Former SBTS student dies in Thailand

Communications Staff — March 24, 2009

Staff members at Resource Development International of Cambodia are mourning the recent death of the organization’s founder Mickey Sampson, a former student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Sampson, 43, died on March 19 of a heart attack, while seeking medical treatment in Bangkok, Thailand. According to the RDIC website, Sampson had been experiencing medical problems and had traveled to Bangkok to seek evaluation by a specialist.

A Louisville native, Sampson had worked in Cambodia with his family since 1998 after founding RDIC, an non-profit agency that labored to improve drinking water and sanitation for the people of Cambodia. One in five children in Cambodia dies before age 5, largely from diseases communicated through contaminated water.

Under Sampson’s leadership, RDIC established a ceramic water filter manufacture and distribution system (manufacturing 25,000 filters in 2006); produced a Cambodian television series for children to promote literacy and healthy living; and worked extensively to alert Cambodians to the risks of drinking arsenic-laden groundwater. RDIC also has developed and implemented agricultural, water, health and educational programs in villages throughout Cambodia.

Funeral services will be held in Cambodia. Sampson is survived by his wife, Wendi, and their four children, Michal 13, Madelyn 11, Isaiah and Zach, both 9, along with his parents, James and Diane Sampson and one brother, James Sampson.

Sampson received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Louisville and taught as an assistant professor of chemistry in the University of Kentucky college system. He had taken some classes at Southern Seminary.

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