The first time I met Wendy, she was sitting by herself all alone while her peers were playing and having fun together. The IMPACT 195 International trip team was doing a Vacation Bible School (VBS) in a small village in northern Thailand. My heart was drawn toward this twelve-year-old girl; I would invite her to participate in activities with us, but she would firmly shake her head no; I didn’t want her to be alone, so I would just sit with her.
Day after day she would come, but she would not get involved in the activities. I later discovered that she had just moved to this village, and that she was having a hard time fitting in. Her father had left her family for another woman and her mother now lived in Bangkok for work. Wendy had moved several times to different cities but was now living in this village with her grandparents.
For the rest of our VBS, I continued to sit with her and tried to teach her a few English words. Even though we had a language barrier, God connected our hearts. When it was time for our team to leave, Wendy wrote me a letter and said that she would pray that God would send me back to the village.
God answered her prayers and mine, and 1 year later He brought me back to this same village in northern Thailand. Our friendship grew deeper as we spent more time together. Wendy would help me with Thai and I would teach her English and Bible stories.
Wendy shared that she was actually a Christian. When she was in kindergarten, her neighbors would take her to church. She learned about Jesus and became a believer. She even led her grandparents to the Lord. One day her grandmother was experiencing pain in her arm and it became swollen. Wendy, with her child-like faith, prayed and asked Jesus to heal her grandmother. Jesus did, and immediately her grandmother got rid of her Buddha statues, their family altar, the spirit house in front of her home, and committed herself to Jesus Christ.
It is clear to see that God has chosen Wendy, set her apart, and placed a calling on her life. Now Wendy helps with our children’s ministry on Sundays. She teaches Thai Christian songs and tells the children Bible stories. The children love her. And as we prepare and study the Bible stories together, I have witnessed the Holy Spirit teaching Wendy and revealing His truth to her. She has a deep understanding of the Bible and how it applies to her life.
Jesus said in Matthew 19:14, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
As God had brought Wendy into His Kingdom, now He is using her to bring many more children into His family. This is the heart of our Good Father; He saves, He transforms, and He gives us a new purpose in life. He invites us to be a part of His mighty work in bringing His children home.
Oh, how 1 John 3:1, resonates in my heart: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”