He came away from that conference a changed man and began studying for the ministry. He had been merely an active layman in his father’s Stockton church but now he was responding to God’s leading to become a minister. Soon his father had him preach his first sermon and then to frequently share the pulpit. This preacher’s son, who had risen to captain as a soldier in Laos, then had a long career as a civil service worker in San Juaquin County, California, put aside his earthly ambitions and was named the successor pastor for his aging father. Today he leads one of 6 ethnic congregations in the Stockton CMA church and has opportunity to minister to the thousands of Laotians in the Stockton area. I count it a privilege to have met this man, shared lunch with him and learn how he mentored our Pastor Inthava while being called to ministry by Inthava’s testimony.