One of our sponsors, Melissa S., has started a blog (www.reachthepoorthisweek.com) where you can sign up to receive a weekly story of real child’s challenges and triumphs written at a 4th grade level for you to share with your children. (Just by subscribing, $1 will be donated to VisionTrust.) Below is a story from Reach The Poor This Week.
Home is a place where most of us feel safe. It is filled with family and love. It’s a physical place too. It’s an apartment, house, or structure of some kind that gives us shelter. When people ask us where we live, we usually give them our town, state or country. Home is very important to us. Can you imagine having to leave your home suddenly because it was no longer safe? What would it be like to leave your country not because you wanted to, but because you feared for your life?
Samart was a young boy when he had to face the difficult situation above. He, his brother and his parents lived in Myanmar (Burma). This was their home. There were a lot of problems in the country of Myanmar and in order to remain safe, Samart’s family left their home country and moved to Thailand. When a person is forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster they are called refugees. Samart and his family became refugees in Thailand.
This would be so scary! But God can take the scariest of circumstances and use it for His good. In 2000, when Samart was 11 years old, he and his brother were selected to be a part of the VisionTrust program in the village of Huay Malai. Both of the boys were sponsored. Samart learned about Jesus, was a good student and graduated at the top of his class. He even won a scholarship to attend university. He is a part of the HELP program (Higher Education Leadership Program) where VisionTrust helps students go to college who have gone through the sponsorship program and have done well. It’s like a scholarship program that has accountability with it.
Samart was greatly impacted by the VisionTrust ministry. He is now 25 years old and is finishing up at the university. While Samart received a lot from the ministry, he is now giving back. Samart wants to help students who are poor and lack a purpose and have no vision for their future. He now travels 6-7 hours by bus to his home on holidays to help with the VisionTrust ministry. The staff hopes Samart will eventually join their team full time.
God took a very scary situation and turned it into good. He protected Samart and his family, gave them a new home and a place to learn, grow and stay safe. And now, God is using Samart to share His love with other children who are coming into the VisionTrust ministry. God is at work in Samart and Samart is letting his light shine for others to see. How can you let your light shine to those around you?
- Have you ever had to leave your home? Your town? Your country? How did it feel? As hard as change is, how has God used some difficult times in your life and turned it to good?
- Now that Samart is an adult, he is giving back to the VisionTrust ministry because it meant so much to him and he wants to share Jesus with others. How can you give back to those who have served you? What can you do in your home? In your school? In your church? How can you share Jesus with others?
- Thailand is located in Southeast Asia. Thailand has a population of 67 million people. Bangkok is the largest city in Thailand.
- Buddhism is the primary religion on Thailand, practiced by 95% of the population. In Thailand are many Buddhist temples and grand golden Buddhist statues.
- Thailand’s national symbol is the elephant. At one time there were 100,000 elephants in the country, but now there are only about 2,000 estimated to be left.
- Pray that God would continue to help Samart as he finishes school and would guide him in what to do when he graduates.
- Praise God for the way He protected Samart and his family and that He is using Samart now to impact the other children at VisionTrust.
- Ask God how you can give back to others.
Ways to Get Involved:
Write down or talk with your family about the many blessings in your life. Thank God for the things on your list. After thanking God, ask Him to show you ways that you can give back to the Kingdom of God. Think about how you can serve your family, friends and community. Take action on at least one thing on your list.
Scripture: Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deed and glorify your Father in heaven.”