I wanted to share this story from our newsletter here on the blog. It is a story of a young boy, we’ll call him Jack. Jack, at age nine, has already faced difficulty beyond our wildest imaginations. He has grown up in a nearby slum to the church, been given to a foster family when his mom no longer could care for him, and abused by his caretakers. His rough upbringing caused him to in turn act out and hurt those around him. Yet this is not even a glimpse of the child I know now. When his extended family no longer wanted him nor could handle him, the church stepped in and took him. The church is trying to find a good orphanage, but the only available ones are state run places with unlivable conditions. For years, the church has gone into the communities around us in Bangkok to bring hope and love through skills training, after-school tutoring and other examples of tangible love.
When Jack received the genuine love and mercy of the children’s ministry, it took him little time to also accept the saving work of Jesus in his life.
His slow transformation came to fruition the other day at school. The second term of the school year began late due to the overwhelming flood crisis, so when the children finally got back to school, they needed to get reoriented. Jack still attends school near his family’s slum in which there are a number of Muslim families as well. At the beginning of the school, the teacher wanted to make two groups of students for daily religious activities. She began by having the children make two lines, Buddhist and Muslim. Jack found himself standing alone after all the other children found their place. Perplexed, the teacher asked Jack why he hadn’t chosen a side, thinking maybe he was a bit slow in the head. Jack gained his composure and said, you called for the Buddhist students and Muslim students, but you never called for the Christian students. I am a Christian, and I have no line to get in. He stood alone in the room as the only one of his classmates who belonged to Jesus.
When is a time you had to stand up for your faith? What happened then?