Why children? Why Thailand?
THESE TWO EVENTS are part of the answer.
1. I first visited Thailand with a YWAM team. One night we went to a building deep in Bangkok with menacing, armed men outside and a group of young girls sitting outside, their faces heavily made up to look like dolls. I couldn’t forget their eyes – they were dead, blanking out every emotion.
2. Thirteen years ago Ize was killed. She was 10, full of ideas and questions and the Fah Sai child who talked most about Jesus. That day she’d gone with friends to play in council grounds. They were by a deep pond when a mentally ill woman walked past, glaring at them. One child pulled a face at her. She leapt at them and with arms swinging pushed each child into the pond. As they struggled to get out, she pushed on Ize’s head and held her down. Others rushed over to help but it was too late.
Later, Ize’s friends told me the police had released that woman:
“The police said they can’t charge her until Ize’s mother pays 20,000 Baht.”
“But they know she doesn’t have it.”
“It’s because that woman has no money either. If no one can pay then the police won’t do anything.”
“They said we must feel sorry for that woman and forget about it.”
“That’s how it is when you’re poor” was their final comment.
Two events where I was powerless, both controlled by deeply entrenched systems within Thailand. Both events were part of my call to Thailand and to Thai children. I know God used events like these to motivate me and others in the Good News Team so that hundreds of thousands of children have had the opportunity to know Jesus.
From events like these I felt God’s call to help Thai children know that they do have value in Jesus and are loved by Him. To help them know that Jesus can be with them in every situation in all His power and love as their protector. To help them know how to call on His help to change what seems unchangeable.
God has brought change for thousands of Thai children. Many have written to say they’d been told there was no money for school and/or told they must go work in Bangkok. They prayed and asked us to pray too. God did miracles. Family situations were changed and these children were kept safe.
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.