For the next few weeks, we will share stories that illustrate how our workers around the world see SEND’s new vision statement becoming reality. Today we focus on “Jesus followers.”
The Great Commission offers a church-building, disciple-making role to all who believe — the missionaries who go, but also those who stay and support by praying and giving.
Today we share the encouraging ripple effect of one financial gift — an educational scholarship for a teen-age girl in Thailand.
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By a SEND worker in Thailand — Ning lives in a poor village on the northern border of Thailand. Her family largely survives by selling coconut ice cream in the market.
Several years ago, SEND workers befriended Ning’s family. The Filipino couple with SEND would offer medicine and wellness education to improve the health of the Shan villagers. Ning began visiting the SEND-run community center where she studied English and learned to play the drums. She was fascinated by stories from the Bible. Before long, Ning chose to make Jesus her Lord.
Ning’s parents seemed supportive enough at the start. But before long, the pressures of the village community, locked in folk Buddhism for centuries, came crashing down. Ning was forbidden to have any more contact with the SEND workers.
At first, Ning rebelled. On Sundays she would make some excuse to run an errand, but then race off to the center to play drums in the Shan worship service. Once the SEND workers realized what was happening, they encouraged Ning to obey and respect her parents, and wait to see what God might do.
All the other Shan believers prayed like crazy for Ning. She was dearly missed. Before long, Ning noticed a softening in her parents’ hearts. Little by little, she was allowed to have contact with the SEND workers and the small community of faith. Soon she was playing the drums again with all her might to the glory of God.
But Ning faced another threat. Shan girls of her age usually are sent off to earn money for their families, often by working at massage parlors and urban brothels.
To help Ning and 14 other girls avoid this fate, SEND offered educational scholarships. Not only did Ning’s parents allow her to study, they let her live at our center, where she can be tutored by a Shan dorm-mom who is discipling these precious girls.
Just a few weeks ago, we hosted a blessing for the dorm. We prayed many of the girls’ parents would come. Guess who provided the coconut ice cream? Ning’s mom!
We pray for a great movement of God to transform the lives of the people in this village. The transformation has already begun in Ning and her family.
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More stories in this series
This is the fourth story in a series that explores SEND International’s new vision statement: A global movement of Jesus followers making disciples among the unreached. Click below to read the others.
Week 1: Continue in Christ
Week 2: From the nations to the nations
Week 3: Better together
Week 5: Couched in love
Week 6: Growing in a new land
Week 7: Mentoring Aigerim
Week 8: ’Any day, he could be gone’
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More stories from Ning’s community
(Ning’s name has been changed for her privacy.)