Gospel Tennis Life
My name is LaDe Labya. Here is the story of my gospel tennis life calling. Currently, I am the tennis coach at Prem Tinsulanonda International School, Mae Rim (Chiang Mai), Thailand. I have been the tennis coach at Prem Tennis Centre since August 7, 2013. I am married to Yumie Labya since 2003, and we have no children.
I am the fifth born of six children. I was born in Shan State (Myanmar) in 1977. Both of my parents are from the Kachin tribe and living as Christians. I loved to play tennis since I was small. I went to the tennis court almost every day and spent lots of time practicing and playing matches in my childhood.
In my teenage life, God worked in my tennis player life. My Christian parents told me to pray to God before playing tennis matches. So, I did and often had good results in my matches when I prayed for it. Through many experiences, I became more interested in God, whom I didn’t know at all. God listened to my prayers, even though my faith in God was not yet from all of my heart.
Beginning of my Gospel Tennis Life
In 1994, I won first place in the Myanmar national junior tennis tournament. Therefore, from that time, my tennis life was fully supported by the government. From 1995-1997, I gained international experience participating in the youth international tennis matches (ITF), representing Myanmar as a youth tennis player.
Unfortunately, due to the instability of the political scene in Myanmar, I could not continue tennis in Myanmar. Therefore, in 1998, I moved to Japan because of my tennis career, but this happening was unexpected in my life. I couldn’t speak Japanese at all and didn’t have enough money to live there. The bitterness of my new life in Japan was far beyond my expectation. It was so severe that I often felt I was going to die.
However, at that time, I found the Tokyo Peace Church in which people from my Kachin tribe gathered and had worship services. I started to attend Sunday services at this church. From the darkness of the hard life and bitter experiences, I was led to the world of true faith in trusting the love of Christ by the grace of God. I was baptized at the Tokyo Peace Church two years after moving to Japan.
Gospel Tennis Life Call
Between 1998 and 2008, I belonged to the Tokyo Peace Church. Filled with the love of Christ, I volunteered to bring people of faith to the Oyama Peace Church in Oyama Province. I was responsible for transportation of around 80 people on these trips, including the pastor, Makoto Tanno.
In 2010, I moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand and joined the Tale Thiri Buga Church in nearby Myanmar. My wife and I continuously support a project there for giving education to children from low-income families run by the church. The plan covers children from years three to fourteen.
In 2011, my wife and I donated money for buying land to build a multi-purpose building used for education, community services, church services, and other events. From 2012 onward, Reverend Hkangda Tu Lum (from Yangon) and Reverend Makoto Tanno (from Japan) came to celebrate for the opening ceremony of this building. The money that I donated for these purposes was from my work as a tennis coach at Prem Tennis Academy.
Ministry Training at CLI for my Gospel Tennis Life Call
Since 2014, I am also supporting a Christian Community of Samong province in Northern Thailand. I built a new chapel which opened in November of 2017. The reason why I did this is for people from all walks of life to come together and get to know the love of Jesus Christ and to become united in faith.
Now I feel led to get a ministry education, and God led me to Christian Leaders Institute. This opportunity for free tuition at CLI is a blessing. As I serve God in my Gospel tennis life call, this free training gives me more excellent knowledge and understanding. Thank you, CLI, for this opportunity.
Learn about ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.