As dawn breaks on the Thai–Burma border, I hear a gibbon caw loudly in the nearby jungle canopy competing with the rooster below, crowing in thanks that he is not some family’s breakfast this morning. I am excited about the next few days and as I wake my older brother and get ready to leave, I give thanks to God for His goodness to me.
A long journey
I was only eight years old when our uncle brought us to the children’s home inside this refugee camp. Our mother had died suddenly when I was only six years old and on the same day, our father went missing. We don’t know if he was captured by the Burmese army or if he was killed, but he never returned. We went to live with our grandparents for a short while, but they were too old and too poor to look after us so our uncle decided we would have to go live in one of the refugee camps.
It was a long journey on foot and when we arrived there, we discovered that because we had no relatives living in the camp, we wouldn’t be able to stay. We were so tired and afraid, and I began to cry. No one wanted us. A man standing nearby said there was room for us in a nearby home for orphans. It has been our home now for the last five years and is a safe happy place which we share with around forty other children.
My family were Buddhists. Half of what my father earned we gave to the temple priests one way or another, and so we remained poor. I had never heard about Jesus until I came to live here. The people who look after us are followers of Jesus and every day they read to us from God’s Word and teach us how to live for Him. I love it! I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus and now I follow Him. I am so grateful for all that God has done for me. He has given me a home, a safe place to go to school, and lots of friends but most of all He gave me Jesus.
This morning, along with another thirty children, I will leave the refugee camp and walk for just over an hour through the jungle to a Bible college where I will stay for a few days. Last night when our teacher told us that a team of ladies were coming to visit us at the college, we all got very excited. When teams come, we do lots of things like playing games, eating ice cream buns, doing crafts and hearing stories about Jesus. It is so much fun! I am only thirteen, but I hope that one day I can go to college in Thailand and become a teacher so I can help other children just like myself.