Can Children Follow Jesus When Their Culture Resists Him?
THREE THAI CHRISTIANS, in north, south and central Thailand, give their answers. Each one first heard about Jesus when the Good News Team taught at their school.
How much did you understand when you first heard about Jesus?
SIRIPON: I remember I felt different afterwards, like I was a new Siripon somehow.
PANTAKORN: I remember the words “Jesus loves you and He died for you”. I couldn’t stop thinking about that.
ANCHALEE: I didn’t understand it all, but deep down I knew it was true and that I would follow Jesus.
What helped you follow Jesus as a child against opposition?
SIRIPON: loved reading my Bible and with God in me I felt strong. Not afraid.
PANTAKORN: Most days I sent questions to the Team. They answered every time. I felt really cared for.
ANCHALEE: Once I nearly gave up, but God did a miracle to show me He was with me.
Would it have been easier if your parents became Christians first?
SIRIPON: Yes, but they wouldn’t listen about Jesus. Being the first Christian in my village was hard, but I just knew God was real and with me.
PANTAKORN: Yes, but I was hungry to know Jesus and they weren’t. The first two years after I accepted Jesus, they wouldn’t let me go to church.
ANCHALEE: Yes, but my mother hated the word ‘Christian’. She beat me anytime I talked about Jesus. Now many in my family are Christians, but not my mother yet.
Would it have been easier if you were older when you heard about Jesus?
SIRIPON: No. I’m glad I heard about Him when I was young enough to change.
PANTAKORN: Definitely not. I’d been searching to know the truth since I was 10.
ANCHALEE: No. As a child I already knew I needed someone to help me.
What’s your passion now?
SIRIPON: To help all in my village know Jesus and grow in Him. Now only three families aren’t Christians.
PANTAKORN: I pastor my church, and also teach at seminars, etc. In everything, my passion is to help Thais come to their full potential in Jesus.
ANCHALEE: I pastor a church with my husband. We have over 100 slum children coming to us every afternoon. I love teaching them about Jesus, and helping them live for Him within our Thai culture.
Ministry leader of Good News Team who evangelise and disciple children.
Valerie was recently awarded a doctorate in Missiology from Biola University with her dissertation on the analysis of factors contributing to the spiritual development and persistence in the faith of certain Thai young people.